The online gambling industry is booming at the moment. It was estimated that the industry grew from $58.96 billion US in 2019 to $66.7 billion in 2020. Recent global events had a lot to do with it, but online casinos were already in an upwards trend.
This may have sparked your curiosity as to how you could get into the industry. However, the online casino business is not the easiest one to join and you have to know what will be expected from you before you start. Here’s what you need to know if you want to establish an online casino.
Safety is the Most Important Thing
The most important thing when operating an online casino is not the games or the bonuses but the security of your players. If your site gets hacked and some of your users’ information or funds is lost, you will not be able to make it back. This is not like other industries where a blunder can be swept under the rug. This is people's money we’re talking about, and any gaffe here is sure to stick and stain your brand forever.
So, you will first need to get familiar with cybersecurity, and encryption in particular. You will need to start informing yourself on things such as SSL encryption and firewalls. You may also have to hire an IT expert or outsource to a team that can handle IT for you.
The Legal Side
The online gambling industry is a heavily regulated one. You will first need to choose in which jurisdiction your casino will be established. In this case, you can either stay on the European continent or pick an offshore country. Curacao is a popular choice.
Each option has its pros and cons. Some will cost you more, some have a better reputation, and some will allow you to gain your licence faster. In some cases, you might have to wait up to a year to get a licence while jurisdictions like Malta will allow you to get your licence in about 6 months.
If you want to make things easier, we suggest you go with white labelling. You’ll get a turnkey website that you can brand as your own, which will have all the structure down including payments and security, so you can start operating in the space with a respectable product.
Research the Competition
But before you go live, we would strongly suggest that you start looking at what other people are doing. For instance, you could see which casinos are ranked the best and check what software they use as well as some of their deals.
If you want to know more about the best slot sites, click here. OnlineCasinos ranks the best websites and runs down some of the bonuses they offer. This will allow you to pattern your bonus structure after theirs. They also compare slot sites based on gameplay and RTP on their games. These are all things that will allow you to get a better idea of what players are looking for in an online casino and improve your product.
Build Your Identity
Another thing that is very important is to build your brand identity. You need to find a way to stand out. There are so many online casinos out there, and if you don’t offer something special to visitors, they will end up forgetting you.
One of the ways you can stand out is the theme. Some may want to go with a fun atmosphere while others might want to replicate the casino experience. Some may want to be more realistic, and others might want to be more cartoonish. Note that this will make a big difference in the type of audience that you attract.
Or maybe you want to be innovative? Some may want to embark in the VR gambling scene, for instance. While this can be a gamble, no pun intended, it could be one that will pay off. There are very few casinos in this space and technology is getting better and more accessible.
The more original you are with your offering, the greater chance you'll have at making a name for yourself. Also, the way you treat customers will reflect on your brand. That means the bonuses and additional perks you offer to loyal players will become part of your identity as well.
Research Software Providers
We also suggest you start looking at software providers. These will make the most difference when it comes to the gaming experience. You want software that will be feature-rich and offer a good selection of games. If you offer a great experience to players, word will spread, and you’ll be able to retain more of them as regulars.
Some of the top players include NetEnt, Playtech, and Microgaming. Microgaming is the biggest player on the block and is known for its great games and large selection. They have over 300 games in their collection and they’re constantly working on new ones. Many of their games have received awards as well.
NetEnt, on the other hand, is known for the quality of their games. Their games are immersive and often integrate aspects of traditional gaming. The graphics are also much better than most providers.
So, we suggest you do your research on the top software providers and pick one with a stable platform that is recognised in the industry.
Also, know that your software will not only be responsible for running games. It will also allow you to manage your site as well. The software will include things like a CMS, a cashier system, retention email system, etc. So, you want to pick software that will be user-friendly to both you and your customers.
As you can see, starting in the gambling industry is not easy, but still possible if you are ready to do the legwork. You also have to make sure that you research the market and see where you can fill a need.