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Social Casino games have experienced different levels of growth over the past two years, with their popularity being at all time high during the global COVID-19 pandemic. However, through all these transitions, they have remained a cost-effective and convenient alternative to land-based casinos and have introduced a new community of players to the iGaming sector. Knowing this, let’s take a look at social casinos and the potential benefits they pose for operators and affiliates alike.
To get added insight into the area, we spoke with SCCG Management’s Bobby Sophabmixay, Director of Esports Partnerships. If you are interested in social casinos and looking to expand your affiliate program, click on the link to see how you can work with SCCG Management: find here.
What are social casinos?
Social casinos offer free-to-play casino games that can easily be found on several social platforms and do not require real money, so players can experience the thrill of gambling without losing or gaining any real-world money. It originated as a form of gaming played over social networks. As a derivative of social media platforms, one can correctly assume that social casino games encourage interaction and foster a sense of community among its players.
Whether used for increasing brand awareness and loyalty, increasing exposure to a new genre of users, re-engaging lapsed patrons or converting players to real money players, social casino games can be a powerful tool in the operator’s marketing arsenal.
And from the affiliate perspective, Sophabmixay emphasized the opportunity social casinos present to North American affiliates “(considering the) limited legalization of online casino & sports betting, traffic from non-gaming states can be effectively recommended a similar product.”
Having witnessed the growing popularity of iGaming since the pandemic, it is no surprise that new products, genres and brands are constantly entering the market. Compared to other products, the social casino genre is categorically a major earner in the mobile gaming market. With shifting consumer preferences, evolving privacy policies, and heightened competition to grab market share, downloads of casino games dropped by 27% from 2020 to 2021. However, revenue grew by 8%, demonstrating the continued high upside of monetization in this category. Social casino games pulled in the second most revenue in 2020 and remained the third most downloaded in 2021 from all the casino game sub genres.
How to utilize social casinos to your advantage:
Social Casinos act as gateway between no-money and real-money casinos, acquiring new players you may not have otherwise had access to
Social casinos are visited by over 200 million users. This means if you advertise on social casinos, your brand awareness and recognition may increase drastically as compared to other advertising mediums on the web. These users are all potential customers whose interest of casual gaming can be converted to real-money gambling. How many of these players can be converted? According to the data pulled by Delaware North, anywhere from 2% to 10% of these players are likely to be converted to real-money casino players.Sophabmixay gives the example of Hard Rock's Unity Loyalty program as a way to introduce players to real-money games and convert them to real-money players.
Social Casinos build community
Like the functionality of live tournaments and leaderboards, social casinos provide a space for players to interact, connect and build relationships. It also allows players to share tips, strategies, and provides an environment where people can have fun without the pressure of losing real money. Overall, it makes the iGaming experience more enjoyable and introduces new players to iGaming in a low-pressure environment, making their transition to real-money casino games smoother. Similarly, Sophabmixay suggests that social betting can introduce a whole new market of players to your sport betting product, “with an easy transition from social betting to daily fantasy to sports betting.”
Social Casinos help predict future trends and formulate growth strategy
Social casinos facilitate micro-transactions and are a gold mine of data, as players entering such games and spending money do not do so with the expectation of earnings. Thereby they provide critical insights on loyalty bonuses, crossover games and gamers, their habits, before these preferences are apparent in real-money casino data, allowing operators to make data driven changes to their casino platforms. Additionally, the power of these social casinos comes from their ability to provide a network of growing user lists and potential partnerships.
A conclusion that the iGaming industry can take from the massive phenomenon of social casinos is that players respond positively to the enhanced social environment of social casinos. Getting to interact and connect with other players is very appealing to internet users. So, while social casino gaming can add to the growth of real-money casinos, integrating a social element into online casinos is critical to retaining these players and will become a necessity for all operators, be it through live deals games or tournaments.