A growing trend is the number of “brick-and-mortar”casinos to offer online casinos from their websites. These games are for fun and not like true online gaming where you use real money and can possibly make real money like an actual casino. However, for the most part, internet gambling is illegal in the US, except a few states which allow internet poker within state borders. That and whether Daily Fantasy Sports is gambling is another topic for another date. (Yes, it’s gambling.)
Two years ago, only three casinos in New England offer a social gaming site as well – Foxwoods, Mohegan Sun, and Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway. Wednesday, we will look at the social gaming available now through our seven New England casinos. Today, we look at social gaming at it is in general.
Social Casinos, either from a casino website or through the many apps available, seem to be thriving. They are more like playing casino games without real money. However, the player can buy more credits to continue playing.
Why play at all if it’s not real gambling? According to Casino.org, people can play for free in their browser or smart phone almost anywhere, and win real prizes. “Facebook is the most popular social media platform for online games… [and] Out of all of the people who gamble on social media, 61% of them do it on Facebook.”
According to GamblingSites.com, social gaming companies use different strategies to get you to share and come back to play their games:
- Continuous goals. – You are given different goals to achieve, each one harder and more time consuming than the last. Each action you take will push you towards a goal that can lead to higher gaming capital.
- Gaming capital. – This comes in many forms, such as badges, trophies, accolades and achievements. These can be earned by playing or by completing tasks, such as sharing the game or your results to your profile.
There are casinos with their own mix of games, and there are others that specifically represent a slot company. A quick review of the favorites include:
Slotomania – Slotomania offers slots, slots, and more slots, all on multi mobile platforms. None of their slots can be found in brick-and-mortar casinos.
CaesarsCasino – This online casino is connected to the Caesars Entertainment, formally Harrah’s & Bally’s. It includes blackjack, roulette, video poker & baccarat as well as tons of slots from numerous slots makers. Casino promotions with extra credits are offered. It is also connected to their rewards program, Total Rewards. You can convert your Online Reward Credits to cash deposited directly into your account. For every 1,000 Reward Credits converted, they will add $10 to your available cash balance.
Double Down Casino, – They offer a whole slew of options: free slots, free bingo, free poker, free video poker, and free blackjack, all on Facebook. Not only that, but you can also download their mobile app and do some gambling on your mobile device (smartphone or tablet). Everything is free at DoubleDown Casino. They offer mostly IGT based slots. DD has slot, VP and other tournaments daily.
myVegas, – myVEGAS was named “Best of 2016” by iGaming Business and eGaming Review. It features exclusive freebies and bonuses with MGM partners like BELLAGIO, ARIA, MGM GRAND, CIRQUE DU SOLEIL, ROYAL CARIBBEAN, VDARA, MIRAGE, NEW YORK NEW YORK, and CIRCUS CIRCUS. They also include offers from other sources not affiliated with MGM, such as Stations Casinos (Las Vegas), Gray Line Tours, Genting Gaming, Royal Caribbean, and more. There are also two other myVegas sites, one for just blackjack and the other featuring Konami slots, such as “China Shores.”
Jackpot Party, & HotShotCasinoSlots (Facebook) feature IGT / Scientific Games slots, similar to Double Down Casino, but offer slots only. Jackpot Party was Williams Interactive’s entry into the world of social casinos before they were consumed by Scientific Gaming. Progressive slots are featured daily.
Aristocrat’s Heart of Vegas features features slots made by Aristocrat Gaming, originally from Australia. You will find Buffalo, MoreChili, Wonder 4, and many more of your favorites made by Aristocrat. Progressive slots are featured daily.
Is there a downside to social gaming? – Many, such as Dr. Mark Griffiths, a Professor of Gambling Studies at Nottingham Trent University’s International Gaming Research Unit, think it might lead the person to signing up to a real money casino with unrealistic expectations. Or, maybe manipulate them into buying in-game purchases to try to win more often, since “the behavioral and social conditioning of social slots and gaming is no different to real-money gambling, apart from the fact you’re not “risking” real money.”
Another downside, considered by communities around the country with casinos that also offer “free” social gaming is the consideration of addiction – addictions that don’t have to come down to winning or losing money. But that “addiction can also come in the form of time spent. The time you lose playing these games can have a negative impact on your life, too,” so says Dr. Griffiths.
More research needs to be completed before conclusions are found. But one thing is for sure – it has become big fun for players, and big money for gaming companies.
Wednesday, we look into the social gaming sites offered by New England’s casinos. Tomorrow, we pause from the playing and turn to ComiConn at Foxwoods.