With constantly rising revenues and widespread innovation, the online casino business has a lot to entice entrepreneurs. Slotegrator shares its latest advice for launching a lucrative online casino business in 2023.
The global online gambling market grew from $81.08 billion in 2022 to $88.65 billion in 2023 at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.3%, and is expected to reach a valuation of $153 billion by 2030. The size of the market and the freedom of running an online business make iGaming a highly attractive industry for entrepreneurs looking for a lucrative new business. Before the money starts rolling in, though, you’ll need to know exactly what you’re doing, so the Slotegrator team prepared a detailed article taking readers step-by-step through the process of starting an online casino.
Here are 13 key questions potential operators should ask themselves:
What is the demand? Before diving into planning and research, study player demand and revenue estimations for both online casinos and sportsbooks and choose which route to take. You should consider what forms of gambling or betting are popular and regulated in your chosen target market.
- What regulations does the market have? There have been several prominent amendments in regulations since the beginning of 2023, such as The ‘White Paper’ in the UK, selected changes in LatAm markets, and tightening regulation in Asian markets. You should keep track of regulatory changes because the longevity of your business depends on it. You can follow regulatory updates here.
- Who are your key competitors? It is not enough only to know your competitors, it is important to study everything they do (from brand positioning to specific tricks to attract and retain players). What’s more, studying what other casinos provide will let you see what they don’t. Once you have a full picture of your competitors’ operations, you can identify the gap in the market and design a unique offering to fill it with.
- What business plan do you have? Gambling is a unique industry in a lot of ways, but there’s one area where it’s exactly the same as every other. A business plan is not only a necessity for operations, but also for applying for a license and attracting investors. Having a clear, well-thought-out strategy will help you secure the substantial amount of cash you’ll need for your initial investment.
- How much capital do you need? You’ll need to cover platform software, licensing, game content, employee salaries, overhead like rent and other daily expenses, and deposits to pay out player winnings, which some regulators require. After that, you’ll need enough to make sure you can effectively promote your brand. And, inevitably, there will also be taxes to pay. If you don’t have that kind of capital on hand, you’ll search out investors. Any investor is going to need to see evidence of meticulous financial planning in addition to your pitch for why your casino will succeed where so many others fail.
- Which corporate structure should you have? Your corporate structure will depend, in part, on your choice of jurisdiction — you will have to establish a local business wherever your license is issued. Your operation might be a partnership, corporation, or limited liability corporation, depending on the regulations of your licensing jurisdiction and any other jurisdictions where parent or subsidiary companies are located.
- What game experience do you want to offer players? Giving players options for new gaming experiences will increase player retention by making sure there’s always something new for them to bet on. Once your operation is up and running, make sure to stay up to date with new releases in order to keep your platform fresh.
- What partners do you have? Cooperating with the industry’s top licensed and certified game developers will also grant your casino more legitimacy in players’ eyes. To ensure your players will always find a game that suits them, you’ll need contracts with a number of different game providers. Partnering with companies that have established reputations also bolsters our own reputation.
- How do you market your brand? As an online casino operator, you’ll have two main missions: finding new players and keeping them. There are several strategies that have proven to be effective. Check out our ebook on online casino and sportsbook marketing, to get an understanding of the main tools, and a brief summary is provided here.
- What bonuses and VIP programs will you offer? Rewarding players for their long-term commitment to your site is a great way to keep them coming back. Players who like to make regular deposits and bet big are a critical segment — that’s where VIP programs come in. These tiered loyalty programs offer increasing rewards, benefits, and perks as players climb the levels of the program.
- Which types of gamification will you integrate? Adding game-like elements to the overall casino experience is one of the biggest current trends in the iGaming industry. Features like player avatars, experience points, and tailored and staggered offers create a more personalized, fun experience and give players a reason to have a lasting relationship with a casino.
- What customer service will you have? Online casinos need a highly responsive support team, available 24/7 and trained in how to handle the most common customer complaints. It’s also a good idea to have a separate department providing personalized care for VIPs. Additionally, your customer support staff should be multilingual — at the very least, they have to speak the same language as the target market.
- What technologies will you integrate in your products and services? As new technologies are introduced, players will come to expect them on your platform. Will you use AI to monitor for problem gambling behavior or ChatGPT to provide 24/7 customer service? Will you implement cryptocurrencies as a payment method? What other technologies will you use to enrich players’ experiences?
“Once you’ve blazed through the above list of steps and launched your online casino brand, it’s time to make sure you’re optimizing every process in your business. At the beginning of launching your online casino it is especially important that each step you take is balanced and measured. Then the development will go in the right direction more quickly and fortuitously,” says Yana Khaidukova, Managing Director at Slotegrator.