More US states must embrace online gambling to help the casino industry

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One of the lasting impacts of the coronavirus pandemic may well be the fast-tracking of online gambling registration in the US. That’s according to Brandon Asgiersson, a US Business Development specialist at multichannel engagement experts Xtremepush.

Asgiersson cited the recent example of Louisiana’s gaming industry, which lost an estimated $830m throughout 2020, with thousands of jobs wasted.

“Land-based casinos are struggling right now in the US, and it’s awful to see the impact of Covid. However, in states where these casinos have been able to set up online, those losses have been mitigated. So I would hope that legislators in other states fast-track the paperwork needed, or re-think legalizing online gaming where there has been reluctance”.

“We’ve all seen that the revenue generated from online gambling has surpassed initial expectations. Operators are growing in confidence, and we expect the online market in 2021 to smash these targets yet again”.

Does Brandon have any tips for US casinos in terms of how they can optimize their player engagement?

“The biggest thing initially is how casinos guide new players through the registration process. It’s very rare for a player to complete that process on their first attempt, they need to have personal documentation ready to go or of course they may need to visit the casino in-person. So typically, it’s going to require two or three, if not more, touches from the casino to get them set up.

Of course, a good percentage of players will naturally return to the website or app by themselves. But many will not. And that’s where casinos need to lean on their partners and vendors for expertise and support.

So pretty much from day one, I recommend casinos implement a series of automated, digital nudges that encourage the player to complete the next step and remind them of what’s required.

Push notifications are very effective here, as are SMS messages. They have that added visibility and immediacy over a channel like email. So I would prioritize gathering certain contact details and permissions as early as possible, to allow you to reach out to players and move them through the funnel.

And once you’ve nudged the player through the gate, you begin gathering data on their preferred games, average spend and so on. This really is potential gold dust. However, all too often I see casinos that are sitting on large amounts of data which isn’t being used effectively. 

And the result is that revenue is being left on the table. So hand-in-hand with the onboarding series, I would be setting up personalized campaigns that proactively engage with players. The power and impact of personalizing your outbound and on-site messaging with each player’s favorite type of game, whether that’s slots or the roulette wheel, can’t be overstated. 

Or it might be a reminder once a week of what their current balance is, which encourages them to log in and start playing

These are the kinds of things that the European operators have been doing for a number of years. It’s taken them time to build up to this level of engagement, but US casinos have the luxury of being able to achieve this from day one”. 

Xtremepush has just published a multichannel player engagement guide, written specifically for the online casino industry. Download that resource here.