Can an operator’s ability to remain as open and transparent as possible become a unique identifier within the online casino industry?
Launching a new online gambling property will always test the hardest of stomachs, as leadership is faced with a gruelling terrain in which to conduct business, especially with raising costs, greater competition and increasingly stringent regulatory policies.
Adding further worry, operators have seen compliance failures make national media headlines in 2017. For example, 888, one of Britain’s biggest online gambling firms, was ordered to pay a record penalty package of over £7.8m for what the Gambling Commission described as ‘serious failings’ in its handling of vulnerable customers.
Nevertheless, Narkis believes that social responsibility can be used as a commercial driver for online casino PlayOJO, launched in March 2017. He is straight to the point about PlayOJO’s take on the UK market, stating that his firm will take a ‘no nonsense approach to its brand, voice, and proposition’.
“We were made for the player, and believe in being as open and transparent with them as possible,” said Narkis. “That means no shifty small-print, no lengthy T&Cs, and no ridiculous wagering requirements attached to bonuses and prizes. We just offer real money and real play. It’s as simple as that.”
Narkis admitted that 2017 has been a consequential year for social responsibility, and one in which high profile incidents have tainted the online casino industry’s reputation.
“Online casino should be all about maximising the fun factor, but players also want to know that the money they win or are awarded in bonuses and prizes is their money,” he said. “However, because this is often not the case, the online casino industry has a bad reputation when it comes to fair play.
“This has not been helped by the Commission’s decision to slap 888 with a £7.8m fine for dropping the ball when it comes to responsible gambling measures. It is another reason why we have taken the approach we have; we want our players to be healthy and happy.”
Not satisfied with marketing and messaging transparency, Narkis and Maple Marketing have invested deep resources into developing the most ‘fair play’ online casino destination.
He explained: “Our system, OJOplus, pays players money back on every bet, win or lose. And when we say money, we mean money, paid immediately, directly into their accounts, with no restrictions.
“Of course, this is not a ground-breaking idea. We are simply replicating what happens in land-based casinos; players simply take their chips or winnings receipt to the cage and collect their cash. They are not required to wager it 20x before leaving the casino.”
Looking forward to new challenges faced by PlayOJO, Narkis states that a key corporate goal will be to win the ‘trust lost’ between gambling consumers and bigger online casinos.
“Players are not naïve, and are becoming increasingly frustrated with online casino sites that do not put them first,” he concluded. “They want greater control over their play, the limits they want to impose on it – as well as the marketing collateral they receive – and the bonuses and prizes they are awarded. Operators need to take this on board and make changes.”
With Narkis’ no nonsense approach, PlayOJO may well be the brand to follow in 2018.