Published: 22 June, 2022

A lack of loyalty in New York

Speaking at the iGB Affiliate London Conference 2022, Betting Hero President Jai Maw examined the lack of loyalty in New York's online sports betting market

Betting Hero President Jai Maw says there is “a lack of loyalty” when it comes to online sports betting in the recently launched New York market.

Speaking at the iGB Affiliate London Conference 2022, Maw was delivering in-depth results from a Betting Hero survey conducted in New York state from its residents in March 2022. Requirements for respondents were that individuals were experienced sports bettors, over the age of 21, and current residents of NY state. A total of 90% of the data was sourced via online surveys and phone interviews, with 10% of the data coming in person at NY sporting events.

Regarding demographics, 83% of respondents were male, with the age ranging from 21-64, with an average age of 31.

The survey began with somewhat introductory questions regarding which sportsbooks are the most well-known, and customer satisfaction with such sportsbooks, as well as the first legal sports betting site that respondents used when the practice became legal in the state.

This was followed by more personal questions, such as why customers choose the apps they choose, how many apps they use, why they would leave their chosen app/apps for another, and the promotions that customers found most valuable, among many others. From such questions, Betting Hero attempted to analyse customer loyalty within the NY sports betting space.

“I think we all know in this space that there is a lack of loyalty,” explained Maw. “Of the 215 active sports bettors that we spoke to, 76% consider themselves not loyal to any operator, not loyal to a product.

“These are people that are actively looking for a reason to try another product, which probably indicates that they are not happy with the product they have, or that they are missing something.”

Such sentiment is backed up in the survey, with the average respondent using 3.3 apps in the first three months of NY online sports betting. This is higher than the 2.8 witnessed in New Jersey.

And as for sportsbook recognition, around 60% of respondents cited DraftKings and FanDuel as the most well-known mobile sportsbooks. A total of 28% cited the former as their first used app, but it was Caesars who came in second when it came to the first app used, at 27%. This was followed by FanDuel (20%), BetMGM (11%), PointsBet and BetRivers (both 3%), and WynnBET (2%).

Maw noted that it was perhaps clever marketing that helped Caesars to such a total, with 47% of respondents mentioning the company as having the most memorable sports betting advertisement. This was more than double the next closest operator, which was DraftKings.

And it was a slightly different outcome when it came to satisfaction with operators. Again, DraftKings led the way, with respondents rating the operator 3.8 out of 5. FanDuel was second this time with 3.74, followed by Caesars (3.29), BetMGM and PointsBet (both 3.16), BetRivers (2.8), and PointsBet (2.7).

Once the more technical questions were completed, the survey could focus on the more personal aspects of choosing operators, firstly asking respondents for their reasons why their most frequently used app is their favourite. User interface and experience ranked highest with 52%, with promotions following at 30%. This was followed by better odds and features (22%), funding and withdrawal (10%), and branding and customer service (4%).

Promotions are, of course, a key method used by operators when attempting to draw in customers. At 31%, risk-free bets were found to be the most valuable promotion to respondents, followed by deposit match and odds boosters, both at 23%. Parlay insurance (8%), sports event tickets or comped rooms (5%), merchandise for bets placed (5%), and free to play pools (4%) completed the section.

Respondents were also asked how many apps they use, with the figures confirming that there is indeed a lack of loyalty when it comes to NY sports betting. A total of 17% of respondents use just one app, with 19% and 18% using two and three apps respectively. The highest figure, 23%, use four apps, with 13% using five apps. And 6% and 4% use six and seven apps respectively.

Maw continued his talk by delving further into the issue of customer loyalty, with respondents being asked to rank various factors from one to five in order of priority of what is most likely to get them to leave a gambling platform, with five being most likely.

“In terms of what we look at, as an indicator of a lack of loyalty, what’s really interesting to me here is that the first and the most important factors of why people are likely to leave a sports betting app or another gambling app are to do with the product not working correctly,” noted Maw.

“It’s not to do with promotions, it’s not to do with slow withdrawals, but it’s issues like the failure to place a bet, which typically is a technical issue; or UI not being user friendly, which is usually to do with speed to launch in that market, and the app not being properly developed.

“Or it’s to do with the crash of an app before a gambling session, and then also obviously funding challenges. The funding challenge is interesting, because it’s not necessarily in the control of the operator, but still the performance of the product really is going to indicate whether someone’s going to be loyal or not."

Maw added: “It’s really to do with the product and how this app interacts, and how the customer is able to interact with it.”

Taking a closer look, the highest-rated factor, ranked 3.6/5, was failure to place a bet. This was followed by, as Maw mentioned, UI not being user friendly (3.76), crash of an app before a gambling session (3.75), and funding challenges, such as bank decline or lack of PayPal etc. (3.71).

Other factors included lack of certain features like same game parlay or futures (3.52), slow withdrawal (3.47), slightly worse odds than another platform (3.33) and fewer player prop bets (3.33).

One other area of the survey focused on the reasons behind customers trying out new gambling apps, with Betting Hero asking respondents to pick out their top three factors that would inspire them to try out a new gambling app; as well as the top three factors that would deter them from trying out a new gambling app.

Regarding the former, range of promotions (49%), large sign-up offer (39%), and speed (38%) were the top three factors.

Finally, regarding the latter, the brand looks of poor quality (84%), you must deposit before you can see what is in the app (66%), and large sign-up offer but with wagering restrictions attached (52%) were the top three factors.