Starting your own gambling site takes serious preparation before diving right in. It’s a big venture to explore, so there is a long checklist worth going over before you can determine that you’re ready.
Planning to create your own sportsbook requires more than just a sack of cash. To truