In recent years, and especially since the pandemic, more and more online casinos are adding sportsbook sections. What was once seen as two separate branches of the gambling industry, sports betting and casino gambling, have begun to merge.
There are many factors contributing to this trend, not least the worldwide downturn. As sports events around the globe were cancelled, sports bettors turned to other forms of gambling, including online casinos. Here they found a range of options beyond traditional casino games like roulette, including the opportunity to bet on the outcome of Live Dealer games.
Customer retention is key to success in most businesses, including the gambling industry. For this reason, casino operators who had not already done so scrambled to add a sportsbook to their offering.
But the pandemic merely speeded up a process that was already underway. Even before this happened, it was becoming increasingly common to find both sports betting options and casino gambling games on one site.
The online gambling industry is extremely competitive, and staying ahead of the competition requires constant innovation and change. Speaking to PartyCasino – David Winter from their online casino site said, ‘with online gambling legislating in new markets and bigger fish buying out smaller ones, having multi-wallet platforms or being able to offer more to players is a lucrative advantage.’
Pure casino brands that have not yet added a sportsbook are at risk of losing casino players who are also sports bettors, even if only casually. They will be forced to look for a different sports betting brand. And if a casino is linked to the sportsbook, they will most likely stay there for convenience. So including a sportsbook in the casino brand is a necessary step to protecting existing revenue.
It can also help generate new revenue streams. Rather than decreasing casino revenue, as some operators fear it might, adding sports betting options can help both with retaining old customers and attracting new ones.
The sportsbook will attract a new audience to the brand, and cross-selling of the products to both groups will see an increase in both casino players turning to casual sports betting, and sports bettors trying out casino games.
Another great advantage of combining sportsbooks and online casinos for the operator is the cost per acquisition of new players. In simple terms, it’s cheaper to attract new sports bettors to a brand than it is to attract casino or online slot players.
The difference has been estimated to be as much as 4% to 60%. This represents huge savings for the operators in attracting new players. And once they are on the site, cross-selling of casino products is cheap and convenient. As we mentioned before, casino games are becoming much more interactive, and the addition of Live Dealer games with game show formats, for example, has changed the face of online gambling to one that has much more appeal for the average sports bettor.
For these reasons, the trend of combining casinos and sportsbooks is set to continue, and brands that do not go with the flow could very well go under instead.