Gaming Industry Innovators are Moving Towards the Social Casino Market (OTCQB: $TAPM) (NASDAQ: SCPL) (NYSE: $BX) (NASDAQ: $ZNGA)
Revenue for social casino market reached $5.2 billion in 2018
Point Roberts, WA and Delta, BC - May 23, 2019 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Investorideas.com, a leading investor news resource covering gaming and technology stocks releases a special snapshot reporting on how smart gaming industry innovators are turning their eyes towards the social casino market.
According to ResearchMoz, "The global social casino market is supported by various growth drivers, such as rising number of social media users, growing global population, budding internet penetration, emerging smartphones and gaming traffic."
Seeing the future growth of this market, Tapinator, Inc. (OTCQB: TAPM), a developer and publisher of category leading apps for mobile platforms, just announced that it is developing a new social casino game which is scheduled for launch in Q4 2019.
"This upcoming game features a slot mechanic, with innovative metagame systems that have proven their success in the world of real money gaming. The title is made possible through Tapinator's recent licensing deal with a major European real-money slots developer. The real-money version of the product is currently a top performing slot game across over 200 online casinos in a number of European countries. The company will be announcing the details of this partnership closer to the game's launch."
Tapinator also reported, "In 2018, the revenue for the social casino market reached $5.2 billion, according to Eilers & Krejcik. The social casino market grew 10.9% year-on-year in the final quarter of 2018. As a category, it is estimated that slots comprised over 70% of this revenue. Despite the significant revenue generated by slot games on mobile, there has been little innovation in the space. Key developers have focused on improving production values, running live ops, and adding content. This has started to change with the success of Coin Master by the developer, Moon Active. Coin Master features a slot mechanic but its success is based on its metagame systems and social functionality. As a 'Top 15 Grossing' game on iOS, with an estimated $75+ million in annual revenue, Coin Master has proven the top grossing potential for innovative mobile slot games."
"We are big believers in the social casino space on mobile and our social casino product, Video Poker Classic is 'Top 150 in Downloads and Top 100 in Grossing' within the Casino category on iOS. We look forward to using the expertise we've gained in the space to launch, what we believe will be, a successful slots product. The slots space on mobile has been a very lucrative area but has been sparse on innovation. We are starting to see this change, with the introduction of innovative systems that promote player engagement progression and monetization. We believe that, in 2019 we will see the launch of new innovative slot games that join Coin Master as top grossing products. Our expectation is that our licensing deal, combined with our social casino and mobile expertise, will allow Tapinator to successfully bring an innovative and proven slot game to mobile devices," said Tapinator CEO, Ilya Nikolayev.
SciPlay Corporation (NASDAQ: SCPL), a leading developer and publisher of digital games on mobile and web platforms which include social casino games, such as Jackpot Party Casino, Gold Fish Casino, Hot Shot Casino, and Quick Hit Slots, began the month of May by ringing the Nasdaq MarketSite bell on May 3rd in Times Square, in celebration of its initial public offering (IPO) on the Nasdaq Stock Market.
SciPlay utilizes a disciplined, data-driven approach to create a portfolio of games that spans markets and appeals to a wide range of players. They gather and analyze data to fine-tune the game play experience and enrich their games. They also leverage extensive insights learned through their relationship with Scientific Games Corporation, which helps differentiate their content and create deeply immersive game play.
Josh Wilson, SciPlay's Chief Executive Officer said, "SciPlay's listing on the Nasdaq as a public
company is a new beginning for us. We believe that operating independently, with Scientific Games' business support and access to intellectual property, will help us as we continue on our mission of becoming the #1 casual mobile gaming company in the world."
"SciPlay provides highly entertaining free-to-play games that millions of people play every day for their authenticity, engagement and fun," said Nelson Griggs, President of the Nasdaq Stock Exchange. "They are a global organization powered by a culture of innovation that utilizes data to enhance user experience. We could not be more excited to welcome them to our family of the world's most innovative companies."
