Online casinos are a great business that can bring great profits. But it requires a lot of investment and perseverance to enter the market. If you want to start a gambling business as an online casino operator, the initial investment will be very impressive, and the difficulties associated with licensing will be enormous. But such an approach will ultimately bring huge profits. If you plan to start as an online casino partner, it will be easier and cheaper, but the profit will be less.
From our article you will learn:
- How to choose an online casino software provider.
- How to choose gaming content for a casino.
- Where and how to get the appropriate licenses.
- How to choose secure and trusted payment gateways.
- How to create an online casino site.
- How to develop a marketing policy.
Step 1: Software Providers
If the software is the base of your site, then the game content will become its facade. Games are the reason why Internet users will visit your site and what they will interact with. That is why gaming content is one of the main factors in choosing a casino software provider. In this context, there are two types of suppliers:
- The first develop the game by themselves. If you choose such a provider, you are likely to pay lower fees and you will have more flexibility in customizing and integrating game content. But in this case, you will most likely have a not very impressive list of games and there will be restrictions associated with the integration of games from other operators. A complete ban on cooperation with other operators is possible.
- The second offer packages with game content from other suppliers (B2B model). This option will make it possible to diversify game content and slightly simplify bureaucratic issues (you need to sign one contract with one supplier, rather than several separate contracts with each game content operator), but you will have to pay additional fees for mediation services.
In this context, suppliers can be divided into three categories:
- Net Entertainment, Playtech.com and Micro Gaming are the top three providers of software for online casinos, which account for over 60% of the market. Your site must have games from at least one of these developers, because their products inspire players with a sense of reliability and integrity. The cost of cooperation with them - from 10,000 euros per month + at least 15% of royalties.
- 1ClickGames.com, EveryMatrix.com, Finnplay.com — B2B suppliers. In addition to their own solutions for launching online casinos, they offer games from 10 third-party developers. Usually this is a rather impressive set of games - from the most popular to the most niche (even binary options have).
- CasinoWebScripts.com and similar providers offer a budget option of cooperation. The buyer receives the source code for the software to run the casino and games, as well as the ability to use this software for 100 years without monthly payments and royalties. The buyer pays once and chooses the games from a rather impressive list (from 150 games), and also orders the development of new games according to his ideas, if there is such a desire. The services of such companies cost from $ 100,000. Updates and lifelong support are usually included in the basic package.
Step 2: Game ContentWhen choosing game content, you need to focus on three things: variety, ease of integration and quality of games. In terms of diversity, casinos should provide the opportunity to play popular slots, baccarat, blackjack, roulette, poker and bingo. You can also add the ability to bet on virtual sports.
In terms of integration, you need software for online casinos and gaming content that is easy to combine through an API. Where API (application programming interface) is a set of IT methods by which gaming software is integrated into work systems. The speed and reliability of the games, as well as the security of their payment functions depend on the quality of integration.
In terms of the quality of games, you need to pay attention to such things:
- Graphics. The interface and game images must be clear and of the highest quality (Full HD or Ultra HD 4K). If the graphics are bad, players will receive a negative user experience, will try to find an alternative and, most likely, will find it in just a couple of clicks.
- Sound accompaniment. Realistic and unique effects can create the right atmosphere and thus increase player involvement. Which in turn will contribute to the fact that they will play longer.
- Game animation. Movement and bright effects attract attention. And with their help, you can replace real reward with graphic effects that can stimulate dopamine receptors (motivation to play) in almost the same way as reward in the form of real money.
- Interface. It should be convenient, understandable and respond to convenient keyboard shortcuts for players (it speeds up the game, thus increasing the number of wagering).
- Mobile games. They bring up to 75% of the profits from the total income of online casinos, so it is strongly recommended to choose cross-platform games that can be launched using a browser or using a mobile application.
- Branded games. Games based on famous films, books, games, stories, bring great profits. But the problem is that such game content usually has a short "shelf life", so it needs to be constantly updated.
- Safety. This function can be fully verified only after the launch of an online casino, since it is most affected by the compatibility of casino software, game content, API, user devices, platforms, etc. Therefore, it is recommended to use the game content of companies with a good reputation.
Step 3: Game licenses
There are 4 classes of such licenses:
- poker, baccarat, bingo and other games from the category of "game of skill", in which the result depends on the player's skills;
- lottery and casino using RNG (random number generator);
- bets on sports and other significant events (presidential elections, awarding the Nobel Prize, court decisions, etc.);
- game slots.
