Kara Swisher

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Rob Glaser Talks About New Social Casino Sweepstakes — Will It Be RealNetworks’ Golden Ticket? (Video)

GCPlus_Golden Tocket Win Graphic

Rob Glaser dropped by the global HQ of AllThingsD to talk about a new offering that RealNetworks is rolling out today as part of its efforts to turn around its fortunes.

Literally — with a sweepstakes.

Glaser, a former Microsoft exec who founded the Seattle-based RealNetworks 18 years ago, returned to the digital media company a year ago to attempt to revive its fortunes, which have fallen in recent times.

One of the ways that Glaser said he has done so has been to cut a myriad of projects and then double down on a single major initiative in each of its three units, which include the RealPlayer service, mobile media offerings and its GameHouse gaming unit.

Today, that’s the focus with the rollout of its Facebook social casino game, now called Casino Plus, which will begin to offer a monthly $100,000 Golden Dreams cash sweepstakes to entice players to play more for the chance to enter the contest. The goal is to collect a certain number of “Golden Tickets” for the sweepstakes.

It’s not real-money gaming, of course, which Glaser said is too far away from becoming legal in the U.S. to make any kind of difference to RealNetworks’ bottom line. Instead, the very legal sweepstakes is a different kind of incentive.

RealNetworks said that the cash sweepstakes “will be available to Facebook users in 31 states and Washington DC beginning tomorrow, August 1, 2013,” noting that those who live outside these areas will be eligible to enter a monthly virtual coins sweepstakes. Due to rules, anyone can enter the sweepstakes without playing by filling out certain forms to do so.

“This is the first social game where you can actually win money,” said Glaser. “Real-money gaming is not coming for a long time, since state politics changes slower than molasses, so this is something people can get excited about that is not gambling, but is really fun to do nonetheless.”

In other words, the more you play, the more tickets you get — up to a certain amount.

“This encourages game play and makes it a lot more interesting,” said Glaser, “which is the goal, by differentiating us from all the many casino games out there.”

Here’s Glaser taking about it all, and also about what he hopes to do to turn around RealNetworks:


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