GamesBeat

Betable’s experiment with real-money gambling pays off in the U.K.

Betable, which enables companies to convert their casino games into mobile-online gambling titles, says that the results it is getting from its first customers in the United Kingdom are well beyond expectations.

Real-money gambling promises to revolutionize social games as the barriers between gambling and social casino games collapse. Betable’s aim is to disrupt traditional land-based casinos and online gambling by making it extremely easy for companies to convert their non-real-money gambling games into gambling titles.

“The opportunity for disruption is enormous, with social casino games taking money from the core incumbents,” said Chris Griffin, the chief executive of San Francisco-based Betable, speaking at the Casual Connect Europe event in Hamburg. “Across the board, we are seeing incredible performance.”

The best news is that 80 percent of the players have never spent money in the social casino games before.

“It’s complementary,” Griffin said. “That’s what we’re excited about.”

Betable provides the back-end processing to enable a person to bet real money in what would otherwise be a non-real-money casino game. It detects where the player is and then checks to see if that person can legally gamble where they are. If the player can, it asks if the player wants to play for real money. Then the game executes the random gambling round and pays out coins that can be converted into real money. Betable makes the process seamless so the social casino gamemaker can convert a title to real-money gambling in 48 hours, said Griffin.

The walls between real-money gambling and social casino games (where you play for fun and can’t cash out) is collapsing as regulatory barriers fall and countries around the world eye the possible windfall in tax revenues. In the U.S., the Justice Department ruled in 2011 that online gambling is permissible so long as states pass laws to allow it. Nevada and Delaware have passed such laws, and more are on the way.

If the walls come down, then both sides could benefit. Real-money gambling companies could find new recruits among the larger audience for the social casino games, and social casino game companies could enjoy much higher average revenues per paying player associated with real-money online gambling metrics. Griffin says the lifetime value of a user in social casino games may be $2, but the lifetime value of a gambler could be $1,800.

Betable’s customers in the United Kingdom include Big Fish Games, which has launched a popular casino game suite on mobile using the Betable technology.

“We are seeing 10 times engagement,” Griffin said. On top of that, about 2 percent of the social casino game players are converting to real-money gambling. The daily average revenue per paying player is 10 times higher with real-money gambling compared to the same games without real-money gambling.

Griffin said the company is in the process of getting licenses to operate in other territories where online gambling is legal.

Disclosure: The event organizers paid my way to Hamburg, where I moderated a panel. Our coverage remains objective.


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