One of the appeals of online poker and casino games is the ability to cross-market gaming products. This is not happening in Nevada and there is little in the way of activity reported in New Jersey.
Ultimate Poker is a subsidiary of Station Casinos, a powerhouse gaming company in the Las Vegas locals’ market. Station Casinos direct mailed players with accounts in its Boarding Pass players’ card system in the weeks after Ultimate Poker launched. This writer has received nothing since then. That may be because I registered an account. If that is the reason, my wife also has a Boarding Pass card and has received no mail advertising Ultimate Poker.
I have played at Ultimate Poker off and on for the past 10 months. Before online poker launched in Nevada, I would have predicted receiving some sort of invitation to visit a Station-branded casino. Maybe a $10 free slots play or food coupon. This could be enough to entice a potential player that generates action into visiting the casino. Station has not sent me anything based on my Ultimate Poker play.
Ultimate Poker has promoted its UFC brand heavily to players. Promoting gaming and UFC together was always a goal of the company due to the overlapping demographics.
WSOP.com is owned by a subsidiary of Caesars Entertainment. I have never received mail from the company advertising WSOP.com, even though I have received offers for Caesars Entertainment casinos in other markets for years. Neither company has ever sent me am offer for any Las Vegas casino owned by Caesars.
I signed up at Real Gaming and have received nothing from South Point. This is more understandable as the site has hardly marketed the site up to this point.
New Jersey casinos have also not cross-promoted as a whole. Neither Trump website advertises online gaming on company websites. Those companies did not even create branded gaming sites. Only the software companies operate a brand.
Borgata offers players the ability to convert player points into comps at the resort. The return is 10-13% percent, depending on the player tier. This sounds like a low return, however, the cash return for most players is in the 3-4% rakeback range.
Ownership Structure Discourages Cross-Marketing
Gaming sites are owned by subsidiaries of the casino companies. For example, Caesars Acquisition is the company that owns WSOP.com. Ultimate Gaming is not wholly owned by Station Casinos. The Borgata/Party Poker is operated through a partnership agreement. 888 does not technically have a land-based branded partner as it uses a New Jersey Caesars Entertainment license.
Gaming sites are acquiring massive amounts of player information. This goes beyond just an email and home address. Betting habits, bankroll estimations and risk aversion information is there to be evaluated by regulated poker sites. It is only a matter of time before this information is used to help grow both online and land-based gaming operations.