Bwin.party Digital Entertainment has announced plans of a new strategy that will enable the company to expand its online gambling offerings into the realm of social gaming.
As the world’s largest online gambling company that is traded publicly, Bwin.party will now aim for a share of the burgeoning social gaming market made popular by such entities as Facebook’s Zynga Poker. Bwin plans to invest €40 million over the next couple years in a new company called Win Interactive that will launch new apps as early as this summer.
Win Interactive will operate much like Zynga’s social gaming model, obtaining revenue from sales of virtual currency, in addition to banner advertisements, paid searches, and other special offers.
“We have chosen a ‘build and partner’ strategy, one that provides us with both the resources and additional management expertise to execute our planned extension into social gaming–an exciting and fast growing area of digital entertainment that is the latest addition to our business strategy,” Bwin.party co-CEOs Norbert Teufelberger and Jim Ryan said in a joint statement.
As the operators of PartyPoker and Bwin sports betting headquartered in Gibraltar, Bwin.party is spreading itself to reach all areas of the online gambling market. The company has partnered with Las Vegas-based casino companies Boyd Gaming and MGM Resorts International to operate online poker sites in Nevada when the first legal U.S. sites are up and running most likely in the first quarter of 2013. Another deal with California’s United Auburn Indian Community will allow Bwin.party to also offer its services in the Golden State.
Free-play social gaming has become increasingly popular as of late. With the legality of online gambling anticipated to expand throughout the world in coming years, entities that are firmly entrenched as social game providers will undoubtedly be in the best position to switch offer to real-money formats and capitalize on what is expected to be a very profitable industry.