Games news sponsored by SG Digital

Rob Glaser, interim CEO of online media distribution and services provider RealNetworks, said Wednesday that he expects future social casino launches to help return the company to growth, but admitted that the business has “a lot more work to do” to achieve these aims after third quarter gaming revenue fell 24 per cent.

Industry body the International Social Games Association (ISGA) has announced a series of best practice principles, designed to set minimum standards for consumer protection, accountability and transparency.

Delaware’s three video lottery agents, the Delaware Park and Harrington Raceway racinos and Dover Downs casino, have launched IGT’s DoubleDown Casino on their websites, with the roll-out described as a prelude to the launch of real-money gaming in October.

Players will be required to log in using a Facebook account and will receive free chips each time they access the site to play its range of casino games, which include slots, blackjack and poker.

Delaware Lottery director Vernon Kirk described the DoubleDown launch as a “first step in providing a virtual casino for our customers.”

“This is a great opportunity for our patrons to get acclimated with the way Internet gaming works in preparation for the launch of the first-in-the-nation full casino-style legalized online gaming,” Kirk explained.

Under the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act, only the state lottery and licensed video lottery agents are permitted to operate an online gaming offering. With the launch of real-money gaming, players will be required to complete age and ID verification checks before being permitted to deposit funds, with real-money gaming restricted to within state lines.

The real-money offering, which is scheduled to launch by October 30th, will be powered by Scientific Games and 888, after the companies were selected as the lottery’s primary vendor of online gaming systems and services in May of this year.

State secretary of finance Thomas J. Cook, who is overseeing the online gaming project, said that as Delaware would be the first to launch casino products in the US market, it did not “have the benefit of past practices,” but would strive “to create something publicly appealing with the proper infrastructure to support it.”

He added that the lottery expects its offering to be “winner-attractive, engaging and easy to use”, and with testing currently underway, he is confident that it will be ready to launch by the end of October.

When IGT announced its acquisition of DoubleDown Casino in January last year, most people baulked at the hefty price tag, yet consistently high revenue figures have vindicated the deal. Now the company is preparing for the next phase of the app’s development as it targets expansion in poker and bingo.