CRM Automation & Gamification Platform

Free to Play Games: A Powerful Tool for Enhancing User Engagement and Loyalty


The popularity of monetizing through in-app purchases in free-to-play games has skyrocketed. This trend has proven advantageous for game operators seeking to increase user engagement and revenue. Free-to-play games have been an integral part of the digital gaming industry for some time now. In response to the pandemic, many sports and professional leagues quickly turned to free-to-play games as a means of connecting with fans during a time of uncertainty.

While free-to-play games may only represent a small portion of an organization’s overall digital gaming portfolio, they can be a powerful tool for driving fan engagement in the realms of fantasy sports and sports betting. Numerous media and sports companies have already implemented free-to-play games to better engage with their fans.

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What are free-to-play games?

Free-to-play games are digital games and mobile applications that allow users to play without spending any money. The attraction of free-to-play games is that they provide the same level of entertainment value, rewards, and prizes as real money games while giving game producers and brands a means to develop a new customer base.

Free-to-play games are particularly effective in attracting cost-conscious players who would normally not consider playing a game because of its price. As a result, they have become an essential marketing strategy to reach a wider audience, establish trust, and engage with potential customers to convert them into loyal customers or generate positive word of mouth for the product.

Free-to-play games are used by a variety of stakeholders to increase profits, with one approach being to boost fan engagement. Real-world examples of their effectiveness can be observed in sports companies, which utilize games to generate interest among fans and increase sales of merchandise and tickets. 

Media companies and broadcasters of these games are also interested in free-to-play, as they seek to increase viewership of their sports programming and comprehend viewer behavior.

How free-to-play games attract new bettors

Although not as established as some traditional forms of sports betting, free-to-play has caught the attention of the industry due to its potential. This type of betting is becoming increasingly popular through sports accumulators and trivia competitions, which have proven to be effective tools for player acquisition.

Free-to-play sports betting works by requiring players to predict the outcomes of a set number of fixtures or head-to-head matches or to answer a series of questions related to those fixtures (prop bets). Players earn points for each correct prediction, and the player who predicts all outcomes correctly wins the jackpot.

Free-to-play sports betting is similar to traditional betting in many ways, except that the player does not risk their own money. This makes it an ideal entry point for those who enjoy fantasy sports leagues and want to move into sports betting. Furthermore, free-to-play games are usually legal in places where traditional sports betting is not and have fewer regulations.

Free-to-play games are now a leading tool for player acquisition and are likely to continue to grow in popularity, particularly as regulations and restrictions on sign-up bonuses and free spins increase. Sports fans are attracted to free-to-play because they can participate in betting activities without risking any money while still having the chance to win a jackpot or other prizes.

How free-to-play games help fantasy sports and betting operators

Free-to-play games benefit operators in two primary ways:

  • Free-to-play games enable sports operators to establish a database of prospective players and bettors in a market where fantasy sports and betting are still deemed unlawful. Some Daily Fantasy Sports ventures were the first entities to achieve this success by converting to official sports fantasy and betting apps in regions where such betting is already permitted.
  • Free-to-play games can aid in educating those unfamiliar with the realm of fantasy sports and betting. They can function as useful educational resources to assist individuals in comprehending how sports betting operates, its potential benefits, and the legality of it all.

Free-to-play games are here to stay

The iGaming industry has recently started to acknowledge the importance of free-to-play games as a valuable marketing tool. As their popularity continues to grow, many experts wonder if it could be the future of the industry. Although there have been previous trends like esports, virtuals, and cryptocurrencies that have garnered attention, free-to-play games are proving to be a lasting phenomenon.

The reputation of major sports betting operators has been significantly enhanced by the entertainment value of free-to-play games. This, coupled with the increasingly restrictive regulations in many jurisdictions, has driven the adoption of free-to-play games as a marketing tool. In regions with strict conditions, operators can find it easier to offer free-to-play games as a viable alternative to traditional promotions and advertising.

As marketing opportunities become increasingly limited, free-to-play games will continue to gain relevance for player acquisition, retention, education, and brand building. With the rise of white-label and turnkey solutions for online casinos and sports betting sites, free-to-play games can provide the competitive edge that operators need in an industry that is becoming more competitive.

Moreover, in markets like the United States, where the iGaming revenue is expected to reach $12 billion by 2025, free-to-play games can attract those who are new to betting. The adoption of free-to-play games by the industry has made it clear that it is an important vertical in its own right and has opened up possibilities for those running free-to-play games to deploy their potential to the fullest.

Here are two examples of free-to-play games by iGaming industry giants have found to be of great benefit to their business: 

The Loyalty Wheel

The Loyalty Wheel

The Loyalty Wheel gives users the chance to win exciting prizes by spinning a virtual wheel. With customizable branding options and the ability to set various prizes and odds, it can be tailored to fit the needs of any business.

The Loyalty Wheel also provides valuable data insights, including customer behavior and preferences, allowing businesses to optimize their marketing strategies and increase their revenue.

Scratch & Catch

Scratch & Catch

Scratch & Catch is a digital scratch card game that users can play for the chance to win various prizes, such as discounts, free products, and more. The game is highly customizable, easy to play, and easy to set up. – Your One-Stop Gamification/CRM Automation Solution

When it comes to Gamification, is a trusted and globally recognized leader in the field. And while it has a tight focus on the iGaming, Casino, and Sports Betting industries, can be integrated with and help any business reach new levels of success, including stock trading. is a leader in providing state-of-the-art Gamification and CRM automation software solutions. Its CRM tool combines player analytics data with machine-learning algorithms to help businesses of various industries gain a deeper understanding of people and their needs while also providing valuable data insights to ensure retention, loyalty, and much more.

Unlocking the Power of Gamification: Advanced Techniques for the iGaming Sector

As a leading Gamification & CRM Automation solution, Smartico offers the following:

  • Various intuitive challenges and gaming techniques.

  • High-value incentives that encourage long-term loyalty and retention, elevate player value, strengthen engagement, and boost user acquisition.

  • Multi-Currency/Language/Deep Brand Support.

  • Missions – Engage players with fun real-time solo or multiplayer tasks.

  • Points – Encourage players to keep coming back through point-based incentives and unlockables.

  • Badges – Stand out from the rest with sleek badges and earn free spins for each earned badge.

  • Levels – Players gain experience and special perks after each successful level or tournament completion.

  • Incentives – Motivate players to come back for more with unique rewards and bonuses.

  • Marketplace – Players can actualize their points by cashing them in for free game spins or other awards, such as online shopping vouchers.

  • Minigames – Players can reset their senses through short, award-earning games.

  • Tournaments – Set your own qualification rules and offer your customers a powerful endorphin rush with Smartico’s special tournament system.

  • Leaderboards – Set daily, weekly, and monthly prizes and watch your user engagement skyrocket.

  • Bonus Engine Integration – Cash bonuses, free spin bonuses, and more.

And that’s just a small sample of what’s on offer.

No matter what kind of Gamification solutions you may be interested in, can help you meet your short and long-term goals by supplying the solutions needed to bring customer engagement and employee/learner motivation to a whole new level. 

To start building a more successful business through Gamification, join the winners club and book your free demo today at:

The team wishes you the best of luck on your business journey forward. 


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