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The Social Gaming Phenomenon: Everything You Should Know About Social Gaming Casinos

Social gaming in all of its manifestations has already become a global phenomenon: the new trend is popular with players all over the world, and iGaming operators should pay close attention to it.

What is social gaming? What are the possibilities for this vertical, and what are the hurdles to its growth? Read this article to get answers.

What is social gaming?

Social gaming started as a form of gamification on social media. There is no real money at stake, and the overriding idea behind social gaming is to create an enjoyable atmosphere of community and cohesion between players, who are usually friends or family members.

But games about virtual farms, wordplay or organized crime are just one side of the social gamification phenomenon. Casinos with social gaming are basically free versions of online casinos and are also growing in popularity.

The two main motivators for engaging in social gaming are entertainment and socialization.

Users like the excitement and novelty of the experience, especially the ability to connect with others via chat while playing. Another key aspect of social games that motivates players to stay connected to their devices is the competitive element. For example, tournament tables influence the basic human need to compete and outperform others. The same principle works in tournaments run by online casinos, this functionality is offered by many of our partners.

Monetization

While in standard casino games like let’s lucky (slots, roulette, blackjack or poker) players bet with real money in order to win, in social casinos there is no option to withdraw winnings even if the player uses real money to buy credits. There are no prizes or jackpots – the player simply gets more chips or spins to play on.

As we mentioned earlier, social game companies monetize them through in-app transactions: players can pay money to play longer.

The appeal of social casino

Social casino games allow for more and more interaction between players, and this has a growing popularity in our digital age. Players seek out both friends and rivals and develop strategies against each other. The social element is crucial here – it is one of the most sought-after aspects of modern online life. Internet users are slowly coming to realize that sometimes the Internet can not only connect, but also isolate.

Since social gamification is a method of interacting with other players, the main lesson operators can learn from studying this phenomenon is this: players respond very positively to increased social engagement.

This is borne out by the explosion in popularity of live dealer games, where users have the opportunity to chat with other players and the dealer himself.

Since the stakes in social gameplay are smaller than on true online casino platforms, there are far fewer barriers to new players – there’s a greater chance that their interest will develop into a desire to try a game or two.

While the initial process of signing up and depositing money in a casino might discourage new players, social gaming platforms offer a similar gaming experience without the same level of commitment. Social gaming could be leveraged as a way to attract gamers to casinos, through cross promotion strategies. Moreover social gaming holds appeal in regions where online gambling is prohibited. For instance in Australia major iGaming companies provide versions of their casino games (excluding withdrawal features) that simulate the experience found in legal social casinos. This tactic enables them to legally generate profits in restricted markets without starting from scratch.

Market overview and the future of social gaming

Revenue from social casinos has been growing steadily in recent years. In 2014, total GGR from social gaming was $3 billion. Moreover, last year GGR reached $6.2 billion, which means the market has more than doubled. By 2024, capitalization exceeded $7.5 billion. Growth will only intensify

Final thoughts

With revenues expected to continue to climb, social gaming looks to be here to stay. Operators are developing new products, and big brands in the gambling business (both online and offline) are considering building their own social products to use as promotional tools.

Jason Carter

Jason Carter is a casino enthusiast and gaming expert, offering expert advice, tips, and reviews to help both beginners and seasoned players navigate the world of casinos.

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