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Seizing the Opportunities of the US Gaming Market:
Offering a Digital Social Casino Experience
Rory Shanahan
Head of Marketing & B2B Social - Interactive
Scientific Games
Nicky Senyard
CEO & Founder
Income Access Group
To set the landscape, how has the US Gaming industry evolved over the years?
Two key themes have emerged:
1.
2.
Compliance
•
Compliance vs. commercials
•
National versus state regulations
•
Vertical specific regulations
Market size of land-based casinos
•
Growing size and penetration of land-based casinos
•
Unique approach to community and reinvestment
A brief history:

1931: Nevada legalizes gambling

1976: New Jersey legalizes gambling, restricting it to Atlantic City

1978: Resorts Atlantic City opens, first NJ casino

1999: Multiplayer online gambling introduced in the US

2014: American Gaming Association: The US land-based casino industry contributed
more than $240 billion to the national economy

2009 – 2014: However, revenue growth has recently been challenging: following the US
financial crisis, the casino industry’s revenue growth averaged only 0.8% a year between
2009 and 2014

2014: Some recent closures of casinos include the closure of Harrah’s Casino Tunica in
Mississippi in June 2014 and the shutdown of the Clarion Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas in
September 2014
Talking of online gaming, what are the main trends
impacting the US gaming industry at present?


Divergence
•
European market is homogenous and coherent
•
US market is still evolving and remains divergent related to regulation and
approach
Technology
•

Consumer appetite
•

Technology is enabling the growth of the market and increasing
engagement levels
There is an incredible pent-up demand in the US for gaming content
Brand interest
•
Brands in the US resonate with consumers and hold great value
•
Organizations have the opportunity to evolve by capitalizing on brand
interest and consumer appetite

Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006 – federal
legislation banning real-money iGaming in the US.

State by state legislation
2013: Nevada, New Jersey, Delaware regulate online poker
2014: No new states regulating real-money gaming
2015: Online poker bills before state legislature in California and Pennsylvania
2016: According to Eilers Research, no new states expected to regulate
2017: Pennsylvania online market to go live*
2018: California online market to go live*
2019: New York online market to go live*
2020: Connecticut and Massachusetts online markets to go live*
*Based on Eilers Research
Discussing land-based casinos in particular,
what do you see as the current landscape for this sector?



Opportunistic
•
Customer database
•
Brand strength
•
Market awareness
•
Connection to the customers
Age of digital
•
Expansion by leveraging current customer experience
•
Ensuring brands are following innovative digital trends
•
Increase revenue by implementing new acquisition and retention strategies
•
Understanding compliance
Challenges
•
Slow pace of iGaming regulation
What choices do land-based casinos have?

Verticals
•

Depending on the state, there are choices related to the five key verticals (horseracing, fantasy, social gambling, real-money, branded social casino)
Application
•
Concierge mobile
•
Adopting brand partnership
•
Licensing social product
2014: Social casino revenue rose 38% year-over-year to reach $2.8 billion (Eilers Research)
2015: Forecasted that the global social casino market will expand to $3.8 billion
Over 35.4 million American players, according to SuperData Research
From your point of view,
what is the best focus for land-based casinos and why?

Developing a social casino product can serve four main goals:
1.
Engagement and customer retention tool
2.
Acquisition of new customers (beyond current geographical boundaries)
3.
Additional revenue/ revenue diversification
4.
Building player database ahead of real-money regulation
Separate research by Sally Gainsbury (academic) and US gaming firm IGT says social casino and
real-money online casino brands have similar player demographics:
Players aged 30+ predominate (75% of social and 82% of real-money)
According to SciGames, player stickiness with social product is high and averages 2 years
Average monetization rates for land-based social casinos is 13% according to SciGames Play4Fun
Can you take us through the steps that a casino can take to begin the process of
moving online with a social casino product?

Let’s assume that a land-based casino has only a web
presence (retail website, social media)
1. How to go online – what technology option best achieves
the goal?
2. What does the infrastructure integration look like?
3. What content do I choose – what are my customers going
to want to play? (social casino games, etc.)
4. What is the internal management of the product to look
like?
5. Marketing, including use of online and offline channels
Given your company’s focus on marketing,
can you provide more detail on marketing a social casino brand?



The first question to ask: what is the goal?
•
Increase property revenue
•
Increase customer base
•
Increase market share
Goal: engage current database
•
Engaging with existing customer database
•
Leveraging the resources a casino already has, and implementing content related to
social into current strategies – email marketing, social media, etc.
Goal: increasing geographical reach of brand
•
Marketing/ acquisition beyond existing database – SEO, PPC (Google ads),
performance marketing (use of social networks), paid social media ads, offline
channels (TV, print, radio, local billboards, etc.)
What can land-based casinos expect to achieve
in the first stage of marketing their social product?

Keeping your ideal player in mind when strategizing engagement
•


Expansion of current marketing activities
•
Email marketing: Sustained email marketing campaign to the customer database that promotes the social
brand (both the desktop version and the mobile app)
•
Social media: Focus primarily on Facebook and Twitter, as they are considered the most impactful social
channels for B2C marketing, according to research from the Social Media Examiner
Testing your marketing strategies
•

Identifying your most profitable player, and concentrating on these types of players
Using effective tracking methods to ensure you are maximizing conversion of existing customers into social
players
Findings – Scientific Games
•
20+ mobile concierge player downloads
•
4.25+ sessions per daily user
•
Players using social products increase in-casino spend
What about the secondary phase of marketing?
What can land-based casinos expect to achieve then?
Again, come back to the goal. Here are two examples:
1.
Increase profitability
•
2.
Increase customer database
•


Targeting current customers that are digitally exposed
Players that are outside geographical boundaries and seek to spend leisure
dollars on activities such as a digital social casino
NOTE: ensure transparency of your marketing efforts and investments to
understand what is most effective
•
Track online, offline, and mobile channels
•
Implement ad serving tools for targeted digital acquisition
•
Google analytics/AdWords
Constant re-evaluation of channels and marketing campaigns
What have you seen are some advantages that land-based casinos
have related to marketing?

Land-based casinos are really well-positioned to market a digital product:
•
Pre-existing marketing budget
•
Already existing relationships with customers
•
Brand value
•
Customer database – segmented
•
Player rewards programs
THANKS FOR ATTENDING!
For more Information, please feel free to email Nicky at
[email protected]
Be sure to check out our webinar on April 9th
“Seizing the Opportunities of the US Gaming
Market: Daily Fantasy Sports & Online HorseRacing Wagering”
Thank you to Rory Shanahan from Scientific Games for
sharing your insights. To contact Rory:
[email protected]

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