How to create future-proof iGaming bonuses

Your business needs ways to obtain revenue today, but your brand needs to be built for tomorrow. And when it comes to rewards, this means you should craft programs that serve your present needs without compromising future goals.

The key is to integrate each short-term campaign into long-term strategies that balance your business goals with your player’s expectations. After all, casino and sports bonuses are essential to how your brand is perceived on the market, so you should build them for the future. You can start with this article, where we’ve gathered a checklist of best practices for iGaming rewards that stand the test of time.

Leverage player data and test multiple ways to reward

Any marketing book will tell you this foremost rule: know your customers. For iGaming, we can tweak it a bit to say: know your players! After all, you can create intricate and spectacular campaigns, but if they don’t appeal to (or are understood by) your player base and target markets, they will fail.

You will need to address multiple player profiles, so the next thing to do is segment them into categories. Target each player segment with a specific mix of rewards. Segmentation is a science on its own. It can be broad and simple or go deep and consider any number of player attributes and behaviours. But regardless of your CRMs level of sophistication, the goal is always the same – to maximise the players’ lifetime value.

Get the data to work to your benefit, and remember there’s no single correct answer. Reward to attract and retain, and make sure you systematically provide rewards at the right time.

Cross-sell casino and sports betting via bonuses

For casino and sportsbook operators, cross-product promotions are excellent for business growth and customer satisfaction. They come with a series of neat advantages, including:

  • increased Customer Lifetime Value,
  • optimised profitability for your bonus campaigns,
  • seamless experiences for customers across your verticals.

Cross-vertical rewards campaigns can go a long way when you are already managing an established casino website and you want to launch a sportsbook. Or the other way round. In either case, the point is to leverage your existing business vertical when venturing into a different one.

Use bonuses to balance player acquisition and retention

It’s great to match your rewards with the right players and build loyalty, but you first need to attract those players to your iGaming website. Here’s where the welcome package comes in. If correctly configured and marketed, it will give your website the zing that brings in new customers.

Put in place an efficient strategy for your bonus campaign and get the players’ attention on review websites and forums. This is where you also need to have a strong game in affiliate marketing and make sure you select iGaming affiliates that can bring you relevant traffic at the right costs. The idea is to make sure your player acquisition costs are sustainable. After all, it might not serve you that much to be all the rage on the iGaming communities, but go bankrupt.

After you crossed player acquisition off your to-do list, tackle player retention. We have already mentioned a tried and tested way to keep your hard-earned customers: mix bonuses with gamification.

Go for a solid first impression and gamify your players’ onboarding with meaningful interactions: offer them a challenge from day one, such as a tournament or an achievement to unlock. You can also put in place badges for actions such as complete registrations and subscribe to a newsletter, or grant the first coins, stars or whichever website loyalty currency is on offer for the first time they play a game, make a deposit and so on.

Take entertainment up a notch with bonus gamification

You might find it helpful to adopt a gamification structure to help you plan and manage the gamification of iGaming rewards. The immediate benefit of gamifying your bonuses is that they will appeal to the players’ intrinsic motivations – such as having fun with a good challenge or reaching an achievement.

Example of a mission-based rewards

Data also comes in handy when designing gamified experiences. On the one hand, you can analyse which gamification elements are best to encourage desired player behaviours or build loyalty. On the other hand, you might discover the slots that work better when integrated into tournaments or missions.

Either way, gamification is sure to enhance your casino or sports betting rewards. Especially when designed according to a proven framework and with the right tools. What’s more, designing and evaluating gamified player experiences can be very engaging for operators themselves.

Identify bonus abuse and keep it in check

For businesses in any industry, optimising costs is a strategic goal. And reward-based marketing campaigns make sense only if they offer a good return on investment.
It’s particularly delicate when operators find themselves squeezed between those two types of costs by a certain player category: bonus abusers and especially professional bonus abusers.

