Maria Bashkevich is Head of Marketing at Uplatform, a fast-growing and dynamic sports betting and casino operating platform. Having held Senior marketing positions at various gambling companies and working in different iGaming verticals, Maria has developed extensive experience and understanding of the industry. Her area of expertise is working in markets such as the CIS, LATAM, Europe, and Africa.
One of the key challenges as online betting operators expand across newly regulated markets worldwide is localization. In this new analytical article by Maria Bashkevich, Head of Marketing at Uplatform, she provides statistics and insights into the key processes for this area, addressing localized content, access issues, payment solutions, languages, and tailored marketing.
The global expansion of online betting has led to international opportunities for business growth. For businesses to make the most of desired markets, it's essential to localize content to each one.
Knowing your customer (KYC) is essential, underpinning many other aspects of localization. There's a lot to consider, so let's review the crucial features of effective localization.
It's essential to your business's integrity to follow and understand the regulations of each region. Different jurisdictions have unique approaches to hosting, responsible gambling, advertising, and other essential features of the industry. For example, the UK market has a stricter policy than most on responsible gambling information and marketing, with significant fines and even blacklisting for companies that infringe their rules. Africa is another illustration. Currently, the continent has a mishmash of different laws. While Tanzania led the way in developing gambling laws in Africa, many other nations have fallen short. iGaming, in particular, is infrequently regulated. This has caused confusion in jurisdictions where regional authorities seek to implement laws not recognized at a federal level, as in Nigeria, where the government has limited authority to stop Nigerians from playing on foreign-operated online casinos.
Depending on the industry's infrastructure in your target market, processes such as payment methods, player support, and account setup and verification may also differ. For example, the verification rules are tighter in some places, and players must provide ID documents before playing. In contrast, in other areas, players only need to provide ID before withdrawing money.
Every player wants their tastes catered to when they enter your site. Displaying regionalized content is a way to achieve this. For example, focusing on cricket in India and offering bets on popular local matches in lower-tier leagues gives players more personal choices, so they have not just Premier League football in the UK, but also Primera D league in Argentina. It shows the company knows and cares about the region. The content can be further personalized, but this alone can make a big difference to player retention.
Knowing your target audience’s preferences is important to tailor the offering – for example, let’s take a look at Latin America that is known for its football fan base. The infographic demonstrates that the Spanish "La Liga" is the most popular league in LATAM, possibly due to its top Brazilian and Argentine players and their close cultural and linguistic affiliations. That means that tournament is a must-have for your sports betting offering. As well as others in this list.
So, here's the tip: to cover all those regional specifics, look for a region focused market experienced sportsbook provider offering extensive coverage of different sports and events and line flexibility to set the needed content. One of the providers you can check out is Uplatform - known for the broadest coverage of sports and events worldwide, including low-tier leagues, local and amateur matches, and unique sports like Bubble Football and eating competitions.
Also having different odds formats, like American, English, Decimal, Hong Kong, Indonesian, and Malay guarantees that your company caters to the preferences and demands of each market. For example, it is common for British and Irish bookmakers to offer fractional odds (also called British odds, UK odds, or traditional odds). Continental Europe, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada use decimal odds (also called European odds, digital odds, or continental odds). Your popularity and profits increase along with local trust if you offer odds familiar to the players of a particular region.
When it comes to casino games, it's essential to understand players' preferences in each region. For example, the Asian market has a growing interest in skill-based games based on activities like hunting or fishing. On the other hand, classic themed slots remain popular in the CIS market.
It's essential to look at each market's technology and internet penetration. Specific devices may be more popular, so your website needs to be flexible and function on desktop computers and mobile devices. Research other devices your target market uses.
In Africa or LATAM, extremely light versions of the website are necessary to help people using a slow internet connection to move between pages quickly. Most households in those regions do not have computers, so mobile devices are the primary internet access. As a result, operators need to offer multi-device solutions for African and Latin American bettors; Uplatform offers a fully customizable web page, mobile versions, and apps on iOS, Android, and Windows to meet the individual market's needs.
SMS betting can also be helpful as it provides an option that can be accessed without the internet. In the European market as well as in the other ones, mobile versions and apps are essential, as most players use their mobile devices for online gambling.
The use of local payment methods and systems is vital. Players prefer to use familiar payment methods. Setting up a new account for transactions adds another step to their journey they might not find worthwhile. The ultimate objective must be a service with high payment security that simultaneously meets the needs.
The African market has a relatively low penetration rate of various payment systems and cards, with few players having bank cards or electronic wallets widely used in other regions. This means mobile and card payments are popular options. Players in Latin America and Asia usually use local payment solutions.
Credit cards can't be used to gamble in the UK. However, other payment methods are available, such as wallets like Skrill, Neteller, and PayPal. Debit cards and prepaid cards are other popular choices for British bettors, many of whom choose to fund their accounts via their mobile devices.
To deliver complete regional convenience, provide a range of local payment methods and providers.
In addition to credit cards, e-wallets, online payment processors, cryptocurrencies, and alternative local payment options, Uplatform offers over 300 payment options worldwide. This variety of methods facilitates access to more markets, provides added convenience, and facilitates funds transfer. As market demands and requirements change, businesses need complete flexibility to introduce new payment methods.
Language is one of the most critical localization factors. This means platforms must use local vocabulary and terms, bearing in mind these differ even between regions in the US and the UK. For example, Americans may be more comfortable with words such as juice and vigorish for what a British user would call the house edge, the cut, or the margin. With casino games, slots are commonly known as fruit machines or one-armed bandits in the UK but are called pokies in Australia.
Some countries speak unique, rare languages, and the population doesn't usually know English. So, to stay on the same page, operators must adapt their websites to regions and provide players with versions in their mother tongue.
Therefore, such companies as Uplatform offer over 65 languages, including Khmer, Lingala, Icelandic, Tajic, and Brazilian Portuguese. Crucially, the support team also needs to communicate with players in any language mentioned on the website to build loyal relationships and establish trust. Through a personalized connection, Uplatform helps businesses reach more global markets and instill loyalty among their players through a first line support in 31 languages.
Take the time to find the right marketing strategy for each region into which you expand. Advertisements must be culturally compatible, relevant, and suited to the players' experience level.
Some countries are further along the line regarding the transition to online gambling. Where there isn't yet a strong culture of online betting, operators need to explain to their players how to use an online platform. Platform promotion must be localized too. Influencers and streamers work well in the CIS region, while agents are more effective for others. Agents make the process smoother for anyone new to online betting by acting as an intermediary and handling things like the withdrawal and verification process on the player's behalf.
Introductory bonuses like those found in welcome packages generally work well everywhere. Still, there are some regional factors. Among them, gamification needs to be part of the bonus quests in some regions. This typically involves carrying out tasks or challenges to free the bonus amount.
With the Uplatform bonus solution, your players remain engaged. Besides the well-known bonuses like cashback and loyalty programs, Uplatform’s offers rewards beneficial to the player, like new account registration and first deposits. Gamification and missions, however, must be high-quality to maintain and entertain certain types of players. You will have access to a wealth of data thanks to advanced reporting, segmentation, and targeting capabilities that enable you to design bonuses tailored to specific audiences.
Localization will continue to be vital as the online betting market goes from strength to strength across the planet in the coming years. The introduction of specific regulations in some countries adds to the diversity in this market.
Businesses must go beyond simply translating their websites and promotional material to reach players successfully. That's why Uplatform has developed solutions with the versatility and flexibility for operators to tailor their operations. This enables them to localize their brand and meet the demands of a truly global market.