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IGT: 'Social' Poker Play By Women On The Rise

Customer Base Shifting For Free-Play Games

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Gaming on what are considered “social” applications has become big business, even drawing the interest of the top real-money gambling firms in recent years. It’s not only very lucrative, but it gets people acclimated to games before trying them in a live casino setting. Also, since it’s technically considered free-to-play, firms can have access to markets and demographics they otherwise wouldn’t.

International Game Technology, one of the top slot machine makers in the world for brick-and-mortar casinos, ventured into the social gaming space via DoubleDown Casino. The firm recently conducted a survey to find out more about the people who play these social games. A lot of social gaming is done on mobile devices. Facebook, thanks to a billion users, has also served as a key platform for people to play such games, helping them become so popular.

According to VentureBeat, IGT found out that the number of women playing online social casino poker games increased 22 percent in 2013, compared to the year before.

“…We pay attention to trends and make note of the fact that the poker is appealing to broader audiences both online and on the casino floor,” said John Clelland, the vice president of global marketing at IGT Interactive Group. “Poker is traditionally thought of as a male-dominated game, but our data proves that female poker players are on the rise in social casino.”

The social casino games market is said to be $2 billion, and growing. Players typically spend money on virtual chips and other add-ons, but they can’t cash out whatever they “win.” A basic level of play is usually available without spending a dime, but of course many players feel the experience is much more fulfilling after purchasing the extras.

In some sense, it’s real-money gambling, but under the law it isn’t and that’s what matters.