“[ Covid-19 ] showed the land-based industry that they had to think about [ online ]. We want to be more sustainable and we also saw that our guests , who we value highly , were seeking alternatives for their gaming habit ”
HERMANN PAMMINGER , EUROPEAN CASINO ASSOCIATION industry is only now getting involved in this business .”
LAND-BASED TO ONLINE IN 2021
Modern-day casinos won ’ t face the same issues as their predecessors did before the turn of the millennium as the internet isn ’ t the hot new commodity it once was – it ’ s now a facet of life rather than something exciting to explore .
However , it isn ’ t completely straightforward for a land-based operator to set up an online gaming branch . Among the many factors to consider , according to JOA Groupe chief executive Laurent Lassiaz , continuity is key .
“ The most important thing for us is to make the journey to the online sector as smooth as possible because we are dealing with the same customers we deal with on a daily basis in our brickand-mortar operations ,” he says .
“ That ’ s quite easy because you can really try to give the same flavour , try and design the same type of environment in terms of look and feel . For example , for us within JOA , we have exactly the same loyalty system – the points you are able to earn offline can be earned online and vice versa .
“ The key thing for us is to make sure that there ’ s much more incentive to stay with us online rather than switching to a pure online gamer .”
INFLUENCE OF THE ‘ LICENCE PLUS ’ SYSTEM
The competition with ‘ pure online gamers ’ is another obstacle for landbased casinos looking to dabble in the online market . There are businesses who have spent years cultivating a specialised online product , so from day one the land-based sector is going to be playing catch-up . They are always going to be an online version of a landbased casino , rather than a bona-fide online casino , as Pamminger explains .
“ With the European Casino Association , some of our members are in online gaming ,” he says . “ But they ’ re land-based casinos that have established an online presence .
“ Recently , we carried out a survey among our members and learned that 63 % are also directly or indirectly involved in online gaming . At Casinos Austria we do have an online arm which came from the lottery business and they also offer casino games online – but its separate .