Social Casino 101: The Definitive Guide to the Social Casino Industry. Video Lecture Series

UPDATED Nov 2016

When I joined Playtika and the Social Casino industry in 2013, I was quite clueless about the realities of the niche. My goal was to become an industry expert as quickly as possible. One of the tools I used to study the niche was the outstanding casual connect you tube channel which features all the conference lectures.

Over the last couple years, I have been collecting a short list of “must view” video presentations which I update every so often. This page is an attempt to create a “first stop” for people entering the social casino space. If you spend the time to watch all the below presentations it will give you a wide and relatively comprehensive understanding of the nuances and complexities of the industry.  The videos below are not necessarily listed in the order of importance.

If you feel I have missed something here please do let me know by commenting below.

(Newly Added) Social Casino Market Overview: This is a rolling lecture which I give almost every quarter with a high level review of market realities including items like, Market Size, Competitive Analysis, and other relevant and timely trends. Below is the most recent of this series given in Causal Connect Tel Aviv during Nov 2016.

Previous versions of these series Oct 2015 Feb 2014 , Sep 2014 , March 2015 


(Newly Added) Playtika and Huuuge Games 1 on 1: In a detailed and transparent 1 on 1 talk, Adi Hanin, Director of Business Development @ Playtika chats with Anton Gauffin, Founder and CEO of Huuuge Games. Its not very often that you can get tow competitors on stage speaking about their shared and unique challenges and strategies. Given the contrast, Playtika the industry leader and Huuuge, the new hot growth company in the industry; the talk serves as a very insightful one allowing to see how different companies at different scales look at the present and the future.


Current and Future Challenges in Social Casino: In this informal fireside chat Games Beat Jeff Grub and I discuss the new realities in the maturing Social Casino market. We discuss items such as growth, user acquisition, slots content, Asia as a market, and how to break into the market as a smaller developer.


Fighting the Big Guys:  Its not secret that Social Casino has become a top concentrated market over the last couple years. Breaking into the list of the top tier contenders is a task that many have tried and most have failed. There are a few that have made some headway and have become the new kids on the block. In the two videos below (both very recent from Casual Connect San Francisco 2016) you can find these new kids talking about how theyve done it and what their plans are for the future. Niko as always is a great speaker so you should enjoy these. I think whats most interesting about these new contenders is that they have each carved out a very specific niche (within the social casino niche)  for themselves and this is what ultimately has brought about their success.



VIP Management / Loyalty Programs: VIP Management and Loyalty programs are a critical part of managing a successful Social Casino. Playtika has been managing a hyper successful Loyalty program for several years in Slotomania and was rolled out to all our games early in 2015. As the market matured, during 2015 we saw an industry wide trend of rolling out similar programs amongst some of the big and small market contenders. Below is a discussion about the subject from Casual Connect San Fran 2016 which should get you thinking.


1000 Voices in Social Casino: Googles Noam Peri presents a very insightful survey that google did to understand the motivations and behaviors of Social Casino players. This detailed survey should be seen by anyone who is active or planning to be active in the Social Casino market.


Bold Predictions on the Social Casino: Adam Krejcik  (from Eillers and Krejcik Gaming) discusses his predictions for the Social Casino Market. For those who dont know Adam, he is one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry through his capacity as the leading analyst of the Social Casino Industry. Adam releases monthly, quarterly, and yearly reports about the Social Casino industry and has become one of the main sources of information for understanding the market on a macro level.


That’s Entertainment: How to Create an Online Entertainment Destination. Carey Dijulio BigFish Casino. Carey is one of industries leading professionals and is the brains behind Big Fish Casino, one of Playtikas more worthy competitors. In this talk she discussed Social Casino as an entertainment venue and how to create the right entertainment environment for your users. This is an important concept to understand since Social Casino is a pure entertainment industry (Unlike RMG).


Mobile Social Casino’s Past Helps Gage Its Future. Carey Dijulio Big Fish Casino. Another great talk by Carey. In this presentation she discussed the evolution of Mobile Social Casino since 2012 in the effort to understand what the future of the niche may look like.


Understanding the Differences between Online Casino Gamblers and Social Casino Game Players. Pini Yakuel Optimove. The ongoing debate on the similarities and differences of Social Casino to Real Money Gambling online is ongoing. Those who are immersed in the industry understand that the differences are substantial and that Social Casino games are much closer in nature to Social games in general than to Real money gambling. There is of course some overlap in content and certain player segments. This lecture gives some clarity as to the numbers behind this difference.


