Now its all about free slotsAs we know, the online gambling market is quite a saturated one. There isn’t much room for growth, it would seem, as the market has matured and the competition has intensified from all directions.
This has seen numerous operators go to the wall - and a general consolidation of the industry on both sides of the Atlantic – all exacerbated by the lean economic conditions the whole of the western world has been witnessing over the last five years or so. In short, this is not a market for the faint-hearted.
So where is the growth coming from? Well in purely monetary terms, it’s difficult to see where the growth will happen given all the austerity-led belt-tightening that’s going on around the world. But this won’t last forever and some companies seem to be seeing opportunities in the gaming world where others see threats. And it may well be these more enlightened companies will be the ones that survive and prosper if and when the economic good times roll again.
One such company is the UK’s fastest growing online gaming and bingo sites, Jackpotjoy (the site made famous by its use of Barbara Windsor to front its branding and TV advertisements). What’s interesting, though, is that Jackpotjoy is seeing its growth come not through gambling revenues, but by free gaming and, specifically, free slots.
Jackpotjoy launched its free slots on Facebook during the summer of 2011, since when the site has welcomed over eight million new gamers through its virtual doors – all of whom are playing purely for the fun of doing so – and the only money at stake is virtual cash.
To the hard-headed businessmen out there, this may seem like sheer folly. Why put such a huge technological and creative effort into providing free slots when there’s no money being wagered? But this kind of view is short-sighted and comes from the same kind of mentality that saw Google as a flash in the pan phenomenon ten years ago. The fact is that in today’s world, popularity on the web isn't just important, for many businesses it’s everything. And in few industries is this more true than in online gaming.
So sites like Jackpotjoy are clearly being far-sighted in their growth plans. Popularity and visitor numbers are paramount. And the public is benefiting at the same time from some fantastic, award-winning free slots.