The top chat features online casinos and gambling apps should consider for an exceptional user experience.
•Published: Mar 11, 2022
From playing poker to going all-in on your favorite thoroughbred, online gambling sites enable people from around the world to place bets on traditional casino games, novel games, and sports teams alike. The online gambling industry is rapidly growing, and every year more players are logging in to strike it rich. Online gambling garnered $59B globally, and forecasts show the industry could reach $100B by 2026.
Powering this colossal sector are numerous gambling platforms that must support millions of concurrent users. In addition to delivering backend infrastructure and the secure transfer of money, the most successful gambling sites also replicate the fun atmosphere of an in-person casino or sports game to encourage greater user satisfaction through in-game chat.
In-app messaging is a crucial way gambling sites add a social component to the user experience. But not all chat is the same. Here are the top features gambling and digital casino platforms focus on when evaluating in-app chat solutions.
1. Mobile-Ready Interface
Studies show that over half of online gamblers use mobile devices to play slots, cards, and bet on sports — even when physically at home. A mobile-ready messaging functionality is crucial to boost your casino app’s engagement and keep users participating in the platform for longer.
2. Operate at Scale
1.8 billion people worldwide regularly gamble — 17% of which gamble exclusively online. As online gambling continues to gain traction, apps and platforms must pay close attention to their app’s ability to operate at scale without latency. When choosing to add a chat API to your tech stack, it’s paramount that you examine each provider’s concurrency so your site can reliably support more users as you scale.
When evaluating third-party chat providers, explore each company’s benchmark for concurrent connections in a single channel. This metric is particularly important for livestream events with real-time chat, as even a minute of downtime or slow functionality can derail a high-profile poker game or a sports game. Because Stream Chat has supported 5 million concurrent connections in a single channel, Stream is the preferred chat provider for some of the world’s largest enterprise livestream platforms.
Additionally, avoid chat outages and delays by examining the global infrastructure of your chat API provider’s cloud servers. If your gambling platform supports end-users who reside on different continents, it’s vital to mitigate connectivity issues to retain a high-level user experience. Stream’s edge API infrastructure does not rely on users’ proximity to a regional data center, reducing latency by up to five times, and eliminating timeout errors caused by poor WiFi or mobile connectivity.
3. Group Chats
In addition to 1:1 chats between players, consider finding a chat API/SDK to support group chats and channels. Particularly in an online casino platform, group chats can mimic a “casino lounge” experience. Players can talk about their most recent games, get to know other players, and even talk strategy about games such as poker, blackjack, and bingo.
Functionality that allows users to pass small rewards to other players, such as “buy a user a drink,” can further increase user engagement and enjoyment in your platform.
4. Moderation Features
Many people gamble online because they find enjoyment in a fun, social, and potentially lucrative activity. However, if bullying, profane language, or toxic comments proliferate in a chat, the trust and safety rating of your platform might fall, souring user experience. Robust moderation capabilities in a chat API/SDK are essential for online casinos and gambling sites to ensure every user has a positive experience.
Seek a chat solution that has built-in moderation to suit your specific audience. For example, Stream’s moderation comes out of the box. It includes features such as flagging and banning toxic users, muting users, and even shadow banning users, which obfuscates the fact that a ban has occurred, and is effective in high-volume livestreams.
Additionally, block lists effectively prevent certain words from appearing in the chat. Stream’s pre-built block list contains over 1,000 of the most common profane words and is easily customizable to mitigate online gambling issues like fraud and collusion (intentionally losing money to launder it) and identify users who may have unhealthy gambling problems. You can also create or upload your own block list with up to 10,000 words.
Look for a chat API solution with a customized casino or gambling moderation dashboard template to enable your team of human moderators to flag malicious comments or bad actors. (Contact Stream if you’re interested in learning more.)
5. Gamification Features
Studies show that gamification increases user engagement through “satisfaction of the needs for competence, autonomy, and relatedness.” Adding an element of gamification to your gambling app or website can keep users in your app for longer and encourage them to check back in frequently.
Whether it be through coins, rubies, or points, a successful chat solution should be able to incorporate a ranking system into an avatar’s profile. Consider rewarding points to users who regularly log on to play, interact in the chat, or are particularly great at playing poker.
6. Customizable UI
Online casinos and sports betting apps and sites are, in essence, games. And your user interface should convey a sense of joy. That means bright colors and strategic graphics to add visual interest to your in-app chat platform. However, building a UI from scratch can be time-consuming and expensive — especially if you want your engineering team to focus on building out the games and payment systems that make your platform great.
Choose an in-app chat that gives you access to beautifully designed UI kits that can match your brand’s custom colors, font, and feel. Stream’s expertly designed UI kits are available for all customers. They are available as Sketch, Figma, and Adobe XD, and include a Messaging UI Kit for four top use cases (gaming, livestream, social messenger, and teams). Stream also offers a Mobile Chat Kit with 50+ polished screens that coalesce into mapped-out flows for your team to quickly create a custom mobile chat app.
In-App Chat for a User-Friendly Gambling App Experience
Adding an in-app messaging solution to your online casino or gambling app is a core way to increase important metrics such as user engagement, satisfaction, retention, and revenue.
It’s important to seek chat API solutions that can meet the unique needs of your audience, such as using mobile-ready SDKs, creating a reliable, low-latency solution that can handle massive user increases, moderation, both direct message and group chats, and gamification. Also, look for a chat with flexible UI kits to enable your developers to code a seamless chat solution that delivers an exciting gambling experience for your customers.
Ready to explore how Stream Chat can boost your gambling app’s performance? Start your free Stream Chat trial to learn more.