Bwin.Party Billion Dollar Facebook Venture is the next giant to take the leap into the social gaming sphere, paying $23m to buy gaming contracts and engineering resources from two social gaming companies and plans to invest another $27m over the next two years.

CEO Jim Ryan and Norbert Teufelberger say that the group “are focused on building a meaningful stand-alone enterprise that will operate outside our core real money gaming business but which will benefit from the Group’s significant resources and assets’ is looking to focus on lead generation to real money products in relevant markets as well as targeting the ‘Whales’ of the virtual gaming world. Though only 10 percent of social game players actually spend money on Facebook titles, some of those users are social gaming "whales" who spend $25 or more per month to buy virtual goods, according to a new study. Bwin expects 3% of its paying players to be ‘whales’ and to earn over $20 per paying player on average. Slot games will be launched first with poker following at the end of this summer.

Overall believes that it will succeed as the result of its:

·         Experienced management team and proprietary gaming platform

·         Portfolio of new applications online and on smartphone platforms

·         Original IP in the creation and distribution of social gaming content

·         Best of breed partnerships with leading independent game studios

$50m is a huge amount to invest in a start-up and normally such a sum would only be justified if the company felt that there was the potential to create a billion dollar business. That appears to be exactly what believes.

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