Every year, people are regularly playing games on their phones and devices. One category of apps called social casinos has quickly evolved into a multi-billion dollar industry. These apps bundle together games like poker, roulette and slot machines.
Many of the games are free to play – but once the free chips run out, players need to make a purchase to keep going. While the games may offer a similar experience to real casino games, there is one big difference, they don’t pay out real money. They only take money for the purchase of virtual chips to continue playing.
Unfortunately, social casinos do feature the same addictive qualities of real casino games – and new evidence has shown that game developers are targeting vulnerable gamblers. With the help of Facebook and its access to vast amounts of personal data, social casino apps use behavioral analysis software to identify those who are likely to become big spenders. Those potential big spenders are then targeted with marketing and promotional offers to keep them playing.
Keith Whyte, executive director of the National Council on Problem Gambling has said that their helpline is increasingly filled with people addicted to social casinos. The games appear to be five times more addictive than traditional casinos – but since the companies who run them claim they are just for entertainment, they avoid any kind of gambling regulations.
As of now, there’s nothing stopping social casino companies from targeting those at risk. That’s why spreading the message of responsible gambling practices is so important. For information and resources that you can use, visit BeforeYouBet.org.