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If and when real-money iGaming becomes widespread in the United States, will it coexist with social sites? Will the customer groups overlap? The answer to both questions, Woods says, is yes.
“People have different appetites at different times—there are days they wake up feeling lucky and want to wager real money. Some days they just want to be entertained. The day after payday feels very different than the day before payday.”
“It remains to be seen, but we’re of the mindset that social casino is going to coexist with real-money gaming, even if it becomes readily and widely available across the U.S.,” says Krejcik. “Certainly there will be some users and players who switch, because the social game designs are much more casual, social-based, pick-up-and-play. They don’t have any of the pressure or anxiety of winning or losing a bunch of money.”
Not all casino operators have jumped into the social, and that can be to their detriment as players give their loyalty to other brands. But it’s not too late, and according to Takrudtong, it’s not really too expensive.
“It’s unwise to sit out the space when the barriers to entering social, after five years of development by the major suppliers, are incredibly low. The price of entry is effectively three slot machines, and I don’t believe there’s a casino with over 1,200 units on their floor that can’t carve out a budget for three slot machines. In return, they’re putting their games in the hands of players on their own devices.”
As Bennet puts it, “When we talk to casinos these days, the first thing I say is, ‘Your players are playing these games right now. And they should be playing your game.’”