We continue our series of business model articles by unpicking the business models of leading gaming companies this week.
The goal of any gambling company is to have as many customers as possible who will steadily replenish their accounts and play online games in the hope of turning a profit. Of course, gaming companies play the long game and understand that the house edge will see them turn a profit overall. Providers use different marketing strategies and attract new users with bright advertisements. Consider the main tactics aimed at attracting new customers.
1. Welcome bonus
Going to almost any sports resource, a gambler may come across a bright banner from a particular betting company. Bookmakers offer a nice bonus for registering on their site for such ads. Usually, they offer free spins for slot machines, risk-free bets, or money to the account. If a person goes through the registration procedure, they need to activate these bonuses.
But in practice, everything turns out to be not so tempting. After receiving promotional offers, providers impose several additional conditions.
- Registration bonus must be wagered at x20, x30, or 40 times the amount (which means that it will not be possible to withdraw from the account until this requirement is met);
- wagering a so-called wager (welcome bonus) must be within a certain period;
- Sometimes the promotional offer is activated automatically, and the new user becomes a hostage to the situation.
Before agreeing to the seemingly good promotions, it is better to go to the operator’s official portal and read the terms and conditions.
2. Referral programs
Registered (in a betting or online casino) users can receive additional dividends for participation in the “bring a friend” promotion. Users of the resource accept a unique link by clicking on which they can create a new account. The referral program participant will receive bonuses if a new gambler appears on the operator’s website using this address. In the case of online casinos, these can be unrestricted free spins on a particular video slot. A bookmaker’s office may give a “risk-free bet” for a certain amount of money. If the bet turns out to be a loser, the money will return to the gaming account thanks to this option. Check out the top uk gambling sites and referral programs.
3. Ways to deposit and withdraw funds
Modern methods of payment systems are being actively implemented in the work of online gambling resources. It is one of the methods that can also attract new users. Providers of gambling entertainment allow depositing to the game account in the most convenient ways, among which:
- Bank credit cards (Visa, Mastercard, Maestro);
- Electronic purses (Qiwi, Webmoney);
- using mobile communication (operators of the particular country);
- cryptocurrency (Bitcoin, Ethereum, nem, etc.).
As a rule, customers replenish their balance via bank cards, e-wallets, or cell phones. There will be an additional fee of 2-5% of the payment amount in this case. Some providers use a cryptocurrency payment system. Deposit/withdrawal of funds should take place with minimal fees.
4. Variety and implementation of novelties
The gambling market is traditionally very competitive. Companies are fighting for the customer and trying to diversify the range of their services. Consider what other unusual offers attract new customers.
- Non-standard bonuses and prizes (in B.K., you can compete for a flight on a fighter jet or get money on the account for a tattoo with the company’s brand name);
- Live games (poker with a live dealer, roulette, blackjack, etc.);
- A variety of video slots (more than 1000 slot machines for every taste);
- Valuable prizes for regular customers (there is a unique store where you can exchange accumulated prize points for equipment or other accessories).
Leaders in gaming software development
This company was founded in 1994 and is considered one of the best gaming companies on the stock market. It develops and releases such products as:
- card games (poker);
- Popular video slots (Mega Moolah);
- network games;
Studios with a dealer in a casino and other projects
Video slots like Immortal Romance and Thunderstruck 2 have been very successful and are among the company’s best products. These slot machines have 243 crossover winning lines, and gamblers have made good money. Also, the successful projects can be attributed to such slots as Break da Bank Again and Jungle Jim El Dorado.
The Scandinavian company was founded in 1996. This brand is one of the leading suppliers of licensed software. Projects of this concern aim to develop online casino software systems and the production of competitive video slots.
Users note that slot machines from NetEnt have high-quality graphics and an exciting idea. There are hundreds of providers who use software from this company to date.
Group offices are located in Sweden, Ukraine, Malta, and Gibraltar. More than 500 employees across Europe help the brand to develop and try to be the best in the industry of online games. Among the company’s most successful products are such video slots as Gonzo’s Quest, Starburst and Aloha!
The company started its activities in 1999 in Estonia. Among the creators were business people, programmers, and multimedia workers. The company prioritizes high-quality graphics, multilingual platforms, and speed in its product development.
