Fifteen years ago, the idea of gambling was almost entirely restricted to the physical casino environment.
These spaces were built to attract people who are serious about gambling; people who are not afraid to shift a few grand in a night, if not more.
The idea of the typical Vegas casino is built around opulence and risk, with lavish decors, staff dressed in the most impeccable fashion, and strict dress codes for the clientele too. The world of casinos was restricted to those who already had money and weren’t afraid to flaunt it.
But a change is underway in the gambling world thanks to the incredible rise of online casinos. In fact, many of these online casinos don’t even mention the word “gambling”, because its connotations are of high risk and of a life that is inaccessible to the Average Joe.
Take 888 casino, for example, which has strategically chosen the “Play the game” tagline to shift the focus away from gambling and on to playing games. The online audience are not interested in that decadent experience of the Vegas gambler. They require a low barrier to access, they want to have fun playing games, and they’d like the opportunity to win some money along the road. In fact, the first thing that you see upon entering the 888 casino website is a $200 casino welcome bonus, so not only is the barrier to entry low, but players are positively incentivized to sign up, whether that player is a single mom who likes to spend half an hour playing games when the kids are asleep, or a student who is trying to supplement his income with some online casino action.
A glance at another casino website, Mr. Green casino, and the shift from the offline to the online gambling world becomes clearer still. The website is uncluttered with a plain white background, and original graphics have been created to match with new games that go by names such as “Thunderhorn” and “Medusa”. The old roulette games are there, but you have to do a little investigative work to find them. The new breed of casino fans are more likely to play a game of Medusa on a whim than to find themselves putting chips on black at the roulette wheel.
Mr. Green’s website also has community in mind, and for any successful online business, creating a sense of trust via community engagement is essential practice for online reputation management. Set against the images for each game is a player rating – the aggregate score that online casino players have attributed to each game. Forget the behind closed doors culture of yesteryear, casino culture in 2014 puts transparency right at the heart of its branding in order to create positive trust levels with players from all over the world.
And that online reputation management even extends to advertising in the offline realm. Can you imagine your local casino placing an advertisement on television? That is unlikely to happen because of the physical casino’s desire to retain an image of exclusivity. But for online casinos, reaching out via the popular medium of television makes perfect sense. 888 casino’s television commercial is rooted firmly in the mainstream, and it achieves this mainstream appeal by leaning on the celebrity endorsement of Shane Warne, taking casino culture out of Vegas and into the homes of millions of potential online players.
It’s easy to see how accessible the world of online casinos now are by taking a quick look at Casino Reef, which lists many other well known casino brands. It doesn’t look as though the move from offline to online gambling is going to slow down any time soon and it will be exciting to watch how online casinos take their branding to the next level in the years to come.
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