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Skins game: Online casinos need multiple options to attract cross-section of players

| By iGB Freelance | Reading Time: 2 minutes
Branding matters, maybe doubly or even triply so in the online casino realm. But what happens in the future when operators are unable to offer more than one online casino brand due to state law?
online casino multiple skins

Operators have built their player databases through various acquisition channels. From there, the funnel to successfully convert an existing patron to a registered/deposited player is a function of various factors. Product and promotions, but also brand recognition, familiarity and trust are all in the mix.

For online sports wagering, to this point, one brand per operator has generally sufficed. Conversely, a review of the US regulated online gambling operator landscape reveals that there is a clear need for operators to rely on more than one brand for online casinos.

If future online casino legislation in the states follows the pattern set by currently enacted sports wagering legislation, online casino operators may not have the ability to offer multiple brands under one licence. Requiring online casino operators to obtain multiple licences to offer multiple brands may have consequences. Such a decision could negatively impact the number of operators who enter the market. (Assuming the number of operators/access points is capped in law.)

Limited skins could mean limited online casino offerings

This is currently an issue in Michigan. The law allows each of the 15 allocated licensees to offer one brand for online casino games and poker. As a result, Caesars purchased WynnBet’s online casino licence, but won’t change anything immediately. Caesars’ goal is to launch a second of its own online casino brands later this year. In turn, this keeps another prospective operator out of the Michigan market.

In Illinois, only one online sports wagering platform (brand) is available for each casino or horse track. A similar approach to online casinos could preclude new operators from entering the market. In a state like West Virginia where each casino/racino can deploy up to three branded platforms (sports and casino), a company like DraftKings will require three separate licences if it wishes to offer the Jackpocket online casino brand in addition to its current DraftKings and Golden Nugget online casino offerings.

Of the 38 states (plus DC and Puerto Rico) that have legalised sports wagering, only eight have legalised online casinos. With 40-plus states not having passed online casino legislation, now is the time to ensure branding limitations do not become an issue in other states in the future. (Note, Nevada has only authorised online poker and would require regulation changes to allow other casino games.)

Read the full story here.

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