The Impact of Promotions on the Increasing Number of Online Casino Players
By Juliana Esteves
One reason why online casinos are so focused on promotions is because of the increasing number of players in the industry. With more competition, online casinos need to stand out and provide players with incentives to choose their platform over others. This has led to a wide range of promotions and bonuses that can be incredibly lucrative for players who know how to take advantage of them. However, it's important to always read the terms and conditions of any promotion before claiming it to avoid disappointment. Overall, promotions have become an integral part of the online casino experience, offering players the chance to win big and have fun at the same time.
The Different Types of Promotions Offered By Casinos
Before looking at the effects of promotions on casino player bases, it’s essential to understand the different types of promotions they offer. A promotion at a casino can be anything from a welcome bonus to a free spin or loyalty reward program.
These bonuses and promos are meant to entice players to keep betting. While other factors such as customer service, software providers, and accepted payment methods all influence a player’s decision on who to bet with, promotions and bonuses are often cited as one of the most significant influencing factors for player retention.
Players interested in staying up-to-date on casino bonuses should constantly check promotions or casino review sites. A site like casinos.com is just one example of these online casino news sites.
Welcome bonuses are the most common type of promotion offered by casinos. They’re meant to give new players a reason to sign up and play with this specific casino. As such, welcome bonuses are often the most competitive bonuses online casinos offer.
Depending on the casino, they may match your deposit to a certain amount or offer an unlimited flat percentage match. Like most bonuses, this does come with a caveat— a rollover requirement. Players must bet the funds received from this bonus a certain amount of times before it is eligible for withdrawal. This is often confusing for new players, and some sites have impossibly high rollover requirements.
Free Spins or Bets
Another extremely common form of promotion is free spins or bets. Free bets are commonly used on sportsbooks or table games such as blackjack. Free spins can be redeemed at specific slot machines or the site's promotional wheel. Some sites have custom wheels players can spin for even more rewards.
Free spins and bets are often given as a bonus for depositing funds or wagering a certain amount of money with the online casino. They usually have terms and conditions limiting spins or bets to specific markets and games. Always read the rules associated with promotions before redeeming or using them.
Loyalty programs are a casino's way of enticing players to return and keep playing. They often have different tiers with varying rewards. The top tiers of loyalty programs are typically reserved for high rollers and are almost always unobtainable for a large portion of the casino’s player base.
The rewards for loyalty programs are typically based on improved customer service, better deposit and withdrawal limits, and increased cashback or reload bonuses. Higher-tiered players often have their own “personal” VIP manager, custom promotions, and bonuses. They’ll also have access to higher withdrawal limits to reflect how much money they spend betting at the online casino.
Cashback and Reload Bonuses
It was mentioned earlier that cashback and reload bonuses are available within loyalty programs, but they’re often available for any player. The main difference is that higher tiers within VIP programs have better cashback and reload bonuses.
Cashback is a promotional program that casinos employ to give players a small portion of their lost bets. There are generally limits to how much cashback a player can receive within a set period— and they may not be eligible for cashback at all if they have won a certain amount of money.
Reload bonuses, on the other hand, entice players to deposit more funds after their initial welcome bonus. Reload bonuses are less lucrative for players but offer a way to get more bang for your buck.
Now that you understand what the majority of promotions and bonuses at online casinos entail, it’s time to look at how these promos have been affected by the increasing number of players at online casinos.
How Online Casino Promotions Have Led to an Increase in Players
The increase in the availability of online casinos is likely responsible for the increase in online players. Years ago, online gambling was in a legal gray area or illegal in many jurisdictions. As laws loosened and regulatory agencies started overseeing online outlets, hundreds of new online casinos began to hit the scene.
Casinos began heavily focusing on advertising and improving their promotions and bonuses to entice new players to sign up. Players that may not have considered signing up suddenly found themselves drawn to online casinos due to enticing bonuses and flashy adverts.
The Current State of Online Casino Promotions
First and foremost, the online casino market is extremely saturated at this point, so there are thousands of promotions available for players to take advantage of. Because of this, online casinos have to routinely check their promotions and ensure they are as competitive as possible.
However, there is a slight problem. Online casinos can only offer so much through promotions and bonuses before they begin eating into their profits. A casino that constantly gives out free money won’t be a casino for long. Likewise, the promotions must be rewarding enough that players see their value. A casino with a 200% welcome bonus but a 50x rollover requirement does not make players happy.
Online casinos are in a constant battle of analyzing their competition's bonuses compared to their own and what players are looking for. Luckily, the advent of AI and data analysis is helping casinos craft new, better promotions.
The Future of AI and Casino Promotions
AI is revolutionizing almost every field, and online casinos are no exception. AI can affect online casinos in multiple ways, from better customer support to increased fraud protection. Still, one area currently being explored is better promotions and bonuses for players.
AI can analyze what promotions are currently being used by players, which are underperforming, which draw in the most deposits, etc. While human data analysts can try and understand all of this as well, AI can look at millions of data points and extrapolate information that isn’t evident from it.
AI can also run simulations on potential promotions and attempt to understand how many players would utilize it, how much revenue could be gained, and any potential abuses of the promotion.
The Benefit of Player-Tailored Promotions
While AI could look at promotions for the overall player base, it could also create player-specific promotions. Players that only bet on football matches through the casino’s sportsbook aren’t going to care about a promotion for slot machine spins.
However, a custom-tailored promotion specifically for football matches is more likely to be used by that player. AI can look at each player’s betting and playing habits to make custom promotions with a greater chance of being used.
While giving players promotions and free bets constantly may not be beneficial, it can be a good way to bring players back to the site. If Player A bets daily regardless of promotions, offering them bonuses may not be wise when they have a chance. If Player B placed lots of chances but hasn’t played in several weeks, it might stand to reason that an enticing promotion could draw them back.
Ethical Considerations for Online Casinos in Regards to Promotions
As always, there are some ethical considerations owners of online casinos should consider when crafting new promotions and bonuses for their players. The most significant consideration should be regarding how fair the promotion is.
As mentioned earlier, a promotion with an impossibly high rollover requirement must be more accurate and fair to players. It also might be such a large turn-off that the casino needs to retain new members. Players may feel lied to, even if the terms and conditions are spelled out.
Speaking of terms and conditions, being as upfront as possible about what the bonus entails is important. Simply stating that players can receive a 100% deposit bonus isn’t enough. Online casinos should also mention any betting requirements, restrictions, and potential time limits before the bonus expires.
As you can see, online casino promotions and bonuses have heavily influenced the overall increase in player counts. Promotions have become increasingly competitive over the last several years as the online casino market has become increasingly saturated. Casinos are constantly improving or changing their promotions to stand out among the crowd.
The advent of AI will almost certainly continue to change this aspect of online gambling and may have some exciting opportunities for bettors around the world.