The online social gaming sector is enjoying much attention of late. While in the past free-to-play online games were seen as as fun way to pass the time, it is now become such a huge industry in that it generates billions of dollars. Many ask how is it that a free-to-play online game can cause people to layout thousands of dollars? The answer is intriguing for many who have not engaged in these types of games whether it be on social networks or mobile devices. No money is actually exchanged in these games but rather virtual currency. However where the money is made is where players have the option of exchanging their virtual currency for real money. There are also many features in these social games which are unlocked only when you purchase with real cash.

Many industries are looking to the social online gaming format to increase their popularity and market brand. One such recent body to do so is the Jockey Club in the U.S which has come up with an innovative way to attract more fans to the world of Horse racing. They have announced the launch of two interactive online game called Major League Horse racing and Thoroughbred World.

Major League Horse Racing combines fantasy sports with social media. Thoroughbred World focuses on the training and breeding aspect of horse racing.
Both games will be available via Facebook and a version for iOS devices is coming soon.

These new games were developed in response to study initiated by fans and conducted by McKinsey & Company. Vice president of the Jockey Club summed up their thinking behind the launch of these two games,” These games complement our fan development strategy and will be heavily promoted through our America’s Best Racing platform and our television programming. Free-to-play online games have been successful in teaching consumers how to play other games, such as online poker, and they attract fans. Social gaming has become a major entertainment platform, as evidenced by FarmVille’s 85 million ‘farmers’, 30 million of whom play daily.”

There are also those who see this move by the US Jockey Club as an effort to get more involved in legalized horse racing as the U.S. online gambling market is in the process of opening up. It has become very difficult to believe these days that anyone entering the social gaming market does not have their eyes on the real-money gambling option.

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