Just seven weeks after leaving Zynga to spend some time with family, former executive Jonathan Flesher has been hired by Betable as EVP for Business Development. The US-based platform developer thus acquires a seasoned professional who has been instrumental in Zynga’s shift toward online gambling.
With his career spanning 20 years in finance and gaming, Flesher left Zynga after 3 years spent spearheading the company’s business development activities. His most notable achievements include the agreement with Bwin, as well as the deals that gave players of Zynga’s Farmville game an exclusive preview of Lady Gaga and Snoop Dogg albums.
The Bwin partnership was a marked move from social gaming to social gambling for Zynga, and Flesher’s career move is also motivated by these market trends. As he himself has declared: “We’re seeing a convergence between the free-to-play social gaming world and online gambling world. If you incorporate real-money gaming, you’ll get a higher lifetime value from your players, and then you’ll be able to outspend other companies in the space that aren’t doing real money gaming.”
Incorporating real-money gaming into social gaming is precisely what Betable does. The company was founded in 2008 but started to look into this direction only recently. Seeing the scantily served need for platforms that help social game developers integrate real-money gaming, Betable has entered this market with lots of ambition and solid support from venture capital investors.
Using its portfolio of UK gambling licenses, Betable is already present in games like Big Fish Casino, but many further partnerships are expected to come soon with the signing of Flesher, with more and more online gambling features popping up in social games.
Although Betable is headquartered in San Francisco, it is licensed to offer real-money gaming products only under UK gambling laws. To avoid breaking any local market regulations the company’s software recognizes a player’s location and makes sure that social game operators offer their gambling content only to players who are authorized to access it.
This means that social game participants entering an online casino in the UK would have the option to wager real money, while someone playing the same game from the US would not be offered this option.
Considering the widespread use of portable devices and demand for mobile casino gambling, Betable will develop their solutions for iPhones and iPads as well.