Unless you've been hiding under a rock somewhere for the last few months, you will have heard a lot about the rise in living costs. Gas, electricity, petrol, food, and everything else across the board is going up. Not by a nudge, either. Costs are rising fast and by extreme amounts. I'm not here to talk about the political side of things, though. That's far too complicated. I've got my thoughts on the iGaming world and how rising costs and disposable income is set to drastically impact a large proportion of players. How is that going to pan out? Will all of this affect iGaming? What solutions are there to keep people entertained with minimal spending? Read on as I look into these issues as many people move into more uncertain financial times.
It’s hard to give a definitive answer because a wide demographic of people like to gamble, all with varying disposable incomes. No matter who you are, though. Disposable income will drop over the coming months, and likely years, but will it drop enough to stop playing slots or betting on sports? Or will there be a slight adjustment in player budgets to ensure they can still get some iGaming entertainment in their lives?
In the UK, a recent survey by YouGov reported that out of 700 gamblers, 18% said they would stop gambling altogether to save on costs. It also reported that 32% said they intend to cut down on gambling. Furthermore, a huge 49% said they would continue as normal, and only 1% said perhaps they would spend more. In fairness, it’s extremely hard to predict what anyone will do because we don’t know how hard these costs will hit and for how long.
It’s the 1% that intend to spend more that is slightly worrying. It has been documented that some people turn to gambling in an attempt to increase their monthly income. It goes without saying that this thought pattern goes against everything responsible gambling stands for. Online casinos and sports betting is for entertainment and should never be thought of as a way to increase household income.
Sure, we all want to win, but we don’t want to be relying on a win to pay the bills. This is where I think everyone involved with responsible gambling needs to be on high alert. From operators to affiliates and everyone in between. Some people turn to gambling in desperate times. It is those people that need to be managed correctly to stop them from making the coming months even more difficult. It may start as a form of home entertainment, but as we know, it can become a lot more serious.
Loyalty rewards, bonuses, and promotions are all used to keep players and punters happy and entertained. But, more importantly, these things keep people spending their hard-earned money. So, will there be some alternatives if these upcoming costs really start to ramp up more than expected? In my mind, if the worst-case scenario happens and gambling revenues start to drop, surely casinos and sportsbooks will want to keep their members by any means possible.
Running free-play tournaments, offering demo modes on all games, and providing promotions that don’t require deposits seems like a logical move. At the most, provide micro limit tournaments or something that keeps the average spend down to a comfortable amount for players. It may seem extreme. But surely brands will want to keep hold of their community until there is light at the end of the tunnel.
Showing empathy by understanding the plight of many players instead of pitching “deposit now” and “wager the most to win” promotions should promote positive brand experiences. Little things like this often end up being remembered. Being realistic in a time when most people need to be more aware of their money and spending is what is required. This should help put the gambling brands in a good position in the eyes of their members, especially when the light at the end of the tunnel starts to shine brighter.
It may all sound a bit doom and gloom. But the fact is that costs are rising, so casinos and sportsbooks may have to change their tactics and show a bit more “give” than “take” for a while. Let’s be honest. Like the big oil and gas companies, it’s not as if there isn’t enough money in the bank accounts to help out their paying customers for a short while, right?
This article delivers the thoughts and opinions of the author, and it doesn't represent the stance of GoodLuckMate.