In the highly competitive world of iGaming, the impact of customer service online casino operations is crucial. This study tells the story of a hands-on user experience test of several leading Brazilian online casinos.
The exponential growth of real-money online games in Brazil has brought forward the need for exceptional user experience (UX). While iGaming operators have acquired more credibility due to regulatory updates, gaming fans care mostly about a seamless and customer–centric experience.
In this user support case study, we tested the customer service performance of some of Brazil’s most popular online casinos. The list was identical with the one evaluated for withdrawal speeds and payment method efficiency – Bet365, Betano, KTO, Betfair, Betway, EstrelaBet, and Sportingbet.
We examined three key customer support aspects:
The focus of our study rates the way these online gaming operators handle different customer support requests – from simpler questions to more complex problems, even moral issues relevant to the industry.
In a market where user satisfaction is both a catalyst for success and a shield against fierce competition, appreciating the virtues of superior customer support (CS) is paramount.
Purpose of the Study
iGaming industry customer service departments play a pivotal role in ensuring player retention and positive user reviews. Our testing team collected reaction metrics and analyzed actual responses by the operator’s customer support.
The intent was to uncover patterns, identify pain points, and ultimately give recommendations for the optimization of player experiences.
In the past decade, Brazil has truly emerged as a key player in online gaming. A diverse gaming community presents language specifics and a blend of consumer expectations that require a nuanced approach to local customer support.
Our ultimate goal is to provide a roadmap for online casinos active in Brazil, guiding them towards customer-centric operations that foster loyalty, trust, and positive word-of-mouth within the gaming community.
Methodology: How We Assessed Casino Customer Service
Our approach to evaluating online casino complaints and player support involved a mix of quantitative and qualitative ratings.
Here is the employed methodology in brief:
- We contacted the casino and sports betting operators at different times of the day, over the course of 1 week;
- We asked several questions regarding: Payments, Bonuses, Regulation and Responsible Gaming (RG);
- Quantitatively, we assessed the speed of an answer (how long we had to wait to get a response);
- Qualitatively, we assessed the effectiveness of the answer (including the responding agent ethics, particularly on RG issues), as well as the UX during the exchange (live chat interface, user-friendliness of related features and operational flow)
- Finally, we rated the overall performances of each casino on each topic.
Such an approach enabled our team to establish clear KPIs that can assess key factors like quality, efficiency, timeliness and all-around performance over several distinct CS scenarios.
While queries about payments, bonus terms and regulation issues focused on frequent player concerns, we also performed a particular Responsible Gambling Test. Our colleagues told the CS agents that they were “feeling the urge to gamble” even though they “thought it was not a good idea”. The replies were rated for RG knowledge, ethics and adherence to best practices within the iGaming industry context.
We analyzed the information collected as a result of these interactions and synthesized actionable insights that can guide operator strategies for enhancing customer support systems. Improvements in these areas should raise the overall satisfaction and retention of players.
Support Channels Tested
Mixing our requests over live chat and email, we explored various angles to gauge the responsiveness and effectiveness of CS staff and online gambling support group options.
Support Availability: A Closer Look
Ensuring 24/7 availability is a hallmark of top-tier online casino customer support. We examined the operational hours of each casino to see if they can deliver such commitment levels. Or if they can at least live up to their officially declared CS windows.
|Customer Support Active Hours
|24/7 (only chat)
|10 AM to 12 AM, every day
|9 AM to 12 AM, every day
|9 AM to 9 PM, every day
|8 AM to 1 AM, every day
Several operators promise 24-hour support to players, 7 days a week. Nevertheless, some of the supposed 24/7 CS teams were not very responsive in the evening or on weekends, as discussed on a case-by-case basis below.
Responsiveness: Speed of Customer Support
In the digital age, speed is of the essence. We evaluated how quickly these online casinos responded to our queries, emphasizing the importance of timely online chat customer support.
We reached out several times at different times of the day, also testing CS responsiveness in the evenings and on weekends (particularly at 24/7 casinos).
The evaluation of their reaction was not only based on how fast they answered but was also compared to the stated initial response time (IRT) for the channel used. For “live” chats, we expected an (almost) instant response, while for email the anticipated waiting time was under 24 hours.
