When does a friendly game cross the line between fun and gambling?

That’s a question that’s been debated non-stop since games and gambling have been regulated by governmental agencies. It’s also a question whose answer has become exponentially more complex with the dawn of social media and social casinos in particular.

After all, if you play a few hands of Texas Hold ‘Em at a social casino and win a prize, even something as simple as in-game currency, aren’t you gambling?

In Michigan, Governor Rick Snyder recently signed into law Senate Bill 202, which clears most social media games from the stigma of gambling.

The issue came to light a couple years back when Michigan casinos began using social gaming to promote their properties. At the time, Michigan law prevented them from giving out anything of value in these promotions, including prizes as simple as free spins on a virtual slot machine.

That law, however, didn’t apply only to casinos and that’s where the legislature got involved. After all, all kinds of businesses use social media gaming to promote their wares, not just casinos.

An analysis from the State concluded:

Since the games are seen more as a marketing tool to promote a specific business, and not as a means of revenue, some feel the gaming laws should be amended to create an exemption for such social media Internet games.

The new Michigan rules apply to casino-style games, but not necessarily to every kind of games. The new law does not apply to daily fantasy sports.

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