Social gaming developers are entering the real-money gambling market in what is becoming one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry. At the same time, online casinos are offering social, play-money games to expand their reach and acquire new, potential real-money betting customers.
Servicing both markets is providing new opportunities for companies like BlueBat Games, a start-up social gaming engine platform based in Vancouver. The company is launching its patented BlueBox to help online casinos, sportsbetting sites, and poker rooms reach new potential customers with social, free versions of traditional casino games.
BlueBat was founded by Kenny Huang and Tim Harris – former executives with Electronic Arts – who previously created the social casino game Lucky’s Bank Penny Slots on Facebook as a launch-pad for the new BlueBox. They describe BlueBox as a communicative middle-ground between the gambling software providers and the players who want a more engaging experience. BlueBox will also allow providers to promote games on social media platforms like Facebook, Google +, and the GoPlay social network powered by BlueBat.
The timing is perfect for BlueBat to enter the market. According to financial services firm Morgan Stanley, the social gambling industry is expected to become a $7 billion industry by 2015. Online social gambling is already very popular in Canada, and legislation is before the US Congress that could reform the industry in their borders as well.
BlueBat co-founder Huang gave a statement at the release of BlueBox, in which he described the changing nature of the gambling industry, and the growing opportunities for companies like BlueBat.
“The online casino space and the social gaming space are converging, and we’re sitting right in the middle of this convergence.”