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IGT Turning To Facebook To Further Brand Their Gaming Network

DoubleDown was a start-up company that created casino-style Facebook games in 2010. The company did not allow any type of real cash gambling on their games, but that may soon change after International Game Technology purchased the rights to DoubleDown this week.

IGT is a maker of casino games for the virtual world as well, and the company saw a big opportunity that may soon be opening up in the US. The company purchased DoubleDown for $500 million, showing just how close Internet gambling may be in the US.

The Department of Justice released an opinion on Christmas Eve that changed the way many companies saw the future of Internet gambling in the US. The opinion reaffirmed a position that had long been held by the gaming industry, that casino games were not illegal under the 1961 Wire Act. The DoJ opinion was that only sports betting is illegal under that 1961 law.

The opinion opened the door for lawmakers to start crafting legislation regulating online gambling in their jurisdiction. Nevada, the District of Columbia, and New Jersey have already pushed through online gambling laws, and dozens of other states are considering doing the same. Even the federal government is now looking at ways to make money from the multi-billion dollar industry.

IGT, by purchasing DoubleDown, is showing its hand for the future. Facebook, according to many analysts, could be the future of Internet gambling, with millions of users signing on to the social network each day. DoubleDown has many of those users already playing at their free casino.

The casino has over one million average users daily. The company has made it very clear that they are not a real money gambling operation, although IGT may see the future of the company differently.

"We're a social gaming company. We aren't a gambling company," said Glenn Walcott, DoubleDown President. "Our games aren't built to be bulletproof like you'd need to be if you're a real gambling company. We can do things to make our games more fun than if you were an operator in Vegas you'd go to jail for, because we change the odds just for fun."

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