What Web Businesses Can Learn From Online Gambling

What Web Businesses Can Learn From Online Gambling

Abstract: learn how to​ gain visitors' trust by studying how online casino websites have overcome enormous obstacles to​ building trust among site visitors.

Online gambling is​ one of​ the​ fastest growing segments of​ ecommerce in​ the​ US,​ an​ especially impressive feat since it​ is​ illegal in​ the​ US. Due to​ their illegal status,​ gambling sites face high hurdles in​ the​ advertising and promotion arena as​ well,​ since most US-based online media companies,​ most notably Google and Yahoo,​ refuse to​ advertise them.

You might think that online gambling websites would face an​ insurmountable obstacle in​ gaining users' trust,​ as​ well. Trust has long been an​ issue in​ ecommerce,​ historically plagued by credit card billings and websites that disappear just before the​ orders were to​ be shipped–and a​ constant mainstream media drumbeat of​ the​ dangers of​ online transactions. Building trust has long been a​ chief concern of​ businesses selling over the​ web.

The trust issue is​ only compounded for the​ online gambling industry when it​ comes to​ serving US customers. Would you​ trust a​ website with your money if​ it​ were located overseas,​ and you​ had little legal recourse whatsoever to​ get your money back if​ you​ were dissatisfied–and if​ the​ "product" itself were essentially intangible,​ anyway? to​ top it​ off,​ what if​ the​ purchase itself was illegal?

This is​ precisely the​ challenge that online casinos meet every day,​ with the​ estimated 60 percent of​ their industry's customers who come from the​ USA. Casino websites owned and operated entirely outside the​ borders of​ the​ US are free to​ accept US customers. But gambling online with real money is​ illegal in​ the​ US under federal law,​ specifically the​ Federal Wire Wager Act,​ not to​ mention a​ host of​ state laws.

How Do Online Gambling Websites Gain Visitors' Trust?

* Trust symbols: gambling websites' businesses,​ being located outside the​ US,​ are not eligible for most US-based business certification programs such as​ the​ Better Business Bureau or​ Square Trade. So,​ they created their own trust seal: ECOGRA,​ E-Commerce and Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. Online gambling sites are also wont to​ make a​ prominent display of​ their secure connection certificates,​ from organizations such as​ Thawte.

* Assurances: users' concerns about reliability are not just answered implicitly with fancy seals or​ confident language. One of​ the​ most successful online gambling websites contains this prominent declaration on​ its homepage: "We are licensed and regulated by the​ Government of​ Gibraltar,​ and our games are tested by iTech Labs,​ an​ independent tester of​ gaming and wagering devices to​ ensure that the​ games are fair and operate correctly."

* Transparency: while it​ is​ often hard to​ tell just who is​ behind most ecommerce sites,​ successful online gambling sites are models of​ transparency: the​ location of​ the​ company owning the​ casino is​ always prominently displayed,​ and assurances of​ honesty are backed up with independent audits of​ the​ technology used.

* High-quality design: successful gambling websites always look great,​ no matter how small the​ business behind them. Plain old HTML may be enough to​ convince people to​ post their room rentals on​ Craigslist,​ but it​ doesn't seem enough to​ make web users fork over their credit card digits to​ an​ online casino.

* Low barrier to​ entry: gambling websites generally either have a​ free option or​ require only a​ small upfront payment.

* Highly optimized designs. It's usually only a​ single click,​ if​ even that,​ from the​ homepage to​ the​ virtual betting tables. When you​ can get straight to​ doing what you​ want to​ do,​ there is​ not a​ lot of​ time to​ start nursing doubts.

In short,​ if​ you​ take your online business's trustworthiness for granted,​ you​ may be missing out on​ potential customers who need additional assurances. Take a​ lesson from websites that can't trust their trustworthiness to​ be taken for granted: make sure visitors to​ your site feel comfortable opening up their wallets.

What Web Businesses Can Learn From Online Gambling

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