Social media is one of the most useful tools to gain customer loyalty and is therefore essential for every industry. By using social media as an effective promotion tool, it is possible to increase sales, earn more leads, and consequently generate more revenue. This includes, of course, the iGaming industry: Like all other businesses, online casinos and casino game developers actively use social media. However, unlike many other sectors, they do not only use social media platforms as a “call-to-action” tool but also ensure that the services they offer (such as games) can be used on these platforms too. In other words, you can play casino games on social media (such as Vulkan Vegas slots) without visiting an online casino site. This is such a common practice that we now have a new term known as “social media gambling”. So, how widespread is this practice and what are its limits? Does it give players and developers a real advantage? We will try to answer all these questions by taking a close look at social media gambling.
Advantages of Social Media Gambling
The joint research conducted by Australian universities shows that social media gambling practices first started in 2012 and on Facebook. Some changes in Facebook regulations have allowed online casinos that already have an account on the platform to offer some of their games directly on Facebook. Of course, these are demo versions, that is, they are not played with real money and cannot give you real money. This practice has been going on since then and now covers almost all social media platforms. Moreover, even real money can now be used: We will discuss this in more detail below. The above-mentioned research reveals the following results:
- Social media platforms are used not only online, but also by land-based casino operators.
- Its use is usually limited to offering special promotions and demo versions of the games.
- Both online and land-based casino operators believe that social media is the ideal promotional tool because it allows for two-way communication. In other words, they can instantly learn their customers’ feedback. No other advertising medium offers this advantage.
- Both casino operators say they get new customers mostly through social media. In other words, the number of people who see their bonuses and games on social media and decide to become a member is much more than other advertising tools.
In other words, social media platforms enable more people to be reached with less budget and promotional activities to be more effective. Another research conducted shows that online casinos and game developers prefer Facebook the most. But Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and YouTube are quite popular too. In short, social media is a powerful advertising tool for online casinos. But how does it affect us?
What Does Social Media Gambling Give Us?
First of all, we can say that social media makes gambling much easier to reach. People who wanted to gamble in the past had to find an online casino, sign up for it, and make a deposit. Depending on your state or country, you could have a different problem at every stage of this process: For example, online casinos still do not have a legal infrastructure in Canada. Thanks to social media, there is no such problem anymore because anyone who has access to Facebook, for example, can also access online casino games. We leave it to the sociologists to decide whether this is a positive development or not. However, we can easily say that other companies use much more predator tactics compared to online casinos.
This means that, as per the rules of the social media platform, online casinos cannot offer real money play options and minor players are not allowed to play even the demo versions of their games. These are the kind of decisions that everyone will support and nobody has an objection. However, a studio can develop a “farming” game exclusively for Facebook and even a 5-year old child can purchase virtual items for real money in it. Most of these types of games use RNG mechanics just like casino games. We can even say that they are much more “brutal” because your chance of winning a valuable prize is much higher in slot games! In other words, the hypocritical attitude of social media platforms prevents social media gambling from reaching its true potential. We do not expect this to change in the near future, but social media will always be of great importance for the iGaming industry.