Why online gambling sites have to diversify to thrive

In the past two decades or so since the first sites started to appear, online gambling has seen a meteoric rise in popularity. As a result, today remote gambling is the single biggest sector in the UK which generated £5.3 billion in revenue between April 2018 and March 2019 according to official Gambling Commission figures.

The fact behind the figures is that there have never been quite so many online casinos competing for business – and only the strong are destined to survive. In the last few years there has been a trend among the biggest players to join together in mergers following the theory that sheer size will be a guarantee of success. While this has proved to be true for the participants to date, there are other steps that are vital if any casino, regardless of size, is going to thrive.

Brands that stand out

In common with businesses in virtually any sector you can mention, having a strong and distinctive brand is the foundation on which success can be built. All of the biggest players in the industry, therefore, invest a great deal to get their names known. For many this includes running high profile TV ad campaigns and sponsorship of teams in the higher divisions of the football league is also commonplace. There’s also been a trend for many of the bigger names to also start introducing sub-brands to appeal to particular demographics, for example more and more female-focused sites have emerged in recent years.

Giving a wide choice of games

While some players tend to have particular games that they favour over others, having a wide range to choose from is also a key to success. So, on a typical site, you’ll find slots, roulette, blackjack and maybe even baccarat. Slots, in particular, offer almost limitless possibilities with the different themes they can feature including big movie or TV series tie-ins. This is why they are used to very closely target different groups of players depending on their different tastes and interests.

Within the traditional casino games themselves, there are also generally a wide range of variations with slightly different rules and prize structures so players can pick the ones that suit them best.

Most casino sites have a wide range of games to choose from.

Introducing Slingo

Some sites even introduce totally new games designed to provide a completely different playing experience. A great example of this is starting to appear on a few sites and it’s a game that’s been designed to maximise its appeal by attracting fans of two different games. Slingo is a unique game that combines elements of both slots and bingo. The way it works is simple: in each game players receive a game card with numbers on it. Then the reels start to spin and, if any of the players’ numbers come up on them, they can cross them off. The object is to have collected all the numbers in a set number of spins to win a cash prize. With prizes that can be as high as £20,000 and a great level of “playability” it’s no wonder that Slingo’s taking the online casino world by storm.

Attracting new audiences

The online casino industry is always on the lookout to bring in the sorts of new players who may never have considered it before. For those who like trips to the “real” casino and believe that the online version just can’t compare, the concept of the live casino has been introduced. In this, games are streamed in real time with live dealers dealing the cards or spinning the roulette wheels to give a very close facsimile of the authentic casino experience.

Going big on bonuses

As in any very competitive market, giving an incentive to drive new custom is also a tried and tested technique – and online gaming sites are great exponents of this. However, there’s great competition too with a veritable battle of the bonuses always being waged. These bonuses can take a number of forms from free spins on slots machines to free bets being awarded. But with everyone offering them there’s a real need to stand out and that’s why some of the most forward-thinking of sites have also started to run loyalty schemes in a similar way that the big supermarkets operate theirs.

Cutting edge tech

Also, future-focused is the way that online gaming sites are quick to leap onto any technological innovations, for example by making their mobile sites just as easy and fun to play as their full sites. Naturally, they’ve been greatly helped by the rapid pace of change in smartphone development which has meant play can now be slicker and controls more detailed than ever before. But they are also acutely aware that there is a form of arms race constantly being fought so the last thing they can afford to do is rest on their laurels. So, we can be reasonably confident that right now many are hard at work trying to bring virtual and augmented reality into play. When they do, this will undoubtedly be the next giant leap forward in their development with almost unlimited possibilities for player engagement.

Online casino sites need to be quick on adapting to new technological innovations.

Adapting to player demands

Another key part of any player’s engagement with a site inevitably also involves how easy they find it to pay stake money and collect winnings. So, the most successful online sites offer as many ways as possible to transact with them. While there are some dedicated Bitcoin casinos, the biggest names are yet to embrace cryptocurrencies, but perhaps they soon will, especially as paying with credit cards will be banned in April 2020.

So, as you can see, there are many opportunities for online gambling sites to diversify and give more than ever before to players. Whether this means offering new and better games, bigger bonuses, the most advanced technology or simply more ways to pay, all have a role to play. And one thing is for certain: the operators who do all of these most effectively are the ones who can really look forward to success.

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