The complete guide to setting up a new online casino
Setting up a new online casino could be a wise business decision in 2020. With brick and mortar casinos seeing their futures plunged into doubt, many players are going online instead. Regulations are also changing around the world to make online casinos legal for users.
Online casinos can be extremely lucrative, although starting one for the first time is not something that can really be done on the cheap. It is going to take a sizable investment.
But what do you need to do to set up your new online casino? What are the steps you need to follow and what are the most important factors you need to be thinking about in the process?
It is a long and complicated road to go down, but this is where we are here to help. This is the complete guide to setting up a new online casino.
What you will find below:
Decide on your target market
The list of things you need to do to start an online casino is long. But the first step - and one you absolutely cannot afford to miss out - involves deciding on your target market.
You might think that this is going to be an easy question to answer. Maybe you think your target market is simply anyone who wants to find somewhere to play online casino games.
However, there is much more to it than that. The most successful online casinos have a targeting design and branding that is aimed primarily at targeting their primary audience.
Having an idea of the kind of people who you want to bring to your online casino is key. Maybe you want to go for an older crowd, or perhaps you want to aim your site at female gamblers. An online casino is always going to need to find customers who have disposable income, so keep this in mind when you are thinking about the target market.
Once your target market is decided, this will inform a lot of the other decisions you make.
Examine the different software platforms
Before you can even start thinking about creating a website for your online casino, you need to think about software platforms. As with most of the questions we will look to help you answer over the course of this guide, there are an awful lots of options to choose from in this area.
Straight away, the target market you decide on right at the start of the process will have an impact on the type of software platform that you want to be in place at your online casino.
There are some companies out there that primarily focus on platform software. This is basically the front end of your online casino site. They might also be specialists when it comes to backed systems and the ability to then plug in games.
If this is the first time you have created an online casino, it might be best to go with a full-service option as this will make it easier to get a site up and running and ready to welcome customers.
Aspire Global is one of the companies out there offering a complete platform for gaming operators. Other alternatives worth looking into include White Hat Gaming, SoftSwiss and EveryMatrix, all of which have a full product table available to use on your new site.
The company you choose here is going to be a key decision for the success of your online casino site. You will want to select a firm that has a proven track record of being used on brand new online casinos - ask them for case studies that show off their previous record.
You might want to pick and choose which services you go for, or you might decide that a white label solution is a better move. If you go for a white label solution, much of the work is done for you and you simply place your own branding over the top of the basic platform provided.
Everything from payment solutions to technical support can be provided in a white label solution, so for newcomers to creating online casinos this can take a lot of the stress out of the process. However, websites using white label solutions can often look very similar so if you are hoping to provide players with a truly unique online casino experience, this may not be a great choice.
A one-stop shop for your software platform comes with a variety of pros and cons. One of the main advantages is that you are dealing with a single company, which can make it a lot easier should an issue arise. On the list of downsides is the fact you will have a lack of variety in the number of games that you are able to offer to your casino customers.
Real Time Gaming is among the good options for a software provider, though the company is mainly used mainly in US and Asian markets. RTG sites tend to perform very well and they are popular with users despite only featuring games that are made by RTG in their library.
Pick the casino games you want to feature
As we have already gone through, your choice of software platform is likely to have a big impact on the casino games that you can feature on your online casino site.
If you still have some flexibility then you have a chance to make decisions over these games. Most casino customers like to have a good range of options when they visit a site. For example, casino classics such as roulette and blackjack can sit side by side with modern 3D slots.
Some casino sites thrive by specialising in one type of game. Slots sites target people who like to spin the reels in search of a jackpot rather than playing any other casino games. Online poker rooms are also growing in popularity right now, so that is something else to think about.
If you try to offer absolutely everything in the same online casino site, you might be at risk of spreading yourself too thinly. Specialising might be a better move, but again this depends on the target market that you selected right at the start of the process of opening a new online casino.
New developments are happening all the time in the online gambling industry. One of the key changes in recent years has been the spread of live casino options. For a lot of people, these are a must as they offer the closest an online site can get to the experience of visiting a bricks and mortar casino in real life. Live casino games are more social than most other options.
