Joonas Karhu: why free spins will be as popular in the US as in Europe

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Joonas Karhu, Chief Business Officer at Bojoko, says that no deposit free spin bonuses will allow US players to try before they buy and help casino brands drive new player sign-ups.

Online casino is thriving in those US states that have licensed and regulated the activity, with the vertical driving revenues and providing operators with a stable and predictable income stream. 

The importance of online casino for operator revenue became especially evident during the COVID-19 pandemic, with land-based venues forced to close their doors. 

Those able to offer online casino play have not only ridden out the pandemic but, in most cases, driven brand awareness and new player sign-ups. 

But as the world slowly returns to normal, operators must find new ways of engaging players and driving them to their casino sites and this will only become more challenging as the market matures. 

I believe the best way to ensure marketing efforts are effective while delivering the best ROI is to look at what is working in established markets such as Europe and in particular the UK. 

And here it is no deposit free spin bonuses that players are seeking out in their droves. Over time, this is something that will undoubtedly be replicated in the US market. 

Why free spins are popular in Europe 

Before we start discussing why free spins will become popular in the US, it’s useful to understand why they are so well-received by players in Europe. 

With so many casinos to choose from, and with each offering a different experience, no deposit free spins allow players to try a casino without having to use their own cash. 

Not only that, but they can also win real money from their free spins and, so long as they complete any wagering requirements attached, withdraw their winnings.

Why free spins will be popular in the US

While many Americans will undoubtedly have spun the reels on slot machines located on casino floors in Las Vegas and other gambling states, online casino is still relatively new. 

In markets such as New Jersey, no deposit free spins will allow players to try online casino for the first time and test various brands without committing any of their own money. 

This is certainly true for European brands and even new online-only brands entering the US market for the first time. While they will hold brand recognition in Europe, they won’t in the US. 

These casinos will need to win over American players and what better way than by allowing them to enjoy a few free spins on the most popular slots at that time. 

In addition, free spins also allow players to familiarize themselves with how online slots work; while broadly the same as land-based slots, there are plenty of differences players need to get used to. 

What US operators need to consider when it comes to free spins

When it comes to no deposit free spins, operators need to carefully consider a few things. 

The first is to be transparent with bonus terms and conditions; again, this stems back to trust. 

Operators will certainly want to recover some of the cost associated with offering no deposit free spins through wagering requirements, but transparency is absolutely key here. 

Terms and conditions must be clear and easy to understand and wagering requirements should be as low as possible if indeed they need to be imposed at all. 

The second is to consider things such as the number of no deposit free spins offered, the value of spins and any limits to be placed on winnings. 

Again, it is important to balance off the need to recover an element of the marketing cost with providing a bonus that adds genuine value to the player experience. 

We have found the best combination is a low number of free spins – around 10 – but with no wagering requirements attached. 

How operators and suppliers can work together 

No deposit free spin bonuses present a great opportunity for operators and developers to work closely together and for the benefit of both parties. 

For example, developers could swallow the cost of free spins being played on their games in exchange for the exposure achieved by being part of the casino’s welcome offer. 

In addition, operators could offer studios that will accept free spins better placements in their game lobbies – this could be crucial when it comes to engaging US players for the first time.  

The role of affiliates in educating US players about free spins 

Affiliates will be responsible for teaching players about no deposit free spins including what they should look out for in the terms and conditions.

Affiliates will also play a crucial role in driving players to regulated operators that offer no deposit free spins in each legal state. Doing this will help channel players away from the black market.

Another way affiliates will drive free spins popularity is by developing partnerships with operators and suppliers, promoting both casino brands and the games where free spins can be played. 

As the online casino market continues to expand and mature in the US, competition will increase and brands will have to do more to stand out from their rivals. 

Those that hit the ground running with a no deposit free spins bonus will be able to leverage the first-mover advantage while also having a major point of difference. 

The casino sites offering free spins in markets such as the UK are among the most popular and I am convinced the same will be said for those that adopt this approach in New Jersey and beyond. 

You can stay tuned for what operators offer in Europe when it comes to free spins from Bojoko’s page here.