One of the fastest growing sectors of the online gaming industry is that of the social casino gaming market. While defining them as social casino games is in theory correct, this is misleading as in reality these so called- free-to-play casino games and apps generate billions of dollars in real money with players purchasing additions to their games and trading virtual chips for real cash. Added to this is the obvious fact that all these social casino games are exactly the same as the real thing and anybody looking in from outside would not be able to differentiate the two.

What makes the social casino gaming industry so fascinating is the fact that the whole industry is no older than 6 years yet is having a dramatic impact on the real money gambling world. So much so that we have been reporting on a daily basis about established casinos linking up with online social casino operators. This type partnership is becoming the norm and not the exception.

As our readers are aware the social casino gaming market generates billions of dollars but in reality this is just a fraction of the real-money online gambling global market. It is here where all the top social casino companies are aiming. There is no denying that millions of online players enjoy free-to-play casino games on social networks like Facebook. So much so that the casino-based games feature heavily in the overall list of top ranking games on Facebook.

While the global economy is going through challenging times, there are endless opportunities for online gambling operators. The global gambling market is in the process of being regulated and expanded. Most interesting are the developments in the U.S. online gambling market which have captured the attention of many global gambling powerhouses. It is here where many of these top social gambling companies are looking to make their real fortunes with their “free-to-play” online casino games. These virtual online casino games could very plausibly turn into the world’s largest casino if or rather when the U.S. online gambling market is fully legalized. The time and effort spent by these social casino companies could provide the ultimate payoff as it is almost a certainty that a large proportion of their established loyal client base will follow them into-the real-money gambling option.

Bearing all of this in mind there was an interesting article in Social Casino Intelligence (SCI) which covers the latest developments in the North American social casino gaming industry. They recently published their top 25 leading online social casino companies. They based this on a number of factors, of which daily and monthly active users were key. They also included a panel of industry experts, brand power, range of products and of course Finance & Quality of Investors in determining their Top 25 operators.

It comes as no surprise that the world’s largest social gaming company Zynga was ranked Number 1 as they operate the world’s largest online social poker game Zynga poker in the world which has over 7.2 million daily users. This survey comes at a good time for Zynga who recently took a huge drop in share price due to disappointing revenues released last week which set their share price tumbling. However this social gaming giant could easily have the last laugh as they intend to start offering a real-money online poker offering in the first half 0f 2013.

Closing the gap in 2nd place was Playtika who were acquired in 2011 by Caesars Interactive. Their Slotomania product is amongst the highest grossing products on Facebook. They are a company to watch as they have plans to expand at a rapid pace.

It is also worth watching some of the established casino like Fertitta Interactive, MGM Resorts and Bwin.party who have all started investing heavily in the social casino market.

IGT took third place due largely due to their $500 million acquisition of the fast-growing DoubleDown Casino which as we reported has already signed two new partnerships with land casinos in the last few weeks.

For a full list of the Top 25 SCI’s Ranking visit them at http://www.socialcasinointelligence.com/

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