date 1 December 2023 update Upd: 23 April 2024 reading time 9 min views 341 views

Localisation in iGaming is vital for cultural relevance, regulatory compliance, enhanced user experience, optimised payment methods, and effective marketing tailored to specific regions, fostering user satisfaction and success.

According to Onesky data, an app that fails to localise for a local audience can lose up to 13% of users. What elements should be prioritised for localisation in iGaming?

What Materials Should Be Localised When Entering New Markets in iGaming 

Localisation in iGaming entails customising products, content, payment systems, acquisition methods, legal requirements, and user experience for specific geographic regions.

Let’s consider a hypothetical iGaming platform that wants to expand its services to a new market, say, Japan. 

Typical localisation in iGaming would include:

  • Translation: Translate all content into Japanese, hiring gaming-savvy translators for menus, buttons, game info, and instructions.
  • Cultural Nuances: Adjust design and colours to align with Japanese preferences, emphasizing a clean and minimalist style.  Customise and consider emojis, recalling Apple’s successful penetration into the mobile market in Japan.
  • Payment Methods: Integrate popular Japanese payment methods like Suica, Rakuten Pay, and Line Pay for a seamless transaction experience.
  • Game Content: Ensure games align with Japanese preferences, adapting themes and features accordingly. 

Let’s break down each aspect in detail.

1. Website and App (Language)

Translate your website and app for your iGaming company to the local language of the target market. This includes not only professional translations of the text but also considering cultural nuances and preferences. There are many pitfalls in translation. Spanish in Mexico differs significantly from Spanish in Spain, and Portuguese in Brazil is not the same as in Portugal. A native speaker from a specific culture can immediately tell when a translation is made for another culture. Even large companies make mistakes here; in movies with million-dollar budgets, there are errors when they use Mexican Spanish in scenes set in Argentina, for example.

2. Localisation of Games Content 

Tailor your games to suit the preferences of the local audience. This involves not only language translation but also incorporating themes, symbols, card backs, emojis, and gameplay styles that resonate with the specific culture.

For example, Honor of Kings, a massively popular mobile game in China, has localised content that aligns with Chinese history, mythology, and cultural references. The game features characters and storylines that are familiar and appealing to a Chinese audience, contributing to its immense success in the country.

Another example is that in Western markets, slot games often adapt their themes to cater to cultural preferences. For example, holiday-themed slots during Christmas or Halloween, sports-themed slots during major tournaments, and even incorporating popular cultural references help make these games more relatable and engaging for players.

3. Payment Systems 

Connect local payment systems to accommodate popular local methods and currencies. This ensures seamless transactions and builds trust among players. 

Payment system localisation challenges in the gambling industry are often handled privately by companies, with details kept confidential due to legal and privacy concerns. Operators may face consequences, such as financial losses, regulatory penalties, customer complaints, and a loss of trust. 

4. Acquisition Methods

Consider the most effective ways to acquire players in the new market. This may involve adapting marketing strategies to align with local trends and channels. 

Success Case: Betway has effectively localised its brand through sports sponsorships in various regions. For example, becoming an official global betting partner of English Premier League side, Arsenal and having sponsorship deals with Union La Calera, Coquimbo Unido, Everton, Audax Italiano, and Deportivo Ñublense in Chile.

Failure Case: Paddy Power faced criticism for an ill-advised marketing campaign in one of the markets that included insensitive content. The campaign, attempting humor, offended local sensibilities and led to a negative backlash, highlighting the importance of cultural sensitivity.

5. Segmentation and Targeting Specific Groups 

Segmentation and targeting specific groups may be crucial aspects of the localisation process for iGaming software. 

For example, Lucky Club Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas underwent a transformation to target the Hispanic and Latino male market, rebranding as Ojos Locos Sports Cantina y Casino at Hotel Jefe. Recognising the underserved nature of the 47-million-plus Hispanic/Latino community in the U.S., entrepreneurs Seth Schorr and Seth Young aimed to cater authentically to this demographic with a sports and entertainment website and a gambling and sports betting operation.

Research supports their strategy, showing young Hispanic males as significant drivers of legal sports betting in the U.S. The property features Hispanic-forward elements, including Latino games like Loteria, Mexican cuisine, and Spanish-speaking staff. With a focus on authenticity and personalisation, JefeBet seeks to tap into a market that has historically been overlooked, addressing the preferences and interests of Hispanic and Latino gamblers.

6. Product Localisation in iGaming

For certain markets, the product itself needs to be modified. Here’s an example focusing on Africa:

  • Bandwidth-friendly gaming is important. Optimise the gaming platform for lower bandwidth conditions, allowing users with slower internet connections to still enjoy a smooth gaming experience;
  • Mobile data is costly in Africa, imposing constraints on product features and user experience, necessitating websites that load quickly;
  • Transaction speed and swift pay-outs are of utmost importance;
  • Communication must be facilitated through the platforms commonly used in each specific country (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram in some countries, and others);
  • Feature games that resonate with the cultural preferences of African players. This might include games that reflect local traditions, folklore or popular sports, etc.

7. Legal Requirements

Ensure that your iGaming platform adheres to the legal requirements of the new market. This includes licensing, age restrictions, and other regulations specific to the region. Read more about it in the recent article by Dmitry Smirnov, EvenBet Gaming Lawyer. 

EvenBet Gaming Experience & Insights on Localisation

We’ll provide you additional examples showcasing EvenBet’s localisation experience across diverse regions. 

For example, EvenBet Gaming is expanding its presence in Latin America, incorporating language-specific content such as Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese, as well as various dialects of Spanish. Besides that, we have already localised our products into 25+ languages. At the moment we can localise the product into any language at request.  

The Latin American market, in particular, is known for its diversity. For instance, in Mexico, around 86% of all transactions are in cash. In this region, online gambling business must incorporate a retail aspect, as a fully online approach may not be viable. 

In the Philippines, GCash boasts an impressive 81 million active users, constituting over 70% of the entire population, a factor that operators need to consider carefully when entering the market. 

More than that, we connect features from a large database, incorporating those that align with the specific interests of individual operators in their targeted markets.

At EvenBet, our approach involves a meticulous assessment of gaming content. For instance, we’ve crafted Turkish poker exclusively for the Turkish market. Furthermore, our portfolio includes games like Teen Patti, Rummy, and Big2, finely tailored for the Asian market, with a special focus on India and Telesina as a poker variation for the Italian market. Numerous such examples guide our localisation strategy.

Conclusion

In conclusion, a thorough approach to localisation is important for iGaming businesses looking to thrive in new markets. By addressing linguistic, cultural, and regulatory nuances, companies can establish a robust presence and resonate with diverse audiences. 

At EvenBet, we stand ready to contribute to this success, leveraging our 19+ years of experience and expertise to empower potential operators.

 

Victoria Sopko

Article by Victoria

Victoria Sopko

Head of PR at EvenBet Gaming