If you have plans not only to open an online casino, but also to start a betting business or a lottery, in some countries you can get a single document for all these activities. If there are no such plans, you need to issue separate licenses for each kind of activity.
The cost and speed of registration of the license depends on the country. The most comfortable conditions and low prices are in offshore zones, but registering there may entail problems with the reputation and the tax authorities. The license in the Eurozone, the USA and Australia will not cause such problems, but it will cost much more. Thus, a license for a casino in Curaçao or Costa Rica will cost 30,000–40,000 thousand dollars a year, in the Kingdom of Great Britain, the Republic of Malta or Romania — more than 150,000 thousand euros a year.
The cost of such a license includes both the cost of the document itself, which must be obtained from the state body, as well as a number of related payments. Some of them are disposable, others need to be done at regular intervals. As an example, consider the allocation of costs for obtaining a license in Curaçao (a subject of the federation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands).
But this is not all the costs. Curacao Internet Gaming Association (the regulator of gambling in Curaçao) requires the installation of a dedicated server through which all your casino transactions will pass. The content of such a server will cost you an additional 15 thousand dollars a year. Other countries may have other additional costs, so please read the question carefully before choosing the jurisdiction of your online casino.
Step 4: Payment Gateways
After obtaining a license for your site, you need to set up payment options in order to be able to accept funds from players, pay out prize money and withdraw money from the casino to your bank account. As in the case of gaming content, there are two options: to build cooperation with each payment service separately or use the services of providers (aggregators), with which you can connect dozens of payment gateways under one contract.
It is better to work through providers, because it is easier, faster and even more profitable. Providers work with large volumes of transactions, so banks and payment services charge less commissions from them. Here are some of the most popular payment service providers in the gambling and gambling business:
- Click2Pay. A simple and convenient system for depositing and withdrawing funds, which reduces this process to a single step. Money is debited and credited to a bank account. The system does not work in some countries, including the USA.
- Neteller. One of the most popular payment service providers in the gambling market. It works in 160 countries, uses a six-digit transaction confirmation code, can deposit / withdraw money directly to a Neteller account or bank card.
- Webmoney. One of the most difficult ways to deposit and withdraw funds. Very popular in Eastern Europe due to the largest number of local partners (banks, payment services) in the region.
- Skrill. The platform is available in 185 countries. It is simple, reliable and can collect money directly from credit cards or bank accounts.
- Visa and MasterCard. The most famous payment service providers in the world. They work in more than 200 countries and have contacts with almost all banks and digital payment systems.
Step 5: Site CreationWhen all the preparatory stages are completed, you can proceed directly to the development of a web-based online casino platform. To do this, it is better to hire a company-developer, because the site needs to be done professionally and quickly. The software partner is likely to advise your technical partner, but you do not have to agree to their recommendations.
After choosing a technical partner, you should:
- Develop design.
- Determine the functionality.
- Decide on game content.
- Create a project budget.
Step 6: Marketing PolicyTo invest in the development of online casinos paid off, you need players. There are a lot of players who will leave money on your site and positive reviews in social networks, in specialized forums and in the media. To attract a large number of players to the site, you need a good marketing strategy in which you need to pay attention to such moments:
- Positioning. Find what your project will stand out among competitors and why users should choose your site, that is, what is its real value for the players. About why this is important and what needs to be paid attention to in this matter is well written in the book “Positioning. The Battle for the Minds” of Jack Trout and Al Ries.
- Pre-launch campaign. A few months before the development is complete, announce the launch of your casino. Inspire potential customers to wait for its launch by advertising, presentations, promotions, discounts and bonuses. If possible, attract media personalities that will create hype in the media and social networks to launch.
- Promotion after launch. Use online advertising, SEO, banner networks, marketing influence, to maintain interest in your online casino and attract new players.
- Customer Retention Company. Create a 24-hour call center, technical support service. Create sections on the site with instructions and answers to frequently asked questions. Provide demos of games with which players can test content. Develop a system of bonuses, promotions and other incentives for loyal players.
- Implementing affiliate programs. At the start, we need quite favorable terms for attracting referrals in order to significantly expand our client base. Over time, when your site becomes known, the conditions for attracting referrals will be reviewed.
The cost of running an online casinoHow much you spend on the development, launch and promotion of online casinos, no one will say, because here you need to take into account too many factors that can increase the cost of the site from 50-100 thousand to several million dollars. However, with a great deal of confidence we can say how your spending will be distributed.