Online Gambling and Social Gaming: Boundaries Become Blurred

David Williams | 14 May 2013

Social and Online GamblingAs social gaming becomes ever more popular via the internet, there has been an influx of games converted into real-money gambling. As a result, the boundaries that once distinguished fun and social gaming from online gaming for profit have become even more blurred.

The recent Social Gaming Summit in San Francisco presented a discussion regarding disruptions that could affect the online gambling industry and debated the need for increased regulation and better safeguards for the protection of social gaming.

Betable is one of the companies disrupting the real money markets and capitalising on converting casino games into mobile versions that accept real-money bets. Social casino gamers can take their existing products and integrate them into Betable’s application programming interface which converts them into real-money casino games. As well as the task of converting the product, Betable handles all regulatory compliance, identification of the player, their location, verification, security and the management of funds.

Jill Schneiderman, Vice President of Games for Social Gaming Network, said that her company’s partnership with Betable enables them to focus on making games people want to play, while Betable take care of the mobile conversion and gambling regulations.

Schneiderman said: “We’re experts in making fun and engaging social games. We’re leveraging their backend and their expertise in this world to be able to enter it with traditional types of casino games, but we’re also exploring a hybrid of skill games and casino games.”

Jez San, the CEO of real-money online gambling firm PKR, stands against the increasing popularity of companies such as Betable, insisting that there are many games that are not designed for real-money gambling, and that the difference between social gaming and gambling has become too grey.

Jez San said: “I think that Betable and companies like that are a real threat. What it effectively enables any gaming company to do is to take their existing social game and make it playable for real money.

“The problem is that those existing social games weren’t designed to be played for real money. They’re not designed around fairness.

“All the mechanics that real-money games go through – the auditing and the verification and everything else – are all missing from the development side of those social games.”