The International Social Games Association (ISGA) has discovered that players of social casino games typically do not convert to real-money gambling.
Research was recently conducted by Harvest Strategy in an effort to find a possible link between social gamers and those who deposit and play for real-money. The study concluded that play and real-money gamblers are a breed apart and that problem gambling does not stem from first becoming familiarized with gambling by patronizing social gaming sites, eGR reported.
We are reassured that Harvest’s research demonstrates that there is no link between social casino games and real-money gambling and that the two practices are entirely separate, with very different audiences and player demographics,” said ISGA CEO Luc Delany.
Although the study focused on online casino games and was not specific to online poker, the results can be seen as unfortunate news to poker operators who have long sought ways to convert play-money online poker players into faithful depositors. With the online poker industry currently experiencing a 9% decline in player traffic in comparison to late May 2013, more players are needed for greater liquidity and to provide a boost in rake revenue.
Zynga Poker is the play-money industry leader and averages 38,500 poker players, according to PokerScout. The real-money industry giant, PokerStars, averages 22,000 and that total dwarfs by 10 times the next most heavily-trafficked real-money site, 888poker. Converting just a fraction of play-money Internet poker players to real-money could make a significant difference.
The International Social Games Coalition (ISGC) recently merged with the Social Gaming Association and now operates as the ISGA. The 14-member strong organization includes the likes of IGT, Big Fish Games and Zynga, who are all part of a play-money gaming industry that is worth nearly $7 billion in revenue through advertising and the purchase of play-money chips.