The Shift in Casino Advertising: From Neon Signs to Digital Outreach

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Roulette wheel in a casino
BetMGM Dec 05, 2023, 2:37 PM

In an industry characterized by high returns, competition, and a need for thrill, casinos have placed a big emphasis on advertising to attract patrons. Of course, the platforms and means of gambling advertising have evolved over the years, and the most successful casinos are those that have managed to stay on top of new marketing channels and use them to their advantage.

 In recent years, the traditional casino industry has been disrupted and revolutionized by the introduction of online casino games. Technological advances and the move towards digital operations have also forced the industry to relook advertising and invest in digital advertising to remain relevant. Of course, casino promotion isn’t without regulation, and casinos have to pay careful attention to the guidelines to avoid going against the law in their area/s of operation.

How Casinos Were Advertised Throughout History

To this day, Las Vegas is touted as the gambling capital of the world, so it only makes sense that the first form of casino advertising can be traced back to this vibrant city. If you’ve ever taken a trip to Vegas, then you’ll likely be familiar with the bright city lights and skyscrapers that entice patrons. In earlier years, neon lights and billboards were the norm and the most common form of advertising in Vegas.

In addition to this form of advertising, traditional gambling ad mediums included print advertising (magazines, newspapers, flyers, and brochures), coupons, and direct mail, just to name a few. This has evolved over the years, with technological innovations bringing about changes not just for the casino industry but all industries as well.

How It’s Changed Over the Years

The subsequent introduction of online casinos and digital operations meant that the industry had to explore new means of advertising to attract patrons online. With the rise of online slots, online poker, online blackjack, and other popular games, the casino industry started taking a more holistic approach to advertising as a way to reach players across the globe. To complement the already existing forms of advertising, the following were also added over the years:

Television & Radio

These two mediums added a level of thrill and creativity that was unparalleled at the time, allowing casinos to paint a clear picture of the casino experience through audio or a combination of audio and visuals.

Events & Sponsorships

By rallying behind certain games or tournaments, casinos gained traction and reached more people because of the masses that gathered to enjoy such events. At the same time, this is a more subtle form of advertising that isn’t overpowering or annoying.

Social Media Marketing

Online casinos forced the industry to move in a different direction and start focusing on their digital footprint. Social media platforms have gradually infiltrated our lives, and people are constantly scrolling on their phones, presenting the perfect opportunity to advertise and direct traffic to the online casino through just a click.

Affiliate Marketing

This is another unconventional form of advertising that emerged from the digital era. These include agreements with influencers and review sites, who earn commissions from the traffic they drive to the online casino.

Email Marketing

When players access an online casino and sign up for the newsletter, they give the casino a chance to keep them updated on new games, promotions, and other casino-related information. These types of advertising means are generally grouped together under email marketing, which is directly targeted at past, current, and potential patrons.

How Gambling Advertising Laws Have Changed

Gambling advertising regulations are regularly reviewed and updated when necessary to ensure that fair and best practices are being adhered to by casinos. Regulations vary per jurisdiction, which is why casinos need to be in the know of regulations in regions they operate in.

Age and Identity Verification

The legal gambling age differs in different parts of the world, and online casinos need to ensure that they don’t accommodate minors. Because of this, strict verification processes need to be in place. All of these should be clearly and easily accessible through the casino’s chosen marketing channels.

Responsible Gambling Messaging

There’s no denying that casinos offer a fun and engaging time, and some players can get carried away. Like BetMGM, casinos must always encourage safe and responsible gambling so patrons don’t end up gambling their lives away.

Transparency and Fairness

Gambling is a high-stakes activity, which is why transparency and fairness need to be at the forefront to avoid potentially scrupulous behavior. Advertising mustn’t be false, misleading, or difficult to decipher. Casino and gambling facts must be easily accessible as well.

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Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.