In this article we take a look at social casino games. Perhaps surprisingly, social casino games are a rapidly growing segment within the gaming and entertainment sector. Initially only an online gaming option, we are now starting to see some cross-over into mainstream casinos who are looking to social casino games to help build their entertainment offerings to visitors.
What are social casino games?
Unlike traditional forms of gambling, social casino games are free to play and you can’t actually win any money. Players are attracted by the entertainment and engagement offered by the games – motivated to keep playing by the accumulation of virtual currency and discussing their games in online communities and forums.
What is the potential of social casino games?
Current estimates put the value of the social casino games at around USD$3.4 billion, with some projections forecasting that they will be worth over USD$4 billion by 2017. That’s a substantial (and growing) proportion of the total casino games market valued at around US$91 billion.
What are some of the trends that we are starting to see emerging in the social casino games market?
Increased focus on skill: Most social casino games began as random games of chance, but there are an increasing number of new games being released that involve skill-based play. This will help to broaden the appeal into a younger demographic.
The emergence of live dealer social casino games: Taking online gaming to the next level, human dealers can be incorporated into a social casino game to add to the entertainment factor. Poker is the obvious game to adopt this feature, but most casino table games would benefit from live dealer interaction.
Devices are changing: As the technology of our devices changes and evolves, this is shaping the way that social casino games are being developed. The rise in big-screen smartphones is seeing a decline in iPad sales. The emergency of smart-watches also creates design challenges for the online casino market.
The social element of social casino games is key: Industry research is showing that those games that support user interaction and help to create a community of users, deliver better performance and engagement.
The big boom is expected to be in Asia: Social casino games developers are expecting to see a big growth in player usage from Asian countries such as China and South Korea.
Social casino games are not just for online players: Mainstream casinos are already investigating opportunities to incorporate social casino games into their on-premises offering. The casino of Las Vegas are leading the charge in this respect, looking to boost their reputation as an entertainment destination by increasing the range of games available to casino visitors, and bringing some of the levels of engagement that has been achieved by online games into the physical casino environment.
Casino games are changing
Casino games are no longer just about winning and losing money. The world around us is evolving rapidly and so is the ancient pastime of gambling.