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Grow your iGaming business up and out: expanding to new markets

June 14, 2023
8 min
964

Sustainable growth is the dream of any businessman, but it takes effort to constantly stimulate this growth, especially when taking into account external factors and internal goals. When and how do iGaming businesses expand?

This article will be useful not only for experienced casino owners willing to expand, but also for beginning iGaming businessmen planning their project and creating a business model. If you want to get an idea of what markets hold the most potential for your business or prove to your investors that you have a plan to increase revenues, it’s time to do your research and consider different growth strategies.

Business growth strategies

Your iGaming business can grow in different directions depending on your goals and opportunities. Let’s look at the options.

Normally, growth strategies are divided into two main directions: “up” and “out”, or vertical and horizontal.

Vertical growth

Vertical growth is improving and building off of a business’s existing range of products and services, including adding new features, expanding offers, creating new products within an existing range, and improving overall quality. Vertical growth builds players’ loyalty and brand recognition, increasing market share within the original market of operation.

Horizontal growth

Businesses can also grow into other markets. It involves expanding existing products or services into new regions but not developing new products. Basically, horizontal growth means geographically expanding the original product offer’s availability.

There are other described growth strategies. Here are some examples:

Market Penetration is the percentage of a particular company's sales within the total sales of this product in the market. Increasing market penetration is the strategy of increasing the total sales of the same product in the same market, using various marketing strategies.

Growth through diversification implies selling new products and expanding the offer.

Acquisition of other companies is when one company purchases another company in order to grow.

Why iGaming companies expand to different markets

It’s understandable that companies get the idea to grow and expand at some point, but should they do so vertically or horizontally? It’s never hard to add new products — especially if you cooperate with a game aggregator — but there are several reasons why iGaming businesses expand across borders. Let’s look at them.

Increased market size

New markets mean new players. If you’ve already grown as much as you can in your original market, you might decide to increase your profits by targeting a new audience in a new country and expanding your player base.

Increased competitiveness

Expanding your player base makes a brand bigger and more established. Expanding to another market can increase market share and create the reputation of an international brand, which is a definite competitive advantage.

Diversification

We have already discussed the importance of risk management and discussed how labor markets, regulation, and economic changes can significantly affect operation. This is why some brands prefer not to put all their investments into one basket, relying on one market, and instead diversify their business between different countries. This is especially true for the iGaming industry: regulations change, and distributing your operation between different countries with different authorities could be a way to grow.

Access to new talent and resources

Business growth is not only about enlarging your player base, it’s also about growing your team. Accessing a new market would involve adding new talent and resources, which would improve efficiency.

How to choose a market of operation

This topic is always a subject of active discussions and always raises concerns. Let’s do a quick review of what you’d want to research before deciding on your new area of operation.

Regulation

First of all, obviously, it’s best to target a market where gambling is regulated. Consider licensing in the country, including the costs, terms, and reputation. Do you have to register a new company in the country? Are there any special requirements that you didn’t face before? What is the minimum gambling age?

Research what kind of license you’ll need based on what content you’re going to offer. Some regulators issue one kind of license that covers all forms of gambling, while others have separate licenses for each activity. You should also consider promotion — some jurisdictions tightly regulate advertising, which is why it is important to plan out your marketing and advertising strategy in advance, with full knowledge of the pertinent regulations.

Demography

If the demographics of your new market are similar to the one where you already operate, it might be easier — you already know what games they like and how to promote them. However, if you’re currently operating in Argentina and considering expanding to, let’s say, Germany, you will have to localize everything to match your new audience, including gaming content, bet setting limits, bonus policy, etc., which could become a significant cost.

Market potential

If the legal framework and demography of your potential market seem good for your company's growth, the next step is to evaluate the market’s iGaming potential. Try to find as much information as you can about the political situation and upcoming elections, new bills or plans to change legislation, cultural background and attitude to gambling, business and tourism sector development, economic potential, and average income — there’s a long list of factors that influence the market’s future.

Competition

If the country is a new or emerging market, there will be lower competition. However, you have to enter it quickly, because the audience excitement at the moment of gambling legalization is sure to attract a flood of operators, and it’s better to be one of the first.

On the other hand, there are developed markets, where gambling has been regulated for generations. The level of competition will be higher, but that carries a certain advantage — you can study what other brands do and adopt their best practices or fill holes in the market.

How to prepare for expansion

Preparing for expansion is similar to planning a business launch: carefully study the market and make sure your business satisfies a specific demand.

Game offer

Ideally, your new market will embrace your existing gaming offer. However, some games are typical for a particular country. This applies to game types but also to game themes — players might like Chinese symbols or Mexican characters depending on their cultural background.

Horizontal growth normally implies offering existing products and services to a new audience. The iGaming industry’s main product is games, and they should match every particular market demand, so in this regard horizontal expansion will often necessarily require some vertical expansion.

Localization

Even if you expand to a market with similar tastes as your current one, their language will most likely be different. You should consider hiring more player support employees who speak players’ native languages and localize every page of your website, including navigation, terms and conditions, bonus conditions, and other important elements.

Players won’t bother translating web copy or marketing material if it’s in a different language; they will simply find another casino that caters to them. Another thing to keep in mind is the need to support all necessary currencies and payment options — you might offer exactly the same games under the same brand, but your new audience might be limited with their payment methods or simply prefer to make deposits in other currencies.

Marketing

Besides game preferences and languages, you should also be aware of what bonuses and offers players in your new chosen market like. If you can analyze your competitors’ behavior in the new market, do so, but if you are one of the pioneers in the country, it’s always good to start with understanding regulation. If the state authority provides clear rules for advertising or bet or bonus limits, your marketing strategy will have to proceed from that. If not, you might have to learn by trial and error, tweaking offers as you go.

In general, entering a new market will look a lot like starting a new business. However, there is one big advantage — your own experience. You already have a working business with an effective business organization and structure, you already have a gambling platform, and you probably have all the brand attributes, established reputation, and, most importantly, data you can base your analysis on.

How can Slotegrator help you expand your business?

Slotegrator provides advisory services and helps with license acquisition, which is useful not only for beginning operators, but also for those planning to grow their iGaming businesses.

Solving the dilemma of integrating enough of the right gaming content is never quick — unless you seek assistance from a game aggregator. Slotegrator’s APIgrator solution allows the integration of over 15,000 games in a single session, and our sales team will recommend which titles are the best for every market.

If you wish to grow your audience but don’t feel like starting a new company in another market, there is a way to offer your services to new players: Telegram Casino. This solution is an alternative front end of a traditional online casino built in a popular mobile messenger. The number of Telegram users increases every day, and working with it means accessing Telegram users around the world.

To get more information and find out what else Slotegrator can do for your business expansion, contact us and get a free consultation.

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