But social gaming operators still want to get into the real-money gambling scene.
The difference between gamblers and social gamers is that the former want to win, whereas the latter additionally want to enjoy the networking ambience, is the message one social gaming expert appeared to be putting across in an article on Geekwire this week.
Paul Thelen, the CEO of Seattle-based social games developer Big Fish cautioned that social gaming and gambling are very different pursuits.
“A social casino is no more gambling than FarmVille or Candy Crush,” Thelen said at the GamesBeat conference this week.
Other members of the social gaming panel on which he was sitting understood the potential for online and mobile gambling for real money, but were concerned at the strict regulations that are associated with online gambling, fearing that these may give established online gambling companies like IGT and Caesars a competitive edge.
Thelen has some experience in both pure social gaming and real money gambling, having collaborated with Betable in the UK real-money gambling sector .
He says that people interested in real money gambling aren’t necessarily the same as those who want to play a social casino game.
“The psychographic needs that social gaming provides versus real money gaming are completely different,” he told the panel.
“Social gamers are there, it’s a giant MMO, they’re hanging out with friends and they’re loving it, they’re doing cool social things, (but) people in real money gaming, they just want to win.”