Though gambling is a much debated and often banned activity throughout the world, it continues to grow in its various forms. In recent years, online gambling has emerged as the most popular and fastest growing consumer entertainment. The gambling industry has always been driven by marketing and technology innovation, and hardly a month passes before a new marketing concept or gaming accessory is made available to the public. Its extreme profitability is why there are so many online sites where you can place bets, play slots, and join in on games of chance and put real money on the line.
In a landmark decision in May of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to legalize sports gambling. This transformational court ruling is a victory for states like New Jersey , where government leaders have long considered permitting sports gambling as a way of encouraging tourism and bringing in critical new tax revenue.
This change in U.S. federal law and the anticipation that many states will follow suit has attracted the interest and investment of several Asian and European online gambling sites. They are now formalizing plans to launch new sites that serve the American gambling consumer.
For example, Unibet recently announced it will launch in New Jersey’s regulated sports betting market in the first quarter of 2019. Unibet is a subsidiary of Kindred Group, a holding company based in Malta and comprised of eleven gambling brands that operate in the U.K., Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Estonia, France, Gibraltar, Guernsey, Italy, Sweden, and Malta. The company said that to begin with it is aiming to enter through New Jersey, but that it has “plans to extend to additional states down the line.”
Here are three reasons why online gambling brands like Unibet are going to win big as they enter the U.S. market:
1. They Tell a Simple Yet Compelling Brand Story
To promote online gambling and draw the interest of gamblers, you need to have a simple yet differentiated brand story. Unibet currently offers betting on casino games, poker, and bingo in 20 languages across more than 100 countries in the U.K. and Australia, and they have a simple brand story with a compelling answer to the question “why?” Their purpose is to be “the expert in understanding what players need to make informed bets.”
2. They Have a Clear Land-and-Expand Strategy
The gambling industry is very much aware that no business can thrive by ignoring the changing demographics of its audience and remaining static. Hence, online gambling sites like Unibet are constantly focused on modifying their environment and marketing strategies to make it more appealing to the next generation. Many of the online gaming sites try to attract new users with exciting offers and cool features which are not available in traditional casinos.
“We’ve put players at the heart of everything we’ve done since 1997 and share their passion for sports and casino.” – Manuel Stan, SVP at Kindred
Kindred is not going it alone and has aggressive plans to expand beyond the sports book. They are partnering with Evolution as part of a wider growth strategy for the U.S. The companies have worked together for a number of years in markets across Europe.
“Live casino is an important vertical for Unibet’s growth across the US.” – Cristiano Blanco, head of gaming at Kindred Group
3. They Align Systems to Flawlessly Execute and Scale Strategy
Millennials are more interested in online gambling than other demographics, and they like to share their gaming experiences on social media. Hence, social media campaigns are one of the effective methods of promotion. Unibet has designed their gaming systems to allow multi-player games and group involvement, plus separate areas for social gathering and non-gaming amenities. Using various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook and Google+, they promote their brand and games by posting interesting content and useful information about various promotional events and offers. They also use affiliate marketing techniques to help in promotion. Affiliates are important for gambling sites because they focus on search engine optimization, helping to drive significant traffic to the gambling sites.
Many millennials prefer to play casino games from their smartphones while they are on the move, so Unibet provides mobile gaming support and executes their marketing strategy through multiple channels with the integration of mobile and online media. They deploy email and mobile notifications about the latest updates on games and send follow-up SMS text messages with information about rewards, upcoming online tournaments, and free plays based on the user preferences.
Online gambling sites like Unibet have adopted a transformative approach to marketing by focusing on delivering a highly personalized omnichannel gameplay experience. They produce value for their customers in everything they do in order to succeed in building loyalty and trust among their players.
The relationship between marketing innovation and online gambling is an integral and interesting one. If it weren’t for the desire of players to experience gambling in new and electrifying ways, industry players would have made very few marketing and gameplay innovations. Likewise, if it were not for advanced marketing and analytics technologies and the capabilities of the industry to apply the advancements, online gambling popularity would not have risen to where it is today. Each of these is driving the other forward, and it’s the player who benefits above all.
For a deeper dive on transformational marketing and the use of technology to create remarkable customer experiences, check out my book Marketing Interrupted, and stay connected with us by subscribing to our blog.