RealNetworks Gets Serious About Social Casino Gaming With $15.6M Slingo Acquisition, New Sweepstakes

RealNetworks, a Seattle-based publicly-traded company that runs RealPlayer and has a gaming arm, is digging into social casino games with a deal to buy Slingo for $15.6 million. It’s also launching a new kind of casino game that involves a $100,000 sweepstakes called Gamehouse Casino Plus.

The two moves are meant to revitalize RealNetworks’ gaming business, which brought in $13.9 million in the quarter ending in March of this year.

Slingo is a combo of bingo and slots and has more than 4.5 million people monthly active users on Facebook, plus more on mobile platforms and on physical slot machines in casinos. The game launched on Facebook back in February of last year, and reached a peak of more than 50 million monthly active users. It also came to Android and iOS through Slingo Supreme, a paid app. The physical game, which is in Slingo-branded slot machines, is played in more than 300 casinos in the U.S. and RealNetworks says that more than $1 billion Slingo-branded tickets have been sold through other lottery games.

“Real money gaming in the U.S. is not going to become a mainstream thing anytime soon,” said RealNetworks CEO Rob Glaser. But he said he believed that studios can still innovate on the social casino genre, which has become increasingly competitive over the last two years.

In Gamehouse Casino Plus, players play your typical casino games — like slots, video poker, blackjack and roulette — but they also win tickets to participate in a $100,000 sweepstakes every month.