Quincy Raven, Aspire Global’s Managing Director of the US, explains why tribal operators need not fear the expanding online presence of the country’s biggest brands.

Against a backdrop of massive and potentially unsustainable spending by major operators, there is little doubt that player engagement will be a major topic of discussion for delegates at this year’s SBC Summit North America when it gets underway.

Even the biggest marketing budgets in the business have come under strain in those states that have so far opened up for sports betting and online casino. Huge sign-up offers have been put in front of players through traditional marketing channels, with four-figure deposit incentives following up free welcome money, in the battle for early market share among top-tier operators.

The question is, how can smaller operators entering the digital world in the US hope to compete with the costly scattergun approach employed by the tier-ones? I believe the answer is to take a different approach – one that is rooted in the fundamentals that have served the land-based sector so well in a country where in-person customer engagement is viewed as being of paramount importance.


Ultimately, while tier-one operators will secure the majority of the overall igaming market in the US, there is plenty of scope for tribal operators that choose to take their businesses online to thrive in tandem.

Effective marketing is already the lifeblood of tribal operators, who utilise large customer databases to attract and reward repeat visits at venues across the country. While acquiring new customers is inevitably costly, these operators are highly skilled at understanding the psychology of their player base once inside the building. 

While the biggest players in the online space will expand from state to state as online regulation rolls out, these tanks on the lawn need not be a cause for alarm. Tribal casinos do not exist as multi-jurisdictional enterprises and instead, they have the advantage of a deep knowledge of what players from their local radius enjoy. 

The US is a vast country and players in Oklahoma, for example, might not have the same game preferences as those in New Jersey; similarly, sports bettors in Las Vegas might typically enjoy different pre-game and in-play bets to their counterparts in Montana. 

Tribal operators understand their market. What is vital is that when taking their businesses online, they leverage these knowledge points to gain a competitive advantage. 

It is about brand-building and maintaining the interest of the player season after season and year after year, by giving them what they want, wherever they happen to be playing. 

Large, local player databases and effective CRM systems are every bit as vital online as they are for physically getting customers through the door. An operator VIP list might have taken years or decades to build up and the question that successful businesses will always ask is, are these valuable players still playing in an expected fashion – and if not, what incentives can be put in front of them? 

In the online world, answering that question at a platform level means delivering compelling offers and suggestions, which can be made to players in real-time.


Aspire Global’s data platform is home to a broad range of services that can help deliver customer satisfaction for tribal brands looking to establish themselves in the market. 

The platform’s top-level marketing capabilities can help operators to hone how they approach player engagement across key areas including bonus management, personalised messaging and user segmentation. Additionally, our system allows for operators to plug in their own existing CRM toolsets, while handing them control of a simple-to-use management interface.

As a company with a strong B2C heritage, we know that operators have a clear fundamental goal to provide the best entertainment for their customers and to keep them coming back. 

Real engagement means putting everything from sportsbook to live dealer products in front of them, enhancing brand loyalty through products and advanced engagement tools at the platform level. It isn’t about reinventing the wheel, but enabling tribal operators to gain lucrative market share online by sticking to their core principles.


SBC Summit North America 2022, the leading conference and tradeshow for the sports betting and igaming industries in the region, takes place at Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey on July 12-14.

Quincy Raven is one of the speakers for the ‘Tribal-led iGaming – is Michigan the blueprint for online casino?’ session at 3.20pm ET on July 13. Fellow panellists include David Murley (Deputy Director, Online Gaming & Legal Affairs Division, Michigan Gaming Control Board), Jim Wise (Vice President of Marketing & Sports/Online Gaming, Firekeepers Casino Hotel), Marcus Yoder (Chief Commercial Officer, Playtech) and Melinda Coffin (CEO, Soaring Eagle Casino). 

Tickets for the event, which include access to eight conference tracks, an exhibition showcasing the next generation of industry products, and entrance to a selection of evening networking parties, can be booked at the SBC Summit North America website