MGM Resorts is developing a Facebook social Internet casino game, along the lines of Zynga, Farmville etc.
A shrewd move? Or are they piling onto the bandwagon.
Well, it’s a late move, as there are many facebook games out there already, not least the ones rune by the elephant in the room which is Zynga (whose poker app is massively popular). But with MGM’s marketing muscle, it is probably a sensible move. It does make you wonder whether the more traditional casino companies are fleet of foot enough to compete in this space, or whether they’d be better off buying up a start up who is with their big cash piles. The latter is the better strategy, I suspect.
MGM are calling the game “Casino Mogul” but that’s not the final name.
The game will be similar to Farmville and other social media games and aim to provide a Facebook Las Vegas, with only MGM casinos of course. (Aha! I have seen a flaw in their strategy already. Someone’s going to come along and offer what people really want, which is the choice between The Sands, The Bellagio and The Venetian online).
Chairman James Murren said major casino companies have a huge opportunity to get to know people who develop and play games on Facebook and other social media, and these Internet gamers are the same demographics the casinos are working to attract.
At its first, the game will be a cashless site, but Murren said they will move it to real gaming should that become legal. (Err, it already is in many countires. I though Facebook games were global?)
Murren reckons online gambling will be a go in the US in 2012 at a state-by-state level. “We prefer a federal solution,” he said.
He blamed House Republicans for stalling the federal legislation that would regulate and tax Internet casinos at a national level.
Murren stated that MGM Resorts is embracing technology, “not ignoring it like the booksellers did.” Ouch!
Well, we are chomping at the bit to see what this new game is like.