The UK online gambling market is mature and quite saturated, yet we just witnessed the launch of a new brand on February 1, 2017, PlayOJO.com. The team behind PlayOJO represent a rich background in the industry and have 15+ years of experience, in other words, they’ve likely done their homework before attempting to succeed in this highly competitive space.
Even if a market is saturated, there is always room for innovation. Ohad Narkis of SkillOnNet, the platform provider for PlayOJO, describes the brand as a “casino industry first” that “puts players back in the driver’s seat”. Seeing as Narkis has a track record of success, I wanted to speak with him about the innovation behind the newly launched PlayOJO and why its player reward system is so revolutionary.
“The vision behind this brand is to create a brand that offers players a fairer alternative to what is currently available in the online casino market”, Narkis explained to me.
“We wanted to create a brand that is very transparent, is very trustworthy, where players can actually see exactly what they get. And more importantly, a brand that puts them in control of their own funds and their own money”.
The innovative concept behind PlayOJO encompasses a new vision but also includes a unique marketing strategy within the online casino space.
“We see OJO as a challenger brand, a brand that comes to shake up the market and as such we plan to invest heavily behind the brand, the fact that the brand looks, feels and actually even talks differently to players as you can see on our website. Its very humanized, very friendly, very welcoming brand, it will also manifest itself to our marketing strategy, whether online or TV”.
He continued, “We have creative that is different to the normal online casino advertising, we believe its braver and definitely we will stand out from what we know is a very, very competitive marketplace”.
While a marketing strategy backed with plenty of cash is certainly important, a brand expecting to stand out in the UK market will need a truly distinctive and appealing offering. Narkis explained what the bonusing at PlayOJO will look like and why this is an industry first.
“In the heart of what we offer is the fact that we don’t do standard bonuses. So on PlayOJO.com when players come in, make a deposit- whether it’s a first deposit or future deposits- we do not offer match-deposit bonuses”, he said.
“We offer rewards that are based on their play, we offer rewards that are very transparent. They do not come with any wagering requirements and therefore do not have any terms and conditions that can sometimes be tricky and we allow players to be in full control of their money. They can withdraw their money whenever they want, they don’t have any play limitations because they didn’t take any bonuses that would limit their ability to be able to get the best experience out of the casino”.
Such a severe swing in the way player rewards will be delivered at PlayOVO, in comparison to traditional bonusing, undoubtedly came along with extensive background research to back up the move. Narkis confirmed his team had done quite a bit of consumer research over the past year and also pointed out the years of experience he and his team have had with supporting and building brands over the past 15 years have steered them in this direction.
For their research, Narkis and his team surveyed active players in the UK (meaning they have played online in the past three months) about their perception of online casino bonuses.
“We asked them whether they trust the bonuses and a third of them said they were caught out in the past by casino bonuses and therefore they don’t trust them, which is a pretty staggering amount of players, given those are regular, active players”, shared Narkis.
“When we asked them about alternatives, what would they prefer, we basically told them about our alternative and we asked them which of the two options would they prefer- money back on every bet win or lose that does not come with any wagering requirements whatsoever and is paid directly as cash to their account, or the traditional deposit match bonuses. 86% of people in the survey responded with that they would prefer the money back on every bet offer”.
Narkis described the survey results as staggering and said he is confident PlayOJO will be delivering to players what they really want- a more transparent and trustworthy experience.
“I think we are already seeing that the casino market is moving to a certain degree away from deposit bonuses, more towards free spins. Some casinos even offer free spins where wins do not come with wagering requirements which again, we believe is the right way and we believe that’s where the industry should go”, he said.
“We create a much more simplified relationship between the casinos and the player and very importantly, we bring trust back into the industry. We’ve seen a lot recently of bad publicity from the Gaming Commission, from the ASA, about casinos that they’re not always very transparent about the way they run promotions and bonuses, with terms and conditions that are not very user-friendly and our position our approach and our attitude to online gambling basically throws all of these out of the window”, he said.
For more from Narkis and PlayOJO.com, catch his LAC lunch session from 13:15-13:45 on Friday, February 10th in Conference Room 1.