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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.”



Gambling News :

Is Poker Declining - The independent market research company SuperData has released statistics showing that social mobile and online poker as a standalone is in decline, and operators need to combine it with casino and other games to ensure audience retention and growth.

Fanduel hires 38 former Zynga employees - The majority of the 42 employees laid off in Orlando recently by social gaming developer Zynga have found a new home with the rising daily fantasy sports star Fanduel, which has taken on 38 of them in opening its new Orlando office.

Churchill Downs Preparing for California Online Poker - Several media reports, quoting informed sources, report that racetrack company Churchill Downs will soon announce a partnership deal with Californian cardroom Oceans 11, and possibly the Crystal land casino, as part of its preparations to compete in a legalised and regulated online poker market that could emerge in California.

Legendz online sports betting Defendents Found Guilty - The break up of the Legendz online sports betting ring last year had another sequel in an Oklahoma federal court this week when three men were found guilty on racketeering conspiracy, conducting an illegal gambling business and money laundering conspiracy charges.

New mobile results app for live Keno - ThreeFiftyNine, Inc., a subsidiary of Canadian transaction management and mobile publishing company, Consorteum Holdings, has announced that following a development project with XpertX, Inc., it has completed work on a new mobile results app for live Keno.

GeoComply Debunks Claims that it is not effective in intrastate online gambling situations - The ill-informed claims last week by Lyle Beckwith of the National Association of Convenience Stores that geo-location is not effective in intrastate online gambling situations has been debunked by Anna Sainsbury, chief executive officer of GeoComply.

Sheldon Adelson's bid to have a court action heard in Macau defeated - Las Vegas Sands owner Sheldon Adelson's bid to have a court action heard in Macau rather than in the United States was defeated Friday when US federal Judge Elizabeth Gonzalez ruled that the full case could be heard in the Nevada.

Frederik Burvall Confirmed CEO Of Cherry - Cherry made some management changes in December 2014 and the combination of strengthening our Malta organization and Fredrik’s experience will result in a group management that will help Cherry to reach profitability with continued strong growth.

Rank plc Earnings Report - Digital operations continued to make a strong contribution to the performance of the online and land gambling group Rank plc in the first five months of 2015, the company said in an interim management statement Thursday.

WPTpoker Closing - In line with ongoing company strategy a decision has been made to close down www.wptpoker.com. The closure is planned to happen on the 3rd of June 2015. After which, for up to 3 months, players will still be able to login to their accounts to request any withdrawals.

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