There is one benefit to not being the first to the mobile sports betting party. You can see how other states are handling the situation and learn from both their mistakes and their good ideas. Pennsylvania can learn a lot from neighboring New Jersey, who is at the top of the mobile sports betting world right now.
Expect A High Percentage of Mobile Betting
About 80 percent of sports betting handle in New Jersey comes from mobile betting. Pennsylvania can expect similar numbers, maybe even more considering how a large portion of the state is hours away from a physical betting location. Between kiosk betting (which accounts for as much as 75 percent of bets placed at Kambi Technology facilities in PA) and mobile betting, Pennsylvania residents won’t be spending too much time in line at cashiers cages to place bets.
Establish Trust of Users
The FanDuel Sportsbook in New Jersey is a perfect example of this. Owning up to your mistakes and paying out customers, even when they knew they could have gotten out of it.
FanDuel did something that most sportsbooks wouldn’t even consider. After an obvious technical error on their part involving an NFL game last season, FanDuel ended up paying out on their mistake. If you read through FanDuels, or any sportsbook for that matter, terms & conditions you will notice something stating that they are not required to pay out for technical issues. Yet FanDuel did just that. Knowing that the money that they ended up paying up is pocket change in relation to the publicity and loyalty they earned with this stunt.
Several bettors place an in-game bet on the Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos game early in the 2018 NFL season. An 18-second computer glitch printed out tickets for higher payouts than intended. One ticket was at 750-1 odds and earned a payout of $82,000 on a $110 bet.
FanDuel released a statement on the issue, part of which included:
“Above all else, sports betting is supposed to be fun. As a result of a pricing error this weekend, it wasn’t for some of our customers. For eighteen seconds, bettors were offered odds paying out 750-1 on the Denver Broncos converting a 36-yard field goal. A 36-yard field goal has approximately an 85% chance of success, so the astronomical odds offered on something highly likely to occur was very obviously a pricing error. These kinds of issues are rare, but they do happen. We have clear house rules about how such obvious pricing errors are treated, which is to pay winners at the correct price.”
All together FanDuel paid over $200k, but certainly earned the trust of a lot of bettors. That type of loyalty can certainly be worth more than $200k in the long run. Small gestures like this are what can make or break a sportsbook. Look for the FanDuel Sportsbook Pennsylvania app to benefit from gestures like this once it launches.
Cross-Branding Is Key
Pennsylvania sports betting licenses are special. They don’t just include sports betting, they allow for the casinos to also operate online casinos and poker (which are expected to launch July 15). FanDuel teaming up with Paddy Power Betfair has shown us one thing. Cross-Branding is a great success builder.
Pennsylvania casinos will benefit greatly from the inclusion of online casino gaming and online poker to their sportsbooks. Once these casinos and poker sites launch you can expect to see advertisement and bonus offers on their sportsbooks for their casino and poker apps, and vice versa. Pennsylvania residents will soon be able to have an entire casino experience from their phones and computers. Gamblers will be able to play in a poker tournament while playing their favorite slot game in between hands and placing a bet on the big game all at the same time. All without having to leave their couch. The casinos that manage to put out the best cross-branding advertisement and bonuses to get customers to come to their online casino will no-doubt be a leader in the state.
Bonuses Are Important Too
People love free money. Gamblers are no different. Bonuses are going to be key once all of the different sportsbooks/casinos/poker apps launch in Pennsylvania. Those who treat their customers the best will more than likely get the bulk of the action. If you are a prospective bettor in Pennsylvania signing up for an account, which one are you going to choose from? The one that offers you a $500 FREE Bet, or the $200? How about a sportsbook that also offers $100 FREE play in their online casino? There is another advantage of cross-branding. Giving customers bonuses in different areas to get them interested in your sportsbook and your casino as well. The bigger the bonuses, the bigger the clientele.
In New Jersey, one sportsbook is king right now. The FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands outside of New York City is way ahead of the competition in New Jersey. Not only are they top in online sports betting revenue ($12 million ahead of the next highest, which is DraftKings), but their physical sportsbook is blowing the competition away. Retail sports betting in April saw the Meadowlands Casino pull in 67.6 percent of the state’s sports betting revenue. T
he reason? Its location to New York City, which is about 10 miles away. Mobile is king, but never underestimate people wanting to take a trip to the casino to gamble and have a good time. Casinos in Pennsylvania located near the borders are in the best position to pick up non-mobile revenue.
If you have a bad experience at a restaurant you are more than likely not going to return. The same can be said about a mobile sports betting app. You as a bettor are excited to place a big bet on a game that you have done your research on and just know is going to be a winner, only to find out the app has crashed. No connection, the site is down for maintenance, etc. Now you don’t have time to get signed up with another sportsbook to place your bet in time. Now you are furious and upset at that sportsbook that has failed you. You’re more than likely going to leave that app and head to one that is more reliable, especially if that wasn’t the first time that app has had that problem.
FanDuel Sportsbook had a number of crashing issues with their app around the Super Bowl. That is the worst time for a sportsbook to be down. Small things like this tend to upset bettors. Timeliness is key in sports betting. If you can’t place your bet at a certain time, the odds or lines can change in an instant and could be the difference between winning and losing. Pennsylvania sportsbooks need to make sure that they have all major issues addressed immediately. The longer the issues go on, the more people that will jump ship to the next app.