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This is a really interesting one for us – and not just because innovations are, by their nature, unique. It’s because often we don’t know what the innovations will be before we begin. If we knew what innovations we would find on betting sites, they wouldn’t be very, well, innovative. It’s like how we know the universe is expanding into something, but we don’t know what. We’re dealing with known unknowns here. We don’t know exactly what we’ll find, but we have a decent idea of where we are likely to find it.
That’s why much of what we write here will deal with where innovations are likely to be found, rather than specifically what they might be in particular. A few other interesting things to contemplate are when innovations stop being so. Would, for instance, a cash out option still be considered innovative now it has become so commonplace? We don’t think, at this level of popularity, it would. Instead, innovation would require some twist or detail on that feature to be considered one. There’s a lot of nuance to consider here. Unique qualities aren’t always that in your face.
When you hear innovation, you may think of something revolutionary, something blatant. In reality, that’s rarely true. In a hugely competitive market like online gambling, big changes like that are quite rare. What we usually have is something a little more subtle, more gradual, and often more rewarding too. In any case, join us as we break down how innovations may manifest themselves across the wide and expanding universe of online operators.
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Site design that’s not stuck in the same old orbit
One of the most straightforward places to innovate is in the aesthetic of a betting site. In terms of comparisons though, this can be tricky. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, after all. Some people like to stare at the stars, others find it in nature. Some like both, amongst countless other examples. Not only are aesthetic preferential, but they are also endless. To put it simply, what you think looks good may be different to someone else. And neither of you are wrong – it’s just subjective.
Nonetheless, we do think there is some inbuilt credit to innovative styles. Even if it’s not to your tastes, having an identity in such a swamped market is a positive. Why do you think so many sites are out to innovate? It’s very hard to get lost in the shuffle in such a crowded market. They are a mere digital planet out there in the vastness of the internet, and need something to stand out. A look that manages to be uniquely their own, no matter what it is, is a great way of doing exactly that.
In terms of comparisons though, does this mean one innovation is equal to another? Not necessarily. We won’t comment on what we think looks better out of two distinctive styles. That’s entirely down to you. What we will say though is that we value innovative design which also maintains the structural integrity of a site more than one which doesn’t.
A milky way of magnificent game titles
The creativity you can find in casino games never ceases to blow us away. Although they make up a casino, they really are their own little world. Indeed, this whole article could be about games and games alone, and we’d still have more to talk about. Software developers are free to get as creative as they like when it comes to games, as long as they are both fair and random.
We’re going to start with the most obvious example of an innovative game. This would be one that is entirely new in concept. One that, from scratch, hasn’t been seen before. The rules are new, the mechanics are new. There would be little doubt, in this instance, to the unique properties of such a title. Indeed, assuming the quality is there, this would be a huge positive in terms of comparisons. It would be a net gain in the game variety of the site. A win-win.
However, that’s not how innovation usually appears in games. Most of the time, the key game formats are stuck to. These include slots, table games, roulette, keno, bingo, and video poker, to give a few examples.
However, there’s a whole lot of thought and originality that goes into making these titles stand out. You’ll often notice there’s a huge amount of versions for each type of game. Each of these needs to justify its existence on the site. This can be done graphically, through unique themes and styles. It can also be done through innovations to the game rules or mechanics themselves. If you want to find unique properties, we’d say the easiest way would be to try out some new games.
This is another great way for betting sites to stand out. Tournaments can be distinct in a whole bunch of different ways. It could be in how they’re organized or how you gain entry.
Often, betting sites will set criteria that give you an incentive to use the site in a certain way. It could be to point you in the direction of a game or a way to play. Not only does this allow for creativity, but it can benefit and highlight other parts of the site. The way the tournaments are run is only bounded by the imagination and generosity of the operator. Remember, tournaments are simply a competition.
Beyond that, the stars are the limit to what is possible. Tournaments can tell you so much about an operator. They help us assess the quality and the variety that’s available, for instance. But what is often overlooked is what they tell you about the creativity that’s likely available throughout that betting site. An operator that’s looking to provide the best possible experience for their users will see a huge opportunity when it comes to tournaments creatively. It’s such a great way of getting you involved. On top of that, it can help foster a community within their site.
Many when presented with this opportunity choose to still do the bare minimum. We think that is often a poor reflection of what you can expect from the site in general. It shows a lack of ambition. If, however, we can see they have tried to create something new for them, then we’re much more optimistic. And the prizes offered are a great reflection of both innovation and quality too. If they offer something interesting and different with a lot of value, you have the best of both universes.
Promotions that provide plenty of Big Bang for your buck
Much of what we said about tournaments also applies to promotions, except here, there is even more scope. While tournaments are bound by the need for a competition, bonuses aren’t bound by much at all. Only one thing is needed in our opinion: promotions must offer some kind of additional value to the user. That’s, for me, all that is needed to be considered great.
You may think that promotions require a deposit, for instance. We don’t think that is the case anymore. There’s plenty of innovative free bets out there. Cash Out and Build a Bet features are also considered promotions. We think these two are perfect examples of the kind of innovation we’re looking for. Like we said, usually, creativity is found in tweaks of existing great ideas, rather than creating whole new ones.
Innovations that change things like the Cash Out feature are pretty rare. What is not are tweaks upon that concept. Such examples include the ability to partially cash out, or automatically cash out. That kind of innovation is much more likely to be found on betting sites. But that’s not the only reason we look out for it. These improvements offer a tremendous amount of value. Creativity is nothing in itself without that.
