The iGaming industry may be growing fast, but the live casino sector is growing even faster. Sometimes, operators aren’t sure whether investing in live dealer games is a wise use of resources. However, increasing demand from players is leading to growth for both operators and live dealer game suppliers.
Simply adding live dealer games to a casino is not enough to ensure success. Operators must also market the products correctly in order to reach the right audiences. Marketing and promoting popular games are key regardless of the market. For example, giving out bonuses and promotions to the player base is a good strategy for retaining them. However, operators should also never forget the power of media and invest in affiliate marketing, digital advertising, and social media marketing, as well as focusing on SEO. Operators can improve their SEO rankings through creating content like game reviews, blogs and partnering with well-known game developers.
A few things are true in every market. Learning through trial and error is always crucial for marketing efforts. Operators can conduct A/B testing, pushing different promotions, bonuses, and games to players to see what strategies are the most effective at converting players.
According to live casino supplier Evolution Gaming, the most popular games are Blackjack, Roulette, and, in their case, specially designed games such as those based on game shows. Another crucial factor, according to Betgames.TV, is to make sure that all games are certified by local authorities. Operators must also be responsive to customer needs when it comes to marketing promotions and special requests.
Online casino live dealer games are quickly growing in popularity. Of course, along with the growth in popularity comes significant growth in revenues for operators. In this blog post, we’ll look at some of the top markets for online casino games with live dealers, as well as sharing insights from two key live casino suppliers - Evolution Gaming and BetgamesTV.
Do not miss: Top Live Dealer Game Providers 2019.
China and other Asian countries
One of the first markets where live dealer casino games really took off in popularity was the Asian market, and China in particular. Initially, there was a cultural mistrust of the RNG that governs the outcomes of online slot games. Live dealer games were seen as an acceptable alternative, as a dealer turning over cards is more transparently fair than an unseen mechanism.
As many governments in Asia have restrictive laws regarding gambling, it’s common for players to visit offshore sites. Some operators establish studios in the Philippines to face the Chinese market.
Evolution Gaming has reported that Lightning Roulette and games based on game shows are very popular in Asian markets, as are Live Dragon Tiger, Baccarat, and Super Sic Bo, which are hosted by dealers in Asian-style dress in studios with Asian-inspired decor.
Gambling has long been popular in the United Kingdom, and the country’s well-regulated environment is seeing particular growth in the online sector, so it should come as no surprise that the country is one of the top markets for online casino games with live dealers. A number of the leading live dealer casino game developers have licenses from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.
Evolution’s Deal or No Deal and MONOPOLY Live are both highly effective gate-openers in the UK when it comes to converting players. The original game show Deal or No Deal and the board game Monopoly are both very popular and even inspire nostalgia across the country, giving opportunities for operators to attract new players who are fans.
Sweden can almost be viewed as the motherland of live dealer online casino games, as several leading live dealer developers, including NetEnt and Evolution Gaming, have their headquarters there. Revenues from online casinos in general and live dealer games in particular remain higher than in many other countries.
While operators have a wide range of options to choose from, as all types of games are popular in the Nordic market (and in Europe overall), smaller brands will find it difficult to penetrate the market and retain players, as the market is already saturated with established operators.
Evolution Gaming suggests that operators with a focus on sports betting should push Blackjack or game show-themed games to their players, and operators that emphasize slots should use RNG games and game show-themed games to cross-sell live dealer games to traditional online casino game players.
Russia and other Eastern European countries
Gambling is banned in Russia outside of several designated zones, so it stands to reason that offshore-based online casinos have found a significant amount of success on the country’s black market - including a number of live dealer game providers. Ukraine is also one of the bigger markets for live dealer online casinos, though the country’s black market could soon find itself disrupted by pending legalization and regulation set to take effect in 2020.
Live Blackjack, Poker, and Roulette are very popular throughout the Eastern European region. According to Evolution, game shows also drive amazing conversion rates for new players. Betgames.TV has found that operators in the Eastern European region make very effective use of marketing promotions such as cashback, tournaments, and welcome bonuses to attract players and incentivise them to keep playing. Betgames.TV has also found that custom branding for live dealer studios is a very effective promotional tool.
Gambling is still restricted throughout the US, but increasing numbers of states are deciding to regulate gambling. States like Pennsylvania and New Jersey that have chosen to regulate are already becoming significant markets for live dealer games, and operators that have expanded into those markets are already seeing positive results. Additionally, players in states that have yet to regulate gambling often play live dealer games through online platforms based in other jurisdictions.
One drawback of the US market is that operators are limited to a basic game selection. Live casino studios must be located in the state where they operate, and setting up studios in multiple states would see expenses add up very quickly.
Emerging Markets - South Africa and India
As in many other countries, Live Blackjack, Roulette, Baccarat and Poker are very popular in South Africa. However, this is despite the fact that the regulatory landscape is unfavorable to operators. While gambling is very popular throughout the country and it boasts the highest gambling revenues in Africa, online casino games are illegal, and players can only find them on offshore sites.
India, with its massive population, high GDP, and growing middle class, is considered a very tempting emerging market. The legal status of online gambling varies from state to state, and in some it has not yet been decided. Live Poker is very popular, as are other games like Live Baccarat and Live Blackjack.
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