Running an online gambling operation takes a lot of work, but I would argue that there are three pieces that matter more than anything else. First, build an unassailable reputation of trust and integrity with the customer. Second, give those players easy enough ways to deposit money on site, so they aren’t inconvenienced when they want to play. Finally, and most important of all, always pay the player out when they request a withdrawal. Get any of this wrong, and it can spell disaster. But get it right, perhaps with the superiority of Bitcoin SV (BSV) as a payment option, and a company can thrive.
I recently got a little fired up when the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) canceled the license of the Daily Fantasy Football Company. The company stands accused of failing to pay €3,483.89 towards player funds, and also for not paying its dues to the MGA. While the operator could always appeal the ruling and clear everything up, the move to cancel their license says a lot.
My formative time in the gambling industry was working in operations, and payouts were a heavy focus. The fastest way to winning a player’s loyalty is when they win, and the operator can quickly pay them out. It makes them happy, and increases the likelihood they’ll be a return customer. But how can you do payouts right, how can you screw them up, and why are they so important?
An emphasis on cash flow
As I mentioned earlier, deposits and payouts matter a great deal. The business doesn’t work if players can’t deposit, and they won’t come back if they can’t get a payout. Besides offering fair games, the most important way to build trust in the player base is to always pay the player out.
When I worked in operations, we spent a lot of time training staff on payouts. Not only did they need to know every detail of the players payment options by heart, they’d need to know how to calculate delivery times, anti-money laundering and know your customer (KYC) protocols, and how to suggest the best option to satisfy a player.
We emphasized training because withdrawals had to be as smooth as possible for the player. A player who gets their money off the site, we all hope, is a happy winning player. We want that experience to go very smoothly so they are encouraged to come back and play with us again. This process is made a whole lot easier through faster, traceable payment methods like (BSV), but it’s always important to get the human element right too.
When payouts go wrong
It doesn’t always go well. In fact, there’s lots of ways for it to go poorly. Players may be annoyed by their KYC and AML obligations and try to wriggle out of them. Some may not know the difference between 5 days and “5 business days,” and believe their payout to be late. And before the rebirth of the original Bitcoin in BSV, customers would become frustrated with shady cryptocurrency exchanges, and slow and expensive transactions.
We trained hard to avoid these pitfalls, and we mostly did. Even that being the case, there’s one disaster we could never completely avoid: unreliable, third party payout providers. For reasons that may have been entirely out of the providers’ control, sometimes payout processing times would balloon unexpectedly, and we’d hear it from the players when they did.
My colleagues and I look back fondly on times when players would shout at us “Where’s my money?,” when a payment provider suddenly extended their anticipated wait times. It’s not that it was fun; it really wasn’t. Having players question your ability to pay out sucks, and for most in operations, you’re powerless to fix it. But during times like those, you get to know your job really well, and what matters to the player even better.
And of course, some players never want to wait, and take their case to our regulator. It didn’t happen often, but when it did, we could always show that the payout would get there, and we never had the problems now facing the Daily Fantasy Football Company.
What keeps them coming back
Until more operators adopt modern and instant payment methods like BSV, the biggest thing that separates online gambling and land based activity is the transaction of funds. Waiting for a payout, even if it takes just a few minutes, creates an anxiety that you just don’t get in a land based environment. At a casino, you can always see players shuffling back and forth from the cage, exchanging their chips for dollars and walking away happy. In the comfort of wherever players gamble online, they have no immediate evidence of other players winning.
That creates a lot of anxiety. It takes a leap of faith for someone to put their money into a site, and they would never do that if they suspect that a site’s payouts are broken. They’ll never do it again if they confirm it for themselves.
But when payouts work? That’s a magical thing. I can’t tell you how many players I spoke to over the years who trusted our operation almost better than family or friends, because when they asked us to pay them out, we always did. Even when our payouts took a little longer, they always got there somehow, and those players never forgot it.
That builds a reputation over time. On message boards dedicated to discussing online gambling, a loyal player base would helpfully tell newer players that, even if there was a problem now, we we’re good for the money.
Marketing and Affiliates teams can do amazing jobs at bringing in new players and converting them to first time deposits. But we always knew that the players we had were worth a lot because they had already proven so. Keeping them happy with fast and reliable payouts was worth just as much as gaining a new player, if not more.
Bitcoin SV improves everything
As I eluded to earlier, when we first started offering crypto transactions to our players, BTC, crippled by its small block sizes, would turn players off with its slower transaction times and high fees. It was an unpleasant option to suggest in the first place, and it didn’t make matters better that players had to use crypto exchanges that offered them little security, and lots of risk.
BSV, returning to the original vision of Bitcoin and supported by professional businesses, is a revelation for operators who want to offer a cheap, fast, trustworthy payment options. Thanks to its unlimited ability to scale, the BSV blockchain is more than capable of handling all the transactions an operator sends its way. For a negligible transaction fee, players can deposit and withdraw funds from a site in mere moments, barely having any time at all to build the anxiety that slower options are fraught with.
And better yet, customers don’t need to go anywhere near unregulated and untrustworthy crypto exchanges to get more BSV. Thanks to options like BuyBSV, anyone can quickly purchase BSV with their credit card, using a safe and regulated site while not having to deal with any troublesome middle-men who want a cut, or want to interfere.
Withdrawals are fast and easy too. I’ve received plenty of BSV in the past year, and converting it to fiat took very little time at all. There are all the reasons in the world for operators to start using BSV as their primary payment option, and no reason not to.
Don’t mess it up.
I can only say so much about the MGA’s case against the Daily Fantasy Football Company. I don’t know how many players are waiting for their payout, and I don’t know if the company itself is to blame, or one of their partners. Finally, I don’t know if they were afforded the same chance to prove the players would be paid out, as we were.
What I do know, from personal experience, is failing to pay out players is the quickest way to lose a player base’s trust. Even if this case is overruled on appeal, new players will always see stories about them not paying out when they do a fast Google search. The damage is done.
But for anyone else in the industry, this can be a cautionary tale. Gambling is primarily a form of entertainment, but the player always has that hope that they’ll win a little something at the end of it. If they have no way of getting that money, your site might as well be offline.