The Difference Between Social And Real Money Gambling

September 6, 2013 | by Beatrix | posted in Articles

Two very similar worlds but different in a major way

If we were to take a look at some of the online gambling operators nowadays and their fight to enter the social gaming world, we would be under the belief that social gambling can be considered as a way to engage players and make them try the real money versions. At first sight, the two worlds look very similar and the profile of an average player does seem to be pretty much the same regardless if we are talking about free-to-play social casino games or the latest real money gambling offers.

The Difference Between Social And Real Money Gambling

Slots and other pure gambling games present the biggest similarities while games of skill, such as poker, can be a bit different. Some companies even considered social gaming to be better than the traditional means of playing online casino games given the huge number of users on social networks and the high activity rates. Despite all the theories on how social gambling is a gateway to real money gambling, there hasn’t been any data to prove that there is a stable link which operators can use to guarantee success in the two markets.

Real money gambling on Facebook

Very recently, a big step forward was made as Facebook started offering real money gambling offers. Users of legal age in certain countries can very easily access a variety of casino games right from their favorite social network. Gambling operators were not late to the party either as Betable quickly turned its free games into real money gambling options and Zynga looked to pursue a similar path by partnering with bwin. This seemed like the ideal moment in which we would see if social gaming can indeed be the future of real money gambling.

However, the results were not as impressive as many expected them to be. It may still be too early in the process to get some hard data, or it can simply be the fact that the gambling firms missed their shot during the social boom. Facebook users are not as engaged as they were just a couple of years ago and this can contribute to the weaker-than-expected results gambling firms received on the social network. It could also be that social games are free to play and nothing more. The majority of players that enjoy them are not real gamblers and have no interest in becoming such.

Gambling vs. Playing

If we were to break the concept down to its basic form, the customer experience can appear to be very simple. A gambler enjoys gambling and aims to win money while experiencing the rush of risking one’s own money. On the other hand, a gamer enjoys playing games; money is not the main focus, but entertainment, fun, bragging rights and various other things are. Money is usually at the bottom of the list for gamers; something that can be seen from the many players putting down real money to play free games.

From the perspective of a gambler, playing social casino games is like playing for free and there is no point to it. The social gamer thought process is exactly the opposite – why play for real money when you can play for free?

This basically wraps up the entire concept of social gambling vs. real money gambling. While the two can have a lot of things in common, the truth does seem to be that they are very different at their cores. Although some players can jump from one side of the fence to the other, the average players will most likely continue with their preferred options. Both sides are unlikely to be convinced to switch since they see the games in a different way.

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