Hard Rock, IGT in deal for social gaming application

International Game Technology announced today that its DoubleDown Casino on Facebook is partnering with the Hard Rock Las Vegas hotel-casino, marking DoubleDown's first land-based partnership in the city.

DoubleDown, a social gaming company that sells virtual casino chips and has 5.2 million players, will have its application hosted on the Hard Rock website. Hard Rock players will be able to compete online against their friends.

DoubleDown has online slots, poker and other games. IGT has been pitching it to land-based casinos with revenue-sharing deals and opportunities for the brick-and-mortar casinos to deliver targeted-marketing messages to customers.

DoubleDown and other social gaming sites have been growing in popularity as the industry works to develop customer lists that can be tapped when real-money online poker gets under way in Nevada and potentially other states.

"Engaging through the website allows players to remain connected to the property they know and trust, with DoubleDown Casino simply providing the gaming entertainment,'' Eric Tom, executive vice president of global sales at IGT, said in a statement about the Hard Rock deal.

IGT, the Reno-based slot machine maker, announced similar deals this summer for DoubleDown with websites for Jacobs Entertainment Inc. in Nevada and Colorado, the Golden Acorn casino in California and Casino Del Sol in Arizona.