Games that can be included in the live casino section of your site can include everything from basics like roulette and blackjack to more modern options like Deal or no Deal and Monopoly.
You might even want to combine an online casino site with a sportsbook, as this gives your customers even more online gambling options within the same single website.
Sort out your licenses and how you will be regulated
Licenses are one of the most important things to sort out when starting a new online casino. No shortcuts can be made here - a strong license is a must to reassure your casino customers.
This can be a complicated process, though, due to the fact that gambling rules and regulations tend to differ a rather large amount from country to country. If you intend to launch a global online casino then it is going to be hard to stay ahead of all of these changing pieces of legislation.
There are two types of gambling license to be aware of: international and internal. These do exactly what you would expect from their names. In Europe, the Isle of Man and Malta are two of the most popular gambling jurisdictions, so you may wish to look into those for licenses.
Alternatives to consider include Antigua and Barbuda, plus Curacao (Netherlands Antilles).
Select the banking methods your online casino will offer
Let's move on to the next thing on your list: banking and payment methods. This might not be one of the most exciting areas for your new online casino, but they are incredibly important.
Customers want a wide range of payment methods that can be used for deposits and withdrawals. But speed is also of the essence here. Your users will want to be able to get their hands on money that they are lucky enough to win from your site as quickly as possible.
E-wallets have joined debit cards as one of the most popular online banking methods for online casinos. Paypal is a must, and alternatives include Neteller and Skrill (formerly Moneybookers).
You might also want to try and future proof your online casino site by offering cryptocurrencies as a payment option. Many people now want to be able to use options such as Bitcoin when they make deposits and withdrawals from an online casino balance.
Creating your online casino's new website
Finally, we are on to the more fun stuff as we get ready to launch your new online casino site. Building the website is a step where you can use some creativity to make the site stand out.
So many online casinos look basically the same, with a slightly different paint job. Your online casino may reassure customers if it follows this kind of template, but if you want it to be different compared to the many rivals on the market you can take some risks with the design and layout.
User experience should be at the heart of everything you do when designing a new website. You need to make sure that it is easy to navigate, with all links directing to where they should. The site needs to be fast to load - customers will go elsewhere if it is slow - and you need to make sure all the games are optimised for mobile too.
A mobile site should be a top concern as, increasingly, players like to have a game of online slots or a hand of blackjack through their smartphone or tablet computer. This means that they can play while out and about or on the move, so a good mobile site is key.
When creating your new online casino site you might also want to launch a mobile app at the same time. While this is extra expense to add to your budget, making it as easy as possible to access your games on a mobile device could prove to be a fruitful call in the long run.
Promoting and marketing your new online casino
Once your online casino site is ready to go, you need to think about promotion and marketing. Simply having an excellent casino site does not mean that will be enough to find customers.
Making use of no deposit bonuses and offers are a key way to attract users to your online casino, so put these together carefully. In time, you will need to consider offers designed to reward customer loyalty too.
Marketing can be a minefield, which is why so many online casino operators simply outsource this work. Social media is handy for attracting users these days, so do not neglect this option.
Paying for online advertisements to drive traffic to your site can be a quick way to spend a lot of money, but it can prove to be a wise investment as well.
Another thing to think about here is the role of affiliates. This is one of the top ways that online casinos carry out their marketing in the 21st century, so considering using some of those too.
Costs of starting an online casino
So, with all of that in mind, what price are you looking at to start an online casino in 2020?
It is hard to put a firm number on it as essentially, you can spend as much as you want. If you want an online casino with all the best bells and whistles, this is going to prove quite costly.
On the flip side, a site that is cheaply made - and looks it - might not be very appealing to users, so there is certainly an element of risk-reward when it comes to your budgeting.
Areas such as promotion and marketing can be hugely expensive, but, as it is often said, you might need to speculate to accumulate when launching a new online casino site.
You also need to keep in mind that the costs do not stop once your casino is launched. Things such as customer support are costs that continue, while your licenses need to be renewed too. Marketing and promotion will also need investment and your staff need to be paid as well.
Some people believe it can cost in the region of $1 million to start a new online casino site. This is enough money to put a lot of prospective operators off, but it is possible to do it cheaper.
Follow all the above steps and you should be ready to launch your new site. Good luck!