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Most effective marketing strategies in iGaming

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Gone are the days when casino games were merely the preserve of brick-and-mortar casinos.
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Gone are the days when casino games were merely the preserve of brick-and-mortar casinos. Much like every other sector, gaming has long gone digital. In Europe alone, the online gambling industry is projected to generate around €43bn in 2024. According to German data gathering company Statista, the market should reach up to 74.7m users by 2029.

Part of this success comes down to the marketing techniques the industry has been applying to great effect in recent years. So, how do casino operators keep attracting users in droves? And how can new platforms ride that wave to make a name for themselves and thrive in such a heated environment? Let’s delve into three marketing trends worth imitating.

Insightful SEO strategy

Online discoverability is key to making it in the digital world, pushing websites to invest massively in search engine optimization (SEO) to overtake their competitors online. Finding the right keywords goes a long way in ranking higher than the competition. To target the most relevant search terms, casino operators use marketing tools like Google Search Console, Ahrefs, Ubersuggest and SEMrush. Likewise, optimizing a site’s metadata and backlinking can do wonders for search engines.

Mastering the SEO game is no easy task as it requires keeping up with ever-evolving SEO guidelines. From Google to Bing, search engines constantly update their algorithms to improve the pertinence of their results. Websites big and small need to reflect these changes in their SEO approach. Going with the times also means looking into current trends and changes in consumer habits, considering new online behaviours such as voice search. Meanwhile, casino sites always need to comply with local regulations across all the markets they operate in, which translates into a business model fostering adaptability and responsiveness.

A sharp eye for innovation

Operating in an overly competitive environment can be a powerful stimulant. Many iGaming operators are quick to adapt their marketing strategies to emerging trends, just as they are quick to adopt new technologies and innovations to pique the interest of their target audience. Always the trailblazer, the online gambling industry was among the first to invest the mobile space. Over the years, most platforms recognised the needs and preferences of modern players placing convenience above all other metrics, developing ever-so-smooth graphics and user-friendly features on mobile.

Additionally, casino operators have been early adopters of blossoming technologies like virtual reality and blockchain. While many industries were struggling to figure out what is blockchain, major iGaming players went all-in on the technology. Crypto-casinos did much to bring currencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum into the mainstream. Incidentally, it is no surprise that metaverse projects like Decentraland made room for virtual casinos into their digital space, with iGaming companies trusting this risky yet daring move to bolster their brand image as tech pioneers. From AI-driven data to AI chatbots answering users 24/7, the AI revolution has also been afoot in the industry.

User-centric approach

Whether online or in the physical space, users increasingly seek validation and acknowledgment of their unique needs – one marketing facet that iGaming operators have been all too eager to exploit by analysing data to roll out personalised bonuses based on players’ profiles, online behaviour, and gaming patterns. Individual users can benefit from tailored recommendations for exploring new games or discovering freshly released titles before anybody else. They may also receive exclusive deals and casino offers. Such promotions might target high rollers and frequent players, affording them special privileges to reward their loyalty. Similarly, high-stakes gamblers may enjoy extended withdrawal limits and earn VIP status.

Newcomers also receive incentives to register on a specific platform. On top-rated platforms, newly registered users can grab no deposit bonuses. While players cannot cash out these extra bundles of cash, they can use these free credits to play a range of casino games. As such, no deposit bonuses are an effective means of allowing users to test a site’s catalogue risk-free. Players can then keep their earnings to bolster their bankroll, with casinos riding on that momentum to drive engagement and keep first-time users logging back on their accounts.

Implementing the right marketing strategies often boils down to analysing what works for the competition. In that sense, the iGaming industry encourages emulation that benefits well-established platforms and new casinos alike. Betting on flexibility, innovation, and personalisation, online casino operators manage to evolve with the times and stay ahead of the current to appeal to a broader range of players from all backgrounds and demographics.

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Astralis Capital lauds success of PlayAIO as its first incubation investment

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PlayAIO announces its landmark partnership with Astralis Capital and an investment from Astralis Fund I LP (together “Astralis”). This marks a first for Astralis as PlayAIO becomes part of a newly created gaming incubation strategy.

“With Astralis Capital, it has been a truly synergistic partnership, I couldn’t think of a better way to start a business. With Astralis on board, we have continued to see rapid growth as we grow to be a market leader within the industry” said Josh Gibbs, CEO of PlayAIO.

“It’s been great working with both Evan and Tisno. They, along with PlayAIO, continue to see the untapped potential data brings to any organization.”

PlayAIO was founded in 2023 by Josh Gibbs, formerly of Kambi and Strive Gaming in customer data leadership roles. It has quickly grown an established contracted customer base and having gone live in May 2024. The launches have been smooth and well received by their customers.

