Online gaming’s popularity has significantly increased corporations offering online opportunities. One of the most interesting online gaming options is setting up an online casino. However, only a few corporations or individuals know how to start an online casino.
Starting a casino requires a mix of gaming and business experience with technical savvy. This guide provides an overview of how to start an online casino. In particular, it focuses on the crucial steps to ensure a new casino venture is successful from day one.
How to Start an Online Casino: An Easy Guide For You
Online casinos have become one of the most popular online gaming ventures in recent years. Running an online casino allows operators to set up a potentially lucrative business without the complexities of a real-life operation.
Getting started in the online casino business is much easier than most people believe. There are two main ways to get started:
A Casino Affiliate
A casino affiliate can be an independent company running a legitimate online casino operation, such as poker online tournaments. However, affiliate casinos operate under a more prominent brand or corporation.
Affiliate casinos make sense for large corporations because it allows them to have a presence in local areas without directly investing in setting up local operations.
For example, a large casino operator can work with a network of authorized online casino affiliates in each state instead of applying for licensing. However, remember that affiliates pay royalties to the larger corporation and a cut of the profits.
An independent casino does not use another corporation’s brand or name. While more prominent brands may endorse smaller independent casinos, a fully independent casino does not have to pay royalties or give a cut of its profits. However, operating an independent casino implies positioning it in the market while dealing with other competitors.
An independent casino can become highly lucrative with time and patience. For instance, online slots can generate substantial income when done right. Bear in mind that starting an online casino is not necessarily cheap. There are costs to consider when getting creative and running costs once the casino goes live.
The Cost to Start an Online Casino
There are various costs involved when starting an online casino.
The pre-launch phase involves everything needed for the site to go live. Note that a significant amount of upfront work is required to ensure the site is fully operational when it goes live. Here is a breakdown of the expenses required during the pre-launch phase.
- Software platform: 30% to 40% of pre-launch costs typically go toward software platform setup. This cost involves choosing a software platform and getting the appropriate apps (i.e., cybersecurity, SSL certificates, content management) to operate the site. Remember that building an online casino from scratch can be expensive and take months to code.
- Staffing costs: Staffing costs involve hiring the required personnel to operate the site. Tech support, admin staff, customer service reps, and marketing agents play a role in managing the site 24/7. Staffing costs may represent 10% to 20% of initial expenses.
- Marketing costs: Undoubtedly, marketing plays a vital role in an online casino’s cost structure. A new online casino must advertise to get players on board. Nevertheless, affiliate casinos can piggyback on the larger company’s marketing efforts. Marketing expenses can cover up to 40% of the initial investment.
- Licensing: Licensing is crucial. It can run up to as much as 30% of upfront expenses. Remember that some states have more complex licensing procedures than others.
- Company setup: Setting up a legal company such as an LLC represents an upfront cost. Expect to spend about 5% on incorporation.
Once the casino goes live, there are operating costs to consider:
- Marketing: By far, marketing takes up the most significant chunk of running costs. Most online casinos spend about 50% of their running costs on advertising.
- Staffing: Roughly 10% of expenses go toward staffing. In particular, customer service is a crucial staffing cost.
- Software support: Getting support for software and apps can represent about 10% of overall maintenance expenses.
- Games providers: About 15% of expenses can go toward game providers. This cost may increase depending on the casino’s number of offers.
- Licensing fees: Licensing fees are an ongoing cost. Expect to pay about 5% on licensing.
- Prepare for the unexpected: A good management practice is to allocate a 10% slice toward unexpected expenses. Having a safety net ensures smooth operations.
How to Start an Online Casino
This section describes how to start an online casino in six steps:
Choosing a Software Provider
The easiest way to start an online casino is by using an online gaming platform. These platforms provide the software infrastructure needed to play online casino games. However, starting an online casino requires coding the site from scratch without a software platform. Doing so can take months and requires experienced software developers.
Searching for experienced software providers specialized in the online casino industry is a necessary first step. Checking software providers’ track records, reviews, and key features is essential to due diligence.
Diversity is king. Offering a wide range of gaming options is crucial in attracting players. For example, poker, slots, roulette, bingo, blackjack, and baccarat offer a diverse selection likely to attract players from all walks of life. An excellent place to start is with the most popular games. As the casino expands, it can add new games and content to meet customer demand.
Getting licensed is crucial. Without licensing, it is impossible to run an online casino. In addition, when venturing into overseas markets, it’s vital to become acquainted with each country’s gaming laws.
Remember that online casinos can sign up in jurisdictions such as Malta or Gibraltar to gain licensing. These jurisdictions work for countries that recognize them or do not regulate online gaming.
Secure Payment Methods
Secure and verified payment methods ensure a fair gaming experience. For example, standard methods, such as Visa, allow players to use their credit or debit cards to deposit. Similarly, payment processors such as PayPal, Skrill, or Neteller can work well. Above all, working with secure payment methods gives players confidence.
Online casinos need a host website. The host site is a portal that allows players to access the gaming platform. Building a host website does not have to be costly or complex. Developing a simple and functional site is a good rule of thumb.
Marketing and Promotions
Gaining traction in a highly competitive industry boils down to offering the best promotions. As such, marketing efforts should concentrate on highlighting key promotions. For instance, a generous welcome bonus is an excellent way to attract new users.
Starting an online casino is not as easy as many would think. You can tell now that a basic list of thoroughly elaborated steps is needed to run a business like an online casino. However, the proper source management and the adequate resources to provide you with the services you need would definitely make for a swift experience setting up your online casino business.
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How to Start an Online Casino FAQs
Operating an online casino in states and jurisdictions that allow online gaming is legal.
No. Not all states have legalized online gaming.
Yes. All U.S. states that allow online gaming issue licenses to online operators.