In the early 2000s, online gambling companies – and casinos in particular – were safe investments guaranteed to generate healthy profits. It didn’t take much for operators to succeed; a basic player lobby, an exclusive partnership with a casino games developer, and a payment facility to handle deposits and withdrawals.
In recent years, however, the online gambling landscape has considerably changed. The United Kingdom turned into the largest regulated remote gambling market worldwide, and the Gambling Commission cracked down on operators who don’t put their customers first.
A whole range of new regulations were introduced in the past five years, from the ban on using credit cards to the removal of free spin offers – and operators saw their profits diminish. Every day, more online casinos started to shut their doors, and operators were quick to blame the regulators for this. But it’s not that easy.
Efficiency during the KYC process
One of the new rules for online casinos in the UK is the requirement to complete a Know-Your-Customer (KYC) check on every newly registered player. It includes verifying a customer’s name, address, and financial situation. Players cannot play real money games until they have passed the check.
Operators have been blaming the KYC process for the decrease in new and active players in recent years, and it’s undoubtedly a burden that slows down the onboarding of customers. However, when listening to player feedback, you learn that many online casinos take up to five days and more to complete their due diligence. During that time, players feel left alone as there is often zero communication after submitting sensitive information such as passport copies and bank statements.
As such, operators need to rethink their priorities inside the player journey. If the KYC process is generally a painful experience for players, invest in making it less painful. Customers will remember this and stick with your brand longer as they don’t want to go through yet another document checking period with another online casino.
Improved user experience for searching online slots
The vast majority of online casino players wager money on slot games. For that reason, operators tend to sign partnerships with more than one software provider and offer north of 1,000 and more slot titles. Have a look at Online Slots Pilot, and you quickly understand the wealth of slot machines that exist on the Internet.
However, operators lack an easy way for players to discover these titles. Plenty of sites give customers a fairly basic search engine to find games like a single search box. However, casino players often know what they’re looking for, and they cannot find it by the name of a slot game. Instead, they want to narrow down their search by using filters for paylines, RTP, themes, and bonus features.
Operators in the UK complain about a high churn rate. Still, they miss the fact that players often have no desire to exit their relationship with an online casino, especially after going through a painful, multi-day KYC check. Those players leave because the casino site doesn’t match their search intent.
Fast and professional customer support
Last but not least, operators need to up their game when it comes to customer service. A quick browse across gambling forums, and you feel the frustration of players whose questions haven’t been dealt with in a timely manner or to their full satisfaction.
Whether it’s long-taking withdrawals, unsolicited bank charges, or general enquiries, many operators still handle customer support as they did in the early days when there were no rules. Beating around the bush, tactics of delay, and ‘I need to speak to my manager’ responses lead to much frustration with their existing player base.
It’s a pity because, again, the player often has no intention of closing their account. Instead, they seek clarity and professionalism from the operator’s side.
Looking at it from afar, the UK online gambling market has become more complicated for operators. However, it’s too easy to blame the regulation for diminishing profits. People don’t gamble less – it’s more than it’s ever been – but operators have yet to adopt their business model to a market that isn’t the Wild West anymore.