19 Nov

Ainsworth preps for January launch of Social Online Pokies and Casino site

Based in Australia, Ainsworth Game Technology has been a premier developer of poker machines for nearly two decades, but the last year has shown a relatively steady decline in share prices. CEO Len Ainsworth is looking to turn that around by tapping into the social online pokies market. He’s already gotten the wheels spinning on a venture to launch Players Paradise Casino, a social casino gaming site on Facebook, in January, with a second launch before 2015 is out.

If anyone knows how to navigate the poker machine business, it’s Len Ainsworth. He is the brilliant industrialist who founded pokies manufacturing companies Aristocrat Leisure Ltd in 1953, and Ainsworth Gaming Technology in 1995. At 91 years of age, he is still going strong, and plays a key role in the day to day affairs of AGT, including authorization of the company’s latest endeavor to enter the social online pokies market.

A year ago today, shares in Ainsworth Game Technology (listed as AGI on the ASX) were valued at 4.25. That figure as dropped by near half, listed at 2.49 today. Heads of the company are well aware of the situation, and have spent the last year working on a resurgence strategy.

“Over the past 12 months our digital strategy has been established to service the key market segments of real money wagering and social casino gaming and participate in these revenue opportunities,” said Ainsworth. His statement clearly alluded to the fact that a social gaming campaign is just the first step in the direction of online pokies. A venture into real money internet gaming is already being plotted for the future.

It was also noted that Ainsworth Game Technology is clearly getting into the game a bit late. “Whilst our timing to enter this market is behind our major competitors,” explained AGT Chief Executive Officer, Danny Gladstone, at the annual general meeting, “it has provided the company with the ability to develop a quality mobile offering complete with improved mobile technologies which now account for over 50 per cent of revenues in this online segment.”

Gladstone told attendees of the meeting that, despite the company’s delayed entrance into social online pokies and casino gaming, it was impossible to ignore statistics surrounding the fast-growing industry. It was estimated that, by 2018, the global social gaming market could be worth $5 billion USD.

Social gaming apps and websites are unlike traditional online pokies sites in one key aspect. There is no real money involved in the wagering process. The casino games are all played with virtual casino chips that can never be exchanged for actual cash. However, players will have the option to make in-app purchases, buying additional chips or unlocking specialty features. Such defines the immense profitability of online and mobile-based social gaming.

Ainsworth has already secured an alliance with an existing social gaming developer to present online pokies on Players Paradise Casino via Facebook. The page is already live, but the games won’t be introduced until January 2015. According to Gladstone, a second launch as already in the works. “It is the company’s intention to launch a second social casino during 2015 which will provide unique mobile and tablet game offerings,” said Gladstone.