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Gaming Guru

David Newstead

Is there place at the table for new casino brands?

7 May 2010

In the last few months we've seen a number of new online casinos appear, from SEGA's effort, the offline pros joining the fray in Caesars Palace and the brand new Jackpot Games to name but a few. With the exception of Jackpot Games the pattern appears to be limited to big brands having a go at the online market. Makes sense, but is there really scope for new brands? Can they make headway in what is often referred to as a "saturated" market?

In the current economic climate it's not difficult to imagine a market that is stagnant, with the days of excess and the heady levels of disposable income of the last decade behind us. In a more prudent, cautious climate, people have to spend their entertainment budget, if they have one, wisely. That begs the question why would anyone risk putting their hard earned cash into a new casino. With that in mind, it's easy to see picture a bleak future for the start-ups out there...

Yet we continue to see more brands and casinos being formed, competing for the limited traffic and capital still out there. The people behind launching new gaming websites aren't stupid, they no doubt have years of experience in online business and gaming, so it seems unlikely it's a decision made on a foolish whim. Rather, as with any market in an economic downturn, one person's loss is another's gain. Indeed, now is the perfect time to invest - if you have the capital to ride the slump that is. Advertising is as cheap as it's ever been – perfect for building a new brand. Smaller casinos that didn't have the liquidity have fallen out the other side of the recession in the red and are now attractive propositions for the bigger, more profitable casinos. And acquisitions now will mean big databases of depositing players when the leaner times are over – plus the casino will consolidate its position by eliminating a competitor.

And hey, the good times haven't all gone; it's not all doom and gloom. In fact, there's a lot of money still out there to be made if casinos do the right things, i.e. pay on time, offer good support and et cetera. Bearing that in mind, the recession can be seen in a Darwinist model: those that fall short or fail to make the grade don't come out of the wash and disappear, leaving only the most profitable and entertaining casinos. Goodbye flash-in-the-pan dodgy casinos, and good riddance too.

So do the new brands have what it takes? Time will tell, but Caesar's really should make it with the vast resources it can bring to bear on the market. SEGA...well, if they can't no one can. That's not to say they will take the market by storm. After all, they're not doing anything that revolutionary. Jackpot Games...well, they're doing all the right things: attractive website, instant-play games and good customer support. The feeling you get is that this casino knows the market and the needs of the market – it may go far.

A new casinos success probably lies with affiliates, as it does with even the establish casinos. Most affiliates, like me, typically have the usual array of casinos listed. I specialise in online slots and fruit machines. I battle Google for traffic –jump around hysterically when I gain a position in the search engine and need a beer to console myself when I lose one. I have to decide carefully where best to send my traffic, so it's tempting to stick to the casinos that I know work. However, when you test these new casinos, like Jackpot Games, where the service is good and they offer very competitive commission rates, then I believe it's time to get onboard and let Darwinism take its course.
Is there place at the table for new casino brands? is republished from