Gamification in an online casino context is when videogame elements and mechanics are integrated into the casino sites. This makes online casinos feel more attractive and also offers more immersive gameplay that is both fun and exciting.
How to Spot the Best Gamification Casinos?
Missions, contests, points, trophies, bosses and other game mechanics can be fantastic motivators. We will go through each one of these gamifications further down, but all of them improve the player’s experience. The below list cover sites that in one way or another offer gamified experiences. Of course, feel free to compare them to other new online casinos.
How the Gamification Trend Started?
It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what brought about this gamification trend. We believe the introduction of mobile devices, and the consistent growth of online casinos has created a hyper-competitive market and casinos turned to videogames looking for an answer.
This happened circa 2012 with Casumo Casino, which was the first casino that felt like a real adventure, rather than a site. Since then we have seen one or two great and unique releases a year.
Kaboo Casino, for example, is an out of this world gamification platform released in 2015 and a few months later, at the beginning of 2016, Rizk Casino was introduced. Another great gamification site for 2016 was Ikibu Casino.
At the beginning of the year 2017, two brand-new gamification sites have entered the market, the cool Larry Casino and the incredible Fantasino Casino. From then on, many other casinos packed with these features have been released.
By giving players goals to reach for, leader boards to compete in, contests to win, and the ability to interact socially, gamification is triggering all the right pleasure centres in the brain and you could say appealing directly to human nature.
You get to work towards goals, races on leaderboards and interact with other players socially. All of this makes for a more compelling casino experience.
It can look a little childish to some casino players or make a casino confusing if the gamification elements are not implemented properly, and we think this is why gambling sites targeting the mass market stay away from it.
How Do Gamification Casinos Work?
Achieving goals are pretty much a standard addition of all gamified casinos and it is the sense of achievement that gamification stimulates in the brain. There is normally a reward for achieving the goal. The casino might give you a dozen Free Spins because you bet over £150 and won over £200 on a blackjack table, for example.
You can also be awarded loyalty points, which are collected as you bet on certain casino games or tables, and once you accumulate enough of them, you can use them to purchase free spins, bonus rounds, entry into raffles, other gamification games – wheel of fortune, pick and choose – and the points are arranged into the leaderboards described earlier.
Casumo is a casino which has loyalty point game mechanics. You earn them just by wagering and then they can be used to buy free spins and other casino bonuses. Casumo also awards trophies for your achievements, but they do absolutely nothing but recognise your efforts.
- Unlockable content is practically the whole point of casino gamification. It might be the next level or a special game, but it is always something that you can’t otherwise access. It creates a storyline or adds a narrative to the casino with that comes a sense of progression. You are advancing in the game and that gives you something to come back to. You can play at the same casino forever if it is always changing. Ikibu Casino is a new casino with this kind of unlockable levels.
The implied storyline is that you are exploring an island, so when you move up a level you move on a map and changes are made to the colour scheme, and background image. All the levels have their own bonuses and promotions. You move up the levels with a virtual game currency known as seeds, which not only allows you to exchange it for goods but also creates a highly immersive environment.
Tracking Your Progress
A visual representation of progress is a good way to motivate us, right?. This is what makes tracking so important to any gamification scheme. By giving players a clear goal to work with and tracking the progress towards that goal, players will likely push themselves a bit more to get closer to their goal.
A tracking system most probably won’t show you how much you spent in a day but it will show your winnings and progress overtime – only the positive numbers – casinos play sneaky tricks to keep you betting but there is no denying how much fun one can have this way.
Gamification in Mobile Casinos
Casino gamification elements have been identified as key ingredients to engaging mobile players. Outside of the casino industry, there are all kinds of gamified applications, so casinos didn’t have to think too hard about it. Social gaming gets always a boost on mobile devices, Casumo Casino, for example, uses the connectivity of your smartphone to connect with social media and prompts you to post/share your trophies and achievements in order to get a few more extra loyalty points. This integration of mobile casino and social media platforms is nothing new, but gamification is being used to create a lot more content for the casino industry.
Trends for Gamification Casinos in 2020
Gamification is happening and will keep doing so in the future. We will continue to see online casinos including game mechanics into their sites, and they will get better and better at it. At the moment, there are only a few online casinos that are made to give out rewards this way.
We all have won bonuses by spinning a wheel or even ranking on a leaderboard, but that’s not all. This gamification trend will continue and as that happens, casinos are going to build new features, and find even more ways to integrate such mechanics into their websites.
We expect a great change in the way bonuses are awarded since casinos will have to adapt to attract more players. Here are our latest predictions for Gamification Casinos in 2020:
- Casino Virtual Currency: casino virtual currencies will still going to be a thing in gamification. Most of the new casinos that we have mentioned so far use their own currency system. However, the virtual currency needs to have more added value and uses; exchange it for real money may not be enough in the future.
- Virtual Reality: a lot of hype has put VR on the spotlight recently. Even though the quality of graphics or public acceptance is still not ideal at the moment, we believe that after videogame developers improve the VR technology further, more casino players will be encouraged to experience a more immersive and interactive experience.
- New Themes and Narratives: All gamification casinos have a story to tell. The narrative follows your progress at the casino, and it weaves a storyline into your wins and losses. One of the coolest themes in the industry is the Kaboo Casino space adventure, where you travel to different planets following a story and at every new planet, you are rewarded with extra spins and bonuses. Gamification themes and narratives still have a long way to go and we expect to see new casinos pushing the barriers on that field.
- Social Media Integration: we will see more gamification elements in place to motivate you to share, post, tweet, or refer a friend. By sharing the gamification achievements on social media, the casino will give you more rewards. This is not a new trend but one that we believe will grow more.
- RPG slots: role-playing casino slots is one thing to expect in 2020 as gaming technology advances. Evoplay Entertainment has developed the first RPG slot called Dungeon, Immortal Evil, where you follow a hero in his quest for gold and glory. This is probably the next step in terms of immersion and gameplay for the casino industry because you feel in a videogame while still playing the well-known slot machines.