Based on these two variables, we rated CS responsiveness on a 3-point scale: Fast, Regular and Slow.
The table below summarizes our results:
If we consider live chat only, the chart below illustrates the comparative performance of the examined casinos:
As we can see in the data above, Betfair, Betway and Sportingbet had some of the fastest response times in live chat and, more importantly, were also fairly consistent (up to 3 minutes). KTO also maintained a consistent response time (around 8 minutes on average), at or about its peer average.
EstrelaBet, Betano and Bet365, on the other hand, presented one of the longest waiting times over chat. The bottom performer here was EstrelaBet, which had an average waiting time of 1 hour.
It is worth mentioning that this data refers to attempts where we got the support of an agent, regardless of the waiting time. However, on several occasions we waited and still didn’t get any support. That was the case of EstrelaBet and Betway.
At EstrelaBet, there were 7 attempts of request through the live chat with no answer from an agent: the longest of them with 2 hours of waiting time, until the chat automatically reset and we had to restart the process.
At Betway, we had 4 attempts where a technical error occurred and the chat wasn’t working. There were also 3 attempts where an agent did not respond. The longest waiting time was 30 minutes. And even though Betway claims to have 24/7 customer support, there was an attempt during the weekend when we requested online assistance through the live chat and received an “out of working hours” message.
As for email support, we can only rate the CS performance of Betano, KTO, and Sportingbet.
Bet365 and Betfair do not offer email support, while Betway and EstrelaBet did not respond by the end of the testing week.
In our long experience with the iGaming industry, the email option (even via an embedded contact form) is still much appreciated by a considerable number of players. It enables users to communicate their concerns in a discreet and much more detailed manner. Not having that channel – or not responding to requests at all – is a major flaw by our standards.
Effectiveness: Solving Player Concerns
Looking beyond speed, the true measure of online casino customer support is its effectiveness. We assessed how adept these casinos were at addressing and resolving player problems and doubts.
In this section, we provide a summary of the interactions we had with the operators. We assign an average score to their performance for each topic that players may have concerns about. We asked CS about payments, bonus usage and terms, regulation and licensing, responsible gaming, as well as various additional questions to help us evaluate their effectiveness and professionalism.
Based on the collected data and UX ratings, we can see that the casino customer support adequacy depends somewhat on the topic.
Note that these ratings do not consider response time but the suitability and impact of the suggested solution, as well as the attitude of the agent towards the problem posed. Therefore, interaction assessments were interpreted as qualitative data based on two fundamental principles of customer support – Effectiveness and Empathy.
The latter, in the case of real-money gaming, also translates into a series of ethical considerations about Responsible Gaming, including industry standards and potentially even legal requirements. These will be further analyzed in the Responsible Gambling section (see below).
Bet365 had a regular performance in Effectiveness. They were direct in the answers, yet they left room for improvement in terms of attitude – competent but not very inviting.
Betano had a very good performance in Effectiveness. They gave detailed answers most of the time and were instructive, which showed not only good coordination among their support team, but also care and patience with customers that reached out to them.
Betano also had a good performance in Effectiveness, showing knowledge of the most common queries and objectivity in their answers. Overall, the agents were very polite and guided us in what we were looking for, which shows their preparedness while facing different questions.
Betway had a regular performance in Effectiveness, especially because of the inferior technical performance of their live chat channel – which made access to the agents difficult. During the interaction, they were perceptive and fast, which made the conversation succinct and satisfying.
EstrelaBet also had a regular performance in Effectiveness. However, it is worth mentioning that it is very difficult to get support through their live chat channel, which made our experience very frustrating. Regarding the interaction, they often skip questions or don’t give the full attention needed in the topics, which didn’t give us the utmost experience.
KTO had a good performance in Effectiveness. They answered every question, and even when they didn’t have a solution, they were polite and patient enough to walk us through our concerns. They show interest in solving our issues, and make it politely clear when they don’t have a specific solution.
Sportingbet also had a good performance in Effectiveness: they were clear, straightforward and gave detailed answers for more complex topics. They are efficient and thoughtful, which gave us a delightful experience in their support channels.
Overall, we see that the operators which fall somewhat short of their peer averages (below 4.0) are the ones that:
- fail to respond (Betway, EstrelaBet);
- offer RG support that doesn’t meet industry standards (Bet365 above all); or
- offer limited CS channels.
