You can get in your car drive to the closest land-based casino. It’s okay to gamble “in the real world.”
You can also play poker at a friend’s place.
You can even grab your iPad and place some bets on slot machines on an online casino application.
You have plenty of other options, too:
After all, social media is hard to turn off.
Why not have some fun with it?
Here’s a comprehensive guide to social network based casinos and gambling:
What Does “Social Gambling” Mean?
Social gambling is the act of gambling through apps in social media.
Recently, more online casino operators have launched games on such media as Facebook, Google+, and Bebo to reach a greater number of players (Facebook has the lion’s share of traffic, by the way).
Until social media game conglomerate Zynga launched their real money Facebook poker to players in the United Kingdom in 2014, all social media gambling apps were free-play only.
But Zynga changed everything.
Benefits of social media-centered online gambling include being able to play for free, being able to play in a browser at no download casinos, and being able to win real money prizes.
The Facebook Gods
Of all those gambling on social media, over 75% of people do so through Facebook. The remaining 25% use either Google+, Bebo, or MySpace.
Our guide focuses on the social gambling opportunities on Facebook.
According to the guidelines on Facebook, real money gaming is allowed only in specified countries and only after authorization by Facebook’s support team. As only a few countries meet the required criteria, the likely option is that the free games will remain and will continue dominating the social media gambling market.
A few of the most popular social media based casino games on Facebook include free play slots, free no limits Texas hold ’em Poker, and free play blackjack. Players can play on their own, play against their Facebook friends, or play against complete strangers, all from the comfort of their computer screen or mobile device.
Social media centered gambling is a multibillion-dollar industry.
And most games on Facebook and other social networks are free play.
How do they make money, then?
The workaround is the freemium concept, where the casinos offer players in-game benefits, their own currency types, and virtual goods purchasable with real money or “credits”.
Social casinos can attract millions of Facebook users on the daily. At least 20% of these millions of users each day pay real cash for these freemium features, benefits, and currencies. The online market for social gaming is still booming, and is only growing larger by the day.
15% of social gamblers typically spend at least one hour each day playing these games at work. The average age of a social media gambler is 40 years old. 46% of social gamblers are women; the remaining 54% are men.
The top 4 reasons given for social media gaming are:
- Relieving stress
- Stimulating the mind
- Enjoying social interaction
- Relaxing after a long day
Pros and Cons of Social Media-Based Online Gambling
Pros of Social Media-Based Online Gambling
- Most online social media gambling is free. Online casino players might have a tough time finding free casino games with their friends off social media. Social online gambling allows these players to enjoy free blackjack, poker, video poker, baccarat, craps, roulette, slots and much more.
- Players can play against their friends and family members. When playing at a normal online casino, players typically would have a difficult time finding their friends. Getting to the point where you are at the same table is another issue altogether. With Facebook online gaming, they can contact their friends whenever and play a round of craps with them at a moment’s notice.
- Social media based online gambling is a wonderful way to practice online gambling or to learn a new game variant without needing to spend any money.
- The bragging rights. When winning big at a Facebook or other social casino, players can easily share their good fortune with their friends with the simple click of a button.
- There are a plethora of games available to try from a wide variety of companies. Most online slot machines on Facebook are developed by indie developers, and most of these games are likely not available at any brick and mortar or online dedicated casino.
- Your voice can be heard. Reviews can be left for these social gaming apps straight from the platform being used.
Cons of Social Media-Based Online Gambling
- It’s hard to find slot machines that are of a good caliber. As we have mentioned, slot machine apps available on Facebook were likely developed by indie developers. While that’s a wonderful statement, any developer with a mid-level amount of skill could easily create their own online slot machine for Facebook. Because of this, the social media gaming market has been flooded with low quality and completely ripped slot machines.
- Most countries in the world won’t allow players on Facebook games to win any real money. This can be a boon if you are spending credits for additional plays. If you happen to be one of those 20% of players who spend real cash on the in-game benefits, goods, and currencies, there is no way to recoup that spend.
- Social media gambling isn’t all too social. Most online casino games offered through Facebook and other social platforms are single-player centric. However, poker is rising in popularity across all social media platforms, so this could easily change soon.
The Big Players in Social Media Based Online Gambling
There are 4 power players in the social media casino business:
- Big Fish
You’ve likely heard of or seen all four of these names before, and if you have a Facebook account, have most definitely seen advertising cross your news feed for these brands.
Boasting over 7 million active users each month, Slotomania offers players slots, and that’s about it. The company also has a mobile platform as well, allowing players to download an app on their iPhone or Android device and play Slotomania games on the go, with less battery drain than the Flash based in-browser option.
Likely the best-known gambling company operating on Facebook, Zynga has their hands in almost all niches of Facebook gaming, not just the casino market. Zynga’s launch of poker was one of the driving factors behind the massive spike in social media gambling. Some of their more popular games include Hit it Rich, Wizard of Oz Slots, Zynga Poker, and Zynga Poker Classic.
This social gambling casino attracts over 5 million active users monthly across Facebook. They offer a massive array of casino options such as slots, bingo, poker, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette and more. Also, the company has a mobile platform, allowing players to download an app on their iPhone or Android device and play DoubleDown games on the go, with less battery drain than the Flash based in-browser option.
Big Fish Casino
Big Fish is the power player when it comes to “rewards”. Whether it be a massive stockpile of bonus chips on sign up, or a plethora of free spins, bonus games, massive jackpots, free daily gaming options, and promo codes, Big Fish has it. The company has a mobile platform as well, allowing players to download an app on their iPhone or Android device and play Big Fish games on the go, with less battery drain than the Flash based in-browser option.