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Zynga Poker Revenue Grows 5.8 Percent In Q1

Overall Social Casino Market Up Big To Start Year

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Social casino play is off to a hot start in 2018.

According to a report from CDC Gaming Reports, the market for the free-play online casino games, increasingly played over mobile devices, was $1.27 billion in the first quarter of 2018, per research from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. It was an 18-percent uptick compared to the first three months of last year.

Playtika, which powers a free-play version of the World Series of Poker’s online gaming platform, reportedly controlled more than a quarter of the market.

Social casinos, despite allowing gamers to play at no cost, do charge for in-game add-ons, such as additional play money chips.

Mobile continues to drive the rapid growth, as revenue from those devices was up 25 percent in a year-over-year comparison. Over the past 12 months, the social casino market is said to have grown nearly 20 percent to $4.7 billion.

The market for the free-play games dwarfs the regulated real-money online gambling market in America, thanks to the latter being legal in just four states. However, a U.S. Supreme Court ruling that paves the way for nationwide sports betting is expected to give real-money online casinos a major boost because states now have a SCOTUS ruling on state-sanctioned gambling.

The dominant social poker operator continues to be Zynga. The company reported earlier this month that its Q1 revenue from poker was $37.26 million, up 5.8 percent from $35.19 million in Q1 2017. Zynga Poker’s mobile revenue was up 13 percent year-over-year. The poker platform should continue to grow thanks to a deal inked earlier this year with the World Poker Tour.

In April, there were reports out of China that the country is soon to institute a ban on social poker apps. It’s unclear what kind of impact that will have on the social poker market.