20 April 2021
By Roger Jones
What is the Defining Trait of a Top Online Casino?
The online casino industry is fiercely competitive. It’s size and increasingly significant growth make it one of the key cornerstones of not just the wider gaming industry but the entertainment one too. It is not legal in every country to gamble at brick-and-mortar establishments, let alone online ones. However, citizens are beginning to demand access to it and countries and U.S. states are responding by seeking to legalise it so it can be effectively regulated and taxed, satisfying the citizen and the government in more ways than simply entertainment.
Customers and citizens, to an extent, will find the most suitable – best – online casino for them. It’s difficult in the United States of America because current interstate and licencing policies and legislation limit the market, compared to gamers from Ireland or the United Kingdom, for instance. However, that being said, they will still opt for the best online casino for them. What that “best online casino” looks like will differ from person to person. The gamer might have simpler or complex needs than the next person.
Customers talk. They will let each other know which online casinos are worth visiting and using. OLBG.com is a prime example of the user-generated content genre, serving an essential function within this landscape, enabling customers to directly and indirectly discuss such details. From these types of publications, traits and practices can be identified as to what they are looking for.
All online casinos want to be the best, to meet the demands of customers. They intend to be the best. All practices, policies, and decisions are made in this pursuit. They study and steal from exemplary cases like all great companies, artists – whoever – do. There are certain areas of business online casinos give attention to which appear to be indicative of the right track to success: customer service, expansion, and innovation.
An often neglected area of any business in any industry is customer service. Its neglect is more or less connected to it being taken for granted, to it being understood that talking to customers is an easy job. It is and it isn’t. Having good customer service company-wide is not an impossible job. It just requires more input from the business than most realise.
Emphasis on customer service rightly falls on who is talking to the customer. They are the face of the company for that interaction. They are indicative of a lot more than just themselves. Therefore, having the correct person in that role is paramount. It is not a job for everyone. However, like anything, the structure around them needs to enable a good working environment that supports and improves their practice. It is, in this case, the online casino’s job to ensure that they are 1) trained and 2) not allowed to fail. Changing the viewpoint from “demanding good customer service” to “organising good customer service” will help. There should be a high minimum standard.
Not all customer service, though, is down to the human employee picking up the phone or answering an email. New technologies enable businesses to automate certain processes. Customers want to, in most cases, simply be acknowledged. AI chatbots are commonplace now. Much of the resistance might centre around customer service requiring a “human touch”. As mentioned, acknowledgement goes a long way. Chatbots are very sophisticated, now able to deal with more complicated requests and issues, dealing with a situation more immediately than a human employee might. It saves the customer time, and, as importantly, it saves the employee time to deal with other higher-value tasks and complaints. Online casinos have been quick to adopt these kinds of measures.
VIP schemes are an essential part of keeping customers happy too, which online casinos have made a cornerstone of their service.. Enticing them with promotions and bonuses to make them new customers is great, but they must also want to envision a long-term relationship. They want to see their loyalty rewarded. Bonuses personalised to a gamer’s wagering habits, invites to exclusive events, higher upper limits on withdrawals and deposits, and a dedicated account manager are just a few perks of an online casino’s VIP scheme.
Being the best is often defined by not standing still. Growth, in terms of the number of areas of the business, is an inherent part of this. There is always more. Expansions, then, are normal practice. This can be achieved by an acquisition – if a larger online casino provider wants to purchase another online casino for a variety of reasons that involve having access to a territory, for instance – or by introducing new features and games.
Online casinos have a large catalogue of the traditional casino games: craps, baccarat, poker, blackjack, roulette, slots. These are predominantly video adaptations. They are played solo by a gamer, against a computer dealer. Live casino games are a more recent addition, which is where a human table dealer is on a production set and is being live-streamed to the gamer’s screen, with recognition technology translating the physical cards to digital ones so the gamer can interact with them. It’s supposed to replicate that intimate and luxurious feeling of being in a brick-and-mortar establishment. Finally, some online casinos offer sportsbooks. Customers being able to consolidate their interests and bankroll into one online casino is the dream for both the business and the customer.
The online casino industry is one of the most open-minded around. Any new technology which can improve their product or their service to customers will be incorporated into their site.
Fintech products like e-wallets and pre-paid digital cards were quickly folded into their fabric, for instance. They offered a means outside of traditional banks for transactions to occur faster and with the added buffer of security measures. Cryptocurrency is making in-roads too, with major online casinos beginning to accept it as a payment method, due to gamers favouring its ability to be broken down into smaller denominations and exchanged into a variety of currencies.
Virtual reality is expected to debut soon too. Live casino is the foundation on which the technology will be built. Enabling that experience to be more immersive and convincing than it already is.
Lastly, 5G, while not something online casinos will adopt, could help smooth out important processes for providers. Better download speeds and lower latency will improve gaming experiences in general, and enable real-time experiences – for live casino and in-play betting – to be more appealing and reach their potentials.
There is no one defining trait which makes an online casino. There are too many moving parts. However, the field has plenty of examples from which others can learn.