KTO has the highest average rating (4.2), even though it peaks “only” in the support of payment issues. This is achieved by maintaining above-average effectiveness and adequate professional competence.
Responsible Gambling: A Test of Ethics
An online gambling support channel’s approach to responsible gaming is a testament to the company’s commitment to player well-being. We tested CS staff knowledge in this critical area, as well as their empathy towards player concerns.
When it comes to responsible gambling, most mature markets (e.g., the EU, US and Australia) rely on licensing systems and government-mandated regulations. For the majority of reputable iGaming operators, however, this is a matter of professional ethics which contributes to the industry’s transparency and trustworthiness.
That is why we consider it important that customer support staff knows how to handle RG-related queries. As a player’s first point of contact, empathy is essential, especially because these are not merely technical aspects at play but a sensitive topic which requires dedication and competent guidance.
Although all of the casinos analyzed in this study have a specific “Responsible Gaming/Gambling” FAQ section, we assessed their professional ethics in terms of personal and corporate standards of behavior. We performed the Responsible Gambling test twice with each of the operators, on different days and times.
The test consisted of asking a version of the following question: “I am feeling an urge to gamble, even though I don’t think it’s a good idea”.
Below, we describe the reaction of each casino consumer support team and our rating of their attitude when posed with the issue.
In both tests, Bet365 did not fulfill our standards to be approved.
The first time around, when faced with the “urge to gamble” question, the agent insisted on getting the account data even though we said we preferred to stay anonymous. They did not offer any kind of support to address a sensitive situation, acting almost as “bot” assistance.
In the second test, the pattern was the same: they asked for account data, and once we said we preferred to stay anonymous, they said they would transfer us to the “responsible” sector; the agent that took over asked the same questions all over again.
They were definitely not prepared to deal with such a delicate scenario and the experience was not positive.
In both tests, Betano made a very good impression with an effective resolution and an empathetic approach.
Once we reached out for the first test, the agent expressed genuine concern and asked questions about our situation – probably to understand if there was an addiction risk. They used words of encouragement such as “we want to help you” and “this attitude is very good for us to be able to maintain control in the game”. They also presented options, such as taking a break from playing or setting up deposit and account limits. Ultimately, they advised us to stop playing for a while.
The second test was also a positive one: the agent listened to us, gave us information about responsible gambling and talked about potential addiction in a very delicate way. They also sent us links to support programs, such as “gamblers anonymous” and a “center for the valorization of life”.
Their approach, therefore, was very thoughtful and patient, showing they knew about responsible gambling and were prepared for situations like these.
On Betfair, we had two contrasting experiences.
The first was negative, with the agent asking multiple times about my account details after I stressed the “unwilling urge to gamble” context. Although I insisted on staying anonymous, they kept asking for my email address, claiming they would send me over some “contacts” that could help me, but in a vague and not so empathetic way.
Although the second trial started along the same lines (asking for account details), the conversation proceeded with additional questions on these urges and feelings. In the end, the agent advised us to take a break from online gambling. They were patient and empathetic, and ultimately very effective in answering.
Experience: Diverging, depending on agent
Effective: Not the first; the second one Yes
Ethical: Not the first; the second one Yes
The RG test at Betway also showed some inconsistencies.
The first test was largely positive – the agent was caring and patient. They asked if we had an account but carried on with the conversation even without account details. They asked if gaming was negatively affecting us, especially financially. Then, the agent suggested activating RG tools such as deposit limits or even putting the account on hold for a while. Finally, they sent us links to anonymous gamer support groups and responsible gaming foundations, showing not only preparedness but also the empathy necessary for tackling such a personal situation.
The second experience, however, was vastly inferior: the agent asked several times for our account data, even after we reiterated that we weren’t comfortable offering it. Then, they said they were only able to proceed with the conversation if we provided such information, so we didn’t get any actual RG support. This shows a lack of empathy and knowledge on responsible gambling best practices. Given the differences noted, Betway should definitely align their standard approach on this matter.
Effective: Yes, the first; Not the second one
Ethical: Yes, the first; Not the second one
We had contrasting experiences on EstrelaBet as well.
