Gone are the days where traditional online casinos only offer poker and blackjack. All modern internet casinos have dedicated much of their online games to capture the scratch card and instant win games which have become increasingly popular.
So much so that many land-based casinos have been forced to deal with the reality of a possible decline in profits as more people choose the more accessible form of internet gambling.
The old saying “if you can’t beat them then join them” is what many casino companies are adopting. There is a growing trend of major U.S. gambling companies who are looking to online networks like Facebook in order to establish a presence in virtual gaming that includes casino-based games. This is in the hope to attract the millions of virtual online players to the real-money players when online gambling is fully legalized in the U.S.
Nevada’s decision to issue online gambling licenses is the first of many states who will benefit from internet scratchcard revenues. Added to this is the ability of scratchies to attract all types of gamblers because the traditional scratch ticket is familiar and popular with everyone.
Slotomania is one such online virtual casino game which is owned by Caesars Entertainment and is popular on Facbook. Another major move was the release last week of Ultimate Poker by the Fertitta Brothers which is also a virtual online poker game on Facebook. Their branding of The Ultimate Poker is no coincidence as the Fertitta brothers also own the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC). This connection between sports and online poker is a winning combination as research shows that the target audiences of these two activities comprise of the same demographic market.
As we have reported in the past, the gap between social gaming and social gambling like online scratchies is narrowing by the day. Modern online gambling is considered by many as a great way to relax. Scratch cards in particular have a strong social theme as is clear to anyone who start playing sports or casino based scratch games.
These social games on Facebook are also aimed at promoting and boosting tourism on the Las Vegas Strip. An example of this is the Riviera who released their Bingo Blitz virtual game which attracts over 3 million users on a monthly basis.
CEO of Riviera, Andy Choy explained the rationale of partnering up with online virtual casino games,” Hopefully, there’s some crossover between people who play the game at home and vacationers who are planning to come here. The hope is they will have a positive view of the Riviera from playing the game online.”
The online virtual gaming market in itself is a major revenue generator for traditional casino companies. Although many of these virtual casino games are only free-to-play with no real money exchanged, many people spend thousands of dollars on buying virtual chips and other virtual products. There are estimates that this virtual gaming industry generates over $38 billion annually.
With many of these social games attracting younger players, the real money mobile gambling markets like mobile scratchies are set to enjoy a loyal fan base. Many younger players exclusively utilize smartphones and tablet devices to enjoy their online gambling. All major casino and scratch card sites have dedicated mobile sites which enable this growing sector to scratch and win at the pace they choose.
The real aim however of all of these land based casinos getting involved in social based casino games is the potential to convert many of their millions of loyal players to real money gamblers when online gambling becomes legal in all U.S. States. With last week’s developments in Nevada this scenario is no longer a theoretical one bas online gambling has for all intensive purposes already begun in the U.S.
The question industry experts are asking is if the brick-and-mortar casinos will be able to compete with the accessibility and ease-of-use of the online gambling options?
If scratchcards are anything to go by, then there is definitely enough market share for both the traditional and modern to co-exist. Many people still enjoy buying their scratch off tickets at their outlets while others choose the online version to change their winning fortunes.