Social Casinos: The Next Big Thing?
Farmville, Casino Crush, Criminal Case… We’ve all gotten the invites on Facebook and many of us complain about them. But someone is sending those invites, right? So what’s all the fuss about?
The fact is, there are now roughly 173 million gamers worldwide, with projections for social casinos revenue in 2015 pegged at a staggering US$ 2.5 billion. This article gives a brief breakdown of what social casinos games are, how they work, and why they have changed the face of the online gaming and casino industry forever.
What are Social Casinos?
It wasn’t that long ago that the biggest thing to hit the casino and gambling industry since the slot machine came out – the online games. Then, in 2011-2012, just when everybody thought that things couldn’t possibly get any more high-tech, the age of social casinos emerged.
Once again, Facebook – and co. – had changed everything. But perhaps it shouldn’t have come as much of a surprise. Social media have infiltrated virtually every other area of modern-day living, why not gambling too?
In short, social casinos are websites that offer social games, in which players can compete against friends on their social media networks – and sometimes strangers too – for fun. Pretty much anything goes. The only one rule is that no actual money is ever paid to winners.
That’s the important part: social casinos are NOT online gambling sites. As a result, they are not subject to the same restrictions as real-money casinos, which is one of the major reasons why they are seen by many as the next big thing in online gaming.
What Social casinos Games are Like
Because social casinos can’t draw players with the promise of life-changing real-money jackpots, they have to put a great deal of effort into the quality of their offerings. Of course, this means that social casinos games tend to have striking visual interfaces and impressive game play.
Current trends in social casinos are genre mash-ups between strategy, adventure, RPG, multi-player, and strategy, as well as tournaments and time-pressure games. Players can even play many social casinos games across different media platforms.
The greatest appeal of social casinos is that they give players exactly what they want. The top social casinos publishers – including Williams Interactive, Buffalo Studios and BitRhymes – invest sizeable chunks of change in advanced data analytics to track player preferences to adapt accordingly – and constantly.
What the Law Says
Although there are entities in the industry who feel that stricter regulations are called for, their concerns have generally fallen on deaf ears so far. Of course, each country has its own approach but the general consensus at this point is that little legal intervention needs to take place. That also means no age restrictions.
Where to Find Online Social Casinos
Via social media sites, of course! Facebook is currently the most popular platform in this regard since its extensive user features make it ideal for social casinos to interact with players.
Many real-money gambling software developers have also jumped on the bandwagon to gambling sites that offer their games may also link to social casinos games. The Apple App Store and Google Play also have plenty of social casinos games on offer.
Are there Any Costs Involved?
Aside from the possible minor expense of downloading a paid app, players are never spend a cent on social casinos. The sites tend to make their money via advertising. However, players often have the option to buy items like multipliers and other add-ons to enhance play and bump them up the social casinos ranking ladder.