Casinos with own virtual currency
Virtual currency is money, or items of value, created by a casino, that can be exchanged for other items of value within that casino. Did you know that the original nintendo game, Super Mario Bros, used its own virtual currency? If you ever played the game, you’ll remember that one of the aims was to collect as many coins as you can, and that if you collected enough of them, Mario would gain an extra life.
Collecting the coins wasn’t the principal aim of the game, but it did add additional challenges to the game, and made it much more interesting as a result. In fact, gameplay would probably have been half as fun without those little coins. Gamification involves taking elements of game-playing and incorporating these elements into areas of life that aren’t game-like. Virtual currency at mobile casinos is a great example of gamification, as it involves incorporating an aspect of games (like Super Mario Bros) into gambling, to bring additional challenges and fun to the gambling experience.
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Virtual currency and Bitcoin
People sometimes call Bitcoin a virtual currency, because it exists digitally, and doesn’t have physical counterparts in coins or notes. This is an understandable confusion, given that when we talk about ‘virtual reality’ – for example – we are talking about a digital representation of reality, as opposed to a physical one.
However, for our purposes, when we describe a currency as virtual, we are not referring to the distinction between a digital presence and a physical one, we are meaning that it is a artificial currency and it’s opposed to a real one. Bitcoin is a real currency that can be used all over the world. However, the virtual currencies that we are talking are artificial in the sense that they are designed to work within the casino that creates it, and they are not valid anywhere else.
The virtual currencies we are interested in are best compared to the coins that you collected in Super Mario Bros or to Monopoly money. The sole purpose of creating a virtual currency in these games was to enhance the enjoyment of those games. Bitcoin is not an artifice designed to enhance your enjoyment of a game, it was created to be used as a real currency, similar to U.S. dollars or pound sterling.
Virtual currency and casino chips
Sometimes casinos that allow you to buy chips, might call their chips a virtual currency. In a land-based casino (as opposed to an online one) you purchase little round discs, known as ‘chips’ or ‘tokens’ and you use them in place of real money. When you leave the casino you can cash in your chips.
32 red uses casino chips in the way that a land-based casino might use them, and you might refer to this as a virtual currency, as it’s a currency that has value within the casino that creates it and nowhere else.
However, using casino chips in this way is not a gamification technique. It doesn’t enhance your enjoyment of a casino, in any significant way, if you use chips rather than money. The virtual currencies that we are interested in significantly enhance player enjoyment, as they are not purchased by the player, but gifted to the player, as a reward for playing regularly at the casino.
So, the two important things that you need to remember about virtual currency, as a gamification technique, are:
- It’s a fictional currency
- It’s designed to enhance your enjoyment of a casino
The benefits of virtual currency
There are two main benefits of virtual currency. First of all, casinos that offer virtual currency are usually giving you something for nothing. You will earn most of your coins without having to do anything extra, and in that sense you are getting something for nothing. Secondly, virtual currency brings variety to the kinds of returns you can get from gambling. Virtual currency isn’t just rewarding for you, it’s very rewarding for casinos. Casinos that reward players with virtual currency encourage players to use their casino more regularly and for longer, because the more you play, the more it pays.
Virtual currency can be a very rewarding gamification technique for gamblers and casinos. While the amount of virtual currency you could win is luck based, virtual currency rewards you for playing as you normally do. Much of the time, you’ll be rewarded just for turning up! What’s not to like? If you’ve yet to experience the fun of virtual currency at a mobile casino, give it a go!
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