No one in the industry can underestimate the old fashioned values of building trust amongst customers. Richard Downey, Senior VP for Connections by the Specialist Works, understands that more than most. He sat down with Calvinayre.com’s Becky Liggero Fontana to share his insights on the U.S. sports betting market.Downey emphasized leveraging relationships from prior careers. “I was publisher of a magazine called Poker Player and I moved from there into the agency. I’ve been able to maintain an involvement in the gaming industry by having clients in the space,” Downey said.Downey is a firm believer that operators still require a that branding plays an integral part in building trust with customers in the highly competitive U.S. sports betting market. “In the gaming sector there is an element of credibility and trustworthiness that exists everywhere, but especially in the U.S. market. Getting access to online gaming in the U.S. market for the past period of time has not been completely legitimated. Gaming is being rebranded as mainstream entertainment and it’s really important that the brands that come through with it do a good job for the customers.”Downey pointed out that new operators have to consider the Vegas perceptions of gaming when it comes to brand marketing and alignment.“For a long time gaming has been synonymous with Las Vegas and therefore it’s completely logical that a lot of the Vegas gaming companies are using their brands to do that job of legitimization and credibility. If a gaming operator is trying to break into the mainstream market in the U.S. then I think having a credible brand behind you, either through brand recognition or through marketing is a good way of making people believe that you know that their gaming environment is a safe one,” he said.In the full interview, Downey gives advice for new operators for developing brand strategy in the U.S. sports betting market. And if you haven’t yet, watch all of our videos as they go up by subscribing to the CalvinAyre.com YouTube channel.