As slot sites and developers move increasingly towards providing a personalised experience for players, it's never been more important to understand the dynamics of player behaviour. Every slots fan has their own individual preferences, so uncovering patterns of play and the types of slots that appeal to different segments of the market is crucial to informing this drive.
The Slot Trumps study has uncovered fascinating insights into player trends and behaviour in some key global markets. The study provides a revealing window into the types of games, themes, and the influence of bonuses on player behaviour. The first three reports cover Brazil, Romania and Greece. But to what extent do these countries differ from the UK? And what can we expect the comparative UK trends to uncover about how slots are played and enjoyed here?
The Slot Trumps findings so far
The first Slot Trumps report, published in September 2023, took a 90-day snapshot of data from the Brazilian slots market. While the data points to a wide range of individual experiences, reflective of the dynamic, diverse Brazilian culture, some identifiable patterns could be drawn from the research. Notably, the study seems to suggest a preference for multi-layered experiences with an emphasis on thrill-seeking. Slot players in Brazil are not looking for a slow-and-steady playing experience. Instead, they’re chasing the thrill, as reflected by game choice and the allure of tournaments, challenges and other competitive elements in games.
Fortune Tiger, Aviator, Mines, Fairy Fantasy Exotic Wilds and Aladdin’s Rollover Respins make up the top 5 slot games in Brazil – a line-up that wouldn’t immediately ring true for anyone with an understanding of UK slots player behaviour.
The second Slot Trumps study turned to Romania, a market with an altogether different set of characteristics. While Brazilian players were clearly seeking more thrilling slots play, Romanian players tend towards classic slots with a penchant for bonus buys. As a relatively newly legal online market, many of Romania’s slot fans are still drawn to slots ported over from land-based casinos. There’s also a notable trend towards bonus buys, with players choosing bonus buys accounting for average bets of up to 16.5x larger than average on the most popular slots games.
The average bet comes in at €2.59 for Romanian players, with an average of 109 bets per session. By contrast, the corresponding numbers for Brazil show €1.04 average bet, with an average of 49.59 bets per session.
The third and final report looks at Greece. The Greek market has some similarities to the UK, in that bonus buys are banned by law in both jurisdictions. Greek players bet less on average per spin, at just €0.79, and have fewer average bets per session than Romania, at 73.8. This reflects a general preference in Greece for playing at lower stakes. At the same time, Greek players prefer to stick with classic game themes, which echoes, to a significant degree, the Romanian market.
The UK has yet to receive the Slot Trumps treatment, though will no doubt feature as the research unfolds. But what patterns and demographics might we expect to see from UK slots fans?
Projections for the UK picture
As a somewhat more mature online market, the UK has its own distinct preferences, especially around slots themes and games. The UK is arguably a more adventurous slots market, with innovative game themes like Immortal Romance, Big Bass Bonanza, Book of Dead and Starburst ranking highly. These are games that are much more sophisticated than the classic fruit machines and more basic games preferred in some of the markets studied so far, which could give an indication of the future direction of travel for audiences in markets in Romania and Brazil, for example.
It’s clear to see the influence on slot themes here from external media. Films and book series like The Twilight Saga clearly inspired games like Immortal Romance, while Book of Dead owes a lot to the Indiana Jones franchise. Starburst has similarities to other mobile games and social media gaming crazes, which all indicate a slots culture more entwined with popular culture more deeply than we’ve seen in other markets surveyed so far.
Figures from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport suggest that 97% of slot stakes are below £2, which is pretty high by comparative standards. With the potential for maximum stake limits coming into force in the UK, it remains to be seen whether this will ultimately apply downward pressure on this number.
The UK market enjoys slots play – with slots remaining by far and away the most popular online casino gambling choice. As the industry grows and as other markets mature, it remains to be seen where the overlaps between different playing cultures fall, and where the common ground exists in global slots markets.