The online gambling business is not a simple start-up that requires minimal effort and average financial investments. Starting a company that provides gambling services and getting profit from ше will take from a year and the commit may reach millions of dollars.
Basically, there are three most popular ways of how to start your own casino: the first one is to create every little thing from ground zero, and the alternatives are a purchase of a turnkey casino or working with a white label solution. Let’s review all options to compare them and see the ins and the outs of each.
Starting an online casino from scratch
This is going to be a bumpy ride: the i-gaming market is one of the most demanding ones in terms of time, money, and effort, but let’s put things in the right order.
What to start with?
One of the main mistakes many people make is neglecting the research step, which is more important than it might seem to be. It is essential to determine the critical things about the future online gaming platform as following:
- what are the i-gambling laws in your country; are they different for online and onsite casino business?
- what is your desired targeted audience, what will they want to see on a brand new platform?
- what will be different from the other casinos?
- where and how you are going to hire staff for creating a website, developing a marketing strategy, etc?
After you have decided on the key things, you can come to the next thing: preparing a detailed business plan. If you are more confident in your budget than in your analytic skills, you can get help from a professional business plan consultant. On average, a full business plan designed according to your requirements costs from $20 000 to $50 000. There are ready plans that can be downloaded on the Internet, but if you use them, don’t forget to estimate if this or that project coincides with your action plan and the desired final result.
Choosing a provider
Even the best online casino with an enormous choice of gaming options will not become a flourishing business and a popular choice of the gamblers if it can not assure flawless operation. To make sure your website works fine and delivers a high-quality experience to its users, take your time to choose a software provider who will guarantee an unfailing service. To check if the provider you are going to choose is a reliable one, it will be helpful to research other platforms they work with, check if their gambling license is valid and is aligned with all legislations in your country, and what is their game selection made as. The last point deserves to be analyzed separately, so let’s switch to the key thing of each casino: entertaining options.
Here you have to take some more time for investigation again: if you have determined who will be your primary audience, you now need to know what games are the most well-liked among them. You will probably want to make a casino website that will be completely different from the others, but excluding the most popular casino games because they seem too mediocre and typical will be a crucial mistake. All the most familiar slot machines, roulettes, video poker rooms have to be on the site; to make it more attractive for a wider audience, make sure all games have a demo version.
According to statistics, the top requested division of every casino website is a live dealer casino. Live gaming requires special casino software and trained staff, which usually comes along with the integration of the software into the platform.
To broaden the gambling opportunities and attract more members, you can add sports betting software. However, each i-gaming activity has to be certified so we are segueing to the next point: getting a license.
If you are organizing your casino on your own, with the help of your personal management, you have to notice that it will be necessary to sign a contract with every software provider and be responsible for contacting their technical support, prolonging the agreements, and select the games.
Obtaining a license is directly connected with the ordinances and current legislation that are accepted in the country you are running an online casino. There are several most reputable gambling jurisdictions: Curacao, Malta, The United Kingdom, Isle of Man, Gibraltar.
The rules of gaining a license are different for all commissions; generally, it may take up to 2 months before your casino website will be examined and verified. In addition, prices for the licenses may vary, too, so take your time to compare all terms, conditions, and your budget.
Before applying to any of the commissions, you have to follow their requirements; for some of them you need to have a physical office in the country of licensing; if there is a list of restricted countries, their IPs should be blocked beforehand.
What if I don’t want to get the license?
The question may sound quite reasonable: licensing takes a lot of effort and even more money, so why place any attention to it at all? The main answer is not even about the fact that leading an illegal business is punishable by the law. Standing beyond the legal area of the online gambling industry you will soon face multiple difficulties that will prevent you from accelerating the online casino. Modern users are rather sophisticated and people who can bring you a fortune will more willingly choose an officially registered casino that they can trust, even if it is also a brand new product. Another obstacle you may face without a license is that most payment systems will not find it agreeable to operate with an illegal platform and will prefer to deny you in providing their services to your customers. The same thing will almost definitely happen when you come to choosing the gaming providers: the necessary requirement to sign with them is to be registered with one of the official organs.
An illegal casino with some dingy software will not be also attractive for the advertisers and sponsors if you desire to find any partnership after the launching. This means that your marketing projects will not be as effective as they could be if you have taken care of the legit documentation and could advertise yourself as a fully legitimate and reliable online casino.
Choosing a payment system
One of the marketing fundamental truths holds that your client has to receive an opportunity to send you their money without any hurdles. For this, the wisest solution is to provide the customer with as many payment options as possible; the payment processing has to be secure and convenient. According to the researches, when customers experience any issues with the payment, only 30 percent of them stay on the website and make another attempt; the vast majority will drop it as a bad idea and will send their deposits to your opponents. Thus, you have to integrate multiple payment providers into the website and check if they support different currencies, anti-fraud systems and can give a helping hand on an urgent basis whenever it is necessary. The more payment methods you add to the site, the more customers will be able to make payments and thus — maintain your business profitable.
The leading trend in the gambling industry is cryptocurrency; more and more users prefer using Bitcoin, Litecoin, and other modern currencies. Creating a bitcoin casino will give you more opportunities on a long-term basis, so consider all possible options connected with e-currencies payment: the players will have a chance to stay anonymous and receive their payouts immediately.
