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Imagine a world without bonuses

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Many operators have to find new methods of attracting and retaining players as the most popular incentives are being reduced by European regulators. Jacob Kalms is the CEO and founder of 20Shots. He writes that free fantasy football could be an alternative option.

Online gambling operators have relied on bonuses for years, and they are a great tool.

It’s a fact that bonuses have been proven to be a great way of attracting and retaining players. But, whether it’s right or wrong, regulators across Europe seem to believe that bonuses are working too well for the gambling industry and to their detriment.

Spain, Sweden, and Denmark have already imposed restrictions on the bonuses that operators may offer. France announced last year its intention to do the same. After the publication of the UK Government’s Gambling Act Review White Paper, the Gambling Commission is now conducting ongoing consultations. This suggests that changes may also be coming to the UK.

Many operators were already looking for alternative ways to attract players before they faced the possibility of bonuses being limited.

Bonuses can be costly, even though they’re effective. It is even more true when you consider the amount of people who take advantage.

Fantasy football, in particular, has been drawing operators’ interest for some time.

In the past some operators dismissed these games, claiming that they were only for those who did not want to wager real money. This attitude is understandable. Fantasy was the most popular in the US, where sports betting was illegal until the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was repealed.

Fantasy football was more than a simple bridge to help the US gambling market transition from a non-gambling one to one that allows for betting. The crossover between bettors and fantasy players was also demonstrated. The UK market is no exception.

We conducted a field study in which we interviewed 5,000 football supporters outside UK stadiums before launching the Fantasy5 game in 2021. We discovered that 45% people who wager on sports weekly also play fantasy football.

This is changing. In the past, UK players of fantasy football were less serious than their American counterparts. In recent years, the number of education websites and third-party fantasy products has grown significantly. The market can only benefit from this.


Customer retention

As a retention and acquisition tool, it’s better if the fantasy is more popular. The 30-day retention is 40%. 90-day is 30%. And one-year is 22%.

Registration to the first deposit conversion rate is 15 %. The cost of this model is much less than that of other affiliation models – currently, our registration cost in the UK only costs PS2.15

According to our operators, the average Fantasy5 customer returns 2.3 times per week.

Even though these repeated visits to sites may not offer immediate revenue increases to operators, the lifetime value of players is increased by their return.

Cross-selling other bettors’ products such as the casino is another way operators do this. The Gambling Commission has proposed in its open consultation that the Gambling Commission should allow customers to choose whether or not they want marketing messages based on product.

It is possible that an operator will not be able send casino offers to betting customers in the future. The operator will likely still be able send communications to its customers offering fantasy football.

Fantasy may therefore become an important tool for brands to stay in the forefront of players’ mind. It is important to remember that some bettors will only visit a betting website when their favorite team is on the field.

It’s a good idea to offer them something extra that won’t cost anything but will keep them interested. This way, when they next play, their team can continue playing with the operator. In gambling, as in most other industries, acquiring new customers is more expensive than keeping them.

Jacob Kalms, CEO and founder of 20Shots. The company’s primary product is Fantasy5, which allows players to earn weekly prizes and jackpots by playing a fantasy football game. 20Shots is in B2B partnership with major operators from the UK, Ireland and Brazil.

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