The legalization of online forms of gambling is spreading across the US. Whether it be legalizing online sportsbooks, online casinos, or even fantasy sports, states are opening gambling operations to citizens of legal age. But as the industry looked to grow, there were concerns about the possibility of the problem of gambling becoming a topic for discussion.
As such, there have been some major campaigns doing the rounds across US states, as online casinos launch a few media strategies to promote operations. These strategies aim to portray gambling in a more positive light by showing the fun side, encouraging responsible gaming to combat problem gambling, promoting the importance of playing at legalized online casinos, and avoiding those that are not regulated.
Let us take a quick look at some of these media strategies and advertising campaigns that are currently trending, and the impact they have had.
This is probably the biggest trending media strategy when it comes to online casinos because it is the one that is aimed at combating the main concerns legislatures have. Problem gambling. And there is not a state that is not touching upon this, from online casinos in places like Michigan to Delaware. They are all pushing responsible gaming right now.
Now many states when legalizing gambling in whatever form, earn taxes from operators. This was a big part of the reason why states began to legalize online gambling. But in order to combat concerns about problem gambling, regulators began to insist that anyone applying for and wanting to receive a license to operate, must also contribute toward funding gambling charities and helping to promote responsible gaming.
That is why now there are many adverts on television, radio, and in newspapers, that all mention features such as setting your own deposit limits to game responsibly. Also pushing out details for contacting support networks that are run by gambling charities. And because this has been a success for many states, other states began to follow suit. One of the biggest campaigns you may have seen was the “Have a Game Plan” promotion which saw posters everywhere associated with many different sports.
Another big gambling marketing strategy that has been adopted, in order to show the popularity of gambling and how fun it can be, is online casino brands and sportsbooks hiring celebrities to help endorse their brands. We have seen the likes of Jamie Foxx representing BetMGM, Ben Affleck, Shaquille O’Neal, and Melvin Gregg representing WynnBET.
This is a strategy that has been used for many years in a few different industries, and just like usual, it has been successful in the gambling industry. As shown by the increase in customer base in many states with regulated operators, and the increase in the total value of bets handled.
The problem with this strategy is, it can be considered misleading. Because many people can be influenced by celebrity endorsements who are being paid to attract customers, people could well sign up even if it is not beneficial for them. And this could soon be prevented if the US follow the example set by the UK in April and passed a law to prevent celebrities, sports stars, and any kind of influencer from promoting gambling companies starting in October 2022.
Regulated or Nothing
The other media trend that is doing the rounds through various US states now is the current push to encourage people to only bet at legalized online casinos. This is because these operators who are legal have been awarded licenses by the regulatory bodies of each individual state where gambling is legal.
Being awarded these licenses means that operators meet certain guidelines. This is to ensure the number of different aspects is met. These include:
Fairness in this sense refers to games being fair, so although there may be a house edge on a game, they are not rigged by operators to enhance the house’s odds. There are many myths about ways casinos fix things but being licensed means they have been inspected by independent bodies who ensure games are all calibrated and working correctly and will operate in a fairway.
Responsibility refers again to the idea of responsible gaming, but on the side of the operators. They need to ensure systems are in place to allow people to remain responsible, but also, they should be identifying people who show indicators they could fall victim to problem gambling. Many online casinos will have software they use to identify betting patterns here and identify potential customers who could have problems.
And finally, safety. This is in terms of the protection of customers. Protection of their data, and protection of their funds. An illegal casino will not offer these services, and can sell your data to third parties, or possibly even steal your funds. With regulated operators who are awarded licenses, you are not only protected but you are insured should something happen to your funds or your data.
So, as you can see, there are a number of different marketing strategies for online casinos that are doing the rounds right now across US states. Much of it is positive, trying to promote things like responsible gaming and safer betting. These are the kind of marketing strategies that states are wanting to see and encourage more of. Ensuring that betters have the tools they need to ensure they do not fall into the trap of problem gambling, and who are also kept safe by the security measures put in place by operators.
Then you have the potentially bad media strategies being employed, such as hiring celebrities to promote brands. Whilst they work for brands in growing customer bases, it can lead people to sign-up for things they have no idea about just because someone famous does it and encourages younger people to try it even if they are not of legal age because they want to copy their heroes. And that is why it’s understandable that places like the UK have introduced new laws to restrict this, and why it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the US following their path at some point in time.