Engaged To Social Casino. Cynthia Woll, Playtika. Cynthia is one of Playtika’s most talented game designers. Engaging users with entertaining game mechanics is critical to any games success.  In this talk, Cynthia reviews some of the core game mechanics of Social Casino games.


Social Casino & Facebook: What’s New? Julien Codorniou, Facebook. Julien leads the EMEA Facebook Games team from London. He has a unique view of the Social Casino industry as he works closely with, and has access to data from, all the large and small social casino companies on the Facebook Platform. Thought mobile is leading the growth of the Social Casino Industry, Facebook maintains its prominent role in the niche and will this will probably will continue to be the reality for a long while.


The World’s Best Slots Designers Reveal all. Slots are the number one making product type in the Social Casino Industry. Designing quality slots is a complex, time consuming process which is part art and part science and requires a high level of expertise. In this talk, slot experts discuss some of the details and nuances of designing winning slot machines.


The Importance of Customer Service in Social Casino Games. Andy Caras-Alatas, TraffGen. Unlike most of the social gaming industry, the concept of customer service in the social casino industry is mature and comprehensive. The concept of a high level of service provided to the social casino players and especially the payers is borrowed from the real money gambling / offline gambling world. It can be defined as one of the fundamental elements of a successful social casino company. In this talk Andy discusses some of the concepts, insights, and best practices in the customer service side of the industry.


Monetization and KPIs of Real Money Gaming and Social Casino Gaming. Cullen, Reaves. Once again I cant stress enough the differences between RMG and Social Casino games, operations, player psychologies etc. In this talk, Cullen and Reaves give some side by side comparisons of the core KPI’s from each of the industries with the goal of highlighting how different the two industries are. This talk is also has value in that its a good intro to the basic KPIs followed by Social Casino companies.


Social Casino in Emerging Markets. Vicenç Marti, Akamon. This is a subject that I believe is one of the largest opportunities in the market at this moment. You will see at least one slide on this subject in every one of my presentations. Social Casino Generates over 70% of its revenue in western, English speaking markets. The potential upside from emerging markets is very large and some companies have built their entire strategy around it. In this talk Vincenc the founder and CEO of Akamon (a company which developer social casino games specifically for the spanish speaking markets) gives a general overview of this opportunity in emerging markets.


When is Online Gaming Online Gambling? Louis Castle. No series about Social Casino can ignore the question of regulation. This is a subject that is highly debated in the social casino and social gaming industries alike. In this talk Louis Castle reviews some of the core definitions of what is gambling and what isnt.


Top 10 Ways Social Casino Games Increase Engagement and Retention Using Push Messaging. Itay Levy, Appoxee. Mobile Marketing Automation has become an important tool in the mobile industry in general and even more so in the Social Casino Industry. In this talk, Itay reviews some best practices of mobile marketing automation in the social casino industry and in the process, shares some important data points and benchmarks about the industry.



State of The Social Casino Industry,Q1 2015. (Video Lecture Uploaded)

For those of you who asked for a video of the lecture, here it is on you tube. State of the Social Casino Q1 lecture from February in Amsterdam.

State of the Social Casino Industry Q4 2014.

Last week, I gave my quarterly State of the Social Casino lecture at Casual Connect Amsterdam. Below are my slides laying out the most recent trends and realities in the Social Casino Industry.


Pic of the main hall at CC15


Yoni Ushin, VP Creative @ Playtika discussing Slotomania’s design principals

Slotomania has gone through many design iterations over the years. In a short lecture given by Yoni Ushin Playtika’s VP Creative, he discuses some of the design principals that have gone into the game. This should interest those of you who are in the social casino niche as Yoni and his team constantly set the standard for the market!

Come hear my ” State of the Social Casino Industry 2014″ talk at Casual Connect Amsterdam. Feb 4th 2015


I’ve given a “State of the Social Casino” talk several times of the last couple of years. Next month at Casual Connect Amsterdam I’ll be giving an updated talk and will discuss the current realities of the social casino industry. I’ll be discussing market size, industry leaders, current trends and the challenges that are ahead of us.

See the entire lecture schedule here.

See the last State of the Social Casino industry lecture here