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Myspace Co-Founder Dabbles in Online Poker

Tom Anderson Involved with Facebook-Based Gambling Platform


Tom AndersonIconic Myspace co-founder Tom Anderson is involved with social gambling startup RocketFrog, which launched a Facebook app Monday. The company is the latest to see potential opportunity from casino-style games on the social networking giant.

The free-play platform runs poker, blackjack, slots and roulette. It already has 9,000 “monthly users” vying for “real world prizes.” For now, Los Angeles-based RocketFrog will look to scoop up advertising dollars from a wide range of industries.

While Anderson, who left MySpace in 2009, serves as an adviser, the company is led by an executive team consisting of Brett Calapp, Matt Osborn and Uri Kozai. Reality-TV star Brody Jenner is also behind the project.

Calapp has previous experience in casino-style gaming. He co-founded Centaurus Games — a subscription-based network of poker players — before eventually selling his company to then PartyGaming. He was also once at the helm of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour.

Jenner, brother to Kim Kardashian, told The Hollywood Reporter that RocketFrog could be used to promote Kardashian products.

“I could see my sister Kim doing a promotion through us and it would help build more business for them,” he said. “We could do a promotion where we gave away perfumes or whatever through our tournaments, and it’s a win-win for our site and for their products.”

With 14.7 million followers on social media site Twitter, Kim Kardashian could soon become a marketing force in the online gambling world.

Other entities such as Zynga Inc, brick-and-mortar powerhouse Caesars Entertainment Corp. and real-life slot manufacturer International Game Technology (IGT) have already bought into the future of Facebook’s reach in the gambling realm.

Traditional real-money gambling on Facebook does not exist, and it might never will, but the site does authorize the purchase of virtual goods and services. Zynga gives Facebook a 30-percent cut of its sales.

Stand-alone poker sites, ones that would facilitate real-money deposits and withdraws, are quickly approaching at the state level in the U.S. Nevada is the only jurisdiction where the activity is legal. The industry could kick off there this December.

Other states, including California, New Jersey and Delaware, are also actively pursuing regulated gambling on the Internet, but don’t have laws yet in place.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus