As the internet and social networking platforms have worked their way into each and every corner of the globe, the popularity of online social casinos has also blossomed.
While real money casinos, whether land-based or online, tend to have a stigma attached to them, the same cannot be said for the fun and friendly social casino gaming equivalents.
The launch of Zynga Poker on Facebook in 2007 is what many believe to have been the catalyst to have sparked the multi-billion dollar social gaming industry we have today. In 2014 it is estimated that 350 million people have played Zynga Poker and even today, it still attracts several million active players every week.
In somewhat of a mirroring of real money versions, the poker boom expanded into full online casinos. Admittedly, these did exist around the same time but it was poker, in particular, Texas Hold ‘em, which really kicked things off.
Leading to the present day, where there are now dedicated social casinos offering video and classic slots, table games like roulette and craps, video poker and card games such as blackjack, baccarat and naturally several forms of poker. In total, the social gaming industry is worth between $3 – $4 billion in 2017 and experts predict this figure will continue to rise in the years to come.
Why is Social Casino Gaming so Popular?
Many veterans of real money casinos often give a bewildered look when approached about the popularity of their social counterparts. For they view the casino as a place to gamble – and to them, that means using real money to (potentially) win real money.
However, that is not for everyone. Millions of people like to play the same style of games without risking any money – and this is the market which is driving the upward trend in these casinos. That being said, there are plenty of opportunities to spend real cash on online social games; like buying extra credits for example.
Research suggests that the main reasons for players engaging in social gaming are: social interaction, stress relief, relaxation and mental stimulation. It is not about winning money; this is a key element which is overlooked by those playing in real money casinos.
Additionally, real money casinos are heavily regulated and many countries forbid online gambling. Social casinos are not burdened by such restrictions. This provides access to millions of potential players and it has certainly played a part in the product’s overall global growth and popularity. It is also worth noting that 46% of social gamers are women, this percentage is far higher than with a traditional casino and this adds huge numbers to the target market.
What the Future Holds for Social Casino Gaming
With the combination of social casino gaming still being a relatively raw industry plus the huge strides in digital technology, the future landscape holds an amazing amount of possibilities for the direction(s) in which this niche will expand.
Live Dealer Table Games
These days, the majority of online real money casinos have a live dealer selection of games (many are noted on this website). They have been an overwhelming success and it won’t be long before they become commonplace within the top social casinos.
The cost of operating live dealer tables is far more than simply running a computer programme – this is why their introduction has been delayed. Yet, with possible solutions such as in-game branding, in-game purchases, and external advertising, these extra overheads will be offset.
AR and VR Social Casinos
It is quite plausible for social casinos to adopt augmented reality technology into its industry. For example by having scannable beer mats or paper napkins. Players can scan the object and play the game, either alone or socially with their friends in the bar/cafe.
Virtual reality will take social gaming into a whole new dimension as it becomes more mainstream. As this technology evolves and more developers begin using it, the sky’s the limit. On will go the headset and the player will be taken to the virtual casino – or even a replica of Caesar’s or the MGM Grand.
Couple the headset with authentic background noise – slots playing, jackpot sirens, croupiers at the roulette wheel and you have a true casino experience – one which will fully immerse the user.
Build Your Own Social Casino
15 years ago, building websites was something reserved for web developers and programmers. Now anyone can have their own site thanks to software such as WordPress.
The same process can apply to social casino gaming. Build drag and drop casinos from pre-designed templates, add games and invite your circle of friends to join. The extra privacy afforded will add to the comfort of social gaming. Of course, there can still be leaderboards, challenges and other socially engaging actions to partake in but it will only be one’s inner-circle of friends playing.
Those are just a few of the many options surrounding the development of this exciting industry. Have you tried any social casinos? We’d love to hear about your experiences and what you think of the games on offer.