Like any modern industry, casino gaming is dominated by a handful of large brands and companies. Corporate consolidation is nothing new – the big fish eat the smaller fish and so on. However, the rise of online casinos and internet gambling has opened the door to small, plucky operations to try and carve out their own place in the market.
Small and niche online casinos are all about narrow appeal to customers who know what they’re looking for. They’re hotspots for innovation and can offer surprising benefits to loyal customers. Let’s examine why niche casinos are so important, what they can offer, and how to get the most out of alternatives to big brands.
Let’s start by understanding the challenges an up-and-coming casino operator faces.
There are reasons why big companies tend to dominate every field. In the world of online gaming, it comes down to the fact that they have bigger reach and larger offers.
For example, big casinos can easily score deals with the best software providers. They can populate their lobbies with all of the latest releases, and keep updating the offer with each new title. Smaller casinos often have issues keeping up with the rapidly-evolving online gambling scene.
The same principles apply to all aspects of the business. For instance, a big brand is more likely to have dozens of payment options.
Moreover, industry big-whigs can offer deals and bonuses that smaller competitors can’t hope to match. Simply put, large businesses can afford to work on smaller profit margins. Throw in bigger marketing budgets, and the picture is even harsher.
All of this should paint a picture of why smaller casinos tend to be considered “niche” operations. They can’t really compete directly and in the same fields. Instead, they have to find highly-specialized niches in the market and attract players with specific needs.
For example, games like bingo are not considered big breadwinners by major gaming companies. Even sites that offer bingo tend to treat it as a low-priority offer. However, for someone looking for bingo, a small casino that’s all about the game will outshine an industry leader.
As you may have guessed, registering for a smaller casino has both pros and cons. Rookie players will probably immediately focus on the negatives – the limited game libraries, the smaller bonuses, and so on.
However, we would like to point out some of the perks of niche casino sites.
So we’ve talked at length about the unique casino offers out there. But do we have any real examples?
You bet we do!
Before we begin, we’ll note that you should still probably check out our list of the best casinos. If nothing else, you’ll at least have a reference point for comparison. Besides, you shouldn’t “force” a choice just because it’s unique. Pick a casino that’s perfect for your needs regardless of its size – we’re just trying to point out some interesting offers that differ from the norm.
It’s arguable just how “small” this casino is. Regardless, it caused quite a stir when it first appeared because of its unique bonus structure.
Essentially, you don’t get flashy matched bonuses (that are then impossible to actually withdraw.) Instead, PlayOJO is entirely focused on gathering rewards as you play. Cashbacks, free spins, and other perks await loyal customers who forgo the usual deposit bonus.
The best part? No wagering requirements! And all of that is available in a huge game collection and an incredible offer of live tables.
When we were listing small casino advantages, me mentioned gamification and interesting promotions. Well, here’s a great example.
Cloudbet is an extremely versatile betting platform that covers everything from sports to online bingo. However, where things get interesting is the so-called Cloudbet Marketplace.
This feature allows you to gather points and turn them in for rewards. Sounds pretty standard, right? Well, things get really interesting once players are allowed to trade and sell their loyalty points. Especially because some of the higher-tier point rewards include Rolex watches and Lamborghinis.
This niche little site is quite proud of what it’s all about. No bonuses, you might be asking? How is that a good thing?
Well, first of all, this operator is quite transparent. If you’re sick of being reeled in by huge promises and then having your winnings stuck in the casino due to under-handed wagering requirements, this is the site for you.
Instead of classic deposit bonuses and free spins, you instead get a standing 10% cashback. All players at all times get 10% of their losses back. Neat, huh?
All in all, it’s a no-nonsense approach to online gambling that we think the industry is sorely missing.
Saying which casinos are the best is always going to be a controversial statement. The big fish are big for a reason, and we can’t deny that. In fact, most players will probably be perfectly content with picking the most obvious choice.
Niche casinos are called “niche” for a reason. However, if you’re willing to experiment, you might find that you are, in fact, a “niche” player.
All we’re trying to say is that it pays to consider some alternatives. Think outside the box, and you may just find something much better for your needs.
The team behind CasinoBloke consists of casino experts united in their desire to spread knowledge to a wider audience. The aim is, and always has been, to help even the most inexperienced players gain their footing in this exciting industry. The enthusiastic members dedicate time and energy to the creation of potent and insightful content. With years of experience in various fields of this industry, our expert authors know precisely what to look for while searching for casino quality.