The effect of the internet on our lives has been immense over the past decade. However, the pace of change is still accelerating fast in many industries. One of these is the gambling and casino industry. In recent times, online gambling has grown into a multi-billion dollar business, as casino houses have embraced the changes that come with the internet. They have drawn more and more users away from great console games, like Armored Warfare and Wildstar, and meant more people are spending Friday night in on the online tables.
With the rise of online gambling, the demographic profile of online gamers has shifted from predominantly young men, to include older men and women of all ages. This is unsurprising considering that the number of male and female internet users in Europe has increased by 80 and 60 percent respectively since 2004. The success that has greeted online gaming can be traced to better strategies by the gambling and casino houses, and better internet connectivity itself. It’s not just videos games that interests people into the world of gambling. Now that we have the option of playing Monopoly Casino games, the nostalgia becomes even more real- from board game to the online casino. With the arrival of 3G and 4G mobile broadband mobile gaming has become possible. Social networks have grown massively, and social media has become a great avenue to market for gaming marketers. Indeed, social media means that word of mouth advertisement is more powerful than ever. Instead of communicating with an enclosed group, talking about a service on social media can bring that service to the attention of hundreds, or thousands of potential players. How has the gaming industry used social media?
Use of Facebook
Gaming and casino businesses now use Facebook as a tool to drive fan engagement. Their efforts do not only increase fan interactions, they also helps drive users to create innovative marketing content for the business. Facebook events, where the casino awards its customers with free games, will get them new customers and spread the word about their business. Tools for sharing successes after a game on http://www.jackpotjanebingo.co.uk/sun-bingo/ are a clear strategy to attract interest from players’ social networks.
Use of YouTube
Internet video marketing is another creative method used these days. It is not surprising that many gambling and casino businesses are using YouTube to showcase what they have to offer. As gaming marketing videos go viral, or ads are displayed on 3rd party videos that go viral, millions of people can be touched in relatively little time; and with relatively little investment.
The progress of the online gambling industry has not gone down well with everyone. Some established brick and mortar gambling businesses that have refused to embrace the internet are fighting to curtail the growth. Some of the businesses have gone as far as funding campaigns to drive home their protests. A good example of this is the group known as the Coalition to Stop Internet Gambling. They are funded by a billionaire casino owner in Vegas, and are going about their protest by hiring lobbyists and consultants to pressurize the US Congress into outlawing competition from the internet. Interestingly, the group is co-led by former New York Governor George Pataki, who was fully in support of legalizing casino gambling in his state back in 1996.
Three main “dangers of internet gambling” advertised by some of these groups are enforcement of border laws, enforcement of age restrictions and addiction. The online gaming industry has, at least in part, addressed these fears. Many online gaming businesses have elaborate technology that allows them to verify the location of customers. Gambling addiction is being tackled through the use of automatic restrictions that kick in as soon as an individual reaches a self-imposed limit; not a perfect solution but certainly a start. There are also adverts on TV warning about the dangers of slipping into bad betting habits. Compulsive gambling addictions can be devastating to an individual as they fall deeper into the negative social and financial consequences of their addiction. Places like DayHab Melbourne Rehab can help in situations like this.
More states across the USA are expected to pass legislations that will legalize online gambling even in the face of these protests. With the companies getting cuter at marketing through the internet, and producing ever-more imaginative and engaging games, the online gaming industry seems to be a force whose time has come.