One of the major takeaways from last week’s Inside Social Apps conference in San Francisco, was the interest developers have in hearing about real-money games. Despite the real-money panel being last on Friday, a significant number of delegates stuck around to hear what panelists—including Betable’s very own Head of Product, Ya-Bing Chu—had to say.
There is one major reason for that—monetization is a problem for everyone and online real-money games make a lot more money than social games. While the social games industry is young, it will never reach the scale of the still-growing gambling industry, despite the latter existing under much stricter controls.
In case you haven’t heard yet, Republican Rep. Peter King (N.Y.) introduced a bill yesterday which will seek to legalize real-money gaming across the U.S.
Anyone who follows real-money gaming regulation knows that publishing a bill is a long way from actually getting it passed. In most cases, the bill will end up dead or amended beyond the point of recognition. It is telling that one of the most important laws addressing real-money gaming in the U.S. – the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (U.I.G.E.A.) – was only passed as a last-minute addition to the SAFE Ports Act, a piece of legislation aimed to increasing security at american ports. Not exactly an obvious connection, but an effective strategy, as the law changed the market literally overnight.
So, and but, we are back in gambling bill season.
Slowly and surely, legal real-money online gaming is making a return to the United States and this time states are leading the way.
Four years ago every conversation regarding real-money gaming in the U.S. would be prefaced with, “if regulation happens”. Two years ago that changed to, “when regulation happens”. Now, nearly halfway through 2013, we can talk about “where” regulation is happening.
Already this year, more tangible progress has been made than in the preceding six years since the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) banned online gambling in the U.S.
As a journalist, I started covering the gambling industry four years ago. A few of my friends laughed at the choice, assuming I would be bored of such a narrow sector after a few months. Instead I found the world of real-money gaming to be complex, fast moving, sometimes controversial, and always interesting. There are not many industries that combine a heady mix of billion dollar business, politics, morality, entertainment, and global reach. The world of real-money gaming seems to constantly be in flux and there is always some change looming just over the horizon.
We’ve heard you- you’re hungry for more content! With that in mind, we’re kicking off a Q&A series called “5 Questions with Betable.” Inspired by the questionnaire asked of each guest on Inside the Actors Studio, we will ask our partners the same five questions.
We’re eager to see how their answers vary- especially for the 5th question. While I don’t wear as much makeup as James Lipton, I hope you’ll agree the questions give developers a chance to share why real-money and a partnership with Betable is important to their strategy moving forward.
First up is Digital Chocolate’s COO Jason Loia. As you’ll recall, Digital Chocolate recently launched their first Betable-powered game SLOTS! Pocket UK on iOS.
This past weekend’s Betable Hackathon couldn’t have been more inspirational. Having hosted participants who traveled from as far as NYC and Michigan to learn about and build on the Betable platform was humbling. Last weekend’s participants, as well as the participants in last year’s Hackathon can now consider themselves pioneers in the real-money gaming movement.
By the numbers we had:
- More than 80 participants
- 14 submissions
- 7 prize winners
- 4 judges from a combination of Betable, Big Fish Casino and Corona Labs
- 3 amazing sponsors: aarki, Corona Labs and TapJoy
- 3 bottles of Bulleit Bourbon
Our Grand Prize winner, Nathan Whitehead the developer of the winning submission Gem Miner, took home an impressive prize package- a team trip to Las Vegas, $10,000 in Betable credit, $5,000 in aarki distribution, a Corona SDK Pro seat and 10,000 free installs from TapJoy. Nathan, you’re going to have to find someone other than Lady Luck to join you in Las Vegas! Continue to full article →
Betable is excited to announce that Jonathan Flesher has joined the team as Executive Vice President of Business Development. Jonathan brings a wealth of diverse experience in games, digital entertainment, and finance having previously worked at JP Morgan, Electronic Arts, and Kohlberg Kravis Roberts & Co. Jonathan was most recently Vice President and General Manager of Business Development at Zynga, where he oversaw Zynga’s deal to enter the real-money gambling space.
Last week, SGN announced a new partnership with Betable, with plans to roll out Betable-powered games overseas beginning in Q1 2013. As the real-money gambling market heats up, we couldn’t be more excited to add SGN to our growing list of premier game developer partners. With 35 million monthly active users, 12 top-10 titles on the Apple App Store, and a strong cross-platform portfolio including hit games like “Panda Jam” and “Bingo Blingo”, we look forward to what the future holds.
On November 15th, over 100 game developers attended our latest SF Game Monetization meetup, “New Opportunities in Mobile Monetization”. With three outstanding speakers, we packed the house at IGN’s San Francisco office on 2nd Street. Those who attended were lucky to receive the presentations from the speakers directly, but Brian Sapp of Tapjoy graciously agreed to share his presentation online. With great data and new ideas for monetizing mobile games and apps, enjoy our summary of each talk below.
This post was written by Ya-Bing Chu, former VP and General Manager at Zynga and now Chief Product Officer at Betable.
A couple of months ago, I parted ways with my role as VP and General Manager at Zynga to again seek the pure thrill of growth and disruption in the startup world. To that end, I’m excited to be joining Betable as the Chief Product Officer.
Earlier this year, a friend of mine (@joshu) asked me what I would be doing if I weren’t working at Zynga. It was a tough question, as there are few better roles in gaming than managing the well loved With Friends games. After a short pause, I said, “I think I’d be doing something in — maybe a platform for — real-money gaming.” To which he replied, “I have someone you should meet.”