Regulatory Commissions starting to crack down
Europe is a patchwork of different regulatory jurisdictions where operators must approach individual regions in compliance with their regulatory demands. This is especially important for companies operating in the UK, where regulators have emphasised the prioritisation of customer protection during and after the lockdown period. This fact underlies the desire for the UK Gambling Commission to ensure operators are providing customers with increasingly responsible gambling messaging on the homepage and throughout all sites—with a focus on reminding players to gamble responsibly.
Why are they doing this?
In the mind’s of many, most importantly the regulators themselves, they’re doing this with good reason. For many people, the internet is the only place for them to “go” when they’re stuck at home. And this has had its effect. Studies show that a third of recent gamblers have tried one or more gambling activities for the first time during lockdown. Meanwhile, active slots players have increased 25% when compared to the same time last year. But, they’re not just trying new products, they’re doing it with faster play cycles and higher levels of engagement.
Nearly two-thirds of gamblers who have participated in 3 or more activities over the past month have either increased their playing time or the money they’ve spent. The amount of sessions that lasted more than 1 hour rose by 23% compared with the same time last year. With many jobs being made redundant due to COVID-19, the more time people spend gambling means more money spent that they don’t have. In the regulators’ minds, that’s where they’re deciding to step in with stricter controls. So what can you do about it?
Understanding your visitors
The simple answer lies with onsite identification, which will be the most important thing for your business at this time. What is it? Onsite identification simply means the act of identifying each customer who comes to your site. This can be done through cookies (although we don’t suggest it because they can be removed), email capture, SMS capture, or special algorithms. When thinking of onsite identification, there are three main reasons it’s so important at this time:
- Maintaining compliance with behavioural identification
- Respecting their communication preferences
- Increasing registrations and first-time deposits
Maintaining compliance with behavioural identification
As we’ve said throughout the entire blog up to this point, many gaming and gambling companies are beginning to feel the effects of stricter regulations on how they market to customers. With onsite identification you can help avoid some of this. This is because onsite identification gives you the ability to recognise and act upon at-risk behaviour before it gets out of hand. Once a user is identified, it gives you the ability to recognise their behaviors as they move across the site. It means you can see which games they’re on, how much time they’re spending on them, and what money they’ve pushed through the site. By having this, you’re better equipped to fall in line with the Advertising Standards Authority by showing them that you’re not serving harmful advertisements because you’re able to identify at-risk people. From there, you’ll be able to implement the Gambling Commission’s changes on a per-customer basis and avoid any issues.
Respecting their communication preferences
As gaming vendors know, the ASA has a set of Advertising Codes that requires they take action against misleading, harmful, or offensive advertisements. Many of these terms are nebulous, left up to interpretation on a case-by-case basis. But, during a time like this of social unrest with a pandemic and riots across the world, we’ve seen that many consumers find advertisements sent to them in ways they don’t like to be very offensive. Onsite identification helps you avoid this. Many players prefer to receive updates on their mobiles instead of in email, especially for live events, as they’re often on the go. Having onsite identification set up gives you the ability to choose between SMS and email to ensure you’re delivering the best experience possible for your customers.
Increasing registrations and first-time deposits
Lastly, it just plain works from a business perspective. Think about it. Think how often you get a droll, uninformed, impersonal email from a company telling you about their product or asking you to sign up for something. It just doesn’t work. With onsite identification, you can personalise your emails with one-to-one messaging that speaks to individual consumer’s interests. Say there’s a specific horse race each year that you’re running a promotion around. With identification, you can send emails to every person who has bet on that race in the past to let them know how they can bet or even offer them exclusive deals to remind them to play again. You can also use this behaviour to segment your customers and better serve them where they are in their playing journey. From people who deposited but never played, to customers who only like one particular game, identification gives you a way to segment them out for a more thoughtful and personalised marketing experience.