Once a person finds something they like, they generally stick to it. Unless they are directly approached with a better deal, they will stick with what they are comfortable with.
The same theory applies to an internet casino. Once a person finds and e-casino they are comfortable with, they stay there. If this is you, note that other Online Casinos are very eager for your business. So, they hire internet marketing firms to solicit you to visit them. The StartCasino.com website lists of all the internet casino marketing firms in the business.
Who would know more about gambler's preferences than an online casino marketing firm? After all, each month they see what millions of people like. StartCasino.com set out to ask them what they see, and what they thought.
We asked Owen Hills, Director of Cedar Marketing Services Ltd., located in the United Kingdom how online casinos attract visitors,. He said, "We use different banner designs, choice of keywords, choice of search engine. We found that a specific category proved to be the most successful."
Patrick Smyth, President and CEO of Wiremix Media Inc. described various incentive programs used. He said, "Generally there are a variety of incentives offered to encourage the development and retention of online customers. To attract new visitors to the web site, casinos might offer a $20 free bet or free games. In the interest of promoting sign-ups and memberships, casinos often provide a monetary bonus (e.g. $100 sign up bonus to sign-up and play). Client retention incentives generally include free trips, prizes, and monetary rewards for long -term casino members."
Since internet casino marketing firms seem to know what it is most of us like and know where we look for things on the internet, then what is it that they are seeing?
Bill Brewer, Vice President at Innovatek Worldwide, sees two interesting trends developing. He claims that the percentage of women who are participating in on-line gaming is much larger than previous expectations. Mr. Brewer stated, "Until recently, various sources had indicated that women make up a mere 5 - 7 % of the online gaming population. Actual surveys however, indicate that the figure is 20 - 22 %." This would mean that the current advertising (almost exclusively toward the male gaming customer) will have to now attract the female player. Innovatek also runs the casino portals playersedge.com and casinocentral.com. Mr. Brewer noted that online casino sites that require a download are now getting less sign ups versus those using newer technology (i.e. JAVA, FLASH). "This may become a troubling trend for those casinos with the older (download based) technology."
What advice do the marketing firms give?
Scott Friedman of Webstorm Media runs the www.gamblink.com portal site. His advise for gamblers is, "Try out the different casino software packages available for fun before playing for real money. Ensure you are dealing with a reputable company that is going to give effective, prompt and friendly customer service and send payouts promptly. To verify if an online casino is reputable, look for a professional website and logos from OSGA, IGC & Safebet. Be aware of the infamous 'sign-up bonus'. Although it's nice to get free chips, be aware of the conditions that apply to these bonuses and be sure to read the fine print."
Kimberly Judd, President/CEO at CyberMark International, Inc. said,
"Make sure that they have a secure server so that your credit card transactions are safe. Send a test message to their customer service e-mail so that you can see how quickly they respond - this will give you an idea of what to expect if you should ever really need their help. Make sure that payouts are guaranteed and how long it will take the casino to credit your account - you can check for this on their FAQ page. Check how reputable the online casino is, is by the awards they have received - a couple good ones to look for are the Ethical Online Gambling Award (EOGA) and the LVSO Online Gambling Award"
Sherri Paisley, Director of Marketing at SoftnetGaming,
said, "online gamers should take into consideration is the security of the website and their online transactions. Before placing a wager, it is wise to find out as much as possible about the people who own and run the site." SoftNetGaming has a certification program for online casinos and sportsbooks, in which a 'Certified Seal' is awarded only to casinos "that go through an application process and rigorous screening to ensure that they meet certain stringent requirements as to quality and variety of games, fast payouts, security, truth in advertising, hardware and software capabilities, encryption technology, transaction processing, licensure status and more."
As for advice on Casino Portals, Gary Locke Vice President at Casinocity.com believes they should be packed with information. He said, "A good site should provide visitors with complete information about gaming opportunities for both online gaming sites and land based gaming properties." As for the online casinos, Mr. Locke noted that most put too much emphasis on graphics. "They seem to forget that most people use dial-up modems and the graphics take an eternity to download."
If you've been gambling at the same casino. Take a look around. A good place to start is some of the portals and websites mentioned in the Links Page of StartCasino. You might just find better offers out there. And maybe, you might get lucky!
Marc Lesnick is the webmaster for StartCasino.com, an Online Gambling Business Information Website.