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In 2022, the online gambling market was valued at more than $80 billion. Even going by the most conservative of forecasts, the global market is forecast to be worth more than $115 by 2028. In other words, the demand for online casino platforms is booming. Looking to capitalise on this trend? Understanding how to open an online casino is essential.
While there’s never been a better time to explore the iGaming market, there’s a lot of confusion about how to open an online casino business. The gains are huge, but there’s a lot of fine print to pour over before you can get a platform off the ground. Startup costs can quickly stack, while you’ll need to navigate the complex world of gambling licences and regulation.
Thinking about opening an online casino? Our guide has everything you need to know about how to start your own gambling business.
How to Start Your Own Online Casino: What Makes a Site Successful?
It’s easy enough to start your online casino, but that’s no guarantee that it’s going to be successful. While the most obvious marker of success is a healthy profit margin, numbers alone don’t tell the whole story. A good casino needs to appeal to a broad audience. This means offering a huge variety of games, with everybody catered to. You’ll need a competitive lineup of slots, virtual roulette games, poker titles, blackjack and more. To remain competitive, you also need to embrace new technologies. Advancements in affordable virtual and augmented reality technology mean you should need to stay focused on offering immersive experiences.
The best platforms also need to be accessible. However, we’re not just talking about user-friendly interfaces. A platform needs to be responsive across all device types. A desktop-only operator isn’t going to be able to hold its own in this market. Instead, you’ll need a platform that’s accessible across desktops, smartphones and tablets. Wondering how to start up an online casino that will truly compete? Investing in a dedicated app will appeal to users who prefer playing on the go.
A great platform needs to support a wide range of payment methods. For many years, debit and credit cards have been the leading payment method in the online casino industry. As such, you’ll need to support Visa, MasterCard and American Express. However, the majority of casinos also support e-wallets. Therefore, it’s a good idea to support Skrill, Neteller and PayPal transactions. You also need to appeal to traditionalists. Although bank transfers are usually slow, some users still prefer to use them. At the other end of the spectrum, consider tapping into the cryptocurrency market. Many people are actively looking for ways to use their block-based assets and crypto casinos are enjoying a surge in popularity.
You should also be thinking about ways to incentivise your casino. Most platforms bring in new customers with welcome bonuses. Whether it’s a no-deposit bonus, a matched deposit bonus or an ongoing reload bonus, these promotional perks can make a platform stand out. Consider customer retention. Loyalty programmes can be effective at keeping existing users playing. For high rollers, think about VIP schemes with exclusive perks.
A reputable online casino should also deliver exceptional customer service. At a bare minimum, you should offer live chat functionality and a comprehensive FAQ section, letting users get the answers they’re looking for, whenever they need them. However, an established platform should really be offering 24/7 customer service that’s staffed by human agents. Dedicated phone lines and rapid responses to email queries will go a long way in cementing yourself as a reputable online gambling destination. Engaging with users via social media is something else to consider.
What Do I Need to Start My Own Casino?
Looking for specifics on how to start your own casino online? Although many general business rules apply here, the online gambling market has some pretty specific requirements. We’ve outlined the most important things to bear in mind when starting a casino online below..
Choose a Business Model That Works For You
There are a few different business models available if you’re thinking about opening an online casino. One of the most convenient models is a turnkey solution. With this model, casino operators buy a complete gambling platform that can be adapted to meet their requirements. It’s a flexible approach that lets you choose which gaming providers you want to partner with. You also have more say in the aesthetics and accessibility features of your platform.
White Label business models are another option. Here, you’re effectively leasing a pre-existing casino platform from a software provider. It’s generally cost-effective and saves you time, making it a good idea if you’re looking to shorten your speed to market. Although not as flexible as turnkey solutions, you can still personalise your platform with specific content and branding.
If you’re looking beyond ready-to-use solutions, you can think about a self-built solution. These are generally more expensive, but they do allow for full control over your platform. In theory, they can also enhance security credentials and performance. However, they require significant investment, eating into precious time and budgetary resources.
Targeting the Right Market
To create your own online casino that’s profitable, you’ll need to consider the markets you want to operate in. This goes beyond identifying lucrative markets. Different regions require different gambling licences. Furthermore, game selections can be affected. Additionally, operating in specific markets will require you to offer functionality in certain languages and support region-specific payment methods and currencies.