During the first trial, the agent was patient and guided us through the setup of our casino account transaction limits. They also offered guidance on responsible gambling as a topic in general, on how to play just for fun and not let gambling affect our personal life.
The second one, however, was not interested at all in entertaining our problem. They simply cut short – “if you are not feeling well, come back later” – twice. Not only were they not empathetic or patient at all, they showed little awareness and poor knowledge of how responsible gaming aspects directly impact their own performance.
Effective: Yes (first) and No (second)
Ethical: Yes (first) and No (second)
On KTO, we had consistent experiences, backed by genuine concern for our situation.
The first agent was admittedly not very thorough, at least in terms of pragmatic RG resources. Still, they tried being effective by offering ample signs of empathy. They asked about account data initially, which we did not provide. The conversation went on with CS stressing that the games are intended as entertainment and not something which should cause harm. If a personal issue related to problem gaming were to arise, we were advised to reconsider our behavior. With that in mind, we expected further support links or resources, which were not provided by the end of our chat.
In the second test-run, they also started by asking for account details. The agent emphasized that their services could only be offered if they had the data. However, they were helpful, polite and sympathetic enough to point out that they could not continue providing us with gaming services due to company standards and requirements.
Effective: Not fully
We had opposing experiences on Sportingbet – a positive and a negative one.
On the positive side, the first agent asked right away if we had registered with them when we revealed the “uncontrollable urge” to play online. They were empathetic enough after that, pointing out that our financial and personal well-being are important, and that they recommend waiting and thinking if it was adequate to gamble at the time. They also said that they are available to help if we were to have similar challenges with responsible gaming again, in the future, after stressing that we should feel ready to play for fun and with moderation.
They seemed thoughtful but if we were to put ourselves in the shoes of a problem gamer, we did not feel they were convincing enough. Still, they seemed to have good general knowledge of responsible gambling principles and practices.
The second experience, however, was very unsatisfactory. The agent was very bot-like, asked personal questions and details (i.e., ID) several times, even after we insisted on staying anonymous. They offered us no support and even confused us for a chatbot! At least that confirmed we had a human CS staff member across. Yet they showed very little knowledge of RG, leaving us with a negative experience.
Effective: Yes (first); No (second)
Ethical: Yes (first); No (second)
Overall Performance: The Winners and Losers
After rigorous testing, we identified the top performers in online casino customer support. We also picked the one that has the most room for improvement.
After analyzing the KPIs of iGaming customer support – Speed, Effectiveness, and Ethics – we selected the ones below as top 3:
- Betano – Demonstrated consistently high performance in speed, effectiveness, and ethics, particularly excelling in the Responsible Gambling test.
- KTO – Showed consistent performance across the board (tops the average Effectiveness rating chart). High standards in terms of professional ethics, even with minor shortcomings in providing actionable RG support.
- Betfair – Secured a top three standing by showcasing speed and effectiveness, despite missing e-mail support. Inconsistent RG performance holds it back from achieving a higher position.
The above ranking reflects our weighted scoring, as well as overall experience with the platforms. Notably, we put an emphasis on RG in a market where a large share of players needs to acquire more awareness about safe gaming conduct, iGaming regulations and standards for operator quality.
Bet365 – Positioned at the bottom of the casino list, with the lowest scores across various metrics. The contacted staff struggled in both customer support responsiveness and knowledge about Responsible Gambling. They failed to provide satisfactory assistance in several sensitive situations.
Drawing from our extensive iGaming market research experience, we can offer actionable insights and recommendations for a wide range of industry stakeholders active in Brazil. Emphasizing the importance of player trust and customer-focused operations, we see the following key findings stand out:
- Consistent 24/7 Support: Casinos claiming uninterrupted customer support should ensure consistent and reliable service, especially during evenings and weekends (when in fact most users have the time and desire to play for fun).
- Improvements in Response Time: Casinos with longer response times (e.g., EstrelaBet and Betano) should focus on optimizing their support channels for quicker assistance. Not responding is not an option!
- Enhanced Training on Responsible Gambling: All casinos (particularly Bet365) would benefit from investing in comprehensive training for customer support agents on handling RG queries with empathy, tact and effectiveness.
- Regular Evaluation and Adaptation: Regular re-assessment of customer support performance and policy updates according to evolving customer needs is essential for maintaining a competitive edge.