Is Gamification Still Relevant to Casino?

 However, even ten years on, there are still plenty of questions to be asked about gamification.


Source: Pexels.

As of 2021, gamification is a decade old. A paper written by Croatian researchers Bernik et al on the topic identifies a piece of work from 2011 as the source of the much-used term, appropriately titled Gartner's Hype Cycle Report. However, even ten years on, there are still plenty of questions to be asked about gamification, including whether it works, if it has caught on, and whether its presence in the world could still be a fleeting one.


In the gaming industry, inclusive of both casino-style entertainment and the traditional console or PC experience, gamification is an odd fit, serving as a game on top of another game. It’s arguably in this area that the concept has its beginnings, though. After all, even simplistic additions like high score tables, which debuted with Midway’s Sea Wolf in 1976, added an extra challenge separate from the main game.

 Of course, marketers and other trendsetters had – and still have – us all convinced that gamification can work in just about every area of life. In fact, mobile life RPGs can turn even mundane tasks like getting out of bed before noon into an interactive experience by letting the player set their own quests to level up their avatar. Education, healthcare, and productivity have all since been gamified to attract users.

The gaming company Casumo typifies how many other casino sites apply gamification to their products. In the full review by Ms.Goodhead of, the writer notes that Casumo “looks more like a mobile game” than a website, which hints at the fact that this kind of interactivity is important to visitors. Casumo employs a points system that gives out rewards once certain amounts are reached.

Bells and Whistles

Research indicates that gamification works in traditional gaming, education, and employment with the Bernik et al study noting that the concept generates a “high degree of interest” as an alternative means of book-learning. Gamification isn’t particularly common in casino gaming, though, and any given site is unlikely to have anything more interactive than a VIP or similar rewards scheme, which are usually hands-off features.

Source: Pexels.

While it’s not easy to explain this absence, casino games are designed to be simple (most slots can be played with no input from the player) so efforts to make the experience more interactive may just be a lot of unnecessary bells and whistles. Many of these extras are also multiplayer by definition, which conflicts with the fact that almost all casino games, including slots, blackjack, and roulette, are single-player.

To answer the question in the title, gamification is still relevant and predictions all the way to 2025 aren’t too difficult to find. The question that doesn’t seem to have a complete answer yet is whether gamification is a universal good or something that needs to be applied cautiously. The strength of casinos arguably lies in the product itself rather than any fancy bits and pieces so the industry might serve as something of an exception to marketers' rules.