When you apply game design elements and principles to non-game scenarios then this is called gamification.
There are many examples of gamification such as buys, achievements, virtual rewards, levelling systems, points badges, high scores and progress bars. Ultimately, the aim is to keep players engaged so that they keep playing. These are an important element in video games as well as online casinos.
Rewards and Bonuses
Many casinos encourage players by offering casino bonuses and a rewards system in exchange for their customer loyalty. Some are used to encourage players to sign up while others are used to encourage players to continue playing. There are also VIP programs at certain casino sites that give players added incentives to keep coming back. While not all casinos offer VIP treatment, those that do might include exclusive bonuses, VIP events, personalised withdrawal services and even flights to destinations like Las Vegas. Of course these vary from casino to casino.
Bonuses and rewards can take the form of leaderboards, that create a sense of competition amongst players, the unlocking of new games, awards, prizes or trophies.
Avatars are another form of gamification and allow players to create their own characters. Personalising the character makes the player feel more engaged and more a part of the playing community as he competes with other players and even may get to explore different worlds.
Loyalty and VIP levels
Many online casinos use elements of gamification to encourage player loyalty. This may be through loyalty points or VIP levels. Players who managed to climb to a higher level receive rewards for doing so. Some casinos offer competitions, while playing online slots or other casino games, which involve missions. Others go the route of bonuses that encourage players to play more frequently.
Appealing to a wide audience
Different casinos go about gamification in different ways and some to a greater extent. Often times it depends on the type of players a casino attracts. While some casinos attract players who enjoy creating avatars, others might attract players who enjoy the collected trophies, receiving rewards, opening up new games, getting lost in new universes or winning in tournaments.
Gamification has become an important part of online gambling because it makes players' gaming experience better. Because there are a number of elements to gamification, there is something to be found for everyone which includes missions, avatars, tournaments, rewards and other. Ultimately, the better the casino is at gamification, the more likely it is to keep their players engaged and playing.