Reclaiming the Social Atmosphere of Gambling Online
Gambling has historically been a very social thing, but that has changed in recent years. With so much moving to the online platform, players are ironically less connected to each other than ever. Here we explore options for players to reclaim some of that social atmosphere.
Bringing the Social Element Back to Gambling
One of the complaints that we see from online players the most is how little social interaction there can be. In an age when we’re more connected than ever, we’ve somehow lost the social atmosphere of gambling when playing online.
Many players have resigned themselves to this state of things. However, a more social experience is very viable if you know how to make it happen.
We think that all kinds of different players should be able to enjoy the games. This does include those who would prefer to play alone and not have much interaction with others. However, it also includes people who like to chat it up with new people and connect with friends.
What we want to lay out in the following is exactly how to go about the latter option. The first one is pretty easy to make happen at this point. However, it’s seemingly more difficult to incorporate a social atmosphere into the online environment. We’re going to tackle that and show that it doesn’t have to be as difficult as it may seem.
Starting With the Obvious: Live Dealer Games
The first place to really look at how this is done right is live dealer games. There’s a lot that they do to promote a social atmosphere. This includes online chat with active moderators for the most part.
However, it can still be lacking a few things. By looking at these things first in the live environment, we can extrapolate to how they would affect the less obvious answers:
- It’s usually difficult to connect with the same people over and over again. This is due to a lack of a “friends list” or similar notification system.
- There is no underlying platform for this social atmosphere at most sites. For example, you could have profile pages, an instant messaging system and so on.
- The social element simply doesn’t seem to be that important to most online platform developers.
We feel very strongly that incorporating more social elements could be a pretty big deal for the industry. Lots of people would definitely take advantage, and it could be a great tool for increasing player loyalty. That’s why it’s somewhat perplexing to us that more companies aren’t doing this.
Another Good Example: Online Bingo Rooms
Bingo has always been a very social game. It’s to the point that most of the demographic that enjoys online bingo will leave a site and go to another if they don’t have sufficient social options available. We think that the lack of this type of pressure is why many other forms of online gambling don’t follow suit.
At virtually all bingo sites online, they have a few key features that set things off socially. For one, they’re known for their chat rooms with active moderators who keep things clean and spam-free. Second, many of them do have friend lists and notification systems so that you know who’s online. Additionally, they often support private chat rooms and other ways of communicating back and forth.
The key element here is that you’re able to make online friends and then play with them over and over again. That’s not always something that other forms of gambling have established. However, we’re going to look at another example of one type that does it really well and that casino software providers can really learn from.
The Social Elements of Online Poker
Playing poker against other people is inherently different than other popular forms of gambling. That’s because you’re actually facing other individuals instead of the house. As such, it’s easy to see why chat boxes and other social features would be so important.
Each table typically has its own chat box function. Players can often add each other to an instant messaging-style list to know when others are online. Some people use this to find players to target who they think they can beat. However, most use it to keep up with friends they’ve made and play together.
This brings us to the biggest barrier for social interaction in traditional online casino games. Everything is set up to be centered around a single person at a table. This removes the possibilities of having multiple people at the same table enjoying the same game. As we mentioned up above, live dealer games have this to a degree. However, it’s not available for the vast majority of non-live casino games, especially slots.
How to Add More Social Atmosphere to Your Own Play
Until the industry as a whole changes on the casino and sports betting fronts, we have to do our own work to make things more social. In what follows, we’re going to look at a few actionable tips that you can take. These tips will help you to build the social atmosphere that you may be missing when playing online.
Tip #1: Reverse the Process
When most people think of making friends via online gambling, they think of playing first. Making friends seems to come after playing, typically with people you met while playing the actual games. What we’re suggesting here is to reverse the process.
Instead of playing first and then making friends, do those two things in the opposite order. The idea is to make the friends first and then play with them. This leads to the question of how to find people who will be interested in playing in the first place. That leads us to our second tip.
Tip #2: Go Places Where Gamblers Congregate Online
Think about where people congregate online who like to gamble. There are Reddit communities, message boards, Discord chat channels and more avenues available. These are the locations where these people meet, and if you go there, you can make friends.
This ties in with the first tip above about reversing the process. Once you meet these friends, you can start arranging to play together in various ways. This allows you to play together at the same (or different) games. From there, you can share strategies and celebrate each others wins.
Tip #3: Organize Events to Play Together
Once you have people together you’re friends with, now you’re ready to start organizing events. This can be as formal or informal as you’d like. It’s really up to you and whatever appeals to you the most.
For an informal example, you could just all meet together in a Discord chat room while playing. This would allow you to chat about things in general or your games. People can come in and out while playing, and it’s compatible with most mobile devices. That allows you to chat while out and about, which pairs perfectly with gambling via mobile.
A formal example could be something like a roulette tournament. You can all put in €5, for example, and see who can run up a set amount of play money in a certain number of spins. The winner would then take down the pot of all of the real money players put in together. There are an endless number of variations on this theme. You can really set this up any way you want to.
Putting all of this together doesn’t have to be particularly difficult. There’s definitely a demand for more social interaction in the online gambling space. The major software developers and platform operators have been making changes in that direction. Whether those changes are coming fast enough is up for debate.
That’s why it’s such a good idea to follow the tips we gave above if you want more social play. This process will allow you to put everything together to have great times with friends you meet online.