Golden Nugget gambles on branded social gaming

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The Golden Nugget casino has entered the branded social gaming space by launching a Facebook game. The hotel and casino worked with software and technology company Last Legion Games on the initiative.

The Golden Nugget officially launched the game's interactive store August 5 after operating it in beta since early July. The company is also planning to add a contest to the game.

Consumers can build their own Vegas casinos, including table games such as Blackjack, Video Poker and Roulette. As they earn virtual money, consumers can create their own customized furniture layouts and decorations by purchasing store items, as well as slots, tables and clothing for a consumer's avatar. Players can also visit their Facebook friends' casinos and build their avatars.

Golden Nugget's goal is brand awareness. “The goal is to reach new eyeballs and get the brand in front of more people,” said Amy Chasey, VP of marketing at the Golden Nugget, adding that there is no specific target demographic for the initiative.

She said Golden Nugget is still developing the contest, but that prizes could include packages at the hotel and casino. The company will advertise the contest within the Facebook game and measure the number of consumers who play the game.

“That is about data collection, as well as rewarding people who are playing the game,” Chasey said.

Seth Gerson, CEO of Last Legion, said the company will examine targeted behavioral gameplay data to help advertisers and to provide consumers with more compelling experiences.

“Marketers have the ability to reach millions of people via social networks like Facebook. Facebook [alone] has 500 million users, and about half of them play games. Of those, they generally play four games a month,” said Gerson. “Also, these are marketing campaigns that give the marketer the opportunity to make money. That is a really powerful combination.”

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