Social gaming or how to play safely in a casino?.
Often, when people hear the word “casino,” something that immediately comes to mind is gambling and involves money, including cash prizes and monetary losses. But what if I told you that there are casinos that exist without these characteristics just for fun?
Have you ever played cards or poker on Facebook? Just for fun. Or have you played other card games on a PC or mobile device like Hearthstone from the famous developer Blizzard or World Poker, which can be freely downloaded on Google Play or the App Store?
These are all elements of the so-called “social gaming” – a unique gambling trend that is an alternative solution to gambling, including for those countries where gambling is prohibited. What is interesting about this type of entertainment is that it does not provide the opportunity to play or gain/lose real money, but only provides the opportunity to earn and spend game currency, earn statuses and other in-game privileges.
The concept of social casinos is different from traditional gambling. Players play only for the sake of gameplay, participating in quests and sweepstakes, obtaining achievements, analyzing the plot, and defeating opponents. Gamblers often count on monetary rewards.
What advantages do social casinos have over real casinos?
- lack of cash payments (monetary risks), which means lack of motivation for the development of gambling addiction (gambling addiction)
- accessible to people who do not play for moral, religious or other personal reasons
- available for countries where gambling is strictly prohibited due to the absence of an element of gambling
- more variety of games
- no need to obtain special permits (licenses) from competent authorities (regulators)
The mechanics of the social casino itself are no different from a real gambling casino. All principles of randomness must be observed. Participants in social casinos thus have the opportunity to try their luck without losing anything except the time spent playing. To maintain user interest, various kinds of in-game prizes such as ranks, game coins, statuses, or new rounds are often integrated.
Where is the income from this type of business?
It all lies in the income models – pay-to-win or freemium. Such casinos offer games for free, but encourage people to spend real money for additional entertainment: ranks, levels, new characters, the amount of in-game currency (donations without the possibility of further withdrawal). Also, social games often offer viewing of advertising videos to receive rewards or bonuses. Thus, social casinos are among the most profitable.
This kind of business is much safer and simpler than real traditional gambling, which requires special permission, a number of policies (AML/KYC, Responsible Gaming, Underage Policy) and so on, which significantly complicates the very concept of doing business, increases the time, budget and complexity of its creation and management.
Social casinos are more regarded as online arcade games that can be played by a person of any age without the risk of rash financial losses and addictions.
Social gaming could potentially be used as a form of cross-selling to attract social gaming audiences to online casino platforms. Additionally, social gaming also has a certain appeal in markets where online casinos are prohibited by law. For example, in Australia, large iGaming operators offer modified versions of their online casinos (without withdrawal options), simulating the experience of legal social casinos. This allows them to legally earn income from closed markets without having to create a product from scratch.
In 2015, the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) concluded that social gaming did not pose any significant threat to behavior characterized as excessive gambling. In a 2019 statement, the Commission also made it clear that casinos with social games will not be subject to regulation, provided that the operators demonstrate social responsibility.
Therefore, this trend may well show itself well as an element of your business, bringing legal income from a quality product. Judging by the forecasts, social gaming is here to stay and revenues will only grow. Operators are developing new products, and leading brands in the gambling industry (both online and land-based) are thinking about creating their own social products that will serve as tools for promotion.