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PlayUp director and US CEO Dr Laila Mintas has highlighted the importance of customer retention activities for operators entering the US, where the focus of recent years has been firmly on acquisition.

PlayUp is a well-known online sports betting, horse racing and daily fantasy sports operator in Australia and New Zealand, and latterly has entered Colorado and soon New Jersey in the US.

“In the US everyone is focused on acquisition, and not many are focused on retention. So, part of our strategy is to retain the customer. Instead of going out and keep giving bonuses away to acquire new customers, it’s much better to reward customers that you have already, and I think that’s something we will see improving in the US over time”, Mintas said, as part of a panel discussion titled Customer Acquisition and Retention in the US at iGaming NEXT: Bright Future.

Likewise, her fellow panel member Adam Fiske, co-Founder and CEO of Australian affiliate iRival Media, said: “Sometimes we falsely think about affiliates as just about acquisition, where there’s probably a bigger role for them, or for us and for many companies, to play in retention and re-engagement”.

Panel moderator, and CEO of Chalkline, Daniel Kustelski agreed that the US market is probably at the point now where more focus should be given to driving the customer journey forward, and retention.

“We’re finding that operators have a large pool of people that have signed up. Maybe they haven’t deposited yet. So, there’s a target market but how do you get them over that line?”, Kustelski said.

Amid the frenzied land-grab that has been happening among larger operators in the US, Mintas went on to say her strategy was to be more pragmatic and look for entry points into the market that make sense for PlayUp specifically.

“It’s too early for us to basically spend nationwide so we focus on local markets. To give you one example, in New Jersey, where we will be going live very soon with sports betting and gaming, we have secured a partnership with the New Jersey Devils. So, we are sponsoring we have our in-ice logos there, and other great branding in the arena”, Mintas explained. “But then also we have baked into the deal, hand in hand working on acquiring customers, because that’s at the end of the day why we do deals like that.”

Looking to the US casino market, Mintas said PlayUp planned to roll out a single app, which players can use with a single wallet, which will work across the states in which the operator is live and will include all three of the operator’s verticals: sports betting, casino and fixed-odds horse racing.

“If you look into the sports betting numbers, you have a few major players that basically own a majority of the market. It looks different at casino. So, I think there’s more movement to disrupt the current environment”, she said.

While she admits that PlayUp is a newcomer to the US space, Mintas said she expects the firm’s expertise in US sports odds, having offered them to bettors in the Australian market, to give it an edge.

You can watch the session with Dr Laila Mintas (CEO USA and Director, PlayUp), Adam Fiske (Co-Founder & CEO, iRival Media) and Daniel Kustelski (Co-Founder and CEO, Chalkline) on igamingnext.tv.