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Cards on the table: How to earn players’ trust in three steps

Yana Khaidukova
October 18, 2023
8 min

A dazzling game selection, thrilling tournaments, and appealing bonuses are a great draw for any online casino. But when players talk to each other on forums and message boards, what do you think is the first question they ask about a new casino brand?

Is this casino trustworthy? Is this a good brand?

No point in taking a bonus if you doubt that you will be able to cash it out, and why participate in a tournament if you fear that the site is going to vanish tomorrow. This is Maslow’s pyramid of a casino player: Trust comes first.

Why trust matters

It might come as a surprise, but trust is a cornerstone of the gambling business. Making bets and playing already involves a degree of risk — a win is not a certainty, by any means — and it makes sense that to participate a player has to trust the process and trust a casino with their money.

It’s a basic social contract: the player stakes their hard-earned cash with an understanding they will get back more if they win. Gambling enterprises must guarantee the safety of the player's funds. The same goes for the sensitive personal data that players provide — the casino must be committed to keeping it safe and not sharing it with third parties.

Players will never be loyal to a platform they don’t trust. A casino’s cash flow depends on regular players, and with competitors doing everything possible to peel them away, holding on to your players just gets harder and harder.

And what if in a given month, that competitor succeeds in offering a better deal, a newer game, or a fatter bonus? The only thing that protects your business, in this case, is the fact that people tend to buy from the brands they trust.

That’s exactly why acquiring a new customer is five times more expensive than retaining an existing one, and why brand building is so important.

Here are three steps on how to win your player’s trust and then keep it.

Step one: Be legitimate

People unfamiliar with iGaming often ask: is it even legal?

Yes. Yes, it is. But experienced players visiting any online casino or sportsbook site know that you have to make sure it’s legit before making a deposit.

So for an online casino that wishes to start a relationship with its players on the right foot, the first crucial step is getting a license.

Jurisdictions across the globe vary when it comes to the price, stringency, and number of hoops an operator has to jump through to get a license. Having a gaming license gives your audience a reason to trust you, makes it possible to cooperate with the best game developers, allows you to enter the most profitable markets, and serves as a guarantee of credibility.

When applying for a license, most entrepreneurs decide to save their time, money, and mental health by employing professional assistance from experts who know all the bureaucratic pitfalls in the highly complex process of obtaining a license.

A license is necessary to register a company, open bank accounts, set up operations, and much more.

Licensed games with a transparent RTP, acquired from a reputable content provider, is another big step in the right direction. The market is absolutely saturated with titles of all sizes, shapes, colors, and styles, but what matters to the player is if the slot works the way it’s supposed to.

Some online casinos make the mistake of thinking players can’t tell if a game works properly. The truth? They’ll find out.

For starters, a tech-savvy player can gauge some information about a game they are playing by using the “inspect” feature in their browser. They can see which server the game talks to, and in certain cases see the RTP written plain as day in the code.

Aside from such direct methods, players share experiences on forums, and when a large number of players have the same doubts and frustrations, the reputation of a casino will certainly dwindle.

When the game is from a licensed provider which has RNG certificates (like eCOGRA), the player knows that the RTP and other game functions are verified.

Step two: Maintain your reputation

Some things are easier lost than gained, and a good reputation is one of them.

The internet remembers. Once you tarnish your reputation with a scandal or a series of bad reviews, it’s almost impossible to start with a clean slate.

This means that the best way to make sure your brand doesn’t make a bad first impression is to avoid getting a bad rap in the first place.

Timely withdrawal of funds and quality support is crucial for managing your relationship with your players. Online casinos offer a service after all — the players rightly expect attention and professionalism, and they will absolutely remember and commend the high quality of your business practices. On the other hand, if your staff is unhelpful and your processes are prolonged and convoluted...let’s just say it’s not the best foundation for a good relationship.

Treat your customers well and they will trust you and your brand.

Another amazing tool for building trust is a transparent bonus policy.

When the bonus offer is full of fine print conditions, exceptions, and complications, the players feel cheated, even if from your point of view it’s their fault that they didn’t go through terms and conditions thoroughly enough. Make sure the terms and conditions for using the bonus are clear and easy to understand, and remember: for a bonus to be an effective marketing tool, it should be profitable for players.

Of course, leaving yourself open to bonus abuse is a horrible idea, but it’s wise to make sure the reason for the bonus’ existence is not lost in the process.

Make sure it’s very clear and understandable how the bonus is meant to be used, and remember that a bonus has to be a good deal to work as a marketing tool.

Speaking of marketing, don’t forget to invest in a positive brand image: the quality of your website and ads, high-profile partners and affiliates, and games from big brands will certainly help. Currently, affiliate marketing is still the most effective way of promotion, but influencer and social media marketing are rapidly rising and have already gained significant traction in the online gambling industry.

The design of your site and stability of your platform are equally important: nothing projects confidence and inspires trust better.

Tep three: Reward loyalty

Loyalty programs are a very important part of the casino experience. For most online casinos, the majority of their revenue comes from a minority of high-frequency, high-stakes players. Losing one of these players to a competitor is especially painful.

Bonuses and special treatment, like priority support, are all great ways to let your high-rollers know you value them. VIPs can get earlier access to games, play in special tournaments, or receive merchandise.

To incentivize these players you can implement a system of loyalty points that can be accumulated by playing on a regular basis or even simply offer large deposit bonuses to regular bettors.

Some iGaming operators take inspiration from the land-based industry, which is famous for treating their high-rollers like superstars, with free hotel rooms, limousines, and tickets for boxing matches. You don’t have to think this big — even a little gift (like a bottle of wine) feels personal and will be greatly appreciated. At the very least, they will see that you give as much as you get — a great sign of a trusted and beloved brand.

But don’t forget about the rest of your users. Bonuses and participation prizes will make your players feel special and add value to their casino experience. Don't rely on bonuses from gaming content providers; in addition to free spins, jackpots, and tournaments, players can be offered a weekly roulette spin to increase their deposit or win other prizes.

And of course, players everywhere are already accustomed to getting a bonus along with their first deposit. In some cases, players get a guarantee on the first bet, or more favorable conditions for winning it.

This year, Slotegrator successfully implemented a wheel of fortune feature into its updated turnkey online casino platform. This new bonus is a spinning wheel divided into a certain number of sectors, each of them showing which prize the player earns.

Trust = quality

In players’ eyes, trust means everything: good service, reliable support, and a pleasant gaming experience. Slotegrator works with numerous online casino and sportsbook brands, and we know there is one thing you shouldn’t gamble on — quality.

Our legal experts help companies obtain a gaming license, open a bank account, and be ready for audits and due diligence checks, while for those who’ve already established themselves in the market, we have a robust partner network of great game content providers.

If you are a newcomer to the industry who wants to get a strong start in your target market, or an experienced iGaming operator looking to make your brand even better, click the button below and get a free consultation.

Yana Khaidukova
Yana Khaidukova
Managing Director
As a software development expert, Yana has been in the gambling industry since 2019, when she became an Account Manager at Slotegrator, then moved on to be Head of the Customer Account and Vendor Departments. Her passion, hard work, and deep understanding of clients’ needs and industry trends led her to the Managing Director position that she occupies today. Yana knows the gambling industry well, constantly follows the latest industry developments, and never stops sharing her insights with her industry colleagues.

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