Anyone who has been around online casinos is familiar with the deposit bonus – one of the primary strategies used by online operators to entice new players to sign up and deposit with their casino. A tried and tested strategy, it has proven an effective marketing tool, and today, the vast majority of online operators invcludign us at PartyCasino have some sort of bonus structure in place.
The deposit bonus usually pegs the amount of bonus on offer to the size of a player’s deposit, and the result is often a 100% or more match of the credit deposited. But now, a land-based casino has attempted to recreate this successful strategy, adapting the successful bonus format from online casinos to their own establishment.
The news emerges from Casino de Illescas in Toledo, Spain, which has recently been acquired by gaming group Grupo Ballesteros. Following the acquisition of all remaining shares by the group last week, the decision was made to pilot a deposit bonus scheme for new customers, similar to those offers that have proved so popular with casinos online.
Grupo Ballesteros was already the majority shareholder in the casino, but the decision last week saw the group buying out the minority holdings of its partners, Juan José Sánchez Colilla and Zhou Ye Haiguan.
To mark the occasion, the casino has announced the deposit-based promotion will be rolled out for all depositing guests, although the terms don’t seem quite as generous as those available online.
Those depositing at the casino will be eligible to receive a bonus of 20% of the value of their deposit, up to a maximum of €250. Players are eligible to claim the bonus whether they are playing slots or table games.
The move appears to be promotional and time limited, but depending on how successful the idea proves with customers and casino management, there is no reason promotions like this couldn’t become more common in future.
Perhaps the main reason this type of bonus hasn’t been in place in land-based casinos before is the sheer practicalities of managing this type of offer in the physical domain. Online, bonuses are handled by software, and the casino has full control over the money deposited by each player.
This has led to the development of a number of key terms for these bonus offers, such as wagering requirements, maximum winnings and other restrictions – primarily designed to prevent abuse, and protect the casino from going out of business through these promotions.
However, in the case of Casino de Illescas, it is impossible to enforce these or any similar restrictions, because they’re dealing in physical chips and physical players.
Still, news of the promotion has sparked interest throughout the casino industry, with many analysts interested in how the promotion will play out for the casino. While it is unlikely to be kept on long-term, it nevertheless could be an important watershed for offline casinos in devising new promotional strategies in the online age.
Grupo Ballesteros has a range of gambling interests in Spain and beyond, including nearly thirty-six bingo halls and the country’s leading online bingo provider, eBingo.es, a firm run in partnership by the country’s three leading offline bingo providers. Winnings from online play can be collected from any bingo hall from the top three providers, and there are already a number of other synergies between the online and offline service on offer.
Similar promotional strategies, then, might be worth considering for the bingo side of the business, too. No doubt company management, along with anyone who takes an interest in the gambling market, will be keeping a close eye on how this develops.