Casino Games Online Free that mimic gambling are an extremely popular and lucrative new phenomenon, but there have been concerns about how innocent the games actually are. Our recently published study found that social casino games can make some vulnerable players feel like playing for real money, while others can be a useful distraction.
Social Casino Games Online Free are games that look, sound, and play like gambling, but they do not pay out real money or encourage players to connect to their online networks through social media. In 2012, an estimated 173 million people were playing these games every month, and that number is growing by 24% per year.
The convergence of social media, gaming, and gambling is a very new phenomenon, and we do not understand the impact this has on people and their health, as well as on their wallets. Not only do people lying in bed at night play imaginary slot machines, but many of them also pay for more “coins” to play. Social online casino gaming is one of the most lucrative social gaming genres and is expected to generate $ 4.4 billion by 2015.
Our research shows that there is some overlap between players and social Casino Games Online Free media players. We found that approximately 13% of players also played social games at casinos. These players were more likely to be younger and played online games and were also more likely to have problems with gambling.
Technology and industry are far ahead of regulators, and these games have left politicians around the world racking their brains. Australian anti-gambling senator Nick Xenophon has tried on several occasions to ban social online casino gaming. In its 2012 review of the Interactive Gambling Act, the Department of Communications acknowledged gambling as a concern but recommended that its impact be “carefully monitored”.
For our study, ten social Casino Games Online Free media players, six of whom are male, were recruited to conduct in-depth interviews. Eight also played land-based gambling and four online.
Growing challenges for some players in Casino Games Online Free
Only one participant, a problem gambler, stated unequivocally that her experience of participating in social online casino games led her to gamble. She described how her constant participation in gambling led her to find real gambling opportunities:
And then I just decided that I would do it … I could just as well have played online slots for real money.
Other participants who have already experienced gambling problems reported that social media games and online advertisements are constantly reminiscent of gambling. Participants reported that every time they used Facebook, they were flooded with “relentless” ads and messages. Several participants discussed that they were being offered free loans to begin with, and that the offers for more loans were ongoing.
These constant signals can provoke gambling and make it difficult for people trying to limit themselves to control their gambling.
Social and low risk as well as good practice in Casino Games Online Free
Online ads and social media posts work. Participants reported that they are more likely to start playing social online casino games in response to invitations from their friends and family via social media.
These social Casino Games Online Free connections have been instrumental in motivating players, which is similar to the social motivation that players often call to start playing. Many internet gamblers report that they first learn about it through word of mouth or through the recommendations of friends.
For some participants, social online casino gaming was a way to enjoy gambling without having to place wagers and was a low-risk activity. Some reported using games to learn about gambling as a “training ground” before moving on to gambling.
At least one participant knew that the odds of playing social casinos were not up to par with actual gambling. This is important because gambling at higher payout rates can build confidence and lead to higher rates in subsequent gaming sessions.
Role in harm minimization of Casino Games Online Free
Positively, some participants reported playing games in an attempt to:
Restrain your urge to gamble for real money.
Several participants reported playing games instead of gambling when they were short on funds or to cut back. Another explained that:
It’s good for me to go there and just lose everything. It reminds me that I’m not doing anything good when I go and play slot machines myself.
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