Gaming Sites and Language Barriers

The legalization of internet gambling in three states in the US has been an industry game changer. Currently the market size of the internet gambling market in Europe was about $30 billion in 2012. According to gambling research firm Juniper research mobile gaming alone will be worth $100 billion annually by 2017. For years online gaming operators thrived in Europe because of liberal laws and a regulated market with consumer protections. In the United States puritanical laws forced Americans to gamble at unregulated offshore gaming sites. It has been estimated that Americans spend about $6 billion annually gambling online.

After Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware legalized internet gambling European operators started targeting the lucrative American gaming market. One Hour Translation, one of the world’s largest online translation services, noticed a sharp demand for localizing gaming sites to American English. Yaron Kaufman, VP Marketing of One Hour Translation, stated “We work with many European and Asian gaming sites; in the past 8 weeks 80% of them started projects aimed at localizing their sites to accommodate American users.”

The internet gambling industry relies heavily on translation services. Some of the larger gaming operators have their own in house localization services. Other operators work with localization firms like One Hour Translation to localize all of their content. Research has shown that gamblers are more likely to bet real money if sites are properly localized in local languages and dialects. Most gaming sites can localize their sites to American English in a week or less.

Gaming operators say that improved conversion rates on localized sites are worth the cost of hiring a translation service. Most gaming sites have their own localization infrastructure and some use WeST, the localization solution from One Hour Translation. Most online gamblers are reluctant to play at a site that uses a different language. Language barriers can create all kinds of problems and misunderstandings. Players need to clearly understand the rules and terms and conditions at gaming sites. Most Americans do not speak other languages so to attract American players’ operators must localize their sites using American English. As more states legalize online gambling the demand for translation services is sure to increase.