Online gaming company RocketFrog is on a mission to revitalize how people play in virtual casinos. RocketFrog CEO and founder Brett Calapp thinks the social gambling market is primed for expansion, especially after the U.S. Justice Department changed its stance on its legality last December. The company is one more startup in the hot market of social casino game companies.

“The majority of online casino players are recreational,” Calapp said in a statement. “They play to have fun with their friends, blow off some steam, and are thrilled at the prospect of real prize winnings. Most have been previously limited to winning nothing more than play chips and virtual badges which works great for traditional social gaming developers but leaves both players and marketers empty handed.”

RocketFrog’s mission is to take the traditional online casino interface and offer players the chance to win real-world items alongside in-game trinkets. Players compete for a variety of prizes including movie tickets, music, and food offers and for in-game gifts and achievements.

“We’ve created social tournaments where players can interact and compete to win real prizes against their friends; not just leaderboard points or status increases,” said Calapp. “There’s no better place to do that than Facebook because that’s where your friends are at online. Who doesn’t like beating their friends and winning a prize?”

RocketFrog runs several games including poker, blackjack, and slot tournaments that accommodate  hundreds of players. Its business model focuses on using these games as integrated ad space. A new company sponsors a game each day and the prizes relate back to the advertiser. So, if Taco Bell is paying for an ad, prizes might revolve around coupons and meal offers.

RocketFrog was founded in 2010 by Brett Calapp, Matthew Osborn, and Uri Kozai. Located in Los Angeles, RocketFrog is a 16 person team dedicated to blending social networking with online gambling. Tom Anderson, co-founder and former president of MySpace, joined the company’s advisory board in effort to help RocketFrog realize its vision for fully branded social game integration.

“Advertisers are always looking for something different, something that engages users and cuts through the noise. RocketFrog delivers,” said Anderson.”The entire game experience is branded by the daily advertiser and at the same time users get to play for with real world prizes.”

Offering tangible prizes to players is how RocketFrog hopes to compete with current social gambling rivals DoubleDown Casinos and Zynga’s Texas Hold ’em.

“RocketFrog will expand our social gaming community to include many new players who could not fathom the idea of playing for nothing, but are ecstatic about the opportunity to play for gift cards from top brands, new albums from their favorite artists, or a ticket to the movies,” said Calapp.