One of the major recent trends of recent years is the surge of social media and its increasing integration with our lives. This has, of course, been helped by the development of the internet and mobile technology. As social networks such as Facebook have grown, developers are spending more resources into providing higher quality social games. If you take this trend alongside the fact that people are spending more time on Facebook, it is not hard to see why social games might become so popular.
Amongst the many games which programmers have designed for Facebook users, there is a substantial proportion of gambling/casino apps. By mid-2012, the proportion of casino apps on the social gaming market accounted for 13% of all Facebook players, a 5% increase from the previous year. This trend has shown no sign of slowing, and is helped further by consumers’ abilities to play mobile games.
Players are now able to choose from a massive selection of casino apps, coving nearly all games you could think of. Available of Facebook, you will find bingo apps, poker apps, blackjack apps, roulette apps, scratch card games and much more. For pretty much any game you could gamble on, there is a non-gambling version on Facebook. More recently, Facebook has begun to allow real-money gambling on some of their games. There was a concern that this might allow minors to access gambling apps, but the app owners and Facebook have assured that adequate age verification processes are in place.
Concerning the influence on the youth, many people have voiced concerns over the impact that this exposure to gambling from a young age will have on the younger generations. Many parents are worried that, by playing ‘free’ bingo, poker or casino apps, their children will become too familiarised to the concept of gambling, which could increase the chance of them developing addiction problems in the future. This logic makes complete sense, and the fact that many minors do not have any gambling experience by the time they are legally allowed is probably a good thing.
One possible benefit sought from the rise of social gambling apps is that they may act as a replacement for wagering with real cash. Instead of heading to an online poker site, and paying real money for your spot at the table, players have the options of playing Texas Hold’em Poker on Facebook. This would allow them to experience ‘some’ of the thrill of playing a game of poker without the chance of losing any money. However, this simply does not work. All the excitement which people feel from gambling games is the possibility of losing or winning money. Without this concern, the games are flat and seem pointless.
Bingo Friendzy was the first site to try out real money gambling earlier in 2013. Only time will tell whether they are making a tidy amount of money or not. If they are, many other profit-hungry app developers will be jumping on the bandwagon and opening up their virtual doors to real-money gambling, which will only exacerbate the problem.