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iCasino and lessons learned from across the pond

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The rollout of regulated online casino in the US has been slower than many anticipated with only a handful of states having embraced the vertical alongside sports betting. But you only need to look to more established markets such as Europe to see that casino is the main driver of revenues, providing the stability that operators need for the market to be viable in the long term.

Even with the limited market size at present, online casino presents a massive opportunity stateside, but operators must deliver a world-class entertainment experience if they are to acquire and retain players at the scale needed.

This goes beyond bonuses and game selection and to more fundamentals such as seamless customer onboarding, a smooth in-app UX and localised payments.

Savvy US operators will be looking to established markets such as the UK to understand how they can continue to develop their iCasino offerings to not only meet but exceed consumer expectations.

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It must be remembered that operators are competing with the likes of streaming, gaming and e-commerce when it comes to where consumers spend their entertainment hours and dollars, and this sets a very high bar for the overall customer experience. So where can the greatest improvements be made?

Martyn Hannah, Managing Director of online casino comparison site, Comparasino, says that payments are a key focus for players, especially when it comes to payouts.

Comparasino has a proprietary recommendation engine and from the data it generates it’s possible to understand emerging player preferences. Hannah says that more and more players are now searching for fast withdrawal casinos, as well as those that offer payment methods such as PayPal and Apple Pay.

“The methods available to players for depositing and withdrawing are an important factor players consider when deciding which casinos to play at. Visa and Mastercard are always a must, but many now want to make payments using digital and mobile wallets like PayPal, Google Pay and Apple Pay. This aligns with wider payment trends and the rise in usage of these methods for day-to-day transactions.

“Of course, a major upside to these alternative payment options is the transaction speed they provide, especially when it comes to payouts. Players want their winnings without delay, and digital wallets as well as open-baling solutions provide the near instant withdrawals they are seeking.”

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Bonusing is another factor that players consider. Historically, operators in the UK have become locked in a bonusing battle with deposit matches getting bigger and literally hundreds of free spins being included in welcome offers. But recent regulation changes have meant that casinos have had to reign in their promos, making it harder for them to differentiate.

Hannah says this is not a bad thing as it gives online casinos the chance to change their approach to bonusing and be more transparent and fairer with the promotions they are running.

“With operators being limited on the bonuses they can offer to UK players, they are having to look to other ways to stand out from the competition. This has seen a rise in the number of no wagering bonuses, and this is absolutely a good thing.

“Wagering requirements are underhand, with most casual players not understanding how they work. By removing it and letting players keep their winnings, casino brands can build more trust with players and ensure their experience is positive from the off.

“US online casino operators really should consider doing away with wagering requirements, especially in the early days of the market where acquisition costs are rising and players are happy to jump between brands until they find the one that really offers what they are looking for. By removing the wagering requirement, they better position themselves as a brand for players to go back to having had a great first experience.”

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Even in established markets such as the UK, there is still a lot of player education that needs to take place, certainly around areas like player onboarding and the information they are required to give to the casino, as well as why transactions can be delayed and even how slot games work.

Hannah says this is why operators should work more closely with online casino comparison sites as they do a lot of work when it comes to building trust between player and brand and educating players about the world of online casino.

“At Comparasino, we see it as our responsibility to help players understand how online casino works, from how payments are made to the responsible gambling tools they can use to stay in control of their play. To help with this, we recently launched a blog where we are compiling articles, interviews and explainers from experts across the industry.

“US online casino operators should look to work more closely with their affiliate partners when it comes to player education and even supplement this with their own knowledge hubs for the players already signed up to their brands.”

iCasino may have had a slow rollout in the US so far, but over time additional states will undoubtedly extend their regulations so that licensed operators can offer it. But until then, there’s still a huge opportunity to explore and the brands that offer a truly compelling player experience will be the ones in the driving seat to maximise this and enjoy long-term success in the market.

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By looking to brands in established markets such as the UK, operators can see exactly what players expect and then make sure they are offering it to them.

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CT Interactive Launches its Games on Juegalo.com

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CT Interactive has launched its games on Juegalo.com, a prominent Chilean online casino brand. This partnership marks a significant step in CT Interactive’s strategic expansion within the Latin American market, extending the company’s footprint in Chile.

