Gen Z spend at least four hours per day on social media. They mostly use YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat. Source: Getty Images

Social Elements of Online Gaming Influence the Future of Online Gambling to Engage with Gen Z and Beyond


84% of people responding to a 2021 survey said that gaming helped them connect with others, according to researcher J. Clement on Statista. 80% of respondents also said that gaming helped them to meet new people.

Given that as many as 90% of Gen Z and 94% of Gen Alpha participate in gaming, it's likely that this link between social interaction and gaming will continue well into the future. This fact is influencing the online gambling industry, which aims to follow gaming's lead by enhancing its social focus.

The future of online gambling is set to be more social, with an aim to engage with people by targeting content to their individual interests. Changes to the industry will focus on Gen Z's, and in the future, Gen Alpha's, fondness for social media and online community interaction.

The figures show how essential social media is for engaging with current and future generations. According to a 2022 Morning Consult survey, 54% of people from Gen Z spend at least four hours per day on social media. They mostly use YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, and Snapchat.

Gambling brands must embrace these channels as part of their marketing strategies. Brand leaders also understand the value of examining content that most appeals to younger generations. Members of these generations value original and authentic content. So, the industry must innovate to increase its appeal.

Within this innovation, the social aspect is a central theme. This is something that has been embraced by sweepstakes casinos in 2024. The emphasis at these casinos is on social interaction and there are facilities to chat with other players. This interaction is something that has previously been a barrier to younger people participating in online casino games as they have traditionally presented a siloed and relatively static experience.

To further promote the social aspect of casino gaming, sweepstakes sites, and the wider online gambling industry are creating experiences that appeal to certain groups of people. For example, Fifth Street Gaming is launching a Latino-themed online social casino designed to appeal to a community that currently makes up around 20% of the US population, with this figure set to rise to 25% by 2060.

The design of this site is not solely about producing a site in Spanish. It's more about creating a casino gaming experience that reflects the culture and influences of the people using it.

A further example of tailoring content to player requirements is the Canadian site Betty, which caters to women. The site is operated by women, taking account of the fact that women often seek a more chatty and less direct approach to communication and customer service.

The theme of personalizing the player experience is one that will continue to influence planning and innovation in the online gambling industry. There will be more emphasis on communicating with players and finding out what they want.

Analyzing Gen Z's gaming habits helps with this research. Individuals want a social experience where they can collaborate. They also interact more readily with original content.

Developers and casino brands must consider these aspects in order to move forward. So, while the basic premise of games like slots will not change, these games will evolve with regard to how people interact with them. Technology like AI and VR will have a role to play in this as the online gambling industry progresses through the next decade and beyond.

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