Learning From Mistakes: The First-Mover Advantage

Pennsylvania is heading towards being one of the largest states having provisions for legalized online casino gaming. With a few months to go, reports depict a few points from the Garden State that can prove to be useful for the Keystone State.

The key points are as follows:

• Not taking for granted the advantage of the first-mover.
• Not letting fearmongers affect the policies of the casinos.
• Making it a priority to educate the customers.
• Legality is a sensitive issue and should be given top priority.
• Encouraging innovation along with healthy competition.

The initial stage in the series deals with the segregation of the positive and the negative aspects involving the first-mover advantage. Positives of being a first mover are hyped and prove to be unprofitable sometimes as observed mostly in New Jersey.

New Jersey introduced the strategy of a launch where everyone would be in sync and none having any leverage over another. Online gambling websites were banned before launch which was scheduled to be on Nov 21, 2013.
This led to the residents of New Jersey coming up with a feasible product by launch date. The consequence being, residents creating a moderate product eligible to pass regulatory tests and not opting for the organization’s best product.

This resulted in gambling sites developing various inadequacies:

• The concept of waiting rooms was absent in poker rooms.
• No mobile application on the date of launch.
• The selection of games was limited at online casinos.

More time should have been dedicated to the product prior to launch. They compromised on the quality of the product in order to release the product during launch along with other rivals. Their strategy involved using old age software which was way behind the present European products. For instance, the rush by Golden Nugget was not required and unprofitable. The first wave of online Golden Nugget’s was meant to be a part of the first wave of online casinos which did not happen.

The online platform faced numerous technical setbacks and crashed during the time of launch. It took them a month to fix the issues and make the platform functional for the users thus giving its rivals an edge over it.
The only positive outcome for Golden Nugget was not being tied up with the situations, not within their control.
The major issues other competitors faced while Golden Nugget was in the dugout was customers complaints regarding limited options for depositing. When Golden Nugget finally launch, most of the technical problems were dealt with.
So naturally, with a late start, Golden Nugget began their marketing when most of its competitors have exhausted a major chunk of their budget.

A late start was not necessarily affecting the business. Launching the product on the scheduled day gives the company an early advantage but then it does not outweigh the compromise made on the product developed in a rush. It is important in Pennsylvania to not set unrealistic deadlines forcing the operator to launch their products that barely pass the regulatory tests. On top of that operators in Pennsylvania should not comprehend a late start as a disadvantage, it gives you some buffer time to observe the market and act accordingly with a top-notch product launch later in the day.

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