The Classifying of Online CasinosBy: Joe Valentino, Friday March 26th 2010
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There are many different ways in which online casinos can be classified. This article discusses classification of casinos based on how similar or different they are from other casinos. It would help new players understand the implication of these similarities and differences and the structure of the online casino industry.
The first type of online casinos is stand alone casinos that are different from all other online casinos in every respect. They are even powered by proprietary software that is not used by any other online casino. One of the most popular online casinos of this type is Slotland. The games they offer are unique and cannot be played elsewhere on the Internet. Though this uniqueness offers a significant advantage such casinos are very rare. The reason or this is that such stand alone online casinos are usually not very competitive. The cost of development of the software and the new games has to be recovered from this one online casino only. Where a software provider services many online casinos the costs get defrayed and this makes the system more competitive. Though the games offered at Slotland cannot be played at any other online casino, Slotland offers only about 25 casino games and adds three or four games every year. In contrast online casinos powered by the leading online gaming software supplier Microgaming get three to four new games every month.
The second type of online casino is the one that has licensed the software from an independent developer, who has licensed the software to several other online casinos as well. The only aspect that such online casinos share with others is the common software. The games offered at such online casinos are identical to the games offered at other online casinos powered by the same software provider. Examples of such online casinos powered by Microgaming are Ladbrokes Casino and 32 Red Casino. Bet365 and William Hill are online casinos of this type powered by Playtech. Each of these casinos has its own promotions and tournaments and terms and conditions. Usually these casinos get their competitive strength by offering other online gambling products such as poker, bingo and sports betting.
The third type of online casino is the one that belongs to an online casino group. The casino group is owned and operated by the same entity and shares the same software provider. In addition to having the same set of games, online casinos of the same group often share other features. For example online casinos of the Microgaming powered Fortune Lounge group share the promotions. The Diamonds Are Forever promotion is currently running at all the online casinos of this group. Another shared feature is online tournaments. The online casinos of the English Harbour group have the same tournaments in which players from different online casinos compete together.
A question that would obviously arise in the minds of new players is the reason for having so many different online casinos in the same group when they share the prominent features. There are two reasons for this. Like any other market the online casino market is fragmented. The different online casinos of the same group target different segments of the market. One way of segmenting the market is on the basis of the thematic environment provided by the online casino. Online casinos with Oriental names and images target the Asian customers. Similarly online casinos that project a futuristic image may be targeting the younger and more tech savvy players. The Casino Rewards group has given strong thematic basis to its different online casinos and therefore as a total entity it is able to capture a larger share of the market. The second reason is that after a time a section of players will switch over to a different online casino because boredom sets in. By having alternatives in the same group an opportunity is provided to these players for moving to a different casino within the same group.
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