With land-based casinos forced to shut down due to the pandemic in 2020, the demand for online gambling is greater than ever before. This is probably the best and worst time to start an online casino!
The best time because the virus has created a spike in demand for a service that was already quite popular. And the worst because you can’t be the only one who spotted this amazing business opportunity!
Plenty of folks will be interested in starting an online casino in the present scenario. Marketing becomes all the more important now. With the excess competition, you will need all the tricks in the digital marketing playbook to survive and prosper with a brand new online casino.
This is why we have chosen to kill two birds with one stone here –- talk about the cheapest way to start an online casino, as well as the cheapest way to market it to your online audience. Let’s get started!
Starting an Online Casino
Starting a casino from scratch is not easy. An online casino is an incredibly complex platform made up of many different components.
These are the main points to consider if you were to open an online casino alone:
Like any business, an online casino also requires a registered legal entity. Casino licenses are usually given to businesses that are based in the same territory as the licensing authority. So if you plan to get a UK license, you will need to register your business in the UK.
Costs of registration can vary depending on the location. It will be higher in developed markets like the EU and UK, while offshore locations tend to have fewer fees and tax requirements as well. For instance, registration is free in places like Curacao and Gibraltar.
You will still have to spend anywhere from $500 to $5000 on various things like legal fees, office premises, equipment, staffing, trademarks, and so on.
Gambling is a sensitive activity – it is heavily regulated and controlled in countries where it is legal. To stay on the right side of the law, you absolutely need an online gambling license from the authorities in your target market.
The top licenses from the UK Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority can cost anywhere from $300,000 to $1,000,000, including license fees and other secondary costs and financial requirements. If you want the cheapest license, an offshore authority like Curacao or Kahnawake is what you need. They require an investment of $100,000 to $300,000.
Website, Software, and Games
Crafting a casino website from scratch will cost you between $10,000 and $50,000 or more, depending on how detailed and customized you want it to be. In addition to the website, you will need a suite of applications for player management, payments, customer support, data safety, bonus management, and more.
Then there is the issue of stocking your casino with games. There are many software providers out there – the best ones can cost up to half a million dollars for a game package. You will get access to thousands of slots, jackpots, roulette, poker, and many variations of online blackjack casino games, from different brands like Netent and Microgaming.
White Label or Turnkey
If you want to start an online casino without spending millions of dollars, a white label or turnkey casino solution is your best option. The setup costs are way lower and you get a readily packaged casino that you can quickly start running.
With a white label casino, you don’t even have to worry about licensing. It is a great option if you want a cheaper access to an expensive UK or Malta license. But if you already have a license lined up, a turnkey solution will provide the rest.
The trade-off is that you will be sharing a part of your revenues with the service provider, typically between 10% and 30%. But there are many advantages as well. You don’t have to worry about the running of different aspects like player support, online security, payments, etc. Everything is handled by the service provider.
A white label casino is incredibly inexpensive. On the low end, with minimum features, you can get a casino for a few thousand dollars. Even if you want the best licenses, software, and games, it will rarely cost above $100,000.
Marketing an Online Casino
Unless you have millions of dollars in your marketing budget, TV ads are off the table! Only big online casinos with deep pockets like Playamo can afford such ads. Instead, you will have to depend on other tried and tested digital marketing tactics.
The cost of marketing can be a huge drain on your pockets in the online casino business. Expect to spend anywhere from $20,000 to a hundred thousand dollars a month on marketing and promos alone! There are two main marketing tactics used by online casino:
If you want maximum ROI on your marketing investment, look no further than affiliate marketing for online casinos. These are specialized websites that do nothing but promote online casinos to their visitors. They have ads and links to your casino embedded on their site.
Affiliates often charge you a flat fee in the beginning, for adding your casino links and reviews on their platform. In addition, they get money whenever a player visits your casino from their pages, or a share of the money that player spends on your casino.
SEO and Online Ads
Since online casino ads are prohibited on heavily restricted, your cheapest digital marketing option apart from affiliates is through search engine optimization. By making good use of keywords and adding useful and informative content through blogs and guides, you can increase your online visibility on Google search engine results.