For a while now, independent bookmakers have feared dipping their toes into the digital waters.
Some have lacked the confidence to take on the titans of the industry, while others have been deterred by the perceived cost associated with developing and launching an online product. But this approach is starting to put pressure on local bookies as their players migrate to rival operators that offer a multi-channel product and player experience.
That’s not to say that some independent bookmakers haven’t already had a stab at online – they have, but many have made the mistake of using platforms built on the cheap by poor quality suppliers. In this very competitive day and age, that simply isn’t good enough. But that need not be the case; we offer independent firms a best-in-breed sportsbook and casino that can flex its muscles and go toe-to-toe with the big boys.
The good news is that the landscape is changing, and independent operators are now able to combine their land-based product with an online offering. We recently launched Northern Irish operator Toals, whose customers were uninspired by their previous website and drifted away when they couldn’t get to the shops. We’re also set to flick the switch elsewhere in Ireland, with operators Tommy French and Bruce Betting.
By partnering with us, we can offer operators in-play, cash-out, great casino games, and all the other gizmos and gadgets the power players like to brag about. We also give them complete control over the front-end, so they can design their sites in line with their retail brand and voice. And that’s the truly frustrating thing about retail operators yet to launch online; they have enviable brand equity and a fiercely loyal player base.
By not offering these players the option to wager online or on their mobile phones, independent operators are effectively encouraging them to play on their rival’s sites. And once they have ventured over to the other side – where online land land-based play is a seamless journey – it is very hard, and expensive, to get them back. By joining forces with us, it is a completely avoidable situation.
Indeed, the rise of mobile has dealt a crippling blow to independent bookmakers – even larger operators such as bwin.party have been severely punished for not getting it right. Here at FSB, however, we can offer them a helping hand through the minefield that is online and mobile gambling, and quickly and efficiently get them to market
By making use of our experience and expertise, independent bookmakers can enter the online betting market in a meaningful way. It will help them retain their current player base, showcase their brand to new potential customers, and open up an additional revenue stream. The betting behemoths only got to where they are today by talking a leap of faith, by jumping straight into the deep end.
It is encouraging that the likes of Toals, Tommy French and Bruce Betting are confident enough in their brand, and our platform, to finally enter the market. In the months and years to come, they will undoubtedly reap the rewards. I just hope other independent bookmakers follow suit, because if they don’t, they run the risk of cashing out for good. And that would be a real shame.