social casino: waking up thesleepy online gambling industry
RAF KEUSTERMANSCo-Founder, CEO PlumbeeDirector Bonza Gaming(Interim) VP Marketing Kobojo 2011Independent Social Gaming Consultant 2010-2011Global Marketing Director Playfish (EA) 2009-2010Marketing Director EMEA Pogo.com (EA) 2008-2009Head of Marketing Western Europe Unibet.com 2005-2008Strategic Planner at BBDO, Grey and Publicis firstname.lastname@example.org@raf_keustermans
• AAA video slots, persistant meta-features• 280K DAU, 1.3M MAU• iOS global launch imminent• 50/50 joint-venture Plumbee and Unibet• 3rd real-money app allowed on Facebook, afterGamesys and 888• Standalone business with its own managementteam, engineers, marketing team, etc• UK only, AGCC-licensed• Offices in London and Guernsey (Channel Islands)• Team of 15 today• Early results very promising!Free-to-play slotsLaunched March 2012Facebook and iOS (beta)Real-money social gamblingLaunched February 2013FacebookSocial Casino StartupStarted July 2011• Founded by 3 former EA Playfish execs• Mission: become ‘the leading next-gen digital casinocompany’• Team of 43 in London
$35bnGambling: a largemarket in transition$391 billion global gambling marketSource: H2 Gambling Capital, SuperData Research, Morgan Stanley Research, 2012DigitalOfflineGrowth of mobile gambling2011$13bn2017$100bnSource: Gross Wagers, Juniper Research MobileGambling, Casinos, Lotteries & Betting 2012-2017Growth of free-to-play social casino$0.8bn$1.1bn$1.7bn$2.0bn$2.4bn$2.6bn$0.0bn$0.5bn$1.0bn$1.5bn$2.0bn$2.5bn$3.0bn2010 2011 2012E 2013E 2014E 2015ESocialCasinomarketsizeSource: SuperData Research, Morgan Stanley Research
• Product commoditization• ‘Old World’ thinking about UI/UX, tech,audience• Disconnected from the broaderentertainment industry• Very slow adopter of key consumer webtrends, i.e. social, apps, free-to-play• Lack of entrepreneurial spirit – no more ‘firein the eyes’
Product Commoditization• Most gambling operators are essentially ‘publishers’– They don’t create content – most content (slots, blackjack,bingo, poker, roulette) comes from 3rd party suppliers.– Operators focus on the ‘platform’ and brand side:payments, account management, analytics, finance• The same 4-5 suppliers deliver the same content to90% of the big players– You will find the same slots, bingo, blackjack on WilliamHill, Ladbrokes, Bet365, PaddyPower, SkyBet...• Imagine a game studio that sells their FPS to both EAand Activision...
• Marketing 101: if (digital) companies don’t compete onproduct, they can only compete on price or brand.• Gambling brands are not ‘love brands’.– Not many people associate themselves with Bet365 in the same waythey do with Diesel, Apple, Spotify, BMW, Red Bull, Angry Birds, StarWars.• Price competition is already happening: increase inbonusing, affiliate rev share, ‘rake-back’ in poker, aggressiveloyalty systems.– Price competition is a race to the bottom...Social casino companies are still very much ‘game studios’ and can teachgambling operators to re-focus on product development, importance ofunique, fresh content.
Old World thinking• UI/UX: typical user flow for someone who wants to play afun slots game– Real-money: open browser, go to website, log in, go to ‘casino’ tab,go to ‘videoslots’ in sub-navigation, then you will see a list with thetitles of around 150 slot games, start clicking and opening gamesuntil you find something you like. You can’t bookmark, like, review,share or gift.– Social: destination-within-destination (Fb or mobile), curatedexperience with selection of unique, quality slots in a lobby withclear visual representation of each slot game, click game icon to play.You can share, like, gift, chat, ...Players today want an easy-to-use, bite-sized, fun and curated experiencethat is social and relevant.
Old World thinking bisOnline gambling industry needs to look beyond its current business model(pay-to-play) that only works for 5% of its potential audience, embrace thenew world, expand reach in clever way.People who love casino gamesPeople serviced byonline gamblingindustry
How (online) gambling execs see the universeEntertainmentindustry Offline gamblingindustryOnline gamblingindustry
How consumers see the universeStuff I like tospend time &money on toentertain myself
Disconnected from the broaderentertainment industry• Consumers have a finite amount of time and money to spend onentertaiment.• Gambling (offline or online) is not a ‘silo’.• Gambling competes with other forms of entertainment for time andmoney.– bwin, Pokerstars compete with Bet365, 888 but also with AngryBirds, Candy Crush Saga, the new Tom Cruise movie, Call of Duty, after-work pints in the pub, cat videos on Youtube, ...• Offline, land-based gambling seems to understand this better: mostcasinos offer a wide entertainment range:resort, shopping, nightclub, shows, restaurants, bars...– The online ‘translation’ of the offline world is fairly poor, in general.
How can social casino help?• Re-discover importance of– Product (unique, fresh, fun)– Tech innovation, engineering culture– Audience, reach• Re-connect with broader entertainment world– We make games! Poker, slots, bingo, ... are all games.• Understand the New World– Social is the new normal• Bring back the entrepreneurial spirit– Let’s put the lawyers and accountants in the backseats, and the producers, engineers, visionaries in thedrivers seat!