Absolute Casino – Social Media and Gaming

Absolute Gaming - Social Media and Casino

I've been in the eGaming industry on a number of levels and in a number of capacities for 7.5 years now, a lifetime in that sector. Over the past couple of years specifically it has become increasingly clear that the industry is completely stagnant from a product perspective. I were to specifically look at the following major channels: Sports, Casino, and Poker you can see some innovation there.

Sports: the introduction of live betting and interacting with customers through social media (not spamming them) has grown the industry somewhat. Personally I enjoy "In Game" Betting.

Poker: arguably this is the most social and progressive of the channels. Since poker is community based there a a number of interesting innovations that have taken place but as for pur "innovation" it's still Texas Holdem without a ton of innovative build outs to that strategy and product development.

Casino: this is the stagnant sector. The traditional "money sucking machine" of the industry the competitive landscape is filled with less than reputable (trust me) offshore operators who hold their concepts of slow payouts, shady tactics and questionable marketing very near and dear to their hearts.

There are a number of reasons that this sector has not innovated from lack of regulations (promoting owners with criminal histories to maintain a fairly decent operation) to software providers who do not innovate their products or services which will always impact the marketing (if you haven't got anything but another Casino Bonus to promote then what are you *really* selling?)

Well I ran into Absolute Casino today and was very impressed. The actual site on registration is clearly in a testing phase but the concept is fantastic (it's actually exciting - which is new for me especially in the past couple of years). A social network aware multiplayer casino with Facebook integration.

This is brilliance and something I personally have pitched to previous consulting clients. The problem they have is paralysis, everything is so comfortable for them at the moment that innovation has gone out the window. There is also a level of arrogance, simply put - many operators are completely unwilling to invest the money and the resources into innovative products.

But if you look at Facebook, have a peek at the Poker, Casino and Gaming apps. There are hundreds of thousands of people playing on a regular basis. Mainly because Facebook makes it social, I'm not downloading some software client and clicking on a video slot machine. The interaction is the thing that makes this extremely unique.

I look forward to checking out the final product in a month or two. It should be very cool and could potential be a disruptive force in the world of eGaming. I hope so. The industry simply is no longer interesting and it is clearly being left behind, with it's head stuck in the sand.

But it's nice to know I am not alone in this point of view. Hussein Chahine who is the founder of Advanced Gaming Labs (and Absolute Casino) has it dead to rights:

“I have been a technology provider to the gaming and betting industry for the past five years and it became clear to me that the industry has stopped innovating. The technology suppliers are too removed from the consumer, while the operators are falling short of understanding and building a business that embraces today’s social-networked internet world. This has presented a unique opportunity for us to enter the market as a new gaming company, where millions of concurrent players are empowered to connect [and] compete.”

This should be of particular interest to any affiliates out there who are making money from the traditional model. The days for these sites are numbered unless there is innovation, have a look at the next generation of gaming providers and set yourself up for shifts in the industry. Being left behind is the worst danger.

Comments

  1. says

    Nice article Dan,
    We’re looking at other avenues we can go down. The trick is transferring social media players into cash depositers. I agree the Casino market is pretty tired, but you haven’t mentioned the big increase in online Bingo, particulaly popular in the UK

    • says

      @Peter

      Thanks Peter – I agree it can be a bit of a trick to convert social media players into cash players. It certainly requires a longer term approach to marketing efforts than a direct acquisition marketing model. I firmly believe that social media players can be converted although the demographic is distinctly different. These are “retail” players who will have a lower initial and recurring deposit amount but given a solid product, customer service, retention benefits and ongoing engagement should have a significantly longer Lifetime Value (LTV).

      I purposely didn’t address the bingo market specifically since I have not had first hand experience in that particular vertical. I agree it is seeing big increases in the eGaming market and I’m watching that area with interest.

      Thanks for the comment!

    • says

      Absolute casino is introducing this initially as a free play casino but has the infrastructure in place to make it a real cash casino. Zynga provides free play games for social networks – it’s quite a bit different.

  2. says

    I checked out Absolutely Casinos after reading this post, and I have to say that I like it. I didn´t think I was playing for social connections but you made me start thinking about it, and it´s true.

  3. says

    Interesting article Dan. The number of players on many of Facebook’s games have certainly seen a massive increase in recent months. I read recently that the Zynga poker app is drawing over 16 million unique users per month, and as you say the fact that it’s easy (no download, no signup etc) and highly social (inviting friends, competing with their friend’s scores certainly seems to have driven the numbers up. There also seem to be a lot of new apps being created as other people try to “jump on the band wagon” and take a slice of the pie – but while there’s a crossover, it’s certainly largely a different demographic as you say.

    I can also vouch for bingo being on the rise, I’ve noticed quite an increase in interest on my own sites, possibly due to some of the big UK companies running TV ad campaigns in recent months.

  4. says

    Yes, speaking of slow payouts, that was what got my Uncle. He was able to bank his winnings before payout. As a result, the casino always lured him into another round and won back his old money before they actually had to pay him anything.

    He never withdrew a dime, and spent tens of thousands (not a lot in their world) with them online.

    One other Uncle who had a lot of problems with gambling ended up owing poker and gin “clubs” over $400,000. $300,000 at the FRIENDLY poker game which he attended for 20 years, and $100,000 for the gin club. He, of course, was playing with friends, including a famous movie star who finally asked my Uncle not to come back. He told my Uncle that it wasn’t any fun playing with him any more. Lucky for my Uncle he wasn’t in debt to the mob. As far as I know, at the time of his death, he still owed the gambling money, but his estate showed him to be so far in debt that naturally the poker and gin club tab will never be paid.

  5. says

    I’ve tried converting players from Zynga etc. on the social sites and in my experience most are not interested. They are casual players and very happy just playing for play money on Facebook. We put together an ebook a while ago teaching people how to easily beat the Zynga game, and then promoted a couple of poker sites on the backend but conversions were very low. The only small results we did get were promoting freerolls, but again not really enough to warrant the effort IMO.

    • says

      @David I think the point of this post is about getting a bit more integration into Social Media through custom development of you own applications directly into the platforms. I would agree that conversion from free players to paying customers is a big stretch from a Zynga application. However the are numerous unique angles which would allow you to fully integrate a marketing strategy into an application that would convert when speaking to the correct audience. I think that fundamentally you’re trying to climb the difficult mountain of turning a free and casual gamer into a paying customer (basically turning one demographic into another) rather than trying to attract potential players into your marketing database.

  6. says

    I checked out Absolute Casino and it looks really slick. I’m bored of the facebook ones, they are limited. Going to try this one out thanks for the recommend.

  7. says

    Great article and total new perspective for me…I agree with the post regarding Bingo as well. I have a client that owns hundreds of bricks-and-mortar Bingo halls and I have been thinking about how social media can increase his market position. Does anybody know the demographics of online bingo users? Is it all 55+ ???

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