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How can online gambling brands differentiate themselves in a competitive market?

Detailed History of Gambling in America

In the UK market (worth £14 billion in 2022 and home to over 1,000 remote licences), building a gambling site that stands out is no easy task. It requires a mountainous amount of resources and a lot of hard work and determination – it’s a big nut to crack. As the competition has progressively increased, coupled with the latest legal regulations, it’s becoming ever more challenging to enter the UK market. 

Let’s take a look at some of the strategies for success and how online gambling brands can differentiate themselves in a highly competitive market like the UK.

Understanding the target audience and market gaps

The first step any new gambling company needs to take before launching in is taking a deep dive into the market, segmenting it, and deciding which group to target. Once you’ve understood who the target market is, how they like to gamble, and what their needs are, it’s much easier to scan the market and create a unique value proposition, then provide an appealing product designed around its potential users, and target them appropriately.

Market research and demographic understanding are the foundation of successful brand building and spotting opportunities to offer something new to the market, differentiating your brand. This information should also be used to identify your competitors and see what they are offering, assessing their strengths, weaknesses and any areas of opportunity they may create.

Brand building

Armed with your target market and unique value proposition, it’s time to consider your brand. Brand building is a big one, and it’s known to increase companies’ chances of differentiating themselves. Strong branding has been found to keep consumer attention and make companies more recognisable, help build trust, and create consumer loyalty. 

Brand building starts with creating a brand strategy, mission statement, and values, but it’s more than just your logo and site design; it’s your brand’s personality – every aspect of how you engage with your consumers. Ultimately, it’s the final impression you leave a consumer with after using your product.

One of the most popular ways of marketing, brand building and gaining recognition in the US currently is through partnerships with celebs, influences, brand ambassadors and sports sponsorships. Sports sponsorships were also a powerful advertising tool for brand building in the UK, but more recently, they’ve come under fire regarding responsible advertising and gambling.

PlayOJO is a great example of modern successful brand building. The site launched in 2017 and has become one of the UK’s most popular online gambling sites due to its commitment to fun-first. The PlayOJO brand is built around fairness in gaming and bonuses, which they guarantee through zero wagering promotions across the whole site. The brand matches growing player intent to find fair bonuses and markets to this audience, building a trustworthy and reliable image that has made it instantly recognisable and a standout site in the UK market.

Tech integration and features

If you want to differentiate yourself, you’ve got to bring something new to the table that isn’t available at every run-of-the-mill casino or sportsbook. For many businesses, this means enhancing the user experience through technology; for others, it’s the content, customisable features or the services offered, but for most successful brands, it’s an overall blend of everything.


Gambling brands use technology to enhance the user experience, either with innovative new features, like game stats, the lobby features that allow players to save their favourite games, and different mobile options or by following tech and being on point with emerging trends, like live streaming and live slots. 

Crypto casinos are great examples of sites that are ahead of the game regarding tech trends, especially in the payment department. Generally, crypto casinos’ forward-looking attitude in the payments department spreads throughout the whole site, making these platforms better, smoother and more innovative places to gamble online.


Brands going for the content angle need to create engaging advertising and onsite content. This includes social media, email marketing, encouraging user-generated content and reviews, and a sense of an online community.

Online bingo companies are well known to champion the community element and features, even creating special chat games and quizzes, that make their platforms more social, so that players can enjoy this classic element of playing bingo should they wish. As the community is such an integral aspect of bingo, trusted bingo review sites consider a site’s community and other social elements carefully when reviewing sites and analysing a brand’s reputation.


Greater customisation tends to provide happy consumers, with players valuing a unique experience tailor-made for them. Although adding customisable features costs more to implement at the start, thus it’s avoided by many new white-label, or lower-budget gambling sites; it can be very successful in helping differentiate your brand.

Sites can take the less personalised approach for individual players by using loyalty programmes (although this has become less popular in recent years due to new rulings from the Gambling Commission), rewards, VIP ladders, and options such as bonus choices, or go deeper using design elements (avatars, personalised casino spaces), championships, leaderboards, challenges, building personalised game lobbies, betting stats, and more.

Customer Service

Great customer service is essential for successful brand building and creating your identity. It’s one of the only times you have direct, two-way contact with your consumers and it’s one of the main ways consumers and review sites will judge your brand. Brands that successfully stand out in competitive markets provide responsive and expert-level support and live chat 24/7, as well as support via other media channels. If you operate in multiple jurisdictions, you should provide multilingual support. And in all cases, don’t over-rely on bots; it causes player frustration.

Responsible gambling

A last way gambling brands can help stand out and differentiate themselves is via their responsible gambling attitude. Responsible gambling is becoming more important to players. For example, research has found that “77% of Gen Z are more likely to consider a casino they feel wants them to live a sustainable lifestyle”. Hence, successful brands need to be responsible, fair and transparent, implement responsible gambling tools, and keep abreast of Great Britain Gambling Commission updates, customer preferences, and industry changes.

FanDuel is a great example of a brand doing this well. Last year, they introduced mandatory limits for 18-24-year-olds as this is the group most at risk of gambling harm, they also offer no wagering bonuses. This builds trust with consumers and has contributed to the brand’s reputation for safeguarding players while offering a top gambling product

What does differentiation take?

Realistically, in a market as saturated and competitive as the UK, it takes a broad mix of all these elements (a unique proposition, strong brand, great tech, service, and content) to make a gambling site stand out, but even then, success isn’t guaranteed as it can depend on other factors, like timing and the durability of a gambling sites resources.

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