How to Start a Gambling Site: Business Plans
You might think you have a clear idea of how to start your own online gambling business. However, a bulletproof business plan is a must here, especially if you want to attract investors to your online casino venture. Furthermore, your business plan will make it easier for you to register your company and secure a gambling licence.
When putting together your business plan, lead with an executive summary. Outline your business goals and demonstrate that you have a clear handle on the market. What makes your platform unique from others? What sales strategies and marketing campaigns do you have lined up to promote your casino? Starting an online casino business also requires you to provide a summary of management structures within your company. Make the corporate structure clear and identify any venture partners who are already involved. Even if your operation is small at this point, you should also include personnel projections.
Your business plan should demonstrate an appetite for the platform you’re looking to get off the launching pad. You need to provide an accurate market analysis that identifies existing and emerging trends that can be capitalised on. Even if you don’t require outside investment, it’s essential that you include turnover projections. These need to cover a window of around three years. It’s less about predicting profit margins and more a guideline you can use to chart how well your online casino is performing during the first few years of operation.
You won’t be able to obtain a gambling licence until your online casino is registered as a business. Now you’ve identified the territories you want to operate in, you’ll know what type of licence you need. Make sure you’re registering your company in every jurisdiction from which you intend to obtain a licence. If you’re dealing with multiple territories, company registration can be more complex. You’ll need to adhere to various regulations to complete company registration quickly and ensure you create online casino website destinations that are fully compliant.
What Licensing Do I Need to Start My Own Online Casino?
This is one of the most important steps needed to open online casino websites. Now that you’re registered as a business, you can finally obtain that gambling licence. Is your company registered in the United Kingdom? You’ll need to obtain a licence from the UK Gambling Commission. Looking to cater to players in the EU? Think about applying for a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority.
Now all of that’s taken care of, you can actually invest your resources into creating your online casino. With all this taken care of, you can actually invest resources into creating your online casino. You can take charge of website creation yourself, but ultimately, you’ll need to invest in gaming software to turn your platform into a fully-realised online gambling destination. Don’t have the first idea of how to make your own gaming website? Look for software providers that can also assist with website development.
What Software Do You Need To Start an Online Casino?
Choosing the right software is arguably one of the most important steps in the creation of an online casino. Comprehensive online casino software should provide you with access to thousands of games from leading developers. What’s more, you’ll want access to live casino brands so you can ensure your platform is competitive.
When you start an online casino website, affiliates are essential. Therefore, you’ll want software that features an affiliate system as standard. Your software of choice should also support multiple payment methods, making it as accessible as possible and leaving you free to target new markets.
You also need to be able to see how well your site is doing. In-depth analytics are a must here, with reporting letting you know which games are proving popular and who’s winning what. At a minimum, you want a snapshot summary of how well your platform is performing financially.
Software should also be scalable, letting you meet demand and enter new markets. Furthermore, you’ll want a good degree of customisation. Even if you’re opting for a turnkey solution, you need to be able to make your platform as unique as possible.
How Much Does It Cost to Start an Online Casino?
Online casino costs fall into a few major categories. Firstly, there are website creation costs. If you’re taking care of this yourself, site creation is fairly cheap. However, the more advanced features and functionality you add, the more expensive it becomes. Even a modest website can set you back several thousand. Next, you need to factor in gaming software packages. A competitive software package that offers access to a wide range of games will usually set you back $100,000.
Gambling licences are another necessary expense. Costs vary depending on which justification you’re applying to but plan for annual outgoings of at least $75,000. Many licences also require a one-time upfront cost. Marketing brings further expenses. Affiliate marketing programmes are used by most casino operators, with monthly expenditures in the six-figure range.
There are also payment processing fees. The more payment options you provide, the more you’ll need to pay. A successful casino operator should expect to pay around $250,000 every year. Finally, you’ll need to add personnel costs and payment reserves into the equation. How much you spend depends on your headcount, but even a small operation should be setting aside an absolute minimum of $120,000 to cover salaries. A reserve fund of around half a million should prove sufficient to cover all prize payouts.
Need Help Starting an Online Casino?
Opening an online casino takes a lot of work, but the rewards speak for themselves. Need some help bringing your platform to market? It’s time to bring in the services of an experienced iGaming developer and supplier like EvenBet Gaming. We’ll help ensure your platform is as competitive as possible, with user-friendly features that deliver rich experiences and boost player retention.