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Events


IAGA SUMMIT Macau 2018


John Lin, Managing Director, PlayStudios Asia


John Lin is the Managing Director of PlayStudios Asia, the Asia operation of PlayStudios Inc., a top 10 global revenue leader in the social casino sector, driven by top-grossing apps myVEGAS Slots, POP!Slots, and Konami Slots, with more social casino apps to come in 2018. We develop and operate beautiful, engaging, highly polished games that feature real world brands and also offer reward experiences from Las Vegas to Macau and more. John has engaged the development and marketing of gaming across social, online, and integrated resort formats in Asia, Europe, and the US since 2002. Prior to PlayStudios, John served as a senior executive in the land-based casino sector for Las Vegas Sands and Boyd Gaming, leading greenfield development, legislative and regulatory initiatives, and strategic acquisitions of integrated casino resorts from Macau, Singapore, and the UK to regional US markets and the Las Vegas Strip.


The operators, both those that are ‘porting’ real slot machine games to social as well as those that are developing original game content, are focusing on themes and features that appeal to the core audience of adult slot players. Each developer is creating games with the objective of commercial success, which has consistently guided the content to appeal to experienced, adult slot players.


P88 NEWSWIRE / INTERACTIVE /MARKET DATA


Head2Head: When does Social Gaming become Unsocial?


With both land-based and online gambling operations having strict age- verification requirements, to what extent does the growing availability and appeal of these types of themed social and “soft” gaming products create an issue for operators and regulators? G3 stacks the questions for IAGA panelists John Lin, PlayStudios Asia and Jessica Maier, LLM, Melchers


Has the industry done enough to explain the differences between gambling and social gaming to the playing public?


John Lin:As a founding member of the International Social Games Association (i-sga.org), we’ve collaborated with our fellow industry leading members to establish and advance best practices for social games developers. Our Best Practice Principles (http://www.i-sga.org/best-practice-principles/) set forth, as a publicly available resource to all developers, a framework for ensuring compliance, transparency, privacy, and consumer protection. Te Principles advocate that Social games should not lead players into believing they will be more successful at real-world activities; that Casino style games should not deliberately lead players to believe they will be successful at real money gambling games, and that they cannot win real money by playing social games.


Te members of the ISGA follow, and encourage all developers to follow these principles in every channel in which we engage with players, from the app store listings, to the terms of service in the games, to our company websites and to our customer support training and protocols.


Jessica Maier:Over the years, I believe social gaming – and particularly social gambling – operators have become more and more aware of their responsibilities towards their customers and the need for transparency, including their responsibility to


distinguish themselves from actual gambling offerings. However, court rulings such as the recent Washington Court of Appeals ruling on Big Fish Casino show that this distinction is not always easy and that the discussion on when gaming turns into gambling is by no means concluded (not least since it is also hugely dependent on how gambling is defined, the underlying laws and regulations in the respective jurisdiction as well as the interpretation of the law).


In fact, it is easy to see the effect the ruling might have on social gaming on a broader scale, seeing as the court assumed virtual chips to be of real value despite them not being exchangeable for any goods or services in the real world and them being part of a closed-loop system. Tis is rather remarkable considering that social games, which do not look and feel like gambling, have by-and-large been spared in discussions on whether they constitute gambling and the potential need for regulation, however, tend to rely on similar monetarisation models involving virtual in-game currencies to the ones used by social gambling operators.


What themes are acceptable or unacceptable in social as opposed to play-for-real - and who is the judge?


Jessica Maier: I actually do not consider the debate on acceptable/unacceptable themes to be of a major relevance. In the end, it will almost certainly not be the theme of the game but rather how the game and


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