Social casino gaming has also attracted the likes of asset managers such as The Blackstone Group L.P. (NYSE:BX) who over the past few months has continued on a gaming investment spree, most recently with the purchase of a minority stake in Romania's largest sports betting operator, Superbet.
The equity firm has paid €175 million for a minority stake in Superbet. Blackstone Tactical Opportunities conducted the transaction on behalf of its parent company.
Superbet was established in 2008. Over the years, it has become Romania's largest sports gambling operator with 1,200 betting shops around the country and more than 3,500 employees. The company recorded betting turnover of €180 million last year.
Aside from its retail network, Superbet also operates its own digital platform, which it launched in 2016, and a mobile betting app, which the operator debuted in 2018. In addition to its domestic market, Superbet also provides its services in Poland and runs offices in Austria, Malta, Croatia, Serbia, and the UK.
Commenting on Blackstone's interest in Superbet, the operator's co-founder and CEO, Sacha Dragic, said that the private equity investment firm is a partner "capable of supporting Superbet Group to maintain its market leadership in Romania", increase its market share in its domestic market, and be able to capitalize, "on opportunities to expand business in both Central and Eastern Europe and globally."
The Blackstone Group has continued to show interest in the global gambling industry and has invested in companies representing different sectors of that industry. News about the firm buying a minority stake in Romania's largest sports betting operator arrived shortly after it emerged that Blackstone has acquired Ukrainian social casino games developer Murka in a bid to venture into the exploding social casino market.
Last year, the private equity firm purchased Spanish gambling powerhouse Cirsa. The purchase price was not disclosed, but according to sources, Blackstone paid between €2 billion and €2.5 billion for the casino and betting group.
Zynga Inc. (NASDAQ: ZNGA), a leading mobile game developer, back in March announced that Zynga Poker, the world's largest free-to-play poker game introduced a new 'Spin and Win' mode in its World Poker Tour® Tournament Center. This new mode gives players the thrilling experience of playing short tournaments and a chance to win payouts of up to 10x their buy-in by spinning a prize wheel.
The game features faster game play with tournaments lasting 5-8 minutes, a three-handed tournament mode where winner takes all, the option to spin a wheel to determine the payout of 2x to 8x a player's buy-in, making this tournament mode the most advantageous for favorable spins, and authentic World Poker Tour themed environments with branded tables and tournaments.
"Our players have asked for faster-paced tournaments with bigger rewards, and we believe Zynga Poker's new 'Spin and Win' tournament mode truly puts our players in the hottest seat at the table," said Bernard Kim, President of Publishing for Zynga. "Combining this quicker, more aggressive tournament style with the famous World Poker Tournament brand gives players the most compelling virtual experience in the sport of poker."
"Spin and Win is the latest development from our great partners at Zynga Poker to enhance the World Poker Tour experience for their players," said Adam Pliska, CEO of the World Poker Tour. "This innovative addition to the WPT Tournament Center is a testament to the creativity of Zynga Poker and gives their players another unique way to engage with the World Poker Tour."
Zynga Poker is one of the most popular poker games in the world and now has more ways for players to compete than ever before. Designed to play like a real table experience, this Texas Hold 'Em Poker game lets players participate in either a Sit-N-Go game, Spin and Win tournament mode or a cash table game to win generous payouts with up to nine players in either a fast or slow style setting. Zynga Poker has developed a strong community within the game supported by Leagues and a VIP program. This allows players to earn benefits and features by reaching higher tiers with exclusive chip package offerings and special game modes.
Global Market Insight says, "The social gaming market is growing at a rapid pace on account of the increasing adoption of advanced gaming technologies, rising income levels, low cost of games, increase in online content, and digital distribution, which allow users to download the content on their systems. Popular social gaming genres, such as social casino is likely to drive the market growth during the forecast period due to the increasing social gaming traffic."
With this in mind, many gaming companies are starting to look into this direction, which allows users to enjoy the thrill of gambling but without the over-the-top losses associated with real casino gambling. This is welcome news for consumers and allows companies to gain popularity and include app purchases for profitability. Gaming is betting big on social gambling, and based on current app usage numbers, so are consumers.
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