Online Gambling Must Evolve and Change to Stay Alive, Panel Says

The online gambling industry, once a niche market catering to a specific demographic, has experienced a period of significant growth in recent years. In 2023, America’s iGaming operators in six states where online gambling is fully legal won $6.2 billion, a nearly 23% year-over-year growth, according to the latest data released by the American Gambling Association (AGA).

However, a recent industry panel discussion at Next.io conference has highlighted the need for the sector to adapt and evolve if it is to maintain its momentum and stay competitive. With the rapid rise of digital technologies and changing player preferences, online gambling finds itself at a pivotal juncture. 

Personalization and Social Engagement are Crucial to the Future of Online Gambling

One of the central themes that emerged from the panel discussion was the necessity for online gambling platforms to shift their focus towards tailoring experiences to individual player interests and preferences. 

Jonathan Doubilet, Vice President of U.S. Business Operations for Playtech, a leading provider of online gambling and sports betting software, stressed the need for innovation to capture the attention of the next generation of players.

This encompasses numerous additional endeavors to actively involve bettors with a gambling company’s brand, cater to their affinity for social media and communal engagement, and tailor experiences to their specific interests. It’s a lesson that has been integrated by most recent gaming projects, including the $10 million renovation at Delaware Park Casino.

Catering to Diverse Cultural Backgrounds

Seth Schorr, CEO of Fifth Street Gaming, said the online gambling industry must take into account the diverse needs and preferences of people from all walks of life. He was particularly dismayed by the lack of products geared towards Latino communities.

The Las Vegas-based Fifth Street Gaming is the operator behind a wide array of high-performing gaming brands in both the land-based and online spaces. On the digital front, the company owns and operates popular brands such as BettorView and PointsBet, which sold its US operations to Fanatics last year in a $225 million deal.

While talking to the panel, Schorr highlighted his company’s efforts to cater to the Latino community, a demographic that represents a significant yet often underserved market. Schorr’s company is launching a Latino-themed online social casino, jefebet.com, utilizing the Spanish word for boss and drawing inspiration from his experience operating the Ojos Locos Sports Cantina y Casino at Hotel Jefe in North Las Vegas.

Schorr expressed his disappointment in the lack of attention given to this market, stating that there are 64 million Americans who identify as Latino and possess a purchasing power of $3.5 trillion dollars. He mentioned that Fifth Street Gaming has been implementing strategies in a brick-and-mortar casino for over a decade and a half.

Engaging the Female Demographic

Justin Park, CEO of Betty.ca, a Canadian online slots site catering to women, was also part of the panel at Next.io. He shared insights into the significant contribution of female slot players, who account for 40% to 45% of the site’s business. 

His company’s approach of employing an all-female customer support team and tailoring the user experience to align with the preferences and communication styles. The company acknowledges the fact that a significant number of its female customers desire entertainment that can be easily accessed and enjoyed amidst their busy schedules, both at work and at home. 

More than that, the CEO recognizes that the average age of a Betty.ca customer falls within the range of 30 to 40, indicating a continued interest in conventional gambling offerings. However, the company aims to present these products in innovative ways that cater to the preferences and needs of its customers.

Park’s observations highlight the importance of tailoring customer service and user experiences to specific demographics, acknowledging the unique preferences and communication styles of different groups.

Leveraging Artificial Intelligence for Personalization

Oliver Bartlett, Vice President of Gaming Product for BetMGM — which targets a $0.5 billion profit by 2026, acknowledged the challenges posed by the vast array of offerings available on online gambling platforms. He emphasized the need to leverage artificial intelligence and algorithms to curate personalized experiences, ensuring that users are presented with content that aligns with their interests and preferences.

When discussing the online gambling industry as a whole, Park emphasized the importance of delivering tailored content to the right players at the most appropriate moment. Ed Andrewes, CEO of Resorts Digital Gaming, echoed this sentiment, predicting that customers will increasingly demand personalized experiences that cater to their unique needs and interests.

Fostering Community, Shared Experiences, and Embracing Emerging Technologies

Karolina Pelc, CEO of BeyondPlay, a software company specializing in player engagement through jackpots and multi-player gambling, underscored the significance of fostering a sense of community and shared experiences within the online gambling landscape. She emphasized the need for platforms to actively engage with players and create environments that promote social interaction and a sense of belonging.

Doubilet also touched upon the potential impact of emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, on the future of online gambling. He envisioned a scenario where players could immerse themselves in a casino-like experience without physically visiting a gaming floor, using headsets or virtual reality glasses to seamlessly access and play their desired games.

The panel also highlighted the need for the online gambling industry to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to technological advancements. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, blockchain technology, and secure mobile payments, the industry must adapt to meet the changing demands of consumers.

Wrapping Up

As the online gambling industry continues to evolve, the panel’s insights serve as a rallying call for industry players to embrace innovation, personalization, and technological advancements. 

By tailoring experiences to individual preferences, catering to diverse cultural sensibilities, engaging specific demographics effectively, leveraging artificial intelligence for personalization, fostering community and shared experiences, and embracing emerging technologies, online gambling platforms can position themselves for long-term success in an increasingly competitive and dynamic market.

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