Many digital platforms have been resilient to challenges brought about by the global pandemic, which has led numerous land-based entities considering, and more often than not embracing, new opportunities in the online space.
Looking into how the rise of mobile gaming across the US might impact the country’s land-based space, Yaniv Sherman, SVP and head of the US at 888, revealed that casinos which have embraced mobile betting saw a material upside “with no evidence of cannibalisation”.
He noted: “Across the industry, we’ve seen land-based casinos choosing to either launch a mobile platform or partner with one of the mobile only operators to engage with fans outside of their properties. Land-based casinos’ ability to cross promote drives customer engagement and loyalty.
“Additionally, while customers may choose to bet online, the experience at land based casinos is unique.”
Expanding on the impact of the stay-at-home mandates implemented during the last 16 months, Sherman noted that there has been a small structural shift towards digital, however “gaming is no different.”
He added: “Since the lockdowns were eased, we have seen activity levels hold, as seen from our Q1 and Q2 releases.”
Further exploring whether the online and land-based ecosystems could work together to ensure collective success, Sherman affirmed that the industry has seen a number of partnerships between land-based and online operators.
He explained that the ability to engage customers across both online and brick-and-mortar venues create multiple touch points and cross promotion opportunities. Sherman added that both online and in-person betting have unique advantages and benefits that mean they can both work together.
“For example, a point of differentiation for mobile betting is in-play betting while land-based casinos are able to offer unique, in-person experiences such as live music and food to their customers,” he noted.
Moving on to how several big brands are leveraging for position across the US online ecosystem and whether there is enough room for manoeuver for other industry incumbents to enjoy significant success, Sherman revealed: “We are still at the early stages of sports betting and even earlier in igaming.
“The market is projected to be large enough to support numerous operators. We believe that long term success will depend on product and customer experience.
“888 is unique in that we own both platforms internally which allows us to move quickly and create truly unique experiences for our customers.”
Safer gambling was a key focus for the SVP and head of the US, as he highlighted that it should be placed at the forefront of a company’s strategy, “especially when opening a new market”.
He continued: “888 has built a number of tools to help customers manage their betting experience in a safe way. In addition, we believe the industry should come together and share an industry wide self-exclusion list”.
After recently teaming up with Authentic Brands Group regarding its Sports Illustrated entity, Sherman concluded by discussing what’s in line for 888 in the region.
He expressed the company’s excitement to be working with “such an iconic brand who has connected with fans for generations”.
He said: “We will be rebranding our 888sports to be called SI Sportsbook. We will also work closely with the team at SI.com to provide fans with a sportsbook experience that ties into the key moments in sports while also offering award winning content to better inform their decision.”