sgn mini tycoon casinoGaming startup SGN already offers a bunch of games on the iPhone, but despite the company’s name (the letters stand for Social Games Network), those games have mostly been in the action genre until now, with minimal social capabilities. Today SGN founder and chairman Shervin Pishevar demonstrated the company’s first social game for the iPhone, Mini Tycoon Casino.

Pishevar said the company has spent an unusually long time developing the game — about a year — to ensure that it really “raised the bar” for social gaming on your phone. Pishevar said social games could reach an even bigger audience on phones than what they’ve found on Facebook and other social networks.

You can judge the results for yourself in the video below, which shows some of the basic interactions in the game. It follows the basic social games model — players build their own casino, “planting” items like slot machines and craps tables, then trying to top their friends’ casinos, which they can visit in the game. The real work was building the rich graphics, as well as the infrastructure for a massive user base, Pishevar said.

The game will be submitted to Apple’s App Store today. It will be free, but users can pay to buy virtual items for their casinos. SGN estimates the game could bring in $1 million a month in revenue, Pishevar said. There are plans to release other Mini Tycoon games, too.