PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — If you walk into the Rivers Casino these days, you’re likely to notice some new types of slot machines.
In fact, they’re hard to miss. You might call them the “next generation” of slots.
“I can’t believe it, it’s ‘The Simpsons’!” shouted Cindy Graziani from New Castle as she pointed to one of the new machines with giant screens.
The new slots at the Rivers are huge and in-your-face with big screens. They also have TV show or movie themes. Andre Barnabei, VP of Slot Operations at the Rivers, says so far these new games are a hit.
“Last week, when we were testing these games, I was personally testing them, and I turned around and there were about twelve people watching and waiting,” said Barnabei. He said they wanted to play immediately.
Also popular are oversized “Breaking Bad” and “Orange Is The New Black” slots, again with big monitors and an obvious tie-in to popular shows. TV-show slot machines are nothing new and have been very popular over the years. IGT released Breaking Bad last year in the player’s favorite video slots niche.
Joystick Slots games
Another trend in the industry are games that involve skill, more like video games, complete with a joystick.
But the new slots they’ve been adding already offer something different. There have even been lines of people waiting to play some of them.
They’re calling it “social gaming,” and it’s supposed to make the table game experience less nerve-racking.
Boundaries between Social Gaming and Commercial Gambling
The boundaries between social gaming and commercial gambling have become increasingly blurred as a result of:
- the growth in the use of social media for social gaming and gambling
- an increasing convergence between the products of traditional gambling and social gaming businesses
- significant investment by companies developing new products or ways of marketing existing products.
According to the UK Gambling Commission, the difference between Social Gaming and Commercial Gambling
- While the data suggests that, in general, the vast majority of people who play social games spend very modest amounts of time and money, there is clearly a very small group who spend significant amounts. However, it is likely that this group is not sufficiently large to justify any form of additional regulatory intervention.
- While playing social games does not appear to be harmful in itself (for the vast majority of players) we are much less clear on whether in some circumstances it leads on to, or causes more harmful behaviors.
Who plays Social Gaming?
It has been suggested, and often repeated by the social gaming industry, that the average social gamer is 40 years old and female. However, there is no such thing as an average social gamer. Particular genres/games are targeted at, and appeal to, different demographics. The age and gender profile of players varies significantly depending on the type of game. Data obtained from Superdata (a provider of market intelligence on digital games) suggests that nearly half (48%) of players playing casino-style social games are aged 21-34 Again, this figure is unlikely to be universal – different platforms and game types will appeal to different demographics.
Studies have suggested that the gambling genre of social games is among the best monetizing apps, with an estimated 5-10 US Cents revenue per user. It should be noted this figure is so low because the number of total users also includes non-paying users (who are in the significant majority). Adults who paid to play spent approximately 1.09% of the total minutes in the month doing so. This is estimated (the data table is not provided) to equate to roughly 486 minutes or 15-16 minutes per day. [ISGA]