Social gaming is an interesting concept which has only really started gaining interest when the pandemic hit.
For people who would like to have the casino experience online, but are not interested in playing real money to achieve this, social casinos are the ideal destination.
However, these platforms actually have much which sets them apart from online casinos, and many aspects which perhaps even make them more interesting and attractive.
Slowly but surely, the social gaming industry is evolving and growing and the market for it has been flourishing in many countries. The most recent news revolved around Australia, which has made it to the top 5 most profitable countries for social casinos.
We discuss this in detail later on, but first, let's open our discussion on what is social gaming.
The ideal casino experience, enhanced by the social aspect.
Following the same concept of online gambling platforms, social casino allows players the opportunity to play a variety of traditional casino games such as roulette, baccarat, poker and even online slots.
Just like online casinos, virtual spaces have been created called social casinos which players can access either on a desktop or mobile device to log in and take a chance on their favourite games.
However, the main difference lies in that social casino is not as risky as online gambling, as players play using virtual credits and not real money. Although the concepts and rules of the games are all just the same, any wins or losses made are not real.
The idea is very similar to the demo or play for free mode which many online casinos offer.
In fact, social casinos are meant to imitate the idea of gambling online, without the possibility of people making financial losses.
Since there is no opportunity for players to make real wins they could withdraw, these casino games do not come with jackpot prizes or grand prizes. Winners are simply awarded further spins, coins and chips to keep their game going.
As is implied by the name of the activity, social casinos also incite more socialization and interaction between players, something which is often lost on online gambling platforms.
The idea of a society of online gamblers at a virtual casino is present, yes.
Players are aware that they are competing in tournaments against other registered members of the casino, playing live games with many players sitting at the same table and interacting with the dealer. Some casinos also offer a chat option for players to be able to interact.
However, admittedly the social element is not what online gambling has risen in popularity for, and it is certainly not the first thing that comes to mind when we think of online casinos.
How is the social element maintained on these platforms?
Firstly, several online casinos have started linking up with the most popular social media platforms in order to keep their players connected and create a space where they could interact, share and find possibilities to enhance their gameplay further through special promos.
We have already seen several casinos taking to Telegram, where they could create a channel for players to join, chat and keep up to date with what's going on at the casino.
Telegram is one of the safest and best encrypted social media platforms on the market, which is why most casinos choose this platform for their players.
In the context of social casinos, many platforms have branched out to more mainstream social media such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. Facebook is the most popular among audiences occupying a share of over 50% of the industry.
The reason why Facebook is the top social media for social casinos is due to the fact that the idea of social gaming on Facebook has existed practically since its formal launch as a mainstream platform.
Games such as Farmville, Words with Friends and even collaborations with major franchises such as The Sims Social, were the very first social games, which inspired the conception of social casinos.
The main focus of all of these games is the fact that despite playing alone, your gameplay requires interaction with other players. The progression of your game could depend on and be affected by the actions that your friends do during their gameplay.
Slots and casino table games produced for social casinos offer the same user experience as the social games described above, merged with the feeling of online gambling...for free.
This includes getting bonus credits, daily perks, free chips and spins too, just like at any regular online gambling platform.
Who is this industry most attractive to?
The social casino market seems to be most appealing to a demographic of people of older age, mostly composed of players over 50 years of age. This is a surprising and interesting discovery.
This means that the main audience for social casinos on desktop and mobile devices, the latter being the preferred and most popular method to access these platforms, is quite older than what we have become accustomed to at online casinos.
In terms of gender, there seems to be an equal amount of interest being shown in this activity by male and female audiences.
The source for this image is adjoe.
What justifies these results is the fact that this is a completely free online activity, with practically no in-app purchases or spendings necessary to be able to enjoy the game.
Normally, the only audiences willing to invest money in their gaming habits are professional or long-time gamers, gaming and gambling streamers, and online gamblers looking for a thrilling, risky type of gameplay which they get when wagering real money at their casino of choice.
The social casino industry is becoming increasingly more competitive.
Since social gaming is free and does not require any transactions to be made, it is a relatively safe online activity.
Social casino operators do not need to acquire a license to be able to accept members on their websites and distribute their services and products online.
Of course, this makes these casinos very easily accessible and a seemingly easier, safer option for online players.
As we often mention in our casino reviews, it's incredibly important to fact-check online casinos before joining and especially before sharing your bank account information on the platform in order to be able to make deposits and withdrawals.
But if you decide to play at a social casino, this is not something you would need to pay any special attention to.
Social casinos being established and easily accessible through social media is yet another plus for this branch of online gambling.
There is tight competition between social casinos and online casino platforms which require players to deposit real money to play.
Social gaming is slowly but surely becoming the preferred choice for players, and not only because it is free to play.
The social aspect of this gameplay makes players more motivated to engage with the product and spend time on the website of their casino of choice. This is something which is lacking at online casinos and for some reason, is still not being given enough importance.
At online casinos gratification is only possible when the player has made real wins, which they would still need to wager, possibly making significant losses again, before they can withdraw.
At social casinos, players are rewarded simply for progressing throughout their game.
Where has social gaming become the most popular?
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has recently released its 2022 annual report, Social Casinos in Australia and overseas, A market snapshot, which revealed the country's top position within the social casino industry.
As it stands right now, the United States make for the most significant social casino market, with American players making up 60% of the worldwide market.
Following North America, we have China and Taiwan, which is not surprising considering how popular social casino has become in Asia. The continent is witnessing the growth of this market in various regions including Japan, South Korea and even India.
The final two on the list are Australia and Canada!
The Australian social casino market generated a revenue of over 60 million dollars in 2021, and although this decreased by about 5 million in 2022, the report estimates that by the end of 2023 annual revenue will increase by 5%.
A direct correlation between the increase in popularity of social casinos and the pandemic has been theorised, based on how the interest of audiences in the industry skyrocketed in 2020 and maintained an annual global revenue of over 300 million dollars by the end of 2022.
This does make sense, considering that this was also the case for online gambling and sports betting.
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