Electronic Arts is one of the most popular social gaming developers in the world. Just behind Zynga, the company see the most online gaming users per month. Now, the company is taking yet another cue from Zynga, as it begins looking at its options in the online gambling market. Recent reports have shown that EA is in the process of considering whether or not venturing into online gambling would be the right move for the company.
Electronic Arts already works with a few social casino sites, such as Lucky Gem; however, the site is not available as a real-money gambling application. The shift that EA would have to make would be similar to GameSys’ venture with Bingo Friendzy, taking a social casino game and enabling players to wager real cash on it.
The transition sounds simple enough, but EA does not seem to think so. According to Frank Gibeau of EA Labels, offering real money gambling would complicate the company’s existing operations. One major influence is the legal status of online poker in America. Since whether or not online gambling is legal remains in a grey area, it seems that EA would like to play it safe for the time being.
“The leap from [social casino games] to real money is conceptually small, but it is a complicated one,” Gibeau said in an interview with Venture Beat. “There is a lot of U.S. regulation”.
However, he does note that real-money gaming will drive the growth of the market in the future. Unfortunately, now is not the right time for Electronic Arts to get involved in the market.