One of the most interesting topics in the online gambling world today is that of the seemingly close bond of social gaming with social gambling. In the last few months there have been major social gaming giants as well as gambling giants who have entered into each other’s respective territories.

Many ask the question what exactly is social gambling? Well social gambling is best represented by the likes of online scratch cards which are designed for anyone and everyone.

What makes them social is the fact that scratch games are available to anyone with an online connection. Whether you prefer mobile scratch cards on your portable smartphone or choose to play online games from your PC the ability to start scratching and winning is open to all.

The most recent development was that of bwin.party who announced their launch of their new social game studio called “Win”. They have reportedly allocated over $50 million to this project.

To an outsider this might seem strange at first as they are better known for traditional real money gambling offerings like poker with their PartyPoker brand being one of the most popular in the market.

On the other hand you have pure social gaming companies like Zynga who offer free-to-play online casino games like Texas Hold ‘Em Poker and Slingo. Zynga has an estimated 7 million daily and dedicated users for their Texas Hold’Em which is the envy of many real money casino operators.

The popularity of casino based online games has not been lost to scratch card developers. There are countless scratchies that are based on a casino theme like that of Lucky 21 which provide the feel of casino games while still playing a classic scratch card.

The ability of scratch cards to adapt to just about any social theme is why many dub them as the ultimate form of social gambling.

Both bwin.party and Zynga have a common goal in mind which is to prepare themselves for the seemingly imminent legalization of online gambling in the U.S.

Most informed parties believe that the question is no longer if but when the U.S. legislation will keep up with global economic realities.

Both Zynga and bwin.party will have to compete with established U.S. based gambling powerhouses like MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming who have also set their targets on the online gambling and poker markets in the U.S. when the dust settles in legal arena.

These land based casino have recently entered into partnerships and strategic acquisitions to ensure that they have a foot in the social gaming world which would enable them to convert millions of loyal players to real-money online gamblers.

Social themes are an added incentive for potential gamblers when deciding which games to play. With scratch cards there is no niche that is not covered. With sports, romance, travel, fantasy and casino based scratchcard themes, there is no chance that a sector of the online gambling market could be overlooked when looking for a suitable scratch card to play.

The figures bandied around are varied but no one doubts that there are many billions of dollars at stake should the U.S. market open up with the legalization of internet gambling.

The two seemingly conflicting worlds of social gaming and social gambling have never been so intertwined as they are at present.

The market changes in these two fascinating worlds leads one to conclude that the ideal balance lies with a game format like online scratch cards that seems to maximize the benefits of these two worlds.

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