IN-DEPTH 23 December 2016
What factors land-based operators need to consider before launching an online product
EveryMatrix has assisted a number of land-based casino operators with taking their first steps into the virtual space, including Dragonara Casino and Royal Casino. Chief Commercial Officer Nick Hill tells GI what factors a land-based operator needs to consider before making the leap and launching an online product
By Gambling Insider
Why are land-based operators interested in the online sphere of gambling?
Simple, it is a prolific form of gambling generating €13bn in revenues from the EU alone, which represents more than 15% of the EU’s gambling market. Recent reports show that there are around ten million online consumers in the EU. This is a huge and growing market.
Launching and running a successful online casino is not an entirely different ball game to land-based casinos, though the difference is significant enough for any operator to need to truly understand how the online industry works before they can be successful. We believe the following matters should be approached with caution and attention.
Choose your markets and prepare accordingly
Land-based casino operators develop their activities on a number of licences which permit the offering of gambling services to players from particular jurisdictions and countries, so must adhere to local rules, regulations and taxation.
To deliver online gambling services requires a similar licence in certain countries, and these are ever changing as countries and jurisdictions look to capitalise on revenues via taxation. This is something that a new online entrant into a particular market must consider even if the operator is already physically present in that country with shops, arcades, slots halls or a full casino.
Adapt your marketing for the online space
The online space brings along its own challenges. Opening an online casino means that operators have to address a different type of audience, which requires a different set of communication tools to make their online presence known to players.
Though a land-based operator has a huge advantage of an existing player base, in the long-term they need to consider other promotional means that are suitable for the online world, such as building an affiliate base, social media efforts, SEO and many other forms of online marketing and player acquisition methods available, and adapt this for the target market.
Constantly reach out to new players
Newcomers in the online space should remember that the virtual environment has its own rules, and all online operators join a competitive race for players’ attention and loyalty. Thus, bonus programs are an essential part of the marketing and acquisition strategy. If we take a look at land-based casinos, we notice a list of “traditional” ways to keep clients happy, from offering free drinks and frequent flyer miles to serving complimentary meals, booking show tickets and sometimes free rooms in the attached hotel.
In the online space things are not that different. By following the general model from a real casino, online operators come forward with various programs, rewards and discounts for new players in order to increase the acquisition rate.
Focus on retention
As any land-based operator knows, keeping your present clients is far easier than going out hunting for new ones.
Land-based operators are counting on providing a great service by employing the aforementioned methods, such as free drinks, meals or rooms, but online players have a slightly different behaviour and loyalty reward expectations. However, the principles are the same, so the retention efforts and tools need to be tailored to the audience in order to address their needs. In addition, an operator should start to think of convergence of players online and offline and implement loyalty and reward programs for frequent players that can be redeemed both online and offline, whether that be free spins cash conversion or gifts.
Make sure you have in place common retention tools like loyalty programs offering incentivised bonuses to frequent players and high rollers that place bets on high stakes. In addition, having a constant communication with customers is vital.
Offer your online players quality and engaging casino games
Online bettors are not easy to please. With so many available options in the online space, they often shift from one gambling website to another in order to suit their changing needs and tastes.
So, how can an online casino operator cope with all that? To respond to players’ expectations, online casinos have to be visually pleasing in order to address different audiences and target multiple groups of players, while maintaining a robust user experience for all casino lovers. Online players are more likely to require games that deliver sophisticated visual effects and advanced graphic entertainment.
Any land-based operator that wants to start an online business needs to decide what types of games should be offered and what casino game providers should partner with when creating a product aimed at a specific market.
Expand your offering with an online sportsbook
Why watch your players leaving to another website to place their sports bets when they can spend their money on your website, enhancing player retention and increasing player lifetime value? Though a land-based casino operator may not be used to the sports betting industry, choosing a reliable software provider that can implement and manage an online sportsbook on your platform may prove to be a lucrative idea.
With integrated technologies that allow operators offer their clients a seamless wallet now available from providers, it is even easier and preferable to bettors to run sports and casino betting transactions from a single location.
You don’t have to walk alone on this path
Building an online gambling business is not a totally alien experience from running a brick-and-mortar casino. With so many players ready to access the thrilling world of casino games without hassle and in the safety and comfort of their own homes, or on the go using their mobile devices, you can build your online casino by contacting a software provider that can offer assistance in delivering the technical infrastructure and implement the required software platforms.