What Is Gamification in iGaming

min read
A hand reaching out to touch a circular white iGaming vector with a dice, lightbulb, puzzle, and cup.
BetMGM Apr 20, 2024, 4:32 AM

The term “iGaming” has become hugely popular as regulated sports betting and online casino games sweep across North America. The iGaming industry relies on many innovative strategies and technologies to enthrall and retain users, but one of the most prominent and effective ways is the integration of a gamification engine. 

Read on to learn everything about this trend and how it changes the way casino games are played.

What Is Gamification?

Gamification is the process of adding certain types of game mechanics and elements into non-gaming environments to enhance user engagement. This could mean introducing leaderboards, points, or badges, along with providing feedback or information concerning the next steps along the way, all in an effort to urge users to “progress” toward a goal. The ultimate aim is to optimize engagement to achieve interaction, sharing, and collaboration within a community or group of people.  

While the concept has become very popular in the digital casino world, it’s also spread much further than that. It’s popped up in all sorts of businesses, often to optimize participation and productivity among employees. It’s also extended to websites, learning management systems, online communities, and more. Today, it spans a host of different industries, from retail and e-commerce to healthcare and politics.

Key Aspects of Gamification

1. Game Design Elements

Game design elements such as badges, leaderboards, challenges, and rewards create an incredible experience beyond merely playing a game.

2. Motivation and Engagement

Implementing gamification into industries such as iGaming creates a great sense of achievement or competition. Through various challenges and rewarding systems, players feel a sense of accomplishment, which could encourage them to engage more with specific games. For example, they could earn points every time they complete a level or earn a certain score in an online slot game. These points can then be used to unlock special features or gain access to exclusive games at the online casino. 

3. Technology and Innovation

Thanks to technological advancements, gamification has become more sophisticated. Online casino players can enjoy elements like virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and advanced analytics to have a more immersive gaming experience.

Gamification in Online Casino Games

Although it was introduced quite subtly at first, gamification has become a standard part of the online casino games world. Various online slot game producers have added game-like elements to keep their loyal players coming back for more. These systems encourage gamblers to earn points and badges and gradually climb the ladder of a leaderboard, usually to win significant prizes or earn special offers and bonuses.

Some virtual casinos have fully embraced the concept and are allowing a dramatic increase in interaction between their online gamblers as a result. This makes it possible for them to chat and exchange “valuables,” like free spins, in return for points to help the exchanger climb the “ranks” faster.

Another one of the many gamification examples in virtual casinos is the introduction of loyalty and/or VIP programs that promise profitable perks to regular gamblers. One way perks and bonuses are earned is when a player completes specific “missions.” 

Some casinos specialize in daily missions, whereby missions change day by day, and the goal is to complete as many of them as possible before a fresh set comes in. For example, players could be awarded 10 free spins by playing three different online slot games in 24 hours. 

Other online casinos specialize in ongoing missions, levels, and leaderboards. In short, the more missions a player completes, the higher they can climb up the leaderboard and the greater their player level will become, with the higher levels offering access to more attractive rewards. For example, while a player may win 10 free spins by playing three different online slots within 24 hours, they could win 100 free spins if they spin three times in three different online slots over a week.

Online casinos also offer gamified spending through the earning of loyalty points or virtual currency that can only be spent at the virtual casino itself. These points or virtual currencies can then be used to buy specific items from the casino itself. For example, spending $100 dollars might earn 100 points at a virtual casino, which can then be exchanged for free spins.

In this way, long-standing gamblers are provided with a new and exciting way to play, and something different to attract newbie gamblers from far and wide — especially those who enjoy playing and experimenting in the video gaming realm. 

Why Is Gamification So Effective and What Are Its Benefits?

Experts believe it plays on people’s desire for achievement and provides a sense of gratification when accomplishing goals and earning rewards. It also draws on most individuals’ strong urge to compete with and win against one another. All of this works together to promote higher levels of engagement and interaction while encouraging people to fully immerse themselves in the experience.

Challenges of Gamification in iGaming

While there are numerous benefits, some challenges need to be acknowledged. It’s important to manage player expectations, as users may expect ongoing challenges and rewards, which is not sustainable in the long run. The industry must also maintain engagement over time, which requires constant innovation. Most importantly, iGaming platforms must promote responsible online gambling while pushing for engagement with their products to ensure that players are not overwhelmed by chasing rewards.

What Does the Future Look Like?

There may have been online gamblers who believed that gamification was just a passing trend. However, considering its massive scope, there’s no doubt it’s here to stay. 

One future trend to watch out for is social media integration into virtual casinos. While social media platforms have very strict rules regarding gambling content (with even popular streaming site Twitch recently clamping down on unlicensed casino content), there’s no doubt that online casinos and live streaming are two technologies that work well together, so it’s possible that licensed casino content will appear on social media platforms, particularly as it’s legalized in more states. If and when this happens, players could be encouraged to share their progress to earn more rewards, obviously with the casino’s goal being to attract more players through these ever-popular and ever-growing platforms.

Another medium that will undoubtedly embrace gamification and casino games is VR. Considering how it maximizes the opportunity for players to immerse themselves in an experience, it’s almost certain that it will be paired up with virtual reality — which looks to be another way to enjoy top online casino games — sooner rather than later. 

Casino Games and Virtual Sports Betting at BetMGM

Those looking to play casino games online or participate in virtual sports betting — whether from the comfort of their home or on the go — can easily do so with the BetMGM casino games app and website. 

Choose from a fast-growing library of sought-after titles for online slots, along with a variety of enthralling casino table games and live dealer tournaments. Register via BetMGM’s convenient mobile portal to explore what’s on offer. Make sure to grab the BetMGM Casino Welcome Bonus before playing any online casino games.

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.