Social Casino – Where Community and Casino Entertainment Meet
The casino and gambling industry is a highly competitive and lucrative industry, generating billions of dollars yearly. Casinos, whether online or in traditional brick-and-mortar locations, are established to provide players and enthusiasts with a platform where they can participate in different forms of games and gambling. While there are prevailing negative opinions about gambling (for example, in some parts of the United States), there’s no denying the fact that casino gambling is forever here to stay. According to recent statistics, brick-and-mortar casinos are projected to generate more than $317 billion in 2016.
There are a number of factors that fuel the rise of popularity and revenues of casino gambling. For starters, the expansion of online casino games helped drive demand, and new technologies helped in the creation and delivery of new services. But there’s a new segment in the industry that’s fueling demand, and seen as the next big frontier for casino gambling – social casino. According to a research firm, social casino is now a $3.4 billion market, and on its way to break $4 billion by 2017. So what exactly is a social casino, and how does it differ from traditional land-based casinos players have come to know and love?
What is a Social Casino?
Social casino has been around since 2000s, but this type of casino only kicked in full gear starting 2012 and 2013 when social media took the web by storm. During this time, social media platforms are growing at unprecedented rates, registering millions of users, and tracking hundreds of millions of tweets, likes and messages. With a growing member base, social media websites came up with a creative step to tap into this captive market- the integration of games. This is considered the official start of social casino as a viable niche market for the casino industry, and one that taps into millennials and young professionals need to communicate and have fun at the same time.
Today, a number of social media platforms have officially incorporated games into their service offerings. Some of the popular social media platforms that have incorporated games are Facebook, Google+ and Bebo. When it was first released to the general public, most games were free to play, but with the release of real money-based poker games, the social casino environment changed.
What are the Types of Casino Games You Can Play?
There are a number of differences between land-based casinos and popular social casinos found online today. One difference can be found in the selections of games to play, the gameplay and rules that comes with it. Here are some of the games players can check at a social casino:
- Slot games – Slot machines have come a long way, from the classic ‘one-armed bandits’ of pubs and casinos, to popular instant win games online. Today, slot video productions are also used in social casinos, aimed at providing instant win entertainment while the player is on the go. Most games available are rented out from established software providers, but some create their slot games from scratch. Since this is a social casino game, players can expect tournaments, where they can compete for big wins against other players
- Poker – Together with slots, poker has redefined the social casino landscape. Classic poker and even tournaments are now hosted at social media platforms. There are even poker tours that opens up their own versions of poker-focused social casino, helping grow the industry
- Already considered a ‘social game’, bingo is also a staple at these new casinos, offering players with a chance to play, chat and compete with other players
Other games that are carried by social casinos today are Roulette, Keno, Blackjack, Solitaire and other exciting and colorful games. Different social media websites carry a variety of games, with Facebook taking a lead. With Facebook, the ability to play real-money games will depend on the player’s region. Only a handful of regions will allow real-money play on this website.
What are the Advantages Associated with Playing in a Social Casino?
Signing up for a membership at a social casino can change the way you see casino gaming and action. While social casinos cannot top land-based casinos in terms of authentic casino experience and variety of casino games offered, players can expect an almost-real experience. With social casinos, players can browse and check the games for free while chatting with friends, play in the browser, play casino on-the-go and take home real prizes.
Compared to traditional casinos, the software used in social casinos allow players to chat and interact with each other while playing games. It is the ‘social aspect’ of the games that make social casino appealing to many players, including the millennials and young professionals. Aside from a chance to interact with other players, some social casinos allow players to join an adventure where they can collect achievements, points and trophies along the way. This offers a chance for players to show off their skills and compete with other players. When not aiming for the cash prizes, players may compete for points, glory and bragging rights. In short, the idea of gamification is also adopted in social casinos, which adds up to its appeal.
With social casinos, you can also play anywhere, provided you have the right mobile phone or gadget. The inclusion of a mobile-friendly platform can appeal to highly mobile players, busy professionals and business owners who have no time to visit land-based casinos. Some of the games available on social casinos are downloadable, but some can be played directly in the browser.
Social casino is just on its ‘infancy stage’, which means that casino regulars can expect from more in the near future. Experts and industry insiders agree that a live dealer will also become the norm in social casinos. Previously seen in a live casino, a live casino dealer will soon control the direction of table games. Expect poker to become one of the first games that will feature a live dealer, making games more social. Also, while smart phones are the default devices to enjoy social casino games, players can look forward to new technologies and wearable devices. With the rising popularity of virtual reality and Oculus Rift, there’s a big chance that this wearable device and social casino will meet.
Are There Disadvantages Associated with Playing in a Social Casinos?
Just like other casinos available today, there are certain advantages and limitations associated with this gaming environment. For example, as a player, you need to contend with a community, and interact with other players. If you are the type of person who prefers to play alone, without distractions, then the communal features of a social casino can affect your mood and playing style. The chat feature, forums and competitions may distract your focus while online.
You may also need to share a few things about yourself, since many social casinos require a complete profile, so other players can easily interact with you. For someone who prefers to play incognito, a complete profile, or the prospect of being interrupted by another player in the chat can be an issue.
Setting these concerns and disadvantages aside, social casino is redefining the way casino action is experienced. It is the way of the future, at least for casino gambling. This means better playing options and excitement for casino players and regulars looking for high-octane entertainment, improved winnings and a better way to enjoy online casinos while connecting with other players.
Read our other introductions to different Casino types
- Live Casino – Get an Authentic Online Casino Experience Without Leaving Your Home
- Virtual Casino – Bringing Casino Entertainment Wherever You Are