The casino industry has always been rather traditional and static. For example, the same rules and strategy apply to blackjack today as they did 100 years ago. But, as with many other traditional industries, it has had to face the challenge of a digital world and everything that comes with it.
Indeed, unlike many consumer facing businesses, those behind the global gaming industry were quick to recognize that they must join the digital disruptors. Pretty quickly as North America and Europe got online, casinos and their gambling counterparts – bingo, sports betting, poker – were quick to set up their sites.
Casinos Have Changed Dramatically Recently
However, the early pioneers of online casinos, most of whom were already firmly established in the gambling industry, were pretty rigid in their ideas. Sure, they might have some innovative slot games or new versions of roulette, but the experience was one that sought to replicate, rather than enhance, a visit to the land-based casinos. In short, you went to an online casino to play games and little else.
In the last few years, a new wave of online casinos has cropped up in place like Canada and the UK. The idea is to offer a more immersive experience, one that goes beyond the idea of playing a few hands of blackjack or roulette.
New Themes Include Aliens and Robots
Take, for example, Casumo, an online casino operating in Canada that promises to take players on an “adventure”. What does this mean? Well, it means that members sign up for more than just playing games. Once you join, you grow your “own little Casumo” (the site has a alien/robot theme) and unlock rewards (bonus cash and slot spins). Whoever didn’t hear about Casumo before might find this a little strange, but it’s part of a strategy to give players something different from the norm.
Other casinos to follow this example include Kaboo, another alien-themed casino which encourages players to complete various missions in order to win “Relics”, which will again offer the chance of big cash prizes and bonuses. Furthermore, the sites tend to promote a sense of community, interacting with players to celebrate wins and commiserate with losses.
Bonuses Get Player in the Door
Of course, much of this can be put down to an approach of marketing. In a cluttered market – there are a lot of online casinos out there – the best way to distinguish your product is to offer something different. While that’s certainly true in the aesthetic of these new sites, they are also quite good at standing out from the crowd in terms of the incentives they offer players.
Take the idea of the “free spins bonus”, which can sometimes be snapped up without making a deposit. The casino will promote it as playing for keeps, i.e. another way of saying you will be playing for real money. That lure of a big progressive jackpot is incredibly attractive to players, so having a chance without any risk to their wallets feels like a good opportunity. While there is no obligation to stay with the site, the casinos know that some players will like what they see; a bit like enticing someone into your store with a free sample.
Going further, some of these new online casinos seem really committed to pushing the boundaries even more. The idea of VR games, multi-player slots, 3D games and live dealer sites are already a reality, so it’ll be interesting to see what they come up with to push for an augmented player experience in the future.