Freddi Nilsson is a market analyst at Casinodealen.se, a Swedish online casino comparison site. As an analyst he studies market conditions and consumer behavior, keeping an eye on new innovations in the iGaming world and how they fit the market. He started his career in the gambling industry at LeoVegas, before moving on to affiliation.
The iGaming industry is constantly in motion, new casinos, new games, new betting features, and new payment methods are popping up almost every week. All of this is done to deliver the best experience possible for players. But is this really what the players want?
Whether it’s online casino or sports betting, payment options, withdrawal times, game providers, and betting features are certainly important factors for players when they choose where to gamble. However, there’s a new trend emerging, one that could help the iGaming industry more than intended, namely social gambling.
The gambling industry is in the entertainment sector. Therefore, casinos and sportsbooks are competing against each other as well as against other entertainment sources. Netflix, golf, FIFA, and whatever else people like to do for fun. The question therefore is - where should people spend their entertainment budget and why should they choose to gamble?
Social gambling may be the answer iGaming operators are looking for.
Social gambling is an area where many innovations are taking place, attracting investments from many of the big players. To further explain what this really is, a few products and companies deserve to be highlighted.
Share your bet on social media
Kindred recently announced ShareBet for its Unibet brand, which allows players to share their betslip on social media. Part of Kindred Group CPO, Erik Bäcklund’s comment on the innovation included:
“The advantage of our players becoming content creators has become a fascinating topic of discussion at Kindred.”
Streaming slots on twitch
Casino streaming community CasinoGrounds.com is another great example of a company that is looking to make gambling more social, aiming to also break the taboo by being more transparent. They play with sensible bets, talk about the importance of bankroll management, provide opportunities for players to get help and also show their losses. Casino Grounds is one of the early adopters of social gambling, only launching in 2016.
It should also be noted that the slot streaming world is polluted with players who are playing with fake money and placing insanely high bets, which is counterproductive. But that’s another story.
SharedPlay is a company founded by former LeoVegas casino director, Karolina Pelc. Earlier this spring LeoVegas, through LeoVentures, invested in SharedPlay. According to their website, SharedPlay is the gaming industry’s first B2B solution with a SaaS model that makes it possible to offer multiplayer mode. It also states that “SharedPlay will offer a cutting edge technology solution allowing players to play together, share the excitement of the game and interact with each other through a variety of social features.”
Fantasy sports betting
Fantasy sports betting is another game that fits the bill. It perfectly combines betting and entertainment as you aren’t playing against the bookmaker but rather against other players. It’s a way to acquire new players that are familiar with fantasy sports but maybe not with gambling. Scout Gaming is the premier B2B provider of fantasy sports betting in Europe and given their various new partnerships it’s clear that demand for fantasy sports betting options is higher than ever.
A new standard
Maybe calling social gambling a paradigm shift is an exaggeration, only time will tell. However, it’s the most interesting trend the iGaming industry has seen for a long time and it has the potential to be an important part of the future’s new normal. In addition, it can help change the way gambling is seen and put it in a different light.