Imagine that you tailor the perfect bonus campaign in terms of attractiveness and brand awareness. The very same campaign that shines brightly and brings in new players will also attract abusers. But you can act before letting your bonuses go down that sinkhole.

Stay proactive and immediately scan for the classic signs of a bonus abuser:

  • bet patterns such as betting the maximum allowed by bonus terms,
  • flocking around certain games and displaying particular patterns of bonus bets followed by real bets,
  • immediate withdrawals after the playthrough conditions are completed.

Next in line are your terms and conditions. Make them clear and transparent, and you will benefit twice: they will make genuine players trust your brand and become loyal while fending off bonus abusers. A real player enjoys the game for itself, and they typically won’t mind wagering targets that lead to a bonus. The abuser is not interested in going through many hoops to get their bonus, but the real player is entertained by those.

Embrace responsible bonusing

Building an iGaming business for the future means embracing a regulated industry that both protects and entertains players. Make sure you enable engaging and safe user experiences by promoting informed choices with accessible, clear terms and conditions, as well as user-friendly bonus tools and functionalities.

Avoid anything misleading, as news of a brand’s damaged reputation spreads like wildfire in the online community. Plus, it takes time and it’s difficult to shake off bad reviews.

Besides these challenges, online gaming brands must also select and integrate best practices when looking to strike a positive balance between bonusing and protecting players. This includes ensuring users are in control, with easy-to-use processes and transparent information.

For this, you will need dedicated bonus software that is flexible enough to allow you to rapidly integrate different regulations and creatively adapt the bonus experience to their particularities.

Follow these “golden rules” for bonuses, or create your own

The main thing is to have a set of principles and follow them consistently. They should be guiding you when you make any other changes and lead a path to your goals. Get inspired but everything we mentioned so far and what we’ve gathered here:

  1. Go beyond simply giving free spins: there’s no limit to how you can reward free spins. By logging in, by launching a game, by opting in by placing a number of wagers or wager a certain amount, and much more, putting a fresh face on a classic.
  2. Control campaigns to ensure smooth onboardings: keep an eye on bonus management since it’s vital to spot and solve issues from the start. Advanced configurable bonus tools allow operators to fully control a reward campaign’s numerous parameters.
  3. Create engagement based on personalised journeys: here’s when the customer segmentation we mentioned comes in handy.
  4. Monitor costs and potential problematic behaviour: you need to be on top of what might hurt your business while striving to get the most out of your investment.

This is by no means an exhaustive or set-in-stone list. You can expand these iGaming “golden rules” and adapt them to your casino or sportsbook – as no business is created equal. But remember that you should have a foundation onto which you build everything else.

Simplify your bonus management

Everything mentioned so far can make you feel like bonus campaigns are becoming increasingly complicated to create and deploy. Yet, it is simply a matter of adjusting your tools for the task at hand.

Think of your bonuses as products that you need to supply to players. It follows that you need a system to help you deliver them on time and to the right person. We built the BonusEngine bonus system with this idea in mind.

BonusEngine acts like a central control unit that uses automation and data management to help you plot the course for your bonuses. And it comes with a clear list of benefits for iGaming operators:

  • The system can be adapted to future needs due to its flexible, modular architecture;
  • Each operator can customise it for their business requirements;
  • The centralised control reduces the operational load and gives a full overview of all bonus activities;
  • Cross-vertical bonuses can be configured in detail, easily deployed and thoroughly analysed;
  • A shared configuration base across different bonus types makes the system easy to learn.

To summarise


All the items we’ve added to our list of best practices for iGaming rewards have one central goal: creating a process that stands the test of time. Everything we outlined, from player segmentation to gamification and responsible bonusing managed with an efficient system, comes together to set you up for long-term success.

The rest is up to you. Figure out the elements that best apply to your business, create a process for your bonuses and start delivering top-notch entertainment to your most valued players.

Read all the articles in our series on iGaming bonuses here.

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