Online community and online casinos are two of the biggest web phenomena these days. Twitter and Facebook have taken the entire digital world by storm, letting people from any corner of the globe get in touch with each other over common interests. Considering that one of the most active communities in the internet is the online gaming community, it had been only a matter of time before both of these worlds collided. And now, online casino providers are finding ways to integrate social networking mass media apps into their sites.
ShoutBox is a social networking app launched by Bwin, and it is becoming very successful, allowing online players to chat among themselves while playing casino games online.
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The app allows players to invite contacts to try games and participate in online tournaments, such as slots or poker tournaments. On the web gambling experts believe that this type of social network will become an integral part of the online casino of the future.
Online wagering sites that have not installed their own social media apps use existing social networking sites to keep current players interested and to bring new ones on board. Twitter accounts and Facebook Fan pages are ways casino operators expand their achieve, by using advertising promotions and responding to questions quickly. There are even games upon Facebook, such as Zynga Poker, that will web casinos use to drum up interest in their sites. Such online community tournaments allow players to compete for free while encouraging them to go to the owner’s gambling website.
But whilst Facebook is extraordinarily popular around the globe, in the UK, it is not as popular as online gambling itself. A the year 2010 survey by Nielsen reported that in the UK, the number of internet gamers increased by 40% over the previous calendar year, while the increase in UK use of social media marketing was significantly lower.
The UK is a world leader in online betting, so the numbers are not that astonishing. Other European countries are following carefully on their heels as most of European countries now has regulated web betting. When the numbers are broken down, it becomes clear that middle aged guys account for most of the increase in UK on-line wagering numbers, though women are usually big fans too, with poker and bingo being the most popular video games among the British.
Because so many of the internet gamers in Britain are middle aged, and because so many Facebook users tend to be younger, it may be that the mixture of social networking and gambling won’t take place on as large a scale until the casinos themselves build social network into the sites themselves.
Additionally , if the US eventually regulates online betting, making it clearly legal rather than moving into a somewhat vague legal status as it does in 2010, a number of UK gambling companies are poised to apply for permit to operate in the US, and this should get married to online gaming to social networking even more strongly.