Ever wonder what holds a casino player back, and what makes them hit that “deposit” button? Are motivations different for newbies compared to seasoned players? Get ready for insights from our latest CustDev research, courtesy of the Alfa:search team. It’s super relevant for all SEO specialists!

Hello and welcome! We’re Alfa:search, a team with over 5 years of expertise in driving organic traffic, as well as SEO, ASO, and streaming traffic. 

We know a happy player is a converting player. That’s why we go beyond just search engines — we focus on creating a smooth user experience that gets players comfortable and ready to engage. To achieve that, we constantly research and analyze the target audience’s wants and needs. Today, we’re sharing a glimpse into one of our research methods: Customer Development.

What is CustDev?

CustDev (Customer Development) is where we get real with interviews, talking directly to customers to “pull” out valuable insights. This research helps us understand how to improve products and validate new ideas. Think in-depth feedback on steroids.

How we run our research

Our team dives deep with casino players through in-depth interviews. We build a pool of real gamblers who match our target audience. Then, we craft a set of questions to guide the conversation. Each player gets a one-on-one session with our analysts, who follow a prepared script to gather consistent data. Finally, we take all the raw interview recordings and meticulously analyze them to extract those golden nuggets of player insights. Sure, getting these insights isn’t always easy, but the payoff is huge. This research directly influences how we build and improve our websites and apps to create a more engaging experience.

Our research data

Now for the exciting part: what compels players to take a chance at the casino? Our CustDev research, along with demographic data, explored these key questions:

  • What motivates their gambling
  • How players choose a casino
  • Factors that deter players from casino sites (note: we specifically included affiliate sites)
  • Elements that attract players to casino sites

Motivations for playing for the first time

The most common responses from the surveyed players were:

  • Playing with friends
  • Seeking entertainment
  • “My friends won, and I want to win too”
  • Desire to earn money

Motivation for subsequent games

As players continue, their motivations evolve. They are more likely to visit the casino for reasons such as:

  • Desire to earn money 
  • Excitement and strong emotions
  • The urge to gamble 
  • Filling free time

It’s fascinating to see how players’ motivations shift over time, as depicted clearly in the graph.

How players choose where to play 

New players often turn to their social circles for guidance when choosing a casino. Reviews from friends, recommendations by streamers, and discussions happening in online chat rooms like Telegram and VKontakte heavily influence their decisions. Advertising can also play a role, but it’s less of a deciding factor — more of a “see a bright button — click on it” kind of situation. 

Experienced players, however, take a more calculated approach. They believe newer brands might offer a higher return on investment, aligning with their primary goal of making money.

Regardless of experience level, a good first deposit bonus is a major draw for both new and seasoned players.

Casinos vs. sports betting

Our research revealed an interesting split: 25% of players focus solely on casino games, while a significant 75% enjoy both casino games and sports betting.

What stops players from taking action

Our survey identified a key culprit: the suspicious appearance of mirror sites: 

  • Inconsistent favicons and domain names that don’t look trustworthy 
  • Design that doesn’t match the official brand: poor layout, low-quality images, outdated fonts, etc.
  • Outdated information on the site, like irrelevant promo codes.
  • Mixing branding elements from different casinos or betting sites also discourages users from exploring further.

The key takeaway here is that transparency is crucial. Many users believe they’re visiting the official website and aren’t aware they’re interacting with an affiliate site.

What makes players convert on affiliate sites

Our research highlights these key conversion triggers:

  • Ensuring the official site is prominently featured in the snippet
  • Including clear and prominent calls to action
  • Maintaining a design consistent with the brand’s aesthetic 
  • Relevant content 
  • Availability of the app (80% of players use APKs)

When users find a site they trust and enjoy, they’re more likely to bookmark it for future reference.

The final words

Remember, motivations differ based on player experience. New players might be drawn in by the social aspects of gambling, while veterans prioritize making money. One thing remains constant, though: everyone loves a good bonus! Highlighting promotions, bonus codes, and free spins on your site can significantly increase conversions. Just make sure the offers are relevant and up-to-date.

Since most players access casinos through mobile devices, offering an APK download for a dedicated app can significantly boost conversions. However, make sure the app design closely mirrors the official site’s look and feel. Our research shows many users mistakenly believe they’re on the official platform when visiting affiliate sites.

Be mindful of cross-branding on your affiliate site. Our research suggests it hurts conversions and discourages players from returning.

The key to success lies in understanding your target audience and addressing their needs and pain points. High rankings and happy players to you all!

Team alfa:search.net