Having drawn questions and criticism with its acquisition of social game developer Playtika more than two years ago, the Las Vegas Review Journal reports that Caesars Interactive Entertainment has now moved past its chief rival Zynga.
“Social casino gaming has essentially gone from being a nonexistent sector a few years ago to one of the most popular gaming genres on desktop and mobile [devices],” says Adam Krejcik, managing director of Eilers Research.
With the advancement of mobile technology and the surging popularity of smartphones and tablets, social gaming has grown considerably. Krejcik believes that social gaming could reach $2 billion by the end of 2013, which would represent a significant increase over last year.
As enormous financial incentives lead the way, regulations have recently begun shifting and helping to open doors for legal Internet gaming in some U.S. States. And the companies that took the initial jump into the fray may have a monumental early advantage.
Krejcik says that while there is not yet enough concrete evidence to demonstrate that socially active online gamers using virtual currency can translate to real money gamers, casinos shouldn’t be deterred as the traditional big-box outfits will ultimately lead the way by “leveraging their existing content and expertise.”