Today, online casino marketplace gives unlimited development opportunities, and being part of this flow is both thrilling and rewarding. Nevertheless, the path to this success is not a simple and easy one, that’s why TheGamblest is here to assist new operators in learning how to start an online casino.
An extended number of users are entering the iGaming sector, which is currently seeing rapid popularity. So, there is ample chance for fresh names to emerge in this trendy market. Amongst all activities in there, online casinos have the most active dynamics and are considered a great starting point for any entrepreneur interested in this field.
Significant profitability is a defining characteristic of the iGaming industry. As proof, recent statistics indicate that the online casino industry is valued at more than $66 billion, with an estimated market cap increase to $160 billion by 2026.
Fortunately, launching an online casino is not as sophisticated as it may seem. Though, it requires much concern, dedication, and hard work. This is an excellent business chance for both novice and seasoned entrepreneurs, so, below are the key steps towards establishing a trustworthy and good online casino.
How to start an online casino: Business plan phase
Usually, every business foundation begins with a simple master plan development phase. By establishing distinct objectives, pinpointing potential obstacles, and devising outline of plans, this document will serve as a dynamic tool that evolves with your casino over time.
The business plan should be well-executed and should include:
- Executive summary
- Company description
- Market analysis
- Customer analysis
- Competitor analysis
- Marketing and sales
- Products and services
- Organization and management
- Financial projections
Cultivating a comprehensive business plan is vital for any casino looking to succeed in an ever-evolving market. It serves as a roadmap for navigating the industry landscape and provides potential investors with a clear understanding of the casino’s goals and objectives. In short, this is a crucial phase to go through for ensuring the long-term viability of any casino.
Key steps to start an online casino
This may seem a daunting procedure for many entrepreneurs, as there is much to do and follow when opening your gambling business. To begin with, you should first decide on the location where you are going to register your gambling company. After that, it will be facilitated to study all the rules, regulations, and terms of the country or state you have stopped in, and understand how the gambling business is regulated there.
Now let’s get to a more detailed and step-by-step process of starting your online casino.
Step 1. Authorize your casino
The environment for operators is becoming more challenging as the iGaming industry develops, and an online casino without a license will not survive. This ought to be the beginning of the operators’ effective collaborations with software and payment method suppliers. Despite this, a license also serves as your business’ “good name”. Nowadays, several trustworthy regulatory agencies for online gaming have decades of experience in this area. The top jurisdictions are listed here:
- United Kingdom: UK Gambling Commission
- Sweden: Swedish Gambling Authority
- Malta: Malta Gaming Authority
- Curacao: Curacao eGaming
- Cyprus: National Betting Authority
- Denmark: Spillemyndigheden
Also decide the main type of your license, whether you want a B2B or B2C authorization. But what is the difference?
- If you want to take on the processes by yourself, which includes license application, bank account opening, payment service securing, taxes, proprietary technology and software use, and much more, then it’s a B2C license.
- On the other hand, if your goal is to establish a strong partnership with an already reputable online gambling supplier and utilize its white-label products, it is a B2B. This means that you won’t have to apply for a license as the supplier will provide you with their software, gaming license, and payment methods, as well as other services or solutions. This is, of course, a time-friendly option to integrate into the gambling world and launch your business under your brand using readily available solutions.
Step 2. Choose software provider
Once all authorization-related issues are investigated, your next important step will be choosing an expert online casino software provider. Commencing cooperation with a top supplier is undoubtedly the most vital phase. This is done to safeguard your casino performance meeting the expectations, so establishing one and more agreements with trustworthy companies is an unspoken rule.
Try to take into consideration all aspects, from fees and commissions, terms, and gaming reviews, to security and safety. Always pay detailed regard to gaming products and services, also certifications, and technical support. Besides the unusual interface features and top-notch game portfolios, your software provider should also give a durable gaming platform that will enable you to effectively manage your business. This platform should be a complete batch of the most important business systems:
- Player management
- Promotion management
- Game management
- Customer support
- Affiliate management
- Retention email
Proficient suppliers are always responsible for the full technical support of the after-launch product operation.
