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MGM PARTNER EXPANDS ON SOCIAL GAMING PLANS

Saturday May 26, 2012 : MGM PARTNER EXPANDS ON SOCIAL GAMING PLANS
 
Playstudios going live on Facebook in first beta phase
 
The recent disclosure that Las Vegas land gambling giant MGM International Resorts is involved in social gaming start-up Playstudios founded by former Wynn exec Andrew Pascal  has been fleshed out through an article this week on the investment publication Venturebeat.
 
The article reveals that ace casino game designer Nicholas Koenig is also involved in the start-up, and that MGM's role is largely marketing-oriented.
 
“The idea is to capture the fun and excitement of a Las Vegas weekend,” said Pascal. “Here’s an interesting fact: More people will play slot machines on Facebook this month than visit Las Vegas this year. The profile of the player is very similar — affluent, middle-aged women, with an above-average education.”
 
Playstudios' myVegas app on Facebook is intended as a social gaming destination, where players enjoy games such as Blackjack or slot machines, earning virtual currency and real rewards such as trips to real-world casinos.
 
They can also build their own fantasy version of the Las Vegas Strip in a kind of meta-game, Venturebet reports. Users can populate their creation with their friends, clicking on them as they walk down the street to see their stats or the games they’ve played recently.
 
The high quality app is currently in closed beta testing and will be fully available in the summer, Pascal revealed.
 
Bet the Farm is just one of the games that will be featured - it's a slot machine with an isometric 3D viewpoint. Another is Lost In Time: Jules Verne, a slot machine where once a user reaches a certain level, a bonus round kicks in where objects hidden in a scene can be discovered for reward.
 
The Playstudios tie-up with MGM gives that organisation a foothold in the social gaming space, where rivals Caesars Entertainment and IGT have commercial activity ongoing through Playtika and Double Down Interactive respectively.
 
Pascal told Venturebeat that he believes the social casino game market is a great business, with roughly 65 million of Facebook’s 900 million users already playing casino games on the social network.
 
“We are focused on virtual currency-based social goods gambling,” Pascal said. “A lot of people are very excited about for-cash gambling as an opportunity. It is an enormous prize when it gets sorted out. Everyone will position themselves for it.”
 
Working with a company like MGM enables Playstudios to offer loyalty prizes and rewards that include a weekend at MGM Grand, a chance to choose the song for the Fountains of Bellagio show, an intimate dinner at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and tickets to the latest Cirque du Soleil show.
 
Pascal started Silicon Gaming to make casino games more fun, and sold the enterprise to IGT in 2005. After that, Pascal returned to Wynn and opened the Wynn and Encore resorts in Las Vegas. At its peak, he ran a business that had 14,000 employees and $1.4 billion in revenues before starting Wagerworks in Europe, where a more progressive attitude to online gambling was developing.
 
Wagerworks was eventually acquired by IGT, too.
 
In 2010 Pascal left Wagerworks and explored social gaming possibilities, leading to his Playstudios venture, which was initially disguised under the brand Incubet.
 
The company has 30 employees at present, and has the exclusive social and mobile gaming rights for big Las Vegas properties, including  ARIA, Bellagio, MGM Grand, Mandalay Bay, The Mirage, Monte Carlo, New York-New York, Luxor, Excalibur, and Circus Circus.
 
Bill Hornbuckle, MGM Resorts International’s chief marketing officer, said, “We have actively watched the explosion of the social gaming landscape and evaluated the options for extending our brands through these increasingly important channels.
 
“In partnership with Playstudios, we have created a platform that will engage and entertain existing MGM Resorts customers, attract new ones, and allow us to strengthen our brands in a new and relevant fashion.”



Recent Gambling News :

Over 18 Online Jackpots Over 100k Hit This Month - An Online gambling jackpot tracker site which uses proprietary software to monitor jackpot wins on most of the major online gambling platforms, reports as March draws to a close that it has been a fortunate period for at least 18 online punters who have hit jackpots in excess of $100,000.

EPT Malta main and high roller events conclude - The inaugural European Poker Tour Malta ended this weekend, concluding a successful tournament on the Mediterranean island with a Euro 5,000 NL Hold 'em main event and an exciting Euro10,000 buy-in High Roller.

Illinois court dismisses class action lawsuits against Pokerstars and Full Tilt - Illinois residents Kelly Sonnenberg and Judy Fahrner launched the litigation, citing the Illinois Loss Recovery Act, an old statute that allows individuals to collect “illegal gambling” losses suffered by third parties, provided those gamblers haven’t filed claims themselves within six months of suffering their losses.

Is Nevada getting an Online Lottery - Harvey Munford, a Nevada Assemblyman serving his last term of office, is making the introduction of an online lottery his last hurrah, submitting a proposal that this form of gambling be added to the list of games approved by the legislature for interstate agreements.

666Bet Director, Paul Bell, Arrested in 21 Million Fraud Case - The UK Gambling Commission's recent suspension of online gambling company MetroPlay-666Bet's licence last week has been followed by the news that director of companies Paul Bell is being questioned by police in connection with an alleged £21 million fraud and money-laundering case.

PokerStars Makes Millionaires Promo - Marketers at Pokerstars have come up with a eye-catching promo titled "PokerStars Makes Millionaires" this week, promising to create at least five online poker millionaires within the next two months.

REPORT ON NEW JERSEY'S RESPONSIBLE GAMBLING EFFORTS - The Rutgers Center for Gambling Studies has published the first of four annual independent reports on the efficacy of New Jersey's responsible gambling requirements for the online gambling market.

Sen. Lindsey Graham is apparently ambivalent on state lottery sales - South Carolina Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, the man driving the Senate version of Sheldon Adelson's Restoration of America's Wire Act banning proposal, appears to be flexible on whether state online lottery sales are to be included in the prohibitions in his bill, currently at committee stage in both House and Senate.

Poker Tournament Directors Association Wooed by Adelson - Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson is one of the online poker industry's biggest detractors, but that hasn't stopped his Venetian casino in Las Vegas from making an offer the organisers of this year's Tournament Directors Association conference couldn't refuse....comped conference areas, audio/visual equipment and reduced hotel rates for conference attendees.

Harry Reid says he will not stand for reelection in 2016 - Veteran Democratic Party Nevada Senator Harry Reed, a central figure in many legislative debates and developments regarding online gambling over the years, has announced that he will not seek reelection in 2016.

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