In 2006 the brand expanded by opening an office in Bulgaria. In the following years, the creators managed to launch a sports betting software and enter the markets of Spain, Italy, and Serbia.
In 2012, the brand invested in shares in Genuity, a British sports betting provider, and 2013. – PokerStrategy. These investments allowed it to diversify its projects considerably and make them more ranked. In 2020, the company offered its customers:
- Online casino;
- Sports betting;
- mobile games.
Every year new developers of specialized software for the gambling industry appear. Among other promising companies, brands such as:
- Real-Time Gaming;
Principle of affiliate programs
Betting shops and online casinos use affiliate programs to distribute their services actively. This principle was first applied by William J. Tobin, the founder of P.C. Flower & Gifts. The idea is that the company will pay its partners to promote their brand on their resources. Banners with offers from gambling providers can be found on:
- Sports news sites;
- Online movie theaters;
- Retail platforms, etc.
The potential gambler clicks the click-banner and finds himself on the official resource of the gambling provider. The affiliate site will receive its remuneration if the registration process is completed. Thanks to such affiliate programs, both sides benefit.
Ways to promote
Click-banners and ads with the provider’s offers must be attractive and hold the potential client’s attention. For this purpose, well-thought-out and effective marketing moves are used. Let’s consider in more detail the principle of their work.
Overview of a particular provider
Portals such as AskGamblers or “Rating of Bookmakers” make detailed reviews of bookmakers’ offices and online casinos. Partner sites display the following information on their resources:
- Overview of video slots and live games;
- The value of the odds and the variety of betting lines; Deposit/withdrawal options;
- Strengths and weaknesses of the operator;
- positive and negative reviews;
- link to the official resource;
- other information.
This information structures the list of gambling providers. The potential user does not need to waste time looking for answers to his questions. In addition, he can protect himself from registering with resources that have a dubious reputation or look like investment scams.
No deposit bonus
Another effective tool to bring a new user is a click-banner with a registration bonus. The potential gambler (on the partner’s site) receives an attractive offer. It may include free spins to play video slots or no deposit accrual of funds to the game balance. In some cases, both options will be offered.
In 2020, the advertising opportunities increased markedly. Gambling providers successfully use it. They place ads with striking slogans (e.g., “the biggest casino winnings!”). The ads are located in a variety of places, including:
- Public transportation;
- Television and radio;
- Internet resources;
These ads must obey local marketing regulations, and cannot for example, offer free shares if such offers aren’t legally binding.
As a rule, on the portal of gambling partners, there is a forum. It is created to discuss the issues related to the activities of a particular bookmaker or an online casino. Gamblers can discuss their questions with each other and evaluate the work of a specific provider. There is also an opportunity to file complaints about the operator with whom a conflict has arisen. The user leaves their comment, and the partner tries to solve it through interaction with the gambling company.
Features of marketing
The activity of partner organizations, as a rule, does not have any exceptional levers of financial regulation. There are situations when the user of a particular resource may encounter a forced click-banner or false advertising. It is done intentionally to increase traffic figures on the operator’s sites.
Gambling companies, which value their reputation, try to regulate the ways of promoting their services. The main goal of a quality affiliate program is to help gamblers make a choice, not to annoy them. As the gambling industry grows, the number of marketing partners will automatically increase.
The benefits of an affiliate program for the user himself
The registered user will also be able to participate in the referral program. The gambler can copy the link with the provider’s address and send it to a friend or acquaintance. Or a unique promo code, with which you can get bonus funds to your account or free spins. If a new version is created in this way, the one who brought his friend receives a gift. Among the possible rewards:
- Freespins for video slots or money to the account);
- Cashbacks (a certain percentage of the amount spent on sports betting or casino games for a specific day);
- Bet without risk (the player gets the opportunity to bet on the allowed amount and the value of the odds without risking your money);
- Other promotional offers.
It is one of the methods for keeping users on the gambling resources. If the client receives a nice bonus for his birthday or a cashback on the money spent, it creates additional trust in the operator.
Conclusion: the gaming business model
As any great business book will make clear, a successful gaming business must succeed on many fronts. They must have an entertaining proposition. They need powerful marketing. Strong financial management skills also shouldn’t go amiss.