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Social casinos: what are they and how do they work?

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You’ve heard of social media but what about social casinos?

The growth of social media

Social media sites have come a long way from their first incarnations but the idea behind them remains the same. They allow the sharing of thoughts and ideas through virtual networks and communities. In fact, they are now so well established that the virtual communities often morph into real-world groups, and many activities organized on a social media platform breakthrough to real-world gatherings and events. We have become accustomed to doing things together.  Collaborating on the internet. Getting approval and feedback for our posts, pictures, and stories. Collectively, a small idea can become something much larger on a seemingly infinite platform.

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The Growth of Gaming

Gaming has been changed forever by the internet. Video games may once have been seen as the preserve of the lonely child or teenager in their bedroom but now people can play along with their friends chatting and sharing experiences over a platform like Discord. Or take it one step further to Twitch where the gaming of some is live-streamed to the audience of many. While those who are watching can comment on the feed or even join in. Almost all online experiences are now interactive and sociable.

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Step into the social casino 

Social casinos are just that. An interactive, sociable gaming experience for people who love the excitement and thrill of casino games without the risk of playing for their hard-earned cash. More and more people are enjoying playing blackjack, poker, slots, and roulette. The statistics speak for themselves as you can see here on Time2Play. The average social casino gamer is female, in her forties, and from a middle-class background. Women make up two-thirds of social casino gamers, but it is a popular pastime amongst adolescents and young adults too.

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Down on the farm 

People may earn the virtual cash to play in the casino by carrying out tasks in a game on a social media platform. The original game platform for this was Farmville where people earned credits for looking after their virtual animals properly or through a variety of other farm-related jobs and assignments. While the rewards could be earned through dogged gameplay alone, they could be ramped up by players spamming their friends to get them to join in or by spending real cash to make things happen faster in the game. As the Farmville world developed, so too did what your rewards could be spent on. The social casino is now a key feature of the game, earning free spins and acknowledgment on the leaderboard, winning trophies, and exclusive badges. While the winnings can never be cashed into actual dollars the fun and thrill are real, as is the social recognition.

The social casinos are about playing with friends, linking up social media accounts, and sharing the experience, the fun, and the exhilaration, without having to spend any cash on those spins and wins.

A wide field 

While the largest number of people who enjoy social casinos are women, this is far from an exclusively female passion.  Grand Theft Auto introduced the Diamond Casino in 2019 where players can play blackjack, slot machines, and three-card poker. The winnings at the casino are virtual money that can be spent elsewhere in the game. Meanwhile, the new NBA 2K20 game now features casino-style games enabling players of the basketball game to unlock ‘player cards’ through slot machines and a wheel of fortune.

Legal almost everywhere

 Another great advantage of social casinos is that they are legal virtually everywhere. There is no need to worry whether a particular state does or doesn’t allow online gambling. An increasing number of US states are making gambling legal following a ruling by the Supreme Court which overturned a previous ban, but you still need to know which rules apply where.  There is no such headache with social casinos as there is no real wagering taking place and it is regarded in the same field as mobile gaming.

The owners of the social casinos can afford to be generous with the rewards and bonuses they offer. Unlike in a real casino, there is no cost to them, and the more fun you have the longer you will engage in their virtual world.

Spin into the future

Online casinos are about playing with real money to, possibly, win real rewards. Social casinos involve playing casino games for virtual rewards. Social casinos are very much about the social experience, about playing with friends and enjoying the fun without taking a risk.

Advances in technology have brought this about. It is hard to imagine what the next social casinos will look like, but the Metaverse promises to be a thrilling place…

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James Musoba
James Musoba
Studying Africa's startup and technology scene. I always look forward to discovering new exciting inventions and vibrant entrepreneurs.

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