Also, keep in mind that already well-established B2B providers can supply a quality package for your online casino, including software, payment solutions, games, affiliate management, marketing services, and much more. With the help of our B2B Directory advanced filters, you can find the best B2B match for your business goals.
Step 3. Determine iGaming content
While learning how to start an online casino business, note that your player base will first look at the games you offer. Make sure to provide them with engaging games with catchy graphics, features, and bonuses. In order to engage a larger audience, it’s crucial to prioritize diversity in your gaming products. Try to incorporate a broad collection of the most played game types, including:
- slots/video slots
- live dealer
There is a huge number of players that are fans of live dealer games and video streaming. It enhances the iGaming experience by simulating a real casino environment. Consider also incorporating betting options, virtual sports, and sportsbooks to tap into the passion of sports enthusiasts.
In various markets, players‘ desires and expectations vary. To establish a loyal player base, operators must thoroughly examine the intricacies of their target audience. If you wish to gain insights into analyzing and identifying your audience, we recommend reading our article on this topic.
Step 4. Choose payment methods
Online casino launch follows a proper payment gateway support. Casinos go through a lot of international and local transactions and it is crucial to guarantee that your casino partners with reliable online payment providers. Among many payment methods, there are the top ones that are best matched for online gambling. Those include:
- Google Pay
- Apple Pay
Confronting traditional payment options may have disastrous consequences for your business and reputation. Make sure you have support for these payment options. To ensure that your online casino has secure and verified methods, it’s important to secure partnerships with some of the above-mentioned payment providers who are dedicated to maintaining transaction security.
Step 5. Create an engaging website for your players
The next step of “how to start an online casino” is remembering that appearance matters! The key to engaging and retaining new audiences lies in a well-crafted website, providing enhanced visual information on landing pages and boosting brand value. The design must exemplify the finest quality, be visually appealing, and stand out from similar platforms. Avoid overusing different graphical elements, as this may deter visitors and strain the system. Furthermore, give top priority to front-end database integration, which will improve the usability of your website’s navigation. Maintaining user involvement requires smooth transitions between the supplier’s game page and the platform.
Step 6. Develop marketing strategy
The key to the remarkable success and widespread popularity of the leading online casinos is not primarily attributed to extravagant aesthetics or a massive assortment of games. The real secret that is kept is the responsible marketing tactics employed throughout all phases of the enterprise. Nowadays, in the digital world, any industry is exceedingly competitive and challenging only because of the right marketing strategies.
Another important stage for creating an online casino that requires investment is its promotion. Today, there are a huge number of marketing strategies that will help your site become recognizable, as well as attract a huge number of players. Among such marketing tools, you can find: email newsletters, affiliate marketing, SMM, SEO, etc.
Do not forget about your website, keep it updated, try to make it user-friendly and informative for newbies in the industry, and fill it with comprehensive guidelines and data. This is the only way to conquer your users’ hearts and be the top for them.
Among all marketing tools, affiliate marketing places an important position, as it has all the perspectives to become an essential tool for online casinos. An iGaming affiliate is an online marketer who directs customers to iGaming operators. Affiliates are then paid with significant commissions—some of the best available—and have the opportunity to generate steady income, in digits from $10K to $30K per month.
Affiliate marketing has become incredibly popular in the iGaming industry due to its unmatched effectiveness. Unlike traditional marketing methods, affiliate marketing has consistently generated significantly higher volumes of high-quality traffic over an extended period of time.
There are lots of other advantages, such as facilitated payment structure, easiness to optimize, no limits on expansion and if you want to know why affiliate marketing has been becoming this popular in iGaming, check out the article from AffPapa.
