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Why operators must look beyond bonuses in Sweden

Dinos Stranomitis, COO Altenar.

 

There’s been a lot of talk about the limitations of the newly regulated Swedish market due to operators only being allowed to offer one introductory bonus to players.

But bonuses are not the only thing players are looking for in today’s highly competitive online gambling marketplace. Today many users are more concerned about better service and faster withdrawals.

I believe if operators focused on these they would more than make up for any player churn being experienced due to the inability to offer regular bonuses.

One of the big trends taking off in the Swedish market over the past year has been the so-called ‘no-account’ casino. This term is something of a misnomer as there is indeed an account, but it is created in the background with very little effort required of players.

It would perhaps be more accurate to call it ‘automated registration’ and this would certainly be more popular with regulators, who are understandably concerned about any description that implies inadequate checks are being carried out.

This simplified registration process, made possible by Trustly, is particularly suited to the Swedish market, where consumers are racing towards a cashless society but are at the same time very protective of their privacy.

And, crucially for operators struggling to adapt to the new bonus regime in Sweden, customers using this automated registration process do not expect bonuses.

They do, however, expect to receive their money immediately when they win. One of the big frustrations among players is operators that hold onto their money for longer than they should, sometimes under the guise of doing KYC.

KYC is, of course, very important, but it shouldn’t be used as an excuse to delay payouts to players.

At Altenar we’ve recently launched our first sportsbook client in the regulated Swedish market, LuckyCasino.com, which offers Trustly to players.

While we recognised the attraction of the system and the importance of immediate withdrawals, we also saw the need to adapt the process to account for the fact that compared with casino, in sports betting there is a greater risk of fraud due to the potential for misuse of inside information.

We therefore designed a feature so that limits can be set, varying from operator to operator and segment to segment, and that when payouts go over that limit we have to manually approve the settlement.

By putting such thresholds in place, players can still enjoy the services of Trustly when betting, but there are protections in place to make sure the system is robust.

Operators using the automated registration process have reported huge success so far and I believe in the next 12 months almost all operators in Sweden will have implemented this. We’re shortly about to launch our second Swedish licensed operator using the same feature.

New entrants to the market should look to compete with the more established players by getting ahead of the curve in this way rather than trying to attract customers with huge first-time bonuses.

While many in the industry have complained about the bonus limitations, I believe we will have a better market without the constant slew of bonus offers.

I’ve been involved in the Swedish market for many years, going right back to my time at Expedt in 2002 through to working with Altenar’s partners both before and after the market regulated.

If we look back to the early 2000s, the bonuses that companies were offering their users were simply tools to help them learn the systems. Over time, this evolved into more and more operators throwing large sums of money at players to attract or retain them.

As a marketing tool this simply isn’t sustainable over the long term. It’s time operators started looking at other ways to attract and retain players and automated registration is certainly a good place to start.

 

Press releases | Sports betting | Sports Betting Europe | Sweden

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