Online casinos and gambling sites are faced with a new set of challenges in 2017. High among these is the ability to attract a younger audience to register online, as they cannot rely on an existing aging customer base. The problem for online betting sites is that this new millennial generation is just not attracted to many of the core real money gambling games. This means that these sites have to find new and innovative ways of attracting this very lucrative audience. Previous generations were far more likely to place bets on sporting events or to visit casinos in person, but the millennial generation has grown up with online social gaming and video games instead. This means that modern casinos must try and find a way to complement their sites with the traits of social gaming which have been proven to work. Already, online real money gaming sites are starting to adopt this strategy.
One of the market leaders when it comes to the ‘gamification’ of the online casino, is Scandinavian outfit @Casumocasino. Since arriving in 2012, this site has been a model of creativity and ingenuity, and it has proved extremely popular with that elusive younger demographic. As soon as you visit this site you will see that it is far from the traditional model of an online casino. Many older online casino sites attempt to take the aesthetic of a land-based casino and use that for the online version. However, companies like Casumo have realised that an online casino doesn’t need to slavishly imitate a physical casino in order to be successful. Casumo have managed to create their own world, populated by charming cartoon characters. This is one betting site where the elements of fun and entertainment are prioritised.
There are various ways in which Casumo has tried to replicate the social gaming experience. One example is their use of tournaments. The casino runs regular competitions throughout the day, allowing players to compete against others in order to win cash prizes and free spins. The leader-boards allow players to see where they rank, and introduce a fun element of competition which is similar to that found on social games. Another way that Casumo stands out from the crowd is by the way their rewards system operates. Remember, the actual games on the site can be found on numerous other online casinos. The genius here lies in the presentation. As you play games at Casumo, you earn points and gradually ‘level up’, another trait borrowed from the video gaming world. As you move to new worlds by accumulating points, you will be rewarded with gifts like free spins and cashback offers. It makes for a very clever and entertaining way to run a loyalty scheme, and is a fantastic way to keep your customers playing those games.
Another interesting development is that we are seeing the typical online casino games changing as well. There are new games providers springing up which aim to provide a new type of game, again with the intention of luring a younger audience. So-called skill based games have been appearing in both physical and online casinos in the past couple of years. These are, as the name would suggest, games where an element of skill is involved. At the very minimum, a skill-based game will allow the player to have an input into the outcome of the game. Now this does not mean that a skilful player will win every time, because the games will still feature a house edge. However, more skilful gamers will achieve better results over time. Offering real money versions of video games like basketball, first person shooters and traditional games like Pac Man is a great way to attract younger players.
Naturally, the mobile market is key to the success or otherwise of online casinos. These days, more people use their phones to access the internet than any other device. Online casinos want to feature on people’s phones as another form of entertainment, activated at the touch of the screen. Games are designed to work perfectly on smart phones, and graphics and animation of the best games are miniature works of art. We can expect more online casinos to follow Casumo’s lead in terms of the gamification of online gambling. Indeed many already have, with sites like Rizk and Thrills offering their own versions of the gambling as gaming experience. Expect also to see more integration with social media, as the online gambling world will have to tap into that rich source of potential customers. The online casinos of the future will look very different to the traditional model, with new technology like virtual and augmented reality sure to feature strongly. It is going to be very interesting to follow the development of this fluid and exciting industry.