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Real Money Vs Social Casino Apps: Similarities, Differences and Player Profiles

As global adoption increases in the gambling industry, players are more willing to spend money on casino wagers. For example, data from the American Gaming Association revealed that casinos and mobile gaming apps recorded $53.04 billion in gaming revenue over the first eleven months of 2021. For the same period in 2022, the revenue came in at $54.93 billion, scaling the previous year’s figure by 13.5%.

In the UK, online gambling platforms grossed $12.5 billion in revenue, making the UK the world’s largest regulated market for online gambling. Interestingly, many of these platforms provide the same offers available in land-based casinos, including a large variety of games, high limits, live dealer tables, and exciting bonuses.

Although many platforms allow gameplay for real money, social casino apps exist for people unwilling to place fiat wagers. Understanding both types of platforms is crucial to making the right decision for the best experience.

Real Money Vs Social Casino Apps

A real money casino app is a platform where players deposit real money to play games. This type of casino app requires gamblers to fund accounts using e-wallets, bank transfers, cards, or, less often in the UK, cryptocurrencies (source: A real money casino may also enforce a minimum wager to play a game.

A social casino is a different type of casino app because it does not require players to wager real money. Social casinos use a free-to-play approach for their games and allow anyone to enjoy supported titles. Since players do not place real money bets, there is no financial benefit or loss to winning or losing.

Similarities and Differences

There are a few similarities between real money and social casino apps. Firstly, they both support a wide range of known games available to all players depending on their individual preferences. In addition, both types allow players to deposit funds and may also feature an in-app wallet.

The main difference between them is the money involved in wagering, and the possibility of earning from wins. On most real money casino apps, access to gameplay is limited until players deposit funds and place wagers. On the other hand, social casino apps may not restrict access but withhold certain features. These platforms use the freemium model, which infuses microtransactions into gameplay. Essentially, access is free, but additional features may cost some money.

For instance, players may buy chips to play more games or access extra functionalities. However, these chips have no real-world value and cannot be withdrawn or exchanged for fiat.

Another significant difference is that there are regulations, including tax requirements, that all real money casino apps must adhere to depending on operational jurisdiction. Some countries also require winners to pay tax, while a few others impose no taxes on online gambling wins. However, social casino apps are rarely regulated because they are not considered gambling apps.

Although real money apps make their developers more money, social casino apps are also very popular. In 2015, eight social casino apps were in the top 20 grossing iOS apps in the United States. Also, revenue from social casino apps climbed 97% between 2012 and 2013.

Differences Between Real Money and Social Casino Player Profiles

Extensive research has shown demographic pointers that can predict a player’s profile. In addition, there are several noted differences between real money online gamblers, social casino players, and people who prefer brick-and-mortar casinos.

Real Money Player Profile

For instance, real money players gambling online are likely to be richer, younger, and more learned than those who do not gamble online. Also, real money online gamblers are likely to be male and unmarried students compared with people who prefer land-based casinos. Furthermore, there is a noticeable difference in gaming preferences across genders. For instance, male real money gamblers prefer dog/horse race betting, sports betting, and games of skill like poker. However, female players prefer games of chance, such as bingo and slots.

There are also a few other differences based on age and frequency. The typical female real money online casino gambler playing slots or video poker plays for between 1 and 2 hours two or three times a week, and is likely between the ages of 46 and 55. On the other hand, the typical male player prefers poker and is usually between 26 and 35 years old.

Social Casino Player Profile

Most social casino players are between the ages of 35 and 54, with females making up a third of the total number. Females tend to spend more time playing, buy 30% more items than male players, and make up 70% of the largest spenders. In addition, male players are more likely to play gambling games like poker, while female players prefer slot-type games.

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