The Global Betting and Gaming Consultancy (GBGC) has entered into the discussion of how new technology is changing the way people gamble, in particular how social networking and the millions of free-play games and games where no cash winnings are paid will impact gambling. Will, as many Nervous Nellies fear, players of these games somehow be lured into the real gambling? Will they become gambling addicts? After all, there have been numerous attempts to cash-in online, combining social networking with gambling…
According to GBGC, the answer is, “No.”
No doubt large marketing and incentive campaigns will be run to encourage “casual” free-play customers to switch to real-money play. But if a customer does not perceive gambling as an activity which should cost them money then the conversion rate will be low. Those players that do convert could be the type of player who takes a sign-up bonus and then stakes at such a low level (if at all) that their cost of acquisition is not recouped. There might be a small boost to the “new sign-ups” figure but it won’t be reflected in the profit.
The GBGC came to their conclusions not only by their own experience but with the help of behavioral economist Dan Ariely. I think they all could have just used common sense.
The avid Monopoly player doesn’t become addicted to buying up real estate, building hotels, or even to playing board games.
Playing a game for fun is very different from gambling. Even if you enjoy both, as I do. However, if and when a person wants to go for the cash win, they go gamble. Then they head to a casino, online or otherwise, to a bingo hall, to a regular card game or whatnot. Not a free game at a social site.
That would be a joke-r.