The online gaming industry continues to grow around the world, and if you have a start-up mentality with an entrepreneurial spirit, you might be tempted to get in on the action for the opportunity to make a lot of money.
Creating your own online casino is not for the faint-hearted, though. It requires careful consideration of legalities and licensing, as well as a huge launch budget to bring all the moving parts of the operation together. From choosing the right games to have available for players to understanding where players can access your casino from, there is a lot to think about before you get started.
Everything about starting an online casino has an associated cost, and these can quickly mount up so you will need to ensure that you have a decent budget—and stick to it.
In most cases, you would be looking at needing a budget of about $300,000 US to get started, to pay for the gaming license, software, marketing, initial staffing costs and payment solutions.
Ongoing annual costs include things like customer service staff, marketing, software licensing and other fees, which could be as much as another $250,000.
It is not a cheap business venture, but the top sites make billions in revenue every year, so it might be worth getting in on the action.
To be a legal and safe online casino, the business must be licensed by a relevant gaming authority. Any gaming license will allow an online casino to operate globally, but some licensing authorities are more stringent and offer better protection, so these are worth considering.
You can expect to have to provide more information and evidence to a European licensing commission like the UK Gambling Commission, and it is likely to cost more to get the licence, but they typically have a better reputation and are more reassuring to potential customers.
Outside of Europe, gaming licenses will still allow your business to operate across the world, but they tend to be cheaper and have slightly less criteria.
Choose the Right Games
In some cases, different licenses might need to be obtained to allow your online casino to provide certain games like bingo and lotteries, so it is necessary to know what games you are going to provide for your customers.
You might want to offer traditional casino games like poker, blackjack, roulette and slots. Some casino providers offer all types of casino games or there are some providers who focus solely on one game. For example, online casino sites that offer slot games will typically ‘rent’ slot games from slot creators, by paying for a licence and agreement to stream the themed slot games on their site.
Also think about whether you are going to offer live dealer games with augmented reality streaming, or whether you want to make the online casino a more sociable space with online chats.
If you are technically minded, you might want to investigate getting individual pieces of software and tools together to create your online casino. Casino software developers create platforms and games themselves, so you can use their knowledge to create a customised product that is just right for you.
When considering software providers, look for the following:
- Easy to navigate back end supporting a user-friendly front end.
- Lots of different games and types of games.
- Cross-platform playability so customers can play from their smartphone as well as their PC.
- Excellent customer support and for the business.
- Multiple payment options, currencies, and languages.
Online casinos need an online space to operate, and your website is where the magic will take place. There are many ways to build a website, and in some cases, you might be able to do it yourself with one of the site building developers like Wix or WordPress – but it is likely to be worth looking into getting a professional website development team on side.
Your website reflects your brand, and you need to focus on making the user experience as simple, straightforward, and easy to navigate as possible. Other things to consider for your website include:
- Seamless integration for payments and withdrawals.
- Native apps for smartphones that look and feel the same as the website.
- Well designed, with different visual elements that are easily identifiable and different from other casino sites.
- In all website and mobile app development, user experience is the most important thing – you want your customers to be able to use the site easily.
To be a real player in the online casino game, your site needs to be able to offer multiple payment and withdrawal options, especially for multiple currencies. There are many different payment provider services available, so look for one that covers:
- Credit cards
- Debit cards
- Apple/Samsung Pay
- Electronic Wallets
- Bank transfers
Think about a payment provider that can provide fraud protection and detection and is available to work in the high-risk financial world of online gaming.
To be a successful online casino, you need to get people to visit the site and start playing – and they cannot do that if they do not know you exist. An effective marketing strategy needs to consider different channels like social media, paid Google ads, in-app notifications, gambling forums, and affiliate marketing.
Great casinos offer new customers bonuses like deposit matching or free spins, and loyalty programs for VIP players too.
Ready to Launch?
Before you gamble it all on your own online casino, make sure that you know as much as you can:
- Know your budget – costs can creep up
- Know your brand – how are you going to achieve the perfect gaming environment
- Know your customer – what games do they want to play? Slots, poker, bingo?
- Know the competition – be clear on why you are better
- Know the law – do not forget to get licensed