Social networking and online casinos are two of the biggest web phenomena today. Twitter and Facebook have taken the entire digital universe by storm, letting people from any corner of the globe communicate with each other over common interests. Since one of the most active communities in the internet is the online gaming community, it had been only a matter of time before both of these worlds collided. And now, online casino operators are finding ways to integrate social networking media apps into their sites.
ShoutBox is a social networking app launched by Bwin, and it is becoming very successful, enabling online players to chat amongst themselves while playing casino online games online. The app allows gamers to invite contacts to try online games and participate in online tournaments, such as slots or poker tournaments. On-line gambling experts believe that this type of social network will become an integral part of the online casino of the future.
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Online wagering sites that have not installed their own social media apps make use of existing social networking sites to keep present players interested and to bring brand new ones on board. Twitter accounts plus Facebook Fan pages are ways casino operators expand their reach, by using advertising promotions and answering questions quickly. There are even games on Facebook, such as Zynga Poker, that will web casinos use to drum up interest in their sites. Such online community tournaments allow players to compete for free while encouraging them to go to the owner’s gambling website.
But whilst Facebook is extraordinarily popular across the world, in the UK, it is not as popular as online gambling itself. A the year 2010 survey by Nielsen reported that will in the UK, the number of internet gamers increased by 40% over the previous 12 months, while the increase in UK use of social media was significantly lower.
The UK is a world leader in online wagering, so the numbers are not that unexpected. Other European countries are following closely on their heels as most of European countries now has regulated web betting. When the numbers are broken down, it becomes clear that middle aged guys account for most of the increase in UK on the internet wagering numbers, though women are usually big fans too, with online poker and bingo being the most popular online games among the British.
Because so many of the internet gamers in Britain are middle aged, and because so many Facebook customers tend to be younger, it may be that the mixture of social networking and gambling won’t take place on as large a level until the casinos themselves build social network into the sites themselves.
Additionally , if the US eventually regulates online gambling, making it clearly legal rather than residing in a somewhat vague legal position as it does in 2010, a number of UK gambling companies are poised to apply for licenses to operate in the US, and this should marry online gaming to social networking a lot more strongly.