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It is a compelling challenge to enforce bright ideas and schemed plans into tangible products or services. The rapid development of the online gambling business creates a suitable platform and convenient ground for unleashing a new startup. Before embarking on the tips and insights for starting an online casino, let’s look at the gambling industry’s general situation and modern agenda.
Short History of Gambling Business
In the early 1990s, the internet’s potential for global connectivity unlocked new possibilities, and among them was the online gambling industry. The first online casino, InterCasino, was launched in 1996, heralding a new era of iGaming entertainment. Offering a limited selection of games, it laid the groundwork for future digital casinos.
The late 1990s and early 2000s saw exponential growth, with many online casinos and sports betting platforms emerging. As governments realized the revenue potential of this flourishing sector, iGaming regulations were introduced globally. The 2005 UK Gambling Act established a legal framework for online casinos, and other jurisdictions followed suit.
Today, the iGaming business is a multi-billion dollar industry driven by technological advancements and innovation. The worldwide iGaming market was valued at $63.53 billion in 2022, with a projected compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 11.7% between 2023 and 2030. This growth can be attributed to the increasing internet accessibility and the rising adoption of mobile devices for engaging in iGaming activities.
Modern Agenda of the Online Casino Business
The online casino business has experienced remarkable growth since its inception in the 1990s, adapting to emerging technologies and ever-evolving consumer demands. Today, the industry faces a new set of challenges and opportunities, shaping the modern agenda of the online casino business that you need to be aware of and take into consideration if you are about to start your online casino.
One of the most prominent trends in the industry is the shift toward mobile gaming. In fact, mobile devices generate 60% of the traffic on online casino websites. This creates a whole new sector that you must consider when starting your iGaming business. Right now, you have an opportunity to target mobile users and receive increased traffic. You can shift your focus to mobile-first strategies and optimize your platform for a seamless gaming experience across devices. This includes the development of dedicated mobile apps and responsive websites, ensuring a user-friendly interface and intuitive navigation.
Another critical aspect of the modern agenda is the increasing emphasis on responsible gambling. Regulators worldwide are also strengthening their requirements for operators to prioritize player protection and responsible marketing practices. To meet this challenge, you can adopt tools and policies to promote a healthy gaming environment, such as self-exclusion programs, deposit limits, and AI-driven monitoring systems to identify problem-gambling behavior.
Moreover, the rise of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology presents new opportunities and challenges for your business. Many online casinos now accept cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, enabling faster transactions, increased privacy, and reduced fees. Thus, if in the past, you could only offer your clients fiat currencies for payments and transactions, now you are able to take it to a whole new level and make it easy and comfortable for crypto users to play on your casino.
As the iGaming industry continues to grow and develop, you need to stay ahead of the curve, watch over the modern trends in the industry to develop and maintain your competitive edge. If you are willing to start your online casino and provide unique, sophisticated service to the target audience, then you are at the right place.
Upgaming can provide exclusive, customer-oriented service that suits your needs. Our team consists of experienced professionals ready to give you what you need the most. So do not hesitate to act, take control of the situation, book a meeting with our Business Developers and start building your dream company with us.
Steps for starting an online casino
- Get the Budget estimates
- Get a gaming license
- Create an online casino website
- Choose the online casino content library
- Choose the payment methods
- Take care of marketing and promotions
There are myriads of ways to overcome these obstacles and create a substantial base for your online casino. Required budgets also vary based on the type of solution (learn more about different types iGaming solutions) and iGaming solutions provider. Below, we will explain the necessary procedures and provide you with crucial information.
How much money do you need to start an online casino?
It is probably the first question you will ask yourself before the outset of your journey in the online gaming world. How to open an online casino, and how much does starting an online casino cost? Indeed, it is a tricky question. And the answer depends on the specific requirements you have, the goals you want to achieve, under which Gambling jurisdiction you want to run your business, etc.
How much you are willing to pay to start your online casino is up to you. But typically, pre-launch expenses are higher and require more budget than post-launch expenses.
