The boom of the iGaming industry continues to break the sound barrier with flying colours. But how does it all look to the uninitiated? How does it look to all those potential bettors, untapped, waiting out there in cyberspace? As it stands there is no single answer, because the iGaming industry is a little inconsistent in its representation. There are a lot of different new online casinos in 2023 that have sprung up since its legalization, but many customers are still unsure on how the industry presents itself morally and legally within the United States.
One thing for sure that complicates this question: the history of offline gambling. In general, it is a pretty hilly one – so much so that the various societies around the world are not going to forget it in a hurry.
Distancing the online industry from the organised crime of the past by showing off affiliations with authorities and so on is obviously key, but there is a deeper mistrust and fear that keeps some people from the markets.
With this in mind, successful iGaming PR seems to have one key principle: authenticity. This, no doubt, is a key principle for a number of industries’ public relations. But, when it comes to iGaming, we are talking A: strong associations with illegality and B: people literally playing around with their money. In short, it is not the easiest sell, so… do not sell but tell. The truth is good, so telling it is quite effective here.
The beauty of iGaming’s takeover is its positive impact, the jobs, humongous tax revenue and so forth. There is no need to hide or exaggerate, and those who do so with their PR are only going to drive people away, especially now that more outlets are taking this open approach; an approach that gets the attention of those who filter out bs. Indeed, iGaming is best presented with authentic, down to earth content and advertisement. Not only do potential bettors deserve and expect more than being talked down to, but they are, on the whole, anticipating a swindle.
So, tell the potential client that, because the internet has the capacity for so much competition, they have access to big bonuses and better odds. The house will always have an edge but gambling truly is more lucrative these days because of competition and demand. Authenticity does not mean a lack of persuasion, however. Persuasive writing will always be necessary to gather new recruits. It just works with iGaming when it is combined with authenticity as well.
The other key is to focus on why people would gamble – for recreation. There is every reason for the industry to present itself as fun, thrilling and friendly!
What about preaching to the converted?
When it comes to players choosing which online casino to play at they are not necessarily going to go for a big expensive advert they have just seen on TV. It seems in fact that a successful route for a lot of smaller online casinos is to message players directly on email, in a personal tone. This may just seem like advertisement, but it incidentally builds on the bigger picture: that there is not only a community, but a community in which players are seen as people and not only people, but people who have the power to choose and therefore are taken care of.
When this personal and interactive approach is taken out of the privacy of emails and into the arena of social media, conversion from the outside is more likely. By getting the sense of fun, community and good humour circulating online, people can see the reactions and responses of their peers. This helps to normalise what was once marginalised.
The irony of course being that even when gambling is publically ‘marginalised’, it is still extremely popular. iGaming is the descendant of an age-old pastime that will never, as long as people walk the earth, stop. And this is something worth not only accepting but embracing. It does not need to be sold, simply told.
What about investors?
The level of innovation in iGaming is high which tends to draw investment… more to the point though, the levels of profitability are insanely high. Not much needs saying with these guys.
What about sports books?
In much the same way, the major players who have not only survived but thrived over the past few years have authenticity in common (Betfred even educated people on how to bet effectively on the exchange) – but what else? Well, going back to the competition point, that has produced some pretty outlandish attention grabs from the big players…
- An orange, white and green McGregor along with the tag ‘Notorious Airways’ has been painted on a plane by Betsafe, his sponsor
- Paddy Power launched a ‘save our shirt’ campaign for their sponsor Huddersfield, which caused a stir on social media
- An inflatable Christ the redeemer has been flown about on a plane wearing a jersey and a betting slogan
So yeah, depending on the size of the company and type of gambling involved, iGaming’s presentation is still somewhat inconsistent!