Guest Blog: To be or not to be (online) – Part One, by Jonathan Strock

Guest Blog: To be or not to be (online) – Part One, by Jonathan Strock

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

In the first of a three-part guest blog, Jonathan Strock, the director of casino development at Lucien Barrière, tells TotallyGaming.com why casinos need to understand the importance of being online.

A wide-ranging interview by TotallyGaming.com with Jonathan Strock.

As a casino owner, is it really necessary to also be online? This is a common question, to which there is of course no simple answer, writes Jonathan Strock.

Being online just for the sake of it is not really a solution, and each individual or company is in a unique position with their own particular circumstances ultimately dictating the answer. The first step is to know why you want to be online; an internet presence can be a costly thing so a little homework is recommended before diving head first into potentially dangerous waters.

What does being online bring me? This is where a lot of realism needs to be shown. With most markets now being legalised to at least a certain extent, there is a lot of competition in these spaces.

Other than by offering a niche product or by spending fortunes on marketing campaigns, it is difficult to become a leader in these markets. Illegal markets are progressively more risky and it is not advisable to go down that street without a lot of serious legal firepower behind you. 

What business do you want to be in? Casino games? Poker? Social gaming? All are different but unless you want to get into software development, it would be better to find a reliable software supplier and then concentrate on marketing and building your player database.

What does not being online cost me? This is certainly a better question to ask yourself.

Online brings visibility, which in turn means brand awareness, this is primarily today a defensive move. Online casinos have already taken vast amounts of business away from land-based casinos, particularly following on as a consequence of smoking bans and due also to increased confidence in online shopping; this has also been accelerated by the progressive use of smartphones.

It will not get you back market share from the web giants, but will help you to maintain your revenues. Additionally, the creation of your player database will assist you in your marketing, it will become more targeted and thus more efficient, better returns for the same spend. The database can also be monetised at some point, thus creating even more value for stakeholders.

So now that it’s decided, when to start? Straight away, now that you know what offer you want to offer, you can contact the software suppliers that provide the required products.

There are quite a few out there, so you can look around and see which ones allow you to customise your product, an essential step, being just another « me too » casino will not bring much success. Branding is a very important matter to be taken care of, I can’t stress enough, the offer has to be different from the other casino offerings currently available.

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