Sports Casino brings one of the most popular forms of gambling to Facebook
Most of the attention given to social gambling games that might someday be able to accept real money wagers has centered on slots and other casino games. Maybe too much, actually, because one very popular form of gambling has been overlooked: sports betting. Now some people who know a little bit about that subject are hoping to claim that turf as their own with Sports Casino, conveniently timed to go live on Facebook and Zynga.com on the first day of the 2012 NFL season.
Yes, I said Zynga.com. The social gaming giant may have lost some of its mojo in recent months, but it has big plans to have games ready to accept real money bets whenever they become legal, and it’s been working hard to partner with other developers to publish games on its platform. Sports Casino qualifies on both counts, since it’s the flagship product of RocketPlay. And while that name might not ring any bells yet, the company is a dream team of sorts comprised of veterans from the fields of social gaming (Kabam) and online gambling (bwin.party, 888.com and Betfair).
What they’ve come up with is a virtual sportsbook, one that accepts not just bets on games that haven’t started yet, but all kinds of proposition bets on games that are live and in progress. In fact, as players level up by placing and winning bets, they will unlock even more prop bets, many of which update as the action on the field unfolds. Other features include live box scores and chat, plus other social game trappings like a premium currency that can speed up progress toward more betting options. Those casino games mentioned in the first paragraph make appearances as side games too.
RocketPlay has baseball and both kinds of football (American and soccer) ready for virtual betting when the game launches, with plans to add basketball and hockey, assuming the labor strife doesn’t prevent it from being played. Regardless of the final roster of sports, Sports Casino seems like it will be extremely tempting for the young male demographic, also known as the one that doesn’t usually spend a lot of time playing social games.
Of course, RocketPlay and Zynga have to be hoping that they attract plenty of play money bettors that can someday be turned into the real money variety. If that happens, all bets are off – pun definitely intended.