Maybe the most social of popular casual games is breeding a new competitor in the social gaming space as bwin.party sets its sights on this growing part of the market. The company is more known for poker, a game played with friends around dining room tables around the world, but it has set aside $50 million to develop a new game studio called Win that will develop social games.
The fight for eyeballs
Like any other social network, a gambling site is all about the number of eyeballs you can bring to the table. Zynga has 6.9 million users that play Texas Hold 'Em every day, a giant number when compared to online gaming companies.
But it won't only be online gaming specialists and social gaming companies vying for position in the space. Wynn Resorts
Bwin.party, MGM, and Boyd Gaming
Caesars will likely leverage its World Series of Poker brand to players around the world. There's no stronger brand in poker and the company would be a strong contender.
Eyes on a big prize
When and if online gambling will become legal in the U.S. is anybody's guess, but the prize is worth the jockeying that's going on. Last year, I estimated that that small segment of the market could be worth as much as $4 billion in EBITDA to those who can capture share. That's a big number for companies like bwin.party, Zynga, and Boyd Gaming. Keep an eye on developments and further jockeying in the industry.
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Fool contributor Travis Hoium manages an account that owns shares of Wynn Resorts. You can follow Travis on Twitter at @FlushDrawFool, check out his personal stock holdings or follow his CAPS picks at TMFFlushDraw. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days.