In chase of the ways to stand out from the other owners of the online gaming business, you make a range of mistakes in terms of the website layout: avoid creating an overbearing webpage with tons of animation and garish colors. In the modern web design area, minimalistic and easy-to-navigate pages are the most valued types of products, so the main concern will be to create a stylish and at the same time convenient and user-friendly neat platform.
Most likely, you are going to send a technical task to the web design specialists, so don’t forget to plan it within the budget.
When everything is ready for launching, you can now think of the advertising and pushing your product to the market. To attract leads to the new product of the gaming industry, you will have to apply all the familiar marketing tools: targeting ads on social media, bonus systems, loyalty programs. Think of the perks that might make players choose your website over the others or trust it to the marketing manager who will probably open new opportunities to breathe life into your project.
How much does it cost?
As you see, the steps for entering the online gambling business are not dramatically different from creating any other company. However, an online casino is one of the most expensive products, so let’s try to weigh up the required budget for the whole enterprise.
Exact numbers will of course depend on the country and the partners and software providers you choose, but approximately you will need to spend:
- 20 000 – 50 000 USD for a business plan
- 125 000 – 300 000 USD for getting a license
- 100-300 USD for registering a legal entity
- 3 000 – 10 000 USD for developing a website
- 250 000 – 500 000 USD for purchasing software
- 200 000 – 300 000 USD for the integration of payment systems
Don’t forget the expenses you will need for employees, marketing, reserve fund. If your business is successful, it will be repaid in one or two years. However, what if some of the decisions turn out to be failures? How to minimize your risks? Now it is time to consider the alternative options: they might not save your money, but will definitely help you to start an online gambling business with less time effort and will free your hands from multiple organizing procedures.
There also might be additional expenses in case you want to create a mobile app; you will also have to pay for the website hosting and taxes according to your countries’ legislation.
There are multiple corporations on the gambling market that are willing to subsume all responsibilities for creating a modern platform with ready payment services, language settings, technical support, and licensing. In simple words, you get your own personal casino designed according to your project and all the nuances are made for you. As a result, you become an owner of a ready platform.
Most turnkey gambling platform developers allow you to choose the software and game providers that you want to see in your online casino; set the site in accordance with your requests, enroll the payment system upon your choice, enable customer support services like a live chat and corporate emails.
Such an option is an advanced way of starting a casino business, which is fully customizable and will coincide with all your needs. You can add your own logo, your design, your distinctive marks and become a sovereign freestanding unit in the gambling industry.
Prices depend on the services you choose and the company you are going to work with, the gaming software you want to integrate into the platform, and many more various factors, but generally, it is about 10-20 percent more than you would have spent on launching an online casino on your own.
There is an option for the turnkey online casinos to integrate cryptocurrencies among the payment systems. Most offers include compatibility with mobile devices; for the extra fee you can hire mobile application developers which is highly recommended: currently, almost 80 percent of online gambling enthusiasts prefer the on-the-go format of gaming to the traditional PC one.
White Label Casino
What is the difference from the previous option? A white label casino is an option for operators with a limited budget and it gives you the possibility to work under a license of another gaming provider; it is more like a franchise or an affiliate program.
With a white label online casino solution, you receive a ready casino platform with games from a range of reputable casino software providers like Netent, Microgaming, PariPlay, Pragmatic Play, and others. The customization of such a project is limited because you present yourself as a part of a bigger corporation which does not imply having your own trademark and logotypes. Some companies offer to customize the design to look like your own brand, but your online casino will have to follow all laws of the licensed organization, so you are left a smaller room for maneuvers. The games collection is also included in the package, so you can include more of them or exclude some unpopular titles from the website.
The main advantage of such projects is that you do not have to spend money and time on licensing and the platform is ready to be launched in a couple of months. This is the fastest and cheapest decision to start an online casino, so many new operators opt for the white label casino.
Just like with the turnkey casino, there is a possibility of creating a bitcoin platform aimed at the cryptocurrency market.
Such an online casino business can be transferred to the freestanding form of the property later when you are sure you can operate without an intermediator. When you sign a while label casino contract, don’t forget to specify the terms of exiting the franchise and research the ways of how to issue your own licensing documents in the fastest way.
There are also some more ways of how to simplify the start of your own gaming business. One of them is to purchase a casino script, which costs from 500 to 1 000 USD on average. Technically, this is a part of a code, that needs to be modified and refined; the experts do not usually find it a good idea because working with the ready code might take even more time than creating a platform from the scratch, so you will still have to spend a great deal of time and a significant amount of money to work out the kinks of this half-ready solution. In addition, you will have to go through all the other steps, including licensing, contracting with the providers, etc on your own, so you should turn to this option in case you are sure you can play your cards right.
One more solution is to search for the already operating online casinos that are sold by their owners. The pros and cons of such a plan are quite the same as for any other business: it is barely possible that a prosperous online casino website will be sold, so there might be a range of hidden tricks that you have to keep in mind before making a decision.
The last piece of advice for staying actual on the constantly changing and growing online gaming market is to monitor what is the new black and add the trends to the platforms. For instance, virtual reality is gaining steam in all aspects of digital entertainment, so using special software that is compatible with VR glasses might give your online casino an impressive boost. Creating new gaming solutions and offering new exclusive titles that keep pace with the top-of-the-line technologies may also attract members, fed-up with the threadbare classical slots.