Emerging as a new online casino comes with a variety of challenges, not least of which is competing in a space filled with operators that have a headstart when it comes striving to stand out.
Thomas Jones, founder of new online casino brand PlayUK.com, spoke to SBC about some of the challenges that are faced when competing with established brands upon entering the online casino space.
SBC: Can you outline some of the challenges that a new casino faces when looking to compete in a market with established brands?
Thomas Jones: There is a long list of challenges from design to technology via games and marketing. Assuming you can design an attractive and intuitive site, powered by a modern platform and with a good selection of games – easier said than done – the biggest challenge is building brand equity and then trust among players. With hundreds of casino sites available to players, you have to make plenty of noise – and the right noise at that – to be heard above the chatter.
Of course, for a new online casino brand this often has to be done with a much smaller budget and more limited resources than the big-name brands have at their disposal just to maintain their position at the top of the tree. It’s a challenge, but with the right approach it is certainly not an impossible one.
SBC: When looking to maximise customer acquisition as a new casino brand, how important are sign-up bonuses and how do you ensure you guard against bonus abusers?
TJ: Sign up bonuses are incredibly important as a new casino. There are many players on the lookout for new sites to test and having an attractive welcome bonus is paramount to capturing their attention and bringing through the digital doors of your casino. That said, we have to ensure the promotions we offer are within the guidelines set by the regulator, and we also have to be mindful of bonus hunters. For this reason, we have a dedicate compliance team.
SBC: What methods can you take to ensure that you build trust with players as a new operator on the online casino market?
TJ: It starts with your brand ethos, and at PlayUK we are honest and transparent with our players. We provide them with all the information they need to know about the brand, the technology that powers it, and the games that we offer. We are proud to hold a UK Gambling Commission licence, and display it’s logo prominently on the site along with other advisory bodies and responsible gambling organisations such as GambleAware.
We have also found social media to be a powerful platform for trust building. Being able to communicate with our players and answer any questions they may have almost instantly adds a human touch that consumers new and old really appreciate.
SBC: As a casino operator, how important is it that you have a varied games portfolio, and how import is it that you ensure you have the most renowned games in your portfolio?
TJ: Modern casino players now expect a widely varied portfolio of games so providing this is crucial. Having the most popular games is also critical as some players will visit a new casino specifically looking for a certain game and should an operator not have the game then the player will simply go elsewhere. That said, it is important to strike the right balance between quantity and quality – operators should only stock the very best games.
SBC: Can you utilise affiliates to grow your brand, and how can you ensure that they portray the brand in the way you want them to?
TJ: It is vitally important to take a multi-platform approach. Affiliates make up a large part of our overall strategy and drive significant traffic to our brand. In terms of the actual affiliate review, we want them to write honestly about their experience and only recommend us to their players if they like the experience they receive. We have gone to great lengths to ensure a superior player experience, so are confident that the affiliates reviewing our site will do so positively.