The integration of CT Interactive’s diverse game portfolio on Juegalo.com offers players in Chile access to a wide range of high-quality, engaging, and regulation-compliant gaming content. This collaboration is a testament to CT Interactive’s commitment to delivering exceptional gaming experiences and strengthening its position in the burgeoning Latin American market.

Maximiliano Hoyl, head of BD and Providers at Juegalo.com, said: “We are thrilled to welcome CT Interactive’s games to Juegalo.com. Their reputation for delivering excellent gaming content aligns perfectly with our commitment to providing our players with the best gaming experience. This collaboration underscores our dedication to offering diverse and high-quality entertainment options.”

This latest venture follows CT Interactive’s successful partnerships in Argentina, where their games have already gone live in multiple provinces with Jugadon.

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Diego Verano, head of BD LatAm at CT Interactive, said: “The move into the Chilean market with Juegalo.com reinforces CT Interactive’s strategic focus on expanding its presence and influence across Latin America”. He continued by saying that Juegalo.com is a renowned online casino brand in Chile and a key player in the Chilean online gaming market.

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Gambling in the USA

Rush Street Appoints Susan Foster as General Manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia

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Rush Street Gaming announced that international gaming executive Susan Foster has been appointed general manager of Rivers Casino Philadelphia.

“Having worked in various gaming jurisdictions in America and several other countries, I’m both an advocate for and an example of the tremendous opportunities casino gaming provides. I’m very excited to be back in Pennsylvania at such a dynamic property,” Foster said.

Foster began her casino career as a table games dealer in the UK, Nigeria, and the Bahamas. She later spent 14 years in Mississippi at Grand Casino & Resort and Bally’s Entertainment, where she led table games and poker operations. She then served as director of table games for Odawa Casino in Michigan, before accepting her first Pennsylvania job with Harrah’s Philadelphia.

While at Harrah’s, Foster received Caesars Entertainment’s highest award for excellence in leadership. Thereafter, Foster transitioned from the gaming floor to casino operations in 2015 with Hollywood Casino, where she served as vice president of operations at multiple Penn Entertainment properties for nearly a decade. Her direct responsibilities included the performance and operations of slots, table games, poker, food and beverage, environmental services, security, facilities, and various hotels.

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Foster joined Rivers Casino Philadelphia in April 2024 as assistant general manager. She succeeds Eric Althaus, who recently departed the Philly property.

“Susan’s broad worldview of gaming operations has significantly benefited Rush Street since she joined last spring. Her history and familiarity with the southeastern PA gaming market has proven to be a great advantage for Rivers Philly,” Tim Drehkoff, CEO of Rush Street Gaming, said.

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Gambling in the USA

National Council on Problem Gambling Launches Tribal Advisory Council

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The National Council on Problem Gambling (NCPG), the only national nonprofit organization that seeks to reduce the economic and social costs associated with gambling addiction, has launched the Tribal Advisory Council. While NCPG has worked with Tribal gaming entities for many years, the formation of the Tribal Advisory Council represents a deeper level of collaboration to address matters of responsible gambling and problem gambling that are of importance to Native American communities.

The Tribal Advisory Council seeks to increase awareness and respect for Native cultures as they relate to all facets of gambling so that these cultural practices can help other Native and non-Native communities. The Advisory Council will provide expertise and momentum for NCPG’s culturally specific work while recognizing the importance of Native American history and sovereignty in consultation with Native American leaders and experts.

“Our work with tribes is based on a deep respect for Tribal sovereignty and our core values of neutrality, collaboration, respect and credibility. We have a responsibility to listen and learn, as well as the opportunity to share our knowledge as we seek to reduce the social costs of gambling addiction and improve health and wellness in all communities. The relationships and partnerships we have forged over the years are the strong foundation for this exciting new project,” said Keith Whyte, NCPG Executive Director.

To help facilitate the work of the Tribal Advisory Council, NCPG has partnered with Valerie Spicer and Sheila Morago of the Trilogy Group. The Trilogy Group is a Native American-owned and operated organization with over 50 years of combined experience in governmental affairs, business, economic development, and Tribal gaming.

“We applaud the formation of the NCPG’s Tribal Advisory Council and look forward to supporting stronger connection with the Tribes. This work acknowledges the significance of Tribal Gaming in the gambling sector, the impacts of Tribal gaming on communities, and ways we can support finding balance in helping people heal from gambling-related harm respectfully amid the complexity,” said Valerie Spicer, Trilogy Group Founding Partner and Chief Executive Officer.

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