What draws players to online casino games?

by Polly in WOW

July 5, 2024

6 minutes to read

In recent years, we’ve seen increased interest in online gambling, from playing online slots to card games. For every player, the experience is different, but the psychology behind gambling aligns with the majority.

There are certain factors and features that keep players coming back for more over and over again. On this page, we’ll take a closer look at the psychology of gaming and what makes it so thrilling for players.

Factors that draw in players

Originally, there were simple setups that made straightforward gaming entertainment available. As technology progressed, the industry evolved, creating games that focused on a more enjoyable experience.

While these added elements can improve the experience, they can also lead to players developing rather unhealthy gaming habits. You can find out more about the stats via our useful infographic on the psychology behind gambling addiction.

So, what are the thrill factors linked to online gaming?

The risk factor

One of the things we as humans naturally seek out consciously or subconsciously is a little risk. And online casino games are the perfect combination of excitement and risk. You get to enjoy taking risks in different games, so the entertainment element changes while the risk remains.

No certainty

Another big drawcard is the anticipation that comes with the unknown. Online casino players are drawn to that uncertainty of a spin or game hand that can go any way. Whether you have a big win or a small loss, it affects the brain and creates a pleasurable sensation. Because of this sensation, we tend to come back to relive that experience.

It’s convenient

With modern technology making it possible to play games from just about anywhere, the convenience plays into the thrill of ‘why not?’. You can play games to kill time while waiting in a queue. Or play during transit on the way home or during the evening at home when you’ve got nothing to do.

It’s accessible

With so many top-rated online casinos to choose from, you can get instant access to the latest and most entertaining games at any time. There are no closing hours or a drive you need to do before reaching your gaming destination. All the games are instantly accessible via your device of choice.

Social interaction vs. isolation

These two go hand in hand, as some players want to enjoy games but prefer to do so in private. Where other players want to play games but want to do so alongside other players.

With online games, there is the perfect balance, allowing you to choose the experience you’re after. So, if you want to play alongside other players, you can enjoy multiplayer titles, crash games, or live dealer variants. If you prefer to play in private, you can play any of the games without the social element.

Bonuses and promotions

Another thing that instantly attracts players is the range of bonuses and promotions connected to online gambling. From the minute you enter an online gaming site, you are shown a range of offers, starting with a very generous welcome bonus.

There are daily rewards and promotions such as free spins, cashbacks, and deposit match bonuses available to claim. On top of that, many of the leading platforms have a great loyalty program where your time playing games online leads to point collection. These points can help you level up and get access to special bonuses and promotions only available to VIP players.

Visually stimulating

The visuals of slots and casino games are created with great care, taking into consideration what excites players, appeals to their senses, and makes them want to take part in the journey. Creators use the best in designs, the most exciting themes, and innovative animations that keep players locked in.

Sounds that work

Aside from great visuals, top software providers also use the best sounds and music, which, combined with the visuals, provide a sensory, satisfying experience. The sounds are not chosen at random. Operators and providers use sounds that are inviting, satisfying, and calming. With every title, the soundtrack can evoke another type of experience, from nostalgia to excitement, which drives the thrill of the game.


With the use of AI technology and Big Data, the casino gaming experience continues to change. This makes it possible to enjoy an even more personalised betting experience. Operators have the ability to customise the experience based on the player preference, ensuring that the recommended games, the offers and the added extras are tailored towards the player instead of a general offer.

When you understand the psychology behind online gambling and what it is that makes players stick around, it becomes slightly easier to stay balanced and get out when it is needed.

4 psychological stages for casino players online

When playing casino games online, players go through different stages. Here is a quick summary of the four stages.

  1. The Chase — The first thing you experience is the thrill of the chase, with excitement and anticipation mixing together as you wait for the game results. It's captivating.
  2. “I’m in control” — The next stage is the illusion of control, where you believe you are in charge and have the ability to influence the game outcome.
  3. Response to loss — The third stage is the response to loss. For some players, it’s easier to accept than for others. For those having a difficult time coping with losses, the feeling of isolation may even increase.
  4. It’s anonymous — With online casino gameplay, you can choose to reveal your identity or play anonymously. It is this option of playing without identity that can make players engage in even riskier gameplay due to a lack of obvious judgment.

Play responsibly

Online casino games are created for the sole purpose of entertainment. Responsible gambling is key! The fact that you can gain profits from the activity should never be a driving factor. If you or anyone you know is struggling with problem gambling or showing signs of doing so, it is recommended to get help.

You can take a look at our play safe guides for more information, set limits using the responsible gambling tools casinos have to offer, or contact any of the organisations in your region that offer assistance.

Article by Polly

CasinoWow Contributor

Hey guys, my name is Polina but my friends and colleagues call me Polly. I am truly passionate about online casino gaming and exploring the different online gambling experiences. I'm really into diving deep into topics and researching all the details. My aim is to gather the best information and write interesting articles for all the readers at CasinoWow.

Anything incorrect or missing?

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