Gerald Tan, COO and co-founder of social casino startup Plumbee, dropped these stats during his presentation at the Mobile Gaming & Gambling Summit this morning and provided an introduction to the market.
The social casino industry will be worth $2bn (£1.3bn) in 2013, and accounts for 43 per cent of Facebook’s revenue. 173m people have played a social casino game, with the top games reaching as many as 23m users on a monthly basis.
What marks social casino apart from other forms of gambling is that users have the choice between playing for free with virtual currency, or playing for money.
There are downsides to this approach: only five per cent of people spend money to play these games and there’s a very long tail; with some users first expenditure coming a full year after they start playing. However, it also changes the focus and opens up its potential audience.
We compare ourselves with other forms of entertainment, not other gambling companies, said Tan. If I go to the cinema and spend £10, I don’t expect to receive a copy of the film at the end. What I paid for is the two hour experience.