In more traditional promotions, these sorts of twists and tweaks may be found in the terms and conditions. A welcome bonus could have better terms than another, because you have to do different things to release that money. Of course, we welcome entirely new concepts but smaller innovations can still make a world of difference. And often, they can provide just as much – if not more – real-term value.
This is a type of promotion that we felt was worth singling out for its creative potential. This is actually one we most often find ourselves disappointed with. A VIP club is a rewards system. Beyond that, it can be whatever the operator wants. For some reason though, less effort is often put into the VIP Club.
Your standard option has you receive points to move up in tiers, which have their own benefits. And there’s nothing wrong with that. This is something a lot of people enjoy – including, no doubt, many of you reading this. The reason we are often disappointed is that few actually explore these parameters.
Take the benefits, for instance. It could be standard stuff like cash backs. It could be something much more innovative. We’ve seen day trips, cars and all kinds of weird and wacky prizes being offered. We think all of those are great. They give you something more interesting to aim for and inject some personality.
We also really love when these schemes are given themes and concepts to wrap around the rewards system. So many points could make you a knight in a medieval-themed VIP Club, for instance. Betting sites are supposed to be about enjoying yourself. This is a great chance for them to facilitate exactly that. Any attempt to do so is considered a positive by us.
A space station of sociability to bring customers together
The cosmic explosion of social media is one of the biggest changes our society has seen over the past few decades. It’s made a big bang in the online universe, and its expansion has only just begun. It makes sense for betting sites to take advantage of this fact.
We’re not saying that to make this sound underhanded, they’d be foolish not to. Many sites have innovated their customer service lines through the likes of Twitter and Facebook. You can contact them and get in touch on a public forum. There’s a lot of power in that. It adds an extra element of trust in our opinion. If a site is willing to accept public questions, it appears as though they have less to hide.
This actually brings up an interesting question. Is this still innovative? At what point of popularity does this just become commonplace? We would say it has not gotten there yet. And we would say that there is room to further stand out in how operators interact with their customers. They can use social media to ask questions, get feedback, use surveys and more. We’ve only just scratched the surface of what is possible.
Sociability doesn’t just end with social media either. Often, sites have forums and blogs you can interact with. Some sites even build their premise around sociability. We’ve seen examples create a whole social world within their site. We think that the betting world has only just begun to take inspiration from social media. There are new ideas happening in this regard all the time.
Mobile innovations for when you’re out on a space mission
We don’t think simply having mobile access can be considered innovative anymore. In today’s climate, it should be standard. Put it this way, we view its lack of inclusion to be a negative more than we view its inclusion as a positive – comparatively speaking, that is.
However, there’s plenty of ways a mobile offering can stand out. Mobile apps, in particular, have the ability to be interactive in whole new ways. There’s so many cool things being done in this regard. Not only are these kinds of innovations really interesting, but they have an added benefit.
This is particularly important to us because it opens up a whole new audience. Not everyone is great with computers. In fact, that’s the reason a lot of elderly people use tablets. Their interface is much more intuitive. This can, when done properly, also be the case for online casinos. This means that if you love casino games, mobile compatibility can open up the online world to you. More than mere creative flourishes, these innovations can completely transform a person’s experience. That’s why we view this as so important for our comparisons.
Live offerings that can eclipse what came before
We think it’s astounding that we live in a world where live betting is pretty much universal across casino sites. Well, almost. The vast majority of casino sites now offer some form of live casino product. Those who don’t are often going after a more niche audience and may have innovations of their own.
The set up for the live casino is often very similar. You often see the same names pop up in terms of software development. There is, however, creativity to still be found. Alongside the usual table games, more and more left-field options have been surfacing like an unexpected meteor of fun. These can include board games, games based on TV shows, party games and more. Anything to increase the variety of what’s available is fine by me. Who knows, you may even find your new favourite game.
Other betting products that shoot for the stars
Our focus here is primarily on the casino of things. We also actually think that is the place where you will find the most innovations. The variety offered just makes the possibilities greater. Still, there can be innovations elsewhere.
A sportsbook may provide a new way of following live games through graphics. Your poker software could have interesting ways of interacting with your opponents. There could be social elements brought into your bingo game. We’re paying attention to all of it. Rest assured, innovations of any capacity are considered important in our comparisons.
Concepts that go beyond the cosmos
Earlier, we talked about how smaller innovations are more likely to be available on betting sites than bigger ones – and this is true. However, they do exist. There are sites out there looking to be completely different.
Maybe they focus on an entirely different market. Maybe they have a promotion nobody has ever thought of. Maybe they have a way of interacting with you that is totally unique. If a site comes out with a totally new concept on a large scale, we take it very seriously. It’s not easy to do with this kind of competition. If it’s pulled off, it compares very favourably
The quality and context of innovations
We’d like to conclude our thoughts on innovations by pointing out that not all innovations are good. Something can be new, but badly designed or not properly thought through. When we talk about innovations being viewed favourably in comparisons, we, of course, only mean the ones that have value. We don’t give extra credit simply for being new. It has to be new and add value to customers.
The quality of the innovations is every bit as important as their originality. When we look at these ideas, you – the reader – are always at the forefront of our considerations. An offer or feature being new is only worthwhile to you if it truly provides value and enjoyment to your betting experience.
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