What is Social Casino Gaming and How is it Different from Real Money Gaming?

3 Mins read

Some may think that social casino gaming has something to do with playing real money games with other people. It’s the word “social” that gives this impression, but in reality, this isn’t the case. It can be social, but it’s not about real money gaming.

Social casinos are apps or websites that allow players to play games like slots, bingo, poker, and many other card games only for fun and not for a payout. So it’s gambling, but not really since it doesn’t involve taking a big risk with real money.

That said, if you’re someone who misses the thrill of playing the best real money slots or any casino game but you need a free alternative, then social casino games are what you should give a try. 

Unsure if social casino gaming is for you? We have the details you must know, so keep on reading.

Why Play Social Casino Games

In a glimpse, here are the pros and cons of playing social casino games:


  • Play completely free
  • Access games offline anytime and anywhere
  • Play with other friends online
  • Wide gaming variety
  • Daily perks and bonuses


  • Has a pay-to-win scheme
  • Won’t let you earn real money
  • Can be full of ads

Online casinos have gained a significant following over the last few years. However, even if that’s the case, the reality is that this type of gambling can be very expensive and not everyone has the luxury to place bets and experience its thrill.

Some players also simply veer away from real money gambling because they no longer can afford it. Thankfully, the thrill that real money games give can still be experienced when playing at social casinos.

The director of Sydney University’s Gambling Treatment and Research Clinic, Sally Gainsbury, said that gambling has a universal appeal because it’s risking something to gain rewards.

Gainsbury said, “Even when that reward is not material in the sense of having monetary value, it still has value for the user.”

This is exactly the case for social casino games because players still get rewarded even if it’s not a monetary value. It’s precisely what regular gaming is also about. When a person plays a video game, they know they won’t earn money from it, but they strive to attain rewards like badges and trophies.

In social casino gaming, Gainsbury explained that it’s still similar to real gambling. She said, “Within these games, the lights and sounds are very similar to an actual gambling environment … they give you that same rush of dopamine… and that’s what people are paying to receive.”

She also explained the psychology behind getting rewarded. “When we experience something pleasurable — we eat chocolate, have sex, enjoy a drink with a friend — our brains release the chemical dopamine in what’s referred to as the reward pathway.

“It’s a particular circuit in the brain that processes pleasure and reward,” she said.

Social casinos also know a way to make people keep on playing and be proud of their achievements. Even if they don’t earn real money from this type of gaming, players can display how well they’ve been doing. 

This is true because of the “Share” option every time players win something big. Some Leaderboards make people strive to do better.

Players Can Still Spend Money on Social Casino Games

However, this eagerness to do better can also result in spending money when playing social casino games. Some apps have in-game purchases that can help players have longer gaming hours.

For example, a social slots game can easily rob you of all your game currencies and you might have to wait until the next game to get your daily rewards to keep on playing. This is when you can purchase coins or tokens to be able to keep on playing.

Some players purchase these tokens to place on the leaderboards too. Some make a game purchase to get rid of annoying ads. Most social casino apps would require a purchase to remove all the ads, which then improves gameplay.

So, this can make you spend money, but still not necessary. It’s no different from other mobile games with Stores where you can purchase items that could improve your gaming experience. 

This is why even in places like Australia that have strict gambling regulations, social casinos are allowed. It’s still not real money gaming, so it’s not subject to any gambling law.

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