It’s something fans of blackjack, roulette and slots have known for a long time but now gamers of all persuasions understand it as well. What are we talking about? Simple: the appeal of casino games. Even though online casino gaming is a multibillion-dollar entity in its own right, the appeal of playing the odds and riding your luck is now obvious to video gamers around the world.
Why? GTA V online. After years of teasing players with a shuttered casino, Rockstar Games finally announced that Diamond Casino & Resort would open its doors on July 23. A simple tweet on June 13 got the ball rolling.
From there, various teasers appeared online before details of what the resort would offer came to light. With poker, horse racing, table games and slots part of the mix, Rockstar was clearly intent on generating as much interest as possible. In fact, with players able to earn credit credits and buy apartments inside the luxury complex, the GTA V update looked to be one of the most significant in recent years.
Well, according to the developers, it has been the most significant. Although Rockstar didn’t reveal the exact numbers, it told The Hollywood Reporter that traffic had spiked to its highest levels since October 2013. Reviewing the first week of activity, GTA V bosses saw players riffle casino chips in their droves between July 23 and 29.
Rockstar Can Learn from Casino Operators
Of course, it’s not just the act of playing slots and blackjack that’s pulled in players. The GTA V casino update has introduced six new missions. However, the allure of being able to take on the house in games of chance is certainly the main draw. With that being the case, it will be interesting to see what inspiration Rockstar takes from the real money online casino industry.
They’ve already taken the games, but what about the bonus offers that all leading online casinos offer? In fact, such is the prominence of promotions that comparison sites are now required to detail the latest deals. As an example, the newly revamped NetEnt Casino has streamlined its interface to make searching its hundreds of reviews more efficient. Today, users can visit the site and check out casinos and bonuses based on their location, favorite games and playing preferences.
For instance, players in the UK can scroll through local deals such as 20 pound free no deposit bonuses, compare them to other promos and make a decision based on the facts. By creating a one-stop-shop, NetEnt Casino has made it easy for players to not only find offers but learn more about the industry. Indeed, when money is involved, information is power and that’s something real money casino companies have learned in recent years.
Although GTA V casino players won’t be able to wager actual cash credits, the same principles hold true. If a player has worked hard to complete missions and build up a healthy in-game bankroll, they won’t want to lose it by making a mistake at the blackjack table. What’s more, they’ll eventually want something extra for their time online. Because casino gaming is full of ups and downs, it pays to be educated and, in turn, get a little extra credit.
At this stage, video gamers are happy enough just to have access to Diamond Casino & Resort. However, in 12 months’ time, the developers may need to find new ways of keeping interest high. It’s at this point that promotions and, potentially, learning tools may become useful. For example, if a player knows they can get free credits by completing a certain mission, they’re more likely to use the casino. Additionally, if they were able to take some lessons in blackjack or poker before sitting down to play, they’d feel more confident in doing so.
Naturally, these are just ideas. Right now, the GTA V casino update is a huge hit. But, as with all things in gaming, interest will ebb and flow over time. When this happens, new incentives will be crucial. For the developers at Rockstar HQ, taking a look at the online casino industry would be wise. Indeed, with millions of players worldwide and revenue topping $45 billion+, the top operators are clearly doing something right. If Rockstar can use just some of their ideas, its virtual casino doors should stay open for many years to come.