This marketing strategy is very common in many industries and is extremely spread in online gambling. The affiliate realm of iGaming constantly grows by organizing conferences and events, creating spaces for affiliates and online casinos to network.
Nowadays, finding affiliates to promote your casino has become less complex. You can connect with affiliates through:
- iGaming Events – attending industry conferences, exhibitions, networking dinners provide opportunities to establish potential partnerships with affiliates and showcase your brand. The industry is packed with popular events that facilitate connections between operators and affiliates.
- Affiliate Networks – these serve as intermediary platforms that link online gambling operators with affiliate marketers who actively promote their services.
- iGaming Forums – joining different chat rooms, forums, and online communities is another effective way to connect with potential affiliates. These platforms also provide valuable insights from other companies that have collaborated with specific affiliates.
- AffPapa Directory – this comprehensive directory serves as the ultimate connection point for operators seeking affiliates. It boasts the largest registry of affiliates, and AffPapa’s advanced tools and filters make the process of finding the right partner swift and efficient, allowing you to narrow down your preferred affiliate within seconds.
Step 7. Build your team of skilled specialists
Initially, a modest-sized company or a newborn start-up can thrive with a compact team, yet as the project gains momentum, the necessity for an expanded team becomes more apparent. Employees at the management level will primarily concentrate on strategic planning, leaving the execution of day-to-day operations to other team members. Additionally, considering external assistance through outsourcing, commonly for design or marketing purposes, might be advantageous.
Alternatively, engaging with service or solution providers could also be a viable approach. Established enterprises typically maintain in-house development and marketing teams, whereas emerging iGaming ventures or those aiming to streamline the process often opt to enlist the expertise of seasoned professionals rather than starting from scratch.
Interesting facts about the iGaming world
- The primary online casino was launched in 1994 – it was today’s renowned Microgaming.
- Slot machines are the most played game at online casinos, bringing in over 70% of total revenue.
- Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin are progressively used in online casino transactions because of their speed, as well as enhanced security features.
- Live dealer games are becoming more and more common at online casinos, giving players a more engaging user experience.
- The biggest online casino win to date was over USD 24 million, won in 2013 by a Finnish player on the Mega Fortune slot game.
How much does it cost to start online casino?
Opening an online casino is not one of the cheapest businesses. Operators should need a few hundred thousand dollars for just the start, and many other running costs. Here is a standard outline of expenses you should consider:
- License expenses – from $15K
- Software package – from $200K to $300K
- Web development – from $10K to $15K
- Marketing expenses – from $100K – $500K
Is it profitable to open an online gambling business?
Even if there is a lot of competition in the gaming sector, internet casinos are sufficiently profitable. There are currently more than 2,000 online casinos with legitimate licenses from Gibraltar, Malta, the UK, and Curaçao. Additionally, casino games are designed to be profitable.
Every game offered at a casino gives the house a statistical advantage over players, guaranteeing their long-term profitability. However, both physical casinos and internet casinos must incur considerable resources, try to improve their reputations, and keep players on the lookout in order to reach this greater level of revenue-generating.
How much time will it take to establish an online casino?
Actually, there is no exact time frame, and it may mostly be based on your business goals and approach. The quickest way is the popular White Label platform, which takes solely 8-16 weeks. After the determined period, the casino will be ready to start functioning. Another option, not that simplified, needs more time, and lots of customizations. These are generally suggested for experienced business owners who wish to have greater control over minor aspects.
To conclude all this fundamental information, we have prepared some additional tips for you to consider while going through this process. First of all, do not forget to investigate your competitors’ profiles. Study their activities, determine their pros and cons, and try to cultivate a strategy that will give you ideas on how to overcome them.
Secondly, try to fix the budget you are ready to invest in and stay within it, and keep in mind that in case you get out of the fixed budget scope, there are chances you’ll fail during the starting phases. Your casino will flourish and upgrade if you attentively estimate all the expenses. And the last, concerning the website – keep it minimal and user-friendly, and avoid overdoing the design.