How Online Casinos Embraced Pop Culture

By  //  February 16, 2021

It’s no secret that online casinos have become quite popular over time. After all, online casino games can be played from home, have a bigger selection of titles, and provide much better return-to-player rates than your traditional casino games.

According to Statista, its value is even set to reach $93 billion by 2023 — marking over 50% growth in the span of just three years.

However, online casinos weren’t always so popular, nor as exciting. For example, Microgaming’s first few titles, like Cash Splash (2004), simply replicated the vibe of your typical brick-and-mortar casino.

And while this worked very well in the early years, the appeal isn’t as great today. In its place, we now have Live Monopoly, Avenger Slots, and other pop-culture-themed online casino games.

But what convinced online gaming providers to set their sights on pop culture?

Attracting younger players

The people who grew up surrounded by bright Vegas neon lights aren’t the people who are willing to spend casino money today. It’s millennials.

There are 83 million people who fall under the 25-to-40-year-old demographic in the U.S. alone, contributing more than $200 billion in annual purchasing power. Millennials are currently the biggest consumer group in the economy — and they’re obsessed with pop culture.

A demographic of culture enthusiasts

A study compiled by media researcher Julia Stoll notes that an impressive 65% of millennials have their own Netflix subscription, with an extra 10% sharing an account with someone else.

Other online services like HBO Max and Hulu are also dominated by millennials. Many popular adult cartoons like South Park, long-running TV series like Grey’s Anatomy, and hero movies like The Avengers can be found on these platforms.

Even before the advent of online streaming services, millennials were already familiar with a lot of pop culture icons. After all, iconic franchises like Harry Potter, The Simpsons, and Twilight also grew up with them. Board games and TV game shows like Monopoly and Jeopardy are also a very big part of their early years.

Competing for their attention

As such, if one’s goal is to attract millennials, the best way to go about it is to provide pop-culture-themed games. True enough, Golden Nugget’s rise to the top of the investor charts is largely because of its online casino offerings.

Some of their popular games, like Merlin’s Millions, Da Vinci Extreme, and White Rabbit Megaways are all inspired by pop culture and are chock-full of familiar references. Meanwhile, the slots on Foxy Games feature some of the most well-known pop culture references to date.

From cartoon-themed titles like Rick and Morty Wubba Lubba Dub Dub to those inspired by movies like Jungle Gorilla, there’s going to be a game that appeals to every type of fan on their roster. Other high-grossing online gaming providers like Intertops, Casinba, and Red Dog have all incorporated pop culture into most of their games too.

With so many online casinos in the market, providers need to be on top of their pop culture research to attract — and keep — their millennial players. So, if there’s a sudden resurgence of chess slots on the gaming market, know that you have the wildly popular Netflix original title The Queen’s Gambit to thank for it.

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