In general, you have to pay for company set up, Gaming license, iGaming platform and online casino software , marketing, staff, and operating costs. Nevertheless, expenses for those above are higher before launching your casino business. At the post-launch stage, 50% of your expenses are directed to marketing, player acquisition, and retention. Other expenditures circulate in the taxes, iGaming software providers, staff, online casino license fees, office rental, equipment, and utilities.
1. Regulations and Gaming Licenses
If we take a deep dive into the iGaming industry, we will find that each region has a different level of acceptance of iGaming activities. Regulations differ from country to country, from region to region, and sometimes one can find sharp differences between them. Markets can be divided according to regulations. Regulated markets are pointed out as white markets, while countries that forbid gambling are referred as black markets.
Other nations are characterized by the mix of regulations or the complete absence of legal adjustments. Such regions are denoted as grey markets. The primary issue is that specific administrative lands of a country are regulating online and land-based casinos, but others are devoid of any legislative prohibitions. For instance, government officials in certain states will not license gambling activities but will not restrict their citizens from visiting offshore online gambling sites.
White markets offer stable leverage and provide a firm ground for online casino businesses. Even though a transparent regulation system might cause certain hurdles, it is not the fly in your ointment. Knowing and following a specific administration’s rules ensures that your casino won’t be closed or shut down.
When choosing the jurisdiction for gaining a gaming license, you submit your casino to another string of regulations. Various gambling authorities prohibit their licensees from aiming at specific geographical areas.
Therefore, before commencing an application process, you must double-check and confirm that the given gaming license permits you to access the proper target market. Furthermore, a list of countries falls under high-risk areas, easily vulnerable to fraud and money laundering. Such an environment can bring drawbacks in establishing partnerships with financial institutions and other vital organizations.
First and foremost, you need to get a gaming license which gives you the legal credit to run your casino and avoid judicial complications. The expenses for that service are different for every jurisdiction. Our team can lead you through this lengthy, tedious process. Under our guidance, you can get a favorable license in the shortest time.
The standard prices for each license are included below but bear in mind that you may be obliged to pay additional taxes, which differ through each jurisdiction.
Curacao Gaming License
The price of the Curacao gaming license starts from 16 900 USD. It is the quickest, least bureaucratic, and most cost-efficient jurisdiction with a 0% tax rate and VAT.
If you are looking for a perfect environment for your startup, then curacao is the best choice. It is one of the oldest online gaming jurisdictions, which offers you the chance to go live quickly without spending a lot of resources.
Malta Gaming License
On the other hand, the Malta gaming license is considered as the gold mark of iGaming licensing. The license fee for obtaining gambling permission in Malta is €25 000, request for application processing costs €2 300. This license is your key to the EU market as it enables you to launch your service in every member country. After acquiring a gaming license, the road becomes clear – you are ready to create a website and purchase the gaming content for your online casino.
Isle of Man Gaming License
The primary OGRA license of the Isle of Man costs £35 000 per year. The applicants also have to pay a £5 000 fee, an initial license application cost. This license gives you the ability to establish B2C communications, register your clients’ players and store their data.
Kahnawake Gaming License
If you are looking for the cheapest option, the Kahnawake gaming license might be the best alternative. Licensing fee for the first year, the cost of due diligence checks, and the application fee together amount to $35 000.
Kahnawake is an ideal solution when it comes to payments and taxes. With a 0% corporate tax rate and the absence of additional gaming taxes, the Kahnawake gaming license is the best for cutting your expenditures.
2. Create your online casino website
Visuals easily stick in our long-term memory. We are triggered and influenced by visual stimuli in the surrounding environment. Therefore, your online casino website must incorporate a robust and attractive design.
Our designers can create unique UI/UX design for your website. By bringing a design-centric approach to the user interface, the chance of customer engagement is higher. Therefore, ensuring a custom-built website with all the required features is essential to initiate a successful online business.
Your online casino website must incorporate a rich content library, including slots, live casino, and sportsbook. In addition, it must include various payment methods, and a multi-lingual interface. These elements are the very significant parts of the online casino website; you can read more about each of these essential features on our blog. Finally, to start your online gaming business, you need to acquire iGaming platform from an iGaming solutions provider such as Upgaming or build it yourself.
