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Social Casinos Hot Discussion Topic At NIGA Conference

The National Indian Gaming Association’s annual tradeshow and conference is taking place this week in Anaheim, CA. One of the first discussion panels was an educational session focused on social casino gaming and other forms of free-to-play games. 

Social Casinos Hot Discussion Topic At NIGA Conference

Traditional casino gaming operators get an inside look at social casinos

Many casino operators view social casinos as a form of competition, worrying that if users can play free-to-play slot machine games or other social casino games from their phones or tablets that they will be less likely to make the trip to a casino to play for real money. One of the first educational panels to open up NIGA’s tradeshow focused on how traditional gaming operators can work together with online social casinos, and how they are a benefit rather than competition for these operators.

Much of the discussion centered around utilizing social casino games as a marketing tool to attract customers with an interest in gaming as well as educate potential customers who are interested in betting but lack the confidence in their knowledge to take the plunge and plunk down real money on a wager. The point was also made that social casino gaming is an effective way for gaming operators to stay engaged with players after they have left the casino.

Ken Rhoman, Chief Marketing Officer for Wind Creek Hospitality, told NIGA attendees “Philosophically, there’s only so many hours a player can spend on a casino floor. How do we stay engaged with them when they’re off property without asking them to reach into their wallet? We quantify time on device and time on site. We’re not competing with other casinos, we’re trying to compete with Candy Crush, League of Legends, Fortnite etc. That’s our mission: to keep our customers engaged with our brand.”

Educating and acquiring customers

Joann Pierce of GAN Limited, a leading developer of online gambling software, offered some insight into how free-to-play games can be a low-cost way for paid gaming operators to acquire customers. While traditional methods of advertising typically involve a high customer acquisition cost like awarding a significant bonus or free bet opportunity for players, utilizing free-to-play online casino games can yield a similar number of new customer leads at a fraction of the cost.

Daniel Kustelski, CEO of Chalkline Sports, a purveyor of free-to-play games based around sports and sports betting, said that his company’s games often educate potential sports bettors that are not even aware whether or not sports betting is legal where they live. Kustelski also discussed how in addition to being less expensive as a marketing tool, free-to-play and social casino games can be more effective since they offer similar financial value but significantly more entertainment value to the end user as well as reaching a wider audience.

What is good for gaming operators is good for social casino players

Educational panels like this help traditional gaming operators see value in offering social casino games. This is great news for players who enjoy social casino games, as it creates the potential for marketing dollars that would otherwise be spent on traditional advertising or casino bonuses for high rollers to be diverted into promotional prizes for social casino players. Adding additional value to these social casino games creates more opportunities for players to win without risking any money.

Social casino gaming is clearly a popular endeavor for users to enjoy, and if the traditional gaming industry comes around and sees them as a symbiotic partner rather than a competitor, it can only mean better technology, a wider variety of games, and more valuable rewards for players. As the legal gaming industry continues to evolve and grow, it is clear that one way or another social casinos will be at the forefront.

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