While Zynga plots its entrance into casino games, competitor Big Fish has beat it to the punch with the launch of Big Fish Casino, a real-money gambling iOS app, available soon in the United Kingdom. The platform will be the first real-money gambling game of its kind to be powered by the Betable gambling engine.
Big Fish acquired Self Aware Studio for its title, Card Ace: Casino, and its one million active monthly players, back in March 2011. Many of the original casino games from Card Ace: Casino will carry over and be available for real-money gambling after Big Fish Casino’s launch, slated for sometime within the next few weeks. For now, Big Fish Casino will be available on iOS devices to the iTunes App store are slots, blackjack, roulette and video poker, including Texas Hold’em.
“We believe that the first social gaming companies to offer real-money play will enjoy a substantial competitive advantage over those who wait, and we couldn’t be happier that Big Fish is getting a head start with Big Fish Casino,” said Christopher Griffin, CEO & Founder of Betable. While Big Fish is getting a head start with Casino, it isn’t the first real-money gambling application that has catered to the European players. Among the first to offer a mobile real-money gambling app was Betfair.
Those outside of the U.K. or just disinterested in real-money gambling can still download the free version of Big Fish Casino in four app stores including Google Play, Amazon’s app store, Facebook and Apple’s iTunes store.
With $32 billion up for grabs in the Internet gambling market, the business can be a lucrative endeavor to shore up the bottom line of social-gaming companies that have so far relied on in-app purchases of virtual goods or advertising revenue. If anything, it’s almost a wonder why social gaming companies haven’t jumped into real-money casino gaming earlier.
Big Fish may be a leading contender with Zynga, among social gaming companies jumping into real-money gambling. Its early launch may give Zynga the unique opportunity of learning from Big Fish’s transition from social gaming to real-money gaming.