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Why Build a Social Casino?

March 15 admin

Another Social Casino?

What is a social casino? For those of you that don’t know, it’s a Casino built for social networks that sells virtual currency/coins as their revenue model. Social simply comes from ‘social network’. Think Double Down Casino, Zynga Poker, Double U Casino, Slotomania, Slotspot,, Best Casino, SlotCity, Casino Zone etc.

So, does the world really need another one? If you are into the gaming space, you might be quick to dismiss the news of yet another social casino about to launch. Yes we know how you feel and agree it only holds lack-luster excitement, if any at all these days….plus most developers in this space also know that social casino players (especially ones on Facebook) have a short LTV (life-time value) compared to real money and all come from literally the same marketing channels. So how do you differentiate and why are there still so many popping up?

There are many reasons to why one would build a social casino and some include:

  • Land-based casinos need SMM (social media marketing) channel
  • Great marketing funnel (new users > real money player)
  • Great brand extension for existing gaming brands/casinos
  • Leverage an exisiting brand / story line by integrating popular & familiar game mechanics
  • Cater to the needs of a related wider customer base
  • Great way to connect with fans (be engaging and socially involved)
  • Great advertising partner (less threatening/ non-intrusive)
  • Data, data, data! Great way to collect analytics/player data (Eg. Real world test of the popularity of machines before they go live on casino floors. Learn how users interact with the machines – data collecting that was otherwise almost impossible/too expensive to replicate in live testing scenarios)
  • Build a highly targeted email / player database
  • Real money markets may open up and many companies are looking for opportunities
  • Social Gamers like variety (ave. churn of a social casino gamer ~ 4 months) so there is still opportunity to build a great business
  • A great platform to innovate new and creative ideas for the future of gaming
  • Casinos and casino games are going nowhere soon! People love slots, blackjack, poker etc. and will continue to play as long as it is available.
While these are all great reasons to build a social casino, building it and making it a stand-out success is another story. There are many things to consider before building a social casino business as it is saturated and the viral channels that once made them flourish are now virtually tapped out and quality player installs are over-priced (Up to $3/install for very highly targeted monetizing traffic). It is very important when designing a social casino to properly implement viral channels, have a unique game design which can/will leverage a fan base so you can drive down customer acquisition costs significantly.

Staying Realistic

As a designer of a HTML5 social casino on the brink of launching on Facebook with a very modest marketing budget, it is hard for me to look at all the hard work, and still be realistic enough to see the “glimpse of almost inevitable” fail about to happen after launch. As contrary to what people say about being a successful entrepreneur, you have to believe! believe! believe! in your product and to always think ‘positive‘, so much that it can’t and won’t fail. Well, my ‘standing-outside-looking-in’ view couldn’t be further from negativity. In fact, having a realistic ‘it is what it is’ approach – I feel I am able to ask the right questions on how to move forward in planning and actually take the company to success given the situation. Call this a standing in truth if you will.

Questions I might ask are: 

  • What can we do better with the limitations we have?
  • What are the minimum viable game pieces that we can launch with or without?
  • What do we focus on first?
  • How will we make the most of our small marketing budget?
  • What is the most effective strategy to employ after launch?
  • What are our goals short and long term goals?
  • Why are we doing if we know we can’t compete with the best?
  • What are our exits strategies?
  • What are our options here for JVs or partnerships?
  • How can we better our product technology? Mobile?
  • How can we create other opportunities with our products?
  • What is our competitive advantage? What do we offer that no one else can? What is our one thing?

By doing this kind of forward thinking and questioning, we are better able to continue innovating, adding new pieces and waste less time in the ‘inevitable fail’. We can be proactive in actually moving forward, making changes that make sense, making changes that better our product whether it be technology, UI, UX, innovation, new concepts, new ways of working etc. In other words, think of building the casino gaming platform as a foundation…how you take it, shape it, grow it, market it etc., is a whole different level of science. As we like to say, launching is when the real work begins.

Cave of Wonders - Lucky Lady Casino Slot Machine 1

The Social Casino Industry 2013

The social casino space as it currently stands (March 2013) is extremely crowded and difficult to thrive in and it is only going to get worse. Even popular titles from previous year that had millions of players are now down in numbers and retention of players as well as customer acquisition costs continue to rise and be a challenge. This however also tells us that there must be opportunity present… and there is alway room for great products, no matter how saturated the market is. (Google MirrorBall Slots!)

  • Casino titles monetize at double the rates as other social game titles
  • Top key markets continue to grow North America ($698M:2012 to $1B:2015), Europe ($418M:2012 to $591M:2015)

SRC: Social Games Summit

Building a social casino these days, you almost need a secondary motive beyond monetization to WHY you are building a social casino to make it worthwhile. 

To be successful in social media of all sorts including games, you need to stay agile and continue to flow.

So after reading all of this and you still want to get into the social gaming casino business, feel free to hit us up! We have many options available from custom to white-labeling. Our platform is also built in HTML5 meaning it is cross-platform and browser friendly.

Until next time… keep designing, programming, innovating, surviving,


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