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According to Betway team research with data accurate as of 08/04/2022, poker is officially the most popular casino game worldwide, getting an average of 567,900 monthly searches between 34 of the world’s major nations.
Creating an online poker business is a long-sighted enterprise with huge benefits and perspectives. You can choose a simple way of entering the niche, i.e. becoming a skin. The skin is an operator, who either has its own iGaming website and wants to add online poker to its offering by joining a poker network or doesn’t run an iGaming business and wishes to join the network as an online poker operator.
A complicated way to profit from the booming industry is launching your own poker network. It requires experience in the iGaming industry and excellent management skills. Read the frequently asked questions to understand what comes next after choosing an online poker software provider and preparing to run this business.
For poker network owners
1. Technical aspects
What difficulties do I face when scaling my online poker network?
It is important to understand that the more skins join a poker network, the more expensive support becomes. The developer of the poker network needs to check for bug fixes in all applications of all skins. When testing is underway, the software provider tests all applications of all skins as well.
Moreover, the more skins, the more they request to add or create new features.
Thus, the backlog increases. An owner of the poker network has to decide what will be done with the requests from skins and what is not, prioritize. One skin is more important than the other, so it is more important for it to make a certain feature.
As a result, the cost of maintaining the network increases due to the building of new versions, adding features, testing, etc.
Is it possible to set up private tables and tournaments for skin players only? Can players of different skins play together on the same tables?
The visibility of tables and tournaments is different for different skins. For instance, skin A can see only certain tournaments, skin B can see others.
There are online tournaments that are visible and accessible to everyone. There are private tournaments that are available to certain players of certain skins. The tournament visibility policy is determined by an owner of a poker network.
What possibilities do I have in terms of currencies?
Technically, the poker software provider can set up all currencies for an online poker network owner. You need to understand which of them will be needed, how they will be used, and if all the skins will use the same currency. The multicurrency setting is possible.
What payment systems do I provide as a network owner?
Most often, an owner of a poker network is concerned about whether the provision of payment methods will be under their merchant agreement with a PG (Payment Gateway) or under an agreement with the software developer and provider. They are also interested in whether there are any other ways to deposit funds, such as agents.
Poker networks do not provide payment solutions themselves because they are not related to the players and their accounts. A poker network is a technical solution, a gaming space that provides a game. Players and their accounts are associated with a specific website. Also, payment solutions work with specific websites, they don’t know anything about poker networks.
But as an option, the poker network can provide white label turnkey solutions, when a new skin receives a ready-made website with design and payment under the license of the poker network owner. This is an additional service that is not related to the network itself.
What are the design customisation limits for skins?
Skin’s client apps can be fully customised or have very basic changes in design. Some skins prefer to stand out with unique colours, poker room style, table design, etc. All bold ideas can be technically implemented.
So, everything is technically possible, but the owner of the network can and should decide how custom the design of their skins will be. The more alterations, the more connections, and the more time it’ll take.
What is the timeframe for skin’s connection to my poker network?
There are two types of skins:
- The skin already has a website (sports betting, casino games, etc), and they want poker to appear on the site. The operator chooses to connect to an existing poker network so that its users can play poker with other players. Since the site already exists, EvenBet needs to integrate poker into their site (via the API). The main technical work is done by the website. The terms here depend on the workload of developers on the part of the operator, but usually, it takes no more than 2 weeks.
- The operator doesn’t have an existing iGaming business but wants to run a poker business and be connected to the network. In this case, the online poker software supplier needs to do everything, i.e. to provide a turnkey solution: the website, other games (slots), etc. In this case, the work takes place on the side of the poker software provider. The terms are usually from 1 to 2 months. Depending on the complexity of launching a skin, the timing may vary. If the skin just needs a customised logo and default UI, the timeframe will be minimal. If a complete redesign is required, a custom payment system, then the term will be longer.
2. Finance optimisation & mutual settlements
How are financial transactions performed in a poker network?
The poker network is similar to the banking system in terms of how clearing is done.
There are many banks in the banking system, whose clients send numerous transactions to each other. Let’s say we have Bank A and Bank B. If every time for any, even a small transaction, Bank A will actually send real money to Bank B, then it will be too expensive and not reasonable. As a rule, banks prepare a report at the end of the period and look at how much and to which bank they need to transfer.
During this period, electronic transactions take place, in fact, without sending real money.
There are special organisations for banks that carry out clearing. In a poker network, this role is usually performed by the owner. Some reconciliation companies are also involved in iGaming. Of course, such a service is in demand only for large networks.
So, the poker network acts as a clearinghouse for skins. For skins, this means that the owner of the poker network can optimise payments and make real financial transactions every specific period, for example, 1 month.
Thus, the mutual settlement between skins takes place using the central poker network. For reconciliation, the network takes into account the amount of money lost and won by each skin’s players.
Does a poker network owner have to provide a clearinghouse service?
Theoretically, an owner of a poker network can refuse to provide such a service, but in practice, we do not know of such examples. Part of the poker network service is to make settlements and act as a guarantor of the settlement.
What if a skin doesn’t want to pay a poker network owner at the end of the period?
Often the owners of poker networks require a security money deposit from their skins to ensure mutual settlements and to cover possible non-payments. It is also possible to disable the skin in the admin panel for non-payment.
3. Before and after the launch of a poker network
What’s the main difficulty of launching a poker network?
The biggest challenge in starting your own poker network is securing the initial liquidity. This means that at the very beginning, at the stage of attracting skins, the question often arises with whom the users of this skin will play and how many players are currently in the network itself. If there is no one in the network yet, or one or two skins are connected, then it is quite difficult to convince of subsequent liquidity when the skin needs it right now.
The solution to the start problem will be to have friends, and partners to create initial liquidity. This is not as easy as it seems, however, for such a large and potentially highly profitable business, this needs to be taken care of in advance.
In terms of the success potential of this business model, we can say that it is quite high. You can prepare for business risks by getting expert advice from EvenBet Gaming, which has launched several poker networks and has high-quality experience in developing such a business.
However, you should always remember that this business model is suitable for experienced iGaming managers, it is complex and requires a deep understanding of all business processes. At the same time, poker software from EvenBet and high-quality technical support will solve all important technical issues.