Club and hotels are not focused heavily at this stage on the changes that have led to increases in play on social gaming apps.  There is little opportunity to put a value on the impact of social gaming on clubs and hotels because there are no accurate data results within jurisdictions across Australia for this gaming segment. However, it is clear that many of the major manufacturers (Aristocrat, SG and more) are now earning more revenue from their social gaming sites, than they are by selling traditional poker machines. Most clubs have felt the bottom line loss of many demographic groups that could be making the choice to stay at home and play online instead of attending the local club.

Source: Aristocrat Leisure Limited Annual Report 2018

Below is an interesting overview from of just how large this market is becoming and how it works.

The Rise of Social Gaming

Social gaming allows players to play online any slot games or poker machine titles they enjoy for virtual and free credits, according to the terms and conditions. Let’s proceed to the guide with engaging stories, reviews, online casino games stats and plenty of examples!

A Word on Intriguing Statistics

Before we proceed to the definition and primary features of this game type, let’s talk about social online casino stats. These unique numbers should be helpful when it comes to the rise of social casinos.

First and foremost, it’s all about money. According to the link from Melior Games, the global market value of social games has tripled since 2011, and it now features more than $4 billion in revenue. Precisely, the breakdown by platforms and years looks pretty impressive:

  • Internet + Facebook: $265 million in 2016 compared to $412 million in 2019.
  • Mobile: $2.7 billion in 2016 compared to $3.9 billion in 2019.
  • Other platforms: $1.1 billion in 2016 compared to $687 million in 2019.

Note: other platform options include live gameplay from accounts registered in additional modern networks with a strong support from Instagram, Twitter, and more. A gamer can access thee products via phone (Android, iOS, etc.) as well.

As you can see, the share of mobile and web social casinos is growing, while other devices and systems give way to more successful alternatives. In total, the industry increased from $4 billion in 2016 to almost $5 billion in 2019. That’s a lot!

Still, another casino industry report mentions slightly different numbers. It estimates the worldwide social gambling market at $3.81 billion and predicts that it will reach $4.6 billion by 2020 featuring a 4-year CAGR of 5%.

Social Casinos in a Nutshell

It’s not a big deal to define the term because the name actually speaks for itself.

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission defines social gaming as the games of chance that come without real money or money-worth winnings. The same body also mentions another key point and states that social apps focus on interaction with other people. Generally, social casinos combine the approaches of social media and gambling to create a new concept.

A traditional social casino is a website with free access to casino games. But, it doesn’t feature real money gambling. To get the best experience, you should only register, get free chips, choose a game, and start playing. No deposits are required but no real money wins are provided, too.

Distinctive Features of Social Gambling

Let’s talk about social casinos in detail because the previous section may look too general. Overall, the sites that promote social gambling principles and opportunities have a few major features.

  • A “casino” element. At these websites, players can access familiar content, i.e. traditional casino games such as casino slots, roulette, table games, lotteries, and cards like poker, blackjack or baccarat. The selection is similar to other online gambling platforms.
  • A “social” element. These casinos focus on networking more than on playing experience. They often deliver complex leaderboards, performance comparison tables, challenges and milestones for players, and tournaments.
  • No real money. And the main difference between real-money and social casino sites is that the latter ones do not allow gambling for real cash. Instead, they feature free play modes available for any user with demo chips (they are also delivered as games for free).
  • More attention to interface. Finally, social systems engage users with different features. According to Newzoo, 65% of social casino players think that art style and appealing visual elements are important parts of all social games.

Summarizing this, we can say that social casino games are an attractive alternative to cash casinos because there are a lot of users that prioritize the play itself over the money earning. Playing games online in social systems is similar to enjoying video games. You don’t have to invest regularly to go through the storyline, open new chapters, and finish adventures. Social gamblers appreciate chatting with friends, competitions, and game stories, mostly.

The Importance of Social Gaming for the Industry

The numbers can help you understand why social casinos are on the rise and how they reshape the current gambling ecosystem. The already mentioned Newzoo report puts slot machines (33% for Australia, 31% for the USA, 20% for the UK) and poker tables (26%, 20%, and 19%, respectively) at the leading positions in the social gambling industry. British players like bingo titles more than other available games (26% compared to 15% in Australia and 16% in the USA).

Exploring the brands and markets, Newzoo lists five top social casino franchises that are the most popular among users:

  1. Big Fish Casino – 37%
  2. Bingo Bash – 35%
  3. BINGO Blitz – 35%
  4. 777 Slots Casino – 34%
  5. Zynga Poker – 29%

The last name should be familiar to most of the readers. Zynga is a company responsible for famous social gambling projects like FarmVille. This pioneer of the industry paved the way for new principles that turned into high-quality standards. Today, daily coins, free spins, gifts, events, competitive challenges, and many other perfect ways to feel the excitement without investing huge amounts of money are desired by customers.

For instance, social games are lightweight, simple to develop, pretty casual, and viral, as a rule. Developers can distribute their projects in a different way when compared to promotions of money casinos. Hence, it’s easy to test various gameplay things with social games before transforming these innovations into real money alternatives. Facebook-based games are wonderful sources of statistical information for the marketers.