icky Senyard has been a fixture on the North American gaming scene for well over a decade. As Managing Director of Income Access, she’s played a key role in supporting the growth of the regulated US iGaming market through the company’s range of marketing services and technology solutions.
What are US land-based casinos most concerned about these days?
Customer acquisition and retention are core challenges for the land-based industry in the States. Another issue is attracting and retaining younger demographics such as millennials, when casinos’ main client base tends to trend older.
All three of these challenges have digital roots. How does a traditionally offline business like a casino expand its offering into the online space to maximize its acquisition in an increasingly digital world? The answer is more complex than simply revamping their website. It also involves leveraging the full range of digital marketing channels – from social media campaigns and SEM to email marketing, media buys and performance marketing – as well as considering the benefits of developing a mobile concierge app and even a social casino brand.
With the regulation of real-money iGaming progressing gradually, a social casino offering provides casinos with many of the benefits of a real-money brand
It’s a great way of keeping your patrons engaged once they’ve left the property and can also be used to acquire completely new customers from beyond your main geographic area. Social also helps casinos prepare for the arrival of real-money. If and when real-money arrives, they can make the transition with ease.
In a recent interview granted to Yogonet, a Pennsylvania official who's pushing to legalize online gambling in the Keystone State, said: “Sometime in the future, I see the U.S. being similar to Europe”. In your opinion, why is it taking so long for the U.S. to allow for gambling expansion in all its forms?
The comparison with Europe is an appropriate one. As in the different European countries, some US states have a more liberal regulatory approach to gambling than others. In terms of iGaming, regulation is also moving forward at a state rather than a federal level. So as more states join New Jersey, Nevada and Delaware in launching iGaming markets, you’re going to see a range of jurisdictions just as you do at a country level in Europe.
The fact that regulation is being driven by individual states rather than the federal government is probably the main reason it’s only progressing relatively gradually. Many states seem to be adopting a wait-and-see approach – watching how the iGaming markets of New Jersey and other regulated states fare. The signs have been encouraging – New Jersey’s iGaming revenue hit a record high for July – and so other states like Pennsylvania, New York and California are currently considering legislation.
Pennsylvania is most likely to go first, with its House of Representatives passing an iGaming bill this June
Will this be the tipping point that convinces the broader US market to regulate? Or will that be New York or California? Either way, I’m optimistic about online gaming’s future in the United States.
Why is the G2E conference a good fit for your company?
G2E is the US land-based casino industry’s most important annual event – it draws everyone that matters in American gaming. It’s really the perfect time and place to get a pulse on the industry’s current trends and issues. Meeting up with casinos at G2E, we also gain insight on their current challenges and points-of-pain when it comes to marketing, customer acquisition and moving their businesses online.
These insights will then feed into the development of our products and services here at Income Access. Through our conversations at G2E, we can ensure that our solutions are really focused on overcoming the specific marketing and digital challenges of the US land-based industry.
What can visitors expect to see from you this year?
I’m chairing a panel at G2E that will discuss many of the issues I touched on earlier. Called ‘Making the Market: Players, Participation, Promotions’, it’s a marketing-focused session on Monday Sept. 26th that’ll look at how iGaming and land-based gaming are converging in the US market. I’ll be joined by execs from the Tropicana Casino and NYX Gaming Group as well as leading affiliate Bryan Bailey, as we’ll also look at the role of performance marketing.
I’ll be at G2E for the whole conference. The Income Access team will be meeting with casino execs to discuss how we can support their customer acquisition and retention with our full suite of marketing services. We’ll also be showcasing the latest updates to our software platform, and how these can streamline casinos’ marketing activities and improve their ROI.