Steven Farrugia, an iGaming data veteran who built models for ComeOn Group among others, recently joined PlayAIO as CTO, and the company has bolstered the team with staff members for their bases in the UK and Malta over the past months.

PlayAIO is a data and AI business that focuses on simplicity through understanding, aiming to aid businesses to unlock the power of their biggest asset: their data. This is all done through PlayAIO’s proprietary PlayAIO Engine. The PlayAIO Engine provides an always-on strategic insights and recommendations tool.

On a real-time basis, users are guided on where action is required and where focus should be placed, recommending AI models that will provide the highest impact to customers and their revenues, be it LTVs, game recommendations, responsible gaming, and a plethora of other models that are being leveraged by customers.

Astralis’ incubation strategy is incredibly helpful to new and experienced founders alike because, alongside investment, the firm provides dedicated strategic and operational support to founders including go to market and partnership guidance.

Astralis Capital, has invested in a number of iGaming and sports startups, including the leading daily fantasy operator PrizePicks, sports/betting micro-influencer aggregator SGG Media, sports social media platform Takes, Inc. and the leading US PAM startup Strive Gaming. Astralis has developed a reputation for astute iGaming investments supported by providing expert advice to founders to help accelerate company growth.

On PlayAIO, Evan Meyer, Co-Managing Partner, Astralis Capital, said:

“What Josh and Steven are driving at PlayAIO falls exactly within the scope of startup successes we’ve seen before. They have a clear vision, execution plan and technical product know-how in a developing iGaming and online sports betting market that is quickly becoming more sophisticated and understanding of the value of effective usage of Machine Learning and data analytics. We’ve been incredibly impressed by the pipeline of potential client discussions, new customer uptake and smooth launches thus far.”

Fellow Co-Managing Partner Tisno Onggara of Astralis Capital added: “The mission of PlayAIO is ultimately the reason we decided to partner and help incubate PlayAIO. We see growing trends within the industry surrounding AI, but very few companies have the internal technology and ability to act on this. We believe PlayAIO will be one of a select group of trusted partners to the industry and will continue to competitively strengthen over time given their models and a positive market outlook. The data market is an area within gaming that will change rapidly in the next few years, and we are excited to be on that journey with PlayAIO.”

PlayAIO Unlocks the Power of Your Data with AI-Driven Optimization.

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Sigma X SmartSoft Present: Malta IGathering

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Sigma X SmartSoft Present: Malta IGathering
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Mark your calendars for an exciting addition to the already packed autumn calendar. As a warm-up to Malta Week, before Grand Sigma Europe event, Sigma & Smartsoft will host an exclusive gathering for industry key representatives. This modest IGathering will bring together industry leaders and professionals for a chance to connect, exchange ideas, and discuss emerging trends.

Creating meaningful and valuable experiences for its partners remains a priority for SmartSoft, a commitment they stick to. This event is just another example of their ongoing effort to build long-lasting relationships. Such gatherings are important for getting to know industry representatives, deepening ties with partners, and who knows how many new ideas and collaborations will take start there?

The dinner event will take place on the 10th at Gracy’s Arts and Supper Club, nestled in the heart of Valletta. Set in a historic 17th-century Palazzo, this venue embodies the best of Maltese hospitality. This exclusive event promises to be a highlight for industry professionals seeking innovative partnerships and networking opportunities.

Guests are invited to embrace the fun theme, ‘A Touch of Red,’ by incorporating red into their attire. The evening will feature a live lottery, and plenty of surprises, and gifts, ensuring an unforgettable experience.

The iGathering is the perfect introduction to SiGMA Europe’s Malta Week event, celebrating 10 years of success in the gaming sector. The November event is set to take place at the Malta Maritime Hub, an operational shipyard accessible by both car and water taxi.

From the 11th to 14th, join us for expert-led conferences on online and offline gaming, AI, and blockchain, set against a well-curated expo floor. The event features two major award ceremonies for the B2B and B2C markets, several dinners in Malta’s stunning locations, and wraps up with a lively party featuring really fun entertainment lineup.

SmartSoft is the pioneer crash games provider that has been creating innovative games and operating on the B2B market since 2015. SmartSoft offers a diverse portfolio of non-traditional casino games, including the pioneering flying crash game, JetX. Along with the fact that for so many years SmartSoft has been shaping the igaming industry, creating groundbreaking and innovative games, SmartSoft made a significant stride last year by joining the prestigious Argentine National Team as their digital sponsor and became a proud member of World Champion’s family.

At SmartSoft, every game is created from scratch, featuring inventive design, a steadfast engine, and enhanced functionality. The games boast a variety of stories and features, ensuring an imaginative gaming experience. Every product offered by the company is compatible with all platforms and devices.