There are three major solutions for creating an online casino:
If you opt for off-the-shelf products, then white label and turnkey online casino solutions are the most efficient options for your business. On the other hand, self-service software is for those who want to design the platform themselves. In such a case, all technical procedures are executed by hand.
White label online casino solution
A white label online casino solution is designed to launch your casino from the get-go. First, it provides you with the license, so you don’t need to undergo lengthy bureaucratic processes. In addition, the platform is equipped with online casino content, payment infrastructure and back office. In brief, you get a fully functioning casino in the shortest amount of time.
Starting a white label online casino requires your brand name and design customization. Upgaming’s white label solution includes a risk-free and multi-currency payment system built in one of the most proficient iGaming Platforms. By choosing our white label solution, you will save time and launch your online casino at warp speed.
Turnkey Casino Solution
Turnkey casino solution enables you to choose the design of your website and customize the whole platform according to your choices. It allows you to work under your license and provides a complex, high-level platform with a user-friendly interface. Our team will build your online casino from ground zero, fitted with your requirements and standards. In addition, the turnkey online casino solution will integrate custom payment and a tailor-made bonus systems.
If you want to learn more about comparing each type of solution, you can read our iGaming solutions comparison article. In conclusion, if you want to save time, pay less and get a high-quality product at the fastest pace, then white label and turnkey solutions are what you need. So stop pondering too much and contact us.
3. Obtain Casino content and software
The gaming library is another crucial detail of the online casino platform. Clients tend to choose the websites which offer improved, perfected libraries with diversified content. Furthermore, an online content library is not a static asset. It needs renewal and development.
Original content and a constantly updated game library are the top priorities for running a successful iGaming business. The gaming collection should include a rich variety of online slots, mini-games, and even live casino games such as poker, roulette, and baccarat. The gaming software must have special features to enable you to make free offers for your users and customize casino bonuses. A primary requirement is to acquire an iGaming Platform, which incorporates every tool in a single system.
To have a constantly updated online casino library, you need a professional team of business developers to communicate with gaming aggregators and casino game providers.
But it’s faster, easier, and way more profitable to choose your iGaming solutions provider and use all of their expertise. For example, by using Upgaming’s white label and turnkey solutions, you will get an online casino software which includes over 12 000 online casino games from 180+ top providers. In addition, you’ll receive an ultra-fast sportsbook with over 90% live-events coverage, 82 000 Prematch Events, 96 000 live events and 4500 betting markets. On top of that, you will have an industry-leading iGaming platform with all the tools.
4. Choose Payment solutions
Online casino is a subject of international activity. Therefore, it stands to reason that your casino will be accessed by international clients and must support international commercial transactions. Thus, your payments system must include credit/debit cards, virtual wallets (Paypal and Skrill), cryptocurrencies, and other local payment systems.
It would help to acquire a safe payment solution with an anti-fraud system and chargeback fraud control to secure verified payment methods. Upgaming provides a risk-free, flexible, and fully customizable payment system for iGaming businesses. With Upgaming’s online casino payments, you can receive real-time deposits and add any international and local payment methods to your online casino.
As we have already mentioned, Online casino payment solutions have a decisive role in your online gaming system’s optimal, operative functioning. Therefore, it is of primary importance to offer your clients high functional, trusted service with maximum payment flexibility.
Modern technologies and market demands are characterized by a high correlational link and reciprocal dependence. For this reason, one must observe the latest trends in information technologies and the online casino industry. The recent trend in this field is the emergence of cryptocurrencies and their various forms. Accordingly, you must ensure that your payment solutions provider supports currencies such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, etc. For more information about the payment options, please check our article about the most popular payment methods of online casinos.
5. Plan and Execute your casino Marketing
The existence of a business without marketing and advertisement is beyond the bounds of possibility. Online casino marketing is a broad concept that involves creating an affiliate network, customization of bonus systems, customer retention, taking care of the SEO and designing acquisition strategies.
