GamesBeat

Betable teams up with French developer for real-money gambling games

The French don’t want to be left out of the real-money online gambling opportunity. French social casino game startup Mandala Games said today it has teamed up with gambling startup Betable to offer real-money gambling versions of Mandala’s social casino games.

The San Francisco-based Betable previously announced it has signed partnerships with Slingo, Digital Chocolate, and Murka Games. The news comes two days after Big Fish Games announced that it had launched a real-money gambling version of its Big Fish Casino game in the United Kingdom.

Betable makes it easy for companies to offer real-money gambling, helping them get around years of complicated legal and technical challenges. It offers a license so that they can offer real-money gambling to players on mobile devices or the web, provided the players are in territories where real-money gambling is legal.

“We believe that real-money gaming will help us grow to become one of Europe’s largest social gambling game developers,” said Nadya Jahan (pictured below), founder of Mandala.“Thanks to our partnership with Betable we will be able to tap into this opportunity quickly, allowing our team to stay focused on what we are dedicated to: designing cutting-edge games.”

Mandala will launch its Slots by Mandala social game with Betable integrated into it in the coming weeks. That will enable players to play Mandala’s slot game for real money in the United Kingdom.

“Our partners can be based anywhere in the world, and we’re happy to welcome Mandala Games as the first European developer on the Betable platform,” said Christopher Griffin, the founder and CEO of Betable. “The quality of Slots by La Riviera is impressive and appeals to a demographic that we believe will make their game a huge
success.”

Founded in 2011, Betable’s investors include Bullpen Capital, CrunchFund, FF Angel LLC, Greylock Discovery Fund, Morado Ventures, Start Fund/DST, Tekton Ventures, True Ventures, Venture51 and a bunch of individual investors.

Here’s how we described Betable in a previous story:

In the U.K., Betable has a license to operate online gambling on a worldwide basis. It has the technology to verify where a user is, and it has antifraud technology that can overcome someone who “spoofs” their Internet protocol address to fake their location. It does so by checking into a variety of records, such as credit reports, bank accounts with real addresses, and voting records. If the location is spoofed, it rejects the user for real-money gambling. But if the user passes and it is legal to gamble in their actual location, Betable permits the gambling to take place.

Here’s one of the clever tricks in dividing the gambling process: The developer creates and builds the front end of the game. Betable’s servers handle the back-end processing. The user sees the front end, such as a slot machine. They bet money and play the slot machine. The game turns over this information to Betable, which then calculates the result of the slot machine play. If the user wins, Betable informs the game and credits their account. If the user loses, Betable deducts money from the their account. Betable handles the payment processing by itself, Griffin said.

This makes Betable’s platform universal. Any game can be plugged into its API and converted into a real-money gambling game. Betable can handle all sorts of games, including bingo, card games, and slots. The game developer simply tells Betable what type of game it has built, and then Betable spits out the right result. Betable can also create new kinds of gambling games through custom mechanics. An example: In a horse-racing game, you could pay real money for virtual goods to raise a proper horse. Then you could enter that horse in competitions and bet real money it would win. If it does, you collect real gambling winnings.

Mandala recently launched its La Riviera slot machine game on Facebook. Jahan has become something of a celebrity in France, where she was in the first season of the reality web Les Influencers (The Influencers). The show will air on a weekly basis and follow seven online entrepreneurs.

Jahan founded the self-funded company in 2010 with a goal of bringing the “French touch” to social games with high-quality visuals. The company has around 12 employees.

Rivals include Playtika-Caesars, Double Down Interactive-IGT, Zynga, and others. This genre market is hot in part because of expectations that the legal barriers between online gambling and social casino games will come down in the U.S. in the future. On top of that, such titles with a free-to-play business model are proving to be very popular on Facebook.

As an fyi, I’m going to give a talk at the Social Gambling Conference in London on Nov. 16.


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