SmartSoft is just as committed to offering unforgettable experiences to its customers as it is to its partners. Because one is linked to another and represents company’s core values. Join the event, meet interesting people and fly even higher with SmartSoft.

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Interviews

Go direct – Fantasma Games strengthens partner collaboration with proprietary platform

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Go direct - Fantasma Games strengthens partner collaboration with proprietary platform
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Check out our latest Q&A w/ Fredrik Johansson CEO and Founder, Fantasma Games

 

Fantasma has recently launched its own FantasmaXpand platform, could you please let us know more about this initiative?

We have seen exceptional interest and demand for Fantasma’s premium and innovative online slot games and we wanted to take our offering to the next level. Launching our own platform, which we call FantasmaXpand, is a strategic initiative driven by our operator partners’ desire to collaborate more closely with us to improve overall business operations and access to our portfolio of games and wider development capabilities. The desire for deeper collaboration from our operator partners clearly indicates that our focus on providing high-performing slots with engaging game mechanics has enabled us to take this next important and natural step to support our partners’ local and global business growth strategies. It is very important for us to maintain the highest level of trust and reliability as we roll out Fantasma Xpand to our network of operator partners and the team we have built at Fantasma is more than capable of doing this.

 

How will you use FantasmaXpand to deliver more value to your operator partners?

We are all very committed to maintaining the highest level of quality assurance in everything we do, and we follow a clear plan as we expand our operational capabilities to our partners. In short, FantasmaXpand will provide local and global operator partners with a truly reliable, scalable and seamless gateway to access Fantasma’s “beyond gambling” portfolio of premium and innovative content, along with easy-to-use gamification tools. FantasmaXpand will also enable us to drive continued operational excellence while offering our collaborating partners outstanding flexibility and a reduced time-to-market (TTM) for our premium roadmap and the rollout of new innovative features and functions.

 

How does it enable you to push the boundaries with development?

We pride ourselves on having trustful and meaningful long-term relationships with our partners. FantasmaXpand will allow us to capitalise on these close partnerships and expand our joint collaborative initiatives both locally and globally, in a way that means our partners will be an integral part of how the FantasmaXpand roadmap is prioritised and developed. This means that our teams can focus on enhancing the technology roadmap, tuned and calibrated to our operators’ specific needs, which in turn enhances the overall strategic business partner value we bring and the experience our operators receive when accessing our premium offerings.

 

Why don’t all studios have their own platform? Does it bring challenges? If so, what?

Fantasma has seen outstanding growth from its operations to date, and as mentioned, our FantasmaXpand initiative is a direct response to our operator partners wanting to expand their overall business relationship with us. Not all studios have the strategy or capability to achieve the organisational readiness required to roll out such initiatives. Instead, many studios choose to focus solely on content development, which may be absolutely fine for them, allowing others to do the heavy lifting. Being ready and planning ahead has been key to maintaining focus and quality in legacy operations, and it is crucial for us not to impact the trust and reliability we have built with our operator partners over the years. As an organisation, you need to be prepared and willing to follow through on strategic initiatives that truly matter for continued sustainable growth in a hyper-competitive environment. One challenge may be daring to take this next step. But with our operator partners behind us, it has been a natural and necessary step for us to take.

 

Does FantasmaXpand help you enter new markets? If so, what markets have you got your eye on?

FantasmaXpand allows us to be in full control of our business strategy in close collaboration with our operator partners. From a go-to-market perspective, this is crucial, as seamless rollout and release management are necessary to maximise business value for us and our partners. FantasmaXpand is currently certified in many regulatory markets, and we will continue expanding the reach of FantasmaXpand in close collaboration with our partners. In terms of market reach, we currently offer our premium content in all of the major regulated markets in Europe. Our clear organisational objective is to be live with FantasmaXpand in all our regulated markets globally. However, like any expansion, we will implement a phased rollout approach for FantasmaXpand as this is the only way to ensure we don’t drop the ball with our legacy operations and partnerships.

 

What other developments from Fantasma can you share with us?

We have seen exceptional performance from our 2024 games portfolio, driven by titles such as Gold Pigger, Circle of Sylvan, Pirates Multi Coins and Shadow Summoner Elementals which have surpassed all KPIs. The US market has developed exceptionally well for Fantasma, and we have our eyes on LatAm as an exciting emerging growth market with plenty of opportunities to explore. In addition, our operator partners will benefit from a very exciting roadmap for the rest of the year. This, combined with the rollout of FantasmaXpand, means I am very excited to build continued positive momentum together with our partners. I am very optimistic about the future and our current momentum.

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