In the aftermath of a decision to significantly curtail marketing via mass media, speculation pointed to Caesars shifting its advertising emphasis onto its rewards program. The announcement of the upcoming Caesars Racebook app points toward that being the case.
Caesars has partnered with the New York Racing Association to integrate the NYRA Bets platform into its branded horse racing betting channel. If cross-sales attempts work, that investment could bring the company closer to profitability in its online gaming segment.
Caesars Racebook coming courtesy of NYRA Bets
According to a press release, Caesars Racebook should be available for download “this spring.” It will offer the same pari-mutuel wagering services on horse races that bettors can currently get through NYRA Bets.
That includes content from over 250 tracks around the world. The content is a combination of handicapping insights, race replays, and of course, wagering markets. Right now, NYRA Bets is taking action from bettors in 30 US states.
Caesars Racebook will be available in all the same places upon launch. For the NYRA, this is another joint project with a well-known national gambling company. Last June, NYRA partnered with BetMGM for a collaboration.
The big difference between the Caesars Racebook and NYRA Bets apps will be Caesars’ branding and rewards program. The latter of those two is the real value in this situation, though.
Caesars Rewards paired with online horse racing betting
The press release also states that similar to the Caesars Sportsbook app, every wager bettors place on the Caesars Racebook app will earn them credits with Caesars Rewards. According to the Caesars Rewards website, each $3 a bettor wagers earns a reward credit.
Bettors will be able to redeem those for free wagers in the app if they like. However, there are many other ways to redeem those credits. Many of those options focus on incentivizing app users to visit Caesars’ retail properties. For example, rewards credits can comp dining, hotel stays, spa visits, and tickets to live entertainment. Free play at the poker tables, slot machines, and table games while you’re there is another possibility.
Therein lies how Caesars seems to want to differentiate itself from its online competition going forward. It’s all about being able to convert online activity into physical experiences amid a dramatic shift in the company’s marketing strategy.
Can rewards prioritization replace advertising reach?
Until very recently, Caesars was a high-roller in terms of its advertising spend on its online sports betting product. A massive investment in acquiring William Hill US, lucrative welcome bonuses for users, and celebrity endorsements all composed that bottom-line busting push.
That’s coming to a halt, though. Late last month, Caesar’s CEO Tom Reeg said that after March Madness, there would be a dramatic cutback. Reeg said that the company had accomplished its goals, and people would see the commercials “largely disappear” from their screens.
In a market where other online gambling companies are going to continue to spend heavily on advertising, staying competitive could focus on pushing existing users to take advantage of the perks they can enjoy at diminished prices at Caesars’ properties. Many of the 30 states that the racebook app will be active in also have Caesars-branded casinos within their borders.
While Caesars might lose share of the online sports betting market due to its relegation of advertising, its likely hope is that it will make up for that in conversions to spend in its physical casinos.
Casino games and other amenities tend to have a higher return for gambling companies than sports betting. Thus, a casino patron could be worth more than a person who simply bets on sports online for Caesars.
The plan to emphasize integrated rewards and physical casinos definitely set Caesars apart from competitors like DraftKings and FanDuel. In theory, it could work. Caesars Racebook is another outlet to try to sell people on that plan.