I still remember a couple of hundred years ago setting up my first MySpace account and immediately seeing that someone had befriended me. For those 8 or 10 people out there who have never created an account with the company who got the whole social networking ball rolling, as soon as you sign up on MySpace, you receive an instant notification that MySpace netizen and co-founder Tom Anderson has friended you. But with “only” 33 million members and an Alexa rating of 157, the heyday of the company has definitely come and gone. However, that doesn’t mean that Anderson, a frequent online poker player, is any less savvy when it comes to spotting potentially profitable paydays and online marketing trends.
Monday, May 21, the same Tom Anderson of MySpace fame positioned himself and a new business venture perfectly to cash in on what appears to be an almost guaranteed eventual legalized online gambling platform on the world’s biggest and busiest social networking platform, Facebook, home to 800 million members, with an Alexa site rank of 2. With social gambling start-up RocketFrog hitting Facebook as the most recent application to join the increasingly popular casino style games on social networking destinations, Anderson hopes to develop a large user base in advance of upcoming online poker legislation.
He left MySpace in 2009, and still serves that company as an advisor. The company is now led by Brett Calapp, Matt Osborn and Uri Kozai, with Calapp owning extensive previous experience in casino style gaming. He was once the head of the Ultimate Blackjack Tour, and co-founded Centaurus Games, which was a subscription-based online poker playing network that he eventually sold to a PartyGaming. Tom Anderson has long been an online poker player, so this most recent venture into offering online poker, blackjack, roulette and slots on Facebook is perfect for him.
RocketFrog is currently undergoing beta testing, and as displayed on their Facebook home fan page, “every day a new brand becomes the game.” Players play “for prizes in our free tournaments from your favorite companies.” No real money deposits are needed, and “today you could be playing for movie tickets and tomorrow a download of your favorite song.” You can also purchase playing chips, or earn them by completing online offers.
Just recently online gambling casino style social media applications leapfrogged past the farm-based applications like Farmville as the number one gaming destination on social networking sites. And online gaming giant Zynga, as well as physical gambling powerhouses like Caesars Entertainment Corporation, have already developed a presence on Facebook that they hope will eventually cash in on what they see as the nearly guaranteed passage of United States legalized gaming legislation. Sites like RocketFrog do not allow real money gambling on Facebook or other websites, but you can purchase “virtual goods and services.” And with stand-alone pay for play poker sites just around the corner now that the US Department of Justice has allowed each individual state to legislate and regulate their residents’ online gambling, entrepreneurs and venture capitalists like Tom Anderson and new online gaming upstarts like RocketFrog are poised to jump right into the pool of tens of millions of Americans who already play online casino type games at their favorite social networking site.