How To Lure Real Money Gamblers to Social Gaming

Iris Yardeny
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Real Money Online Casino gambling revenue estimates for 2015 are around €28.24 billion whereas Social Casino game revenue estimates are less than 8% of this, totaling approximately €2.12 billion.

There is a huge unfulfilled potential here, as online gamblers are willing to spend their money online for the very unlikely chance to win money. We all know that “The House Always Wins,” so why not suggest these frustrated users a new gaming experience which is much more enjoyable and satisfying?

According to research made in 2014 of nearly 2,000 gamblers who had gambled in the previous year, more than 10% had also participated in social casino gaming (Gainsbury, Russel, et al, 2014). However, in order to lure RMG users to play Social Casino games we need to understand their profile better and find out what motivates them.

Let’s start with a few facts:

In terms of engagement there is a huge difference between these 2 groups of players:


*OTD – One Time Depositot

As you can see in the table above, RMG players are less engaged than social gaming players. The chances that a one-time depositor will keep on playing are much higher in social games, and so is the survival rate.

See below for the differences in purchasing behavior:


CVR to FTD is significantly higher within RMG. The reason is because the user has a clear purpose for entering the website – to gamble! Another interesting finding from the aforementioned research is that RMG players are less likely to participate in a variety of game types (e.g. instant scratch tickets, lottery, sports betting, etc.).

RMG players are very focused on their game type compared to the social gamers that are more broadly interested in gambling and do not substitute RMG with social casino games.

So, after we reviewed some facts, check out in the table below what motivates each player:


While the gambler is seeking for the thrill of winning money, the social gamer is motivated by the social competition with all its additional features (beating friends, gifting friends, social status, etc.).

The social gamer looks forward to unlock new games and go up in levels.

Now that we have learned some important facts about these valuable users, how can we lure the RMG users to play social games?

  • Look and feel of the app – should be plain and simple.

RMG Bingo  vs.  Social Bingo


Pay attention to the huge difference between the look and feel of the two games above. The RMG Bingo look and feel is very clean and kind of boring while the Social Bingo is full of colors, gamification features, and power ups.

  • Mini-games - side games are very popular in the RMG; in fact, 70% of revenues come from the side games and not from the main game.

Implementing mini-games aside from the main game will lure the RMG user who is used to it. In addition, it will entertain the user while they wait for the game to load/ more players to join/ etc. and it will prevent the user from leaving the game because they were too bored to wait.

  • Don’t be misleading - explain to the user exactly where they’re heading so they won’t be surprised. The chance that they will be converted into a paying user will increase.

For example, if the app is a free to play Slots game, show them in the creative slots machines (rather than characters from the game) and tell the user exactly what they’re going to experience, don’t be vague. Instead of using generic texts talking about “the best game ever” or “hours of fun” tell the user about the bonuses, special wins, free spins and so on.

  • Talk about payouts - the fact that the payouts in social gaming are more generous and that the game algorithms are not necessarily based on the true probabilities of the game can lure some frustrated gamers from RMG.
  • Creative – serious, professional, “less fun”- using this kind of creative will attract the RMG user to something he’s “familiar” with.
  • Social features and gamification – the real money industry still has a lot to learn in terms of gamification and social features. Use it as an advantage in your creative to lure some bored RMG players.

How to target these users?

  • Target online casino Facebook pages – targeting pages of online or offline casinos will enable you to reach people who like casinos/gambling and are more likely to be interested in other types of casinos.
  • Broad categories of gamblers, casino vacations, etc.
  • Target people who spend money online – people who already spend money online are more likely to spend money on social games. This may also imply a higher social class.
  • Target by the user demographic: Social Casino players who also gamble are more likely to be male, single, aged 45 and under, educated, from a mid-high social class.
  • In addition to the user demographic, it might be interesting to try targeting other interests that are familiar with this specific demographic; for example, sports betting, sport in general, cars, etc.


Knowing the differences between the RMG and Social Gaming audiences, it is very important that while trying to attract additional players to your game, you keep your main target audience engaged and satisfied. Compromising on some of the features which social casino players like more about your game in attempt to lure RMG players may affect your churn rates. So keep the balance and attract new players by offering them a new, engaging experience.


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