Irish betting operator Paddy Power has become the latest to walk back plans to offer real-money gambling on Facebook. Paddy’s social sports betting product, which launched as Paddy Power In-Play in August 2013, had difficulty finding an audience, prompting the company to withdraw the app for further tinkering. In May, the revamped product was launched under its new Paddy Power Social moniker and the company said the app was warmly received during the 2014 FIFA World Cup.
But evidently not warmly enough. On Wednesday, a Paddy spokesman told eGaming Review the company would be notifying Paddy Power Social players within the coming weeks that it had decided to ‘discontinue’ the app. While Paddy is among the best in the industry at utilizing social media to its advantage, the spokesman said that demand for the betting product had failed to match company expectations, “in common with some others launching into the space.”
Paddy Power Social joins a casualty list that includes 888 Holdings, who killed off their Magic888 Casino in July. That death was preceded by May’s demise of Gamesys’ Bingo & Slots Friendzy, the original attempt to convert the growing hordes of social casino gamers into real-money gamblers. While betting firms may keep trying, research by the International Social Games Association has found there is little crossover between play-money and real-money camps.
LAZYLAND HIT MILESTONE, DOUBLEDOWN LAUNCH SWEEPSTAKES
In more positive news, the social gaming offering of Greek gaming technology outfit Intralot has surpassed the 10m install benchmark. Lazyland was launched two years ago and has since grown to encompass 10 social titles, including backgammon, blackjack, poker and mahjong games. Lazyland believes it can boost installs even higher via the launch next month of its new Match-3 title.
Gaming device maker International Game Technolgy’s social gaming outfit DoubleDown Interactive has teamed with online contest management platform outfit Spriza to launch an online sweepstakes. The contest, which will launch early next year and run for 30 days, will offer DoubleDown Casino players chances to win the grand prize of a trip for four people to any location in the continental USA, with airfare and hotel expenses covered and $5k in cash to spend as they please. A big boo if the winner decides to spend the $5k buying virtual credits.