There’s something amazing about casinos. Inside large ones, you can do everything from shopping and seeing a stage show to eating at some of the best restaurants in town. In these self-contained resorts, there is a surrealness that extends beyond gambling.
With the Vegas casinos actively pursuing 18- to 35-year-olds to help recoup the industry’s revenue cold streak, casinos have become the must-be place for millennials less interested in gaming and more into partying, the nightlife, and the social aspects of the Vegas experience.
We examined how casinos are portrayed in social media by looking at the most Instagrammed casinos in the world’s gambling hot spots: Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo, and Macau. Find out which casinos are posted about the most, what time of day most posts occur, which casino’s posts get the most likes and the top filters used for gambling-related photos.
A FULL HOUSE OF POSTS
For many, posting snapshots to Instagram is almost second nature. A search of the keyword #casino on Instagram’s website yielded 2,006,657 posts at the time of the search. An in-depth look into these posts, however, shows that certain casinos are Instagrammed about more than others.
In the map above, you’ll see a tracked sample of the Instagram posts concerning the casinos in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Macau, and Monte Carlo; the posts are mapped based on where they originated from. By selecting a dot on the map, you can take a look at the original Instagram post and see the photo taken at that spot.
INSTAGRAMMING UNDER THE TWINKLING LIGHTS
The heat maps above show the upload locations of Instagram posts. In Atlantic City, for example, while a large number of gambling Instagram posts were uploaded from the Borgata and Harrah’s, the majority came from Boardwalk visitors. The Boardwalk is home to the Trump Taj Mahal, the Resorts Casino, the Tropicana, and other casinos that didn’t make our shortlist of the most visited.
Similarly in Las Vegas, the majority of posts were uploaded from South Las Vegas Boulevard – aka the Vegas Strip, where the majority of the city’s high-profile casinos and resorts are located.
In cities like Monaco and Macau, you can see that the posts, over time, tend to populate the entire city.
BRIGHT LIGHTS, BIG CASINO CITIES
The above photo of the Bellagio’s 8-acre artificial lake during the casino’s famous water fountain show was taken by an Instagram user. It also provides a look at Paris Las Vegas and its Eiffel Tower replica across the street. The image received more than 900 likes on Instagram. The Strip’s luxury hotspot, the Bellagio, is one of the most Instagrammed casinos in Las Vegas.
Check out the top casinos, by Instagram post count, in the graphic above. The results highlight some of the most scenic casinos in each of the cities.
A deeper analysis of the Instagram casino photos suggests that Instagram users are drawn to different snapshot features based on the city. In Las Vegas, for example – according to Google Cloud Vision API – the Vegas Strip itself tends to be a subject of choice. In Macau, The Venetian Macao’s gondola rides take the lion’s share of the posts. And in Monaco, where there is an air of extreme wealth and affluence, cars are among the most pictured. And lastly, the posts in Atlantic City seem to be more arts and entertainment-focused, with music venues, art, and skyscrapers being among the most captured items.
TIME OF POST? IT’S THE DEALER’S CHOICE
Looking at the average number of posts per hour for the four cities yields interesting results. Las Vegas had its heaviest concentration of casino Instagram posts between 5:30 p.m. and 6 a.m. GMT (9:30 a.m. and 10 p.m. Pacific Standard Time). Monte Carlo saw the most posts between 2 p.m. and 9 p.m. GMT (9 p.m. and 4 a.m. Central European Time). Macau’s peak was between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. GMT (4 p.m. and 12 a.m. China Standard Time).
This reflects the culture of each of these cities. Las Vegas, for example, is tourist-friendly and encourages family and daytime entertainment. Monte Carlo, on the other hand, is well-known as a late-night destination.
Peak daytime posts are also noteworthy for Atlantic City, where Instagram use starts to pick up around 3:30 p.m. GMT (10:30 a.m. Eastern Standard Time) and wanes at 10 p.m. GMT (5 p.m. EST). The daytime spike reflects Atlantic City’s reputation for being more family-friendly than other casino cities.
The Monte Carlo Casino received, on average, the most likes on Instagram. The officially titled Casino de Monte-Carlo, a foreigners-only locale (citizens of Monaco are not allowed to gamble), is one of the most celebrated casinos in history. It was the inspiration for the casino at Royale-les-Eaux in the novel “Casino Royale,” and it’s appeared in several early James Bond flicks as well as the films “Cars 2,” “Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted,” and “Ocean’s Twelve.”
Other well-liked casinos include the Fairmont Monte Carlo; The Venetian, Las Vegas; MGM Macau; and Planet Hollywood, Las Vegas.
DEALING IN FILTERS
Overwhelmingly, when Instagram users posted casino photos, they didn’t seem to worry about post-processing. The analysis of our Instagram sample showed an overwhelming 56.1 percent of the photos in our study didn’t use an Instagram filter.
The most popular filter, when one was used? Amaro. Lo-Fi, Valencia, and X-Pro II follow close behind.
For many, casino play is akin to partying. But casinos have grown to mean more than just social experiences – Internet “play” is the name of the game too, whether it’s sharing Vegas hotspots on social media or real-money online gambling.
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Using the Instagram API, we were able to collect 2,092,919 posts containing 28 different hashtags related to casinos, Las Vegas, Atlantic City, Monte Carlo, and Macau. With that information, we were able to explore the most common locations based on geolocation information from posts as well as when the posts were published. Post times were received in a Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) format and were converted to a readable date string in Greenwich Mean Time automatically.
This project and the assets found here are available for reuse. When reposting, we ask that you please link back to the original project so that readers can learn more about the project and its methodology.