The Internet is a medium for providing a wealth of information. In such a turbulent, overwhelming atmosphere, hiring professional marketing specialists is mandatory. Online casinos must acquire an effective marketing strategy and gain a competitive advantage in the complex iGaming industry.
One of the critical topics is affiliate marketing, which is one of the most productive strategies in digital business. Upgaming offers the most efficient affiliate network for your online casino. You can manage, analyze, track and optimize your online advertising activities from a single space. Besides, you can monitor your affiliate campaigns and ensure the elimination of fraudulent traffic. In order to understand more about this topic, you can read our article about affiliate marketing for online casinos.
Online casino marketing is a final step at the pre-launch and post-launch stages. For example, suppose you are ready to start an online casino business. In that case, it will be indispensable to form an effective marketing strategy and create a content that will help you to rank higher in search engine results. Afterward, to draw in new customers and ensure their loyalty, you need to arrange bonus systems and customer retention strategies. Read our article about how to market an online casino to learn more about marketing your iGaming business.
Bear in mind that excellent marketing & PR strategies can guarantee the highest return on investment. Therefore, we recommend you to start from € 8 – 10 000 and spend 20-60 percent of your gross revenue on marketing and advertising. As your online casino grows and develops, you need to spend more. Accordingly, the average marketing expenses for high-end online casinos can amount to € 35 000 in a month.
6. Recruit Staff for your online casino
There is a sharp difference between land-based and online casinos regarding the number of employees. Land-based casinos hire hundreds of people, while there is no necessity to do so in online casinos.
Hypothetically, an online casino can be managed by couple of persons, owners, or hired managers, but it will be ineffective. The efficiency of your business is dependent on the human capital, technical knowledge, know-how, and the workforce of your employees. You cannot be an expert in all fields. The departments and relative positions you should focus on include:
- Online Casino administrators
- A legal Advisor
- Financial Advisor
- Marketing Department
- Customer Support
- IT Department
We advise you to hire competent persons for each department since they are the building blocks of the whole business.
How profitable are iGaming websites?
The top online gambling websites earn millions annually. The digital divide is waning, and internet access is permeable almost everywhere. Consequently, the popularity of online casinos is growing exponentially. Nevertheless, online casinos’ profits depend on traffic, retention rate, customer loyalty, casino content, bonus systems, and much more. Therefore, iGaming companies must focus their strength on digital marketing strategies to ensure favorable results.
“The size of the global online gambling and betting industry amounted to 61.5 billion U.S. dollars in 2021. This has been forecast to rise to 114.4 billion U.S. dollars by 2028, representing an increase of just over 86 percent.”Quote from Statista
Several reasons explain the ubiquitous growth of the iGaming business. Apart from the immense expansion of internet access, computer hardware prices are down for the most up-to-date systems, increasing internet absorption. Furthermore, open-source systems and applications distributed as free software also increase the use of the internet and online gaming consumption worldwide.
Due to the rapid spread of necessary resources to play online casino games, the field has been changed and developed tremendously. The aforementioned reasons are the main incentives behind the profitability of iGaming companies and relative commercial establishments. Therefore, your aspirations and ideas about starting an iGaming business have a strong potential to become a reality. You can easily create your dream company and get unbelievable profits in such a prospering environment.
Online casino business is expanding with rapid movement. The diversity of the available online platforms has facilitated the advancement of gaming practices. In addition, there has been a significant change toward more liberal gaming regulatory frameworks during the last two decades. Such politics gave a fresh breath to iGaming businesses.
Diffusion of innovations and high rate of technology adoption leave no choice for the laggards. Thus, this category is transformed to the lately mature consumers. Each of them is adapting and learning how to use online services. There is no country for the older man who completely refuses to accept innovative solutions.
The business’s success is tied to the creative resolutions you have to provide to the client. IGaming business has a susceptible, receptive platform for “breakthrough” projects and novel modernizations. It means that you can write your success story on blank paper. Do not hesitate to contact us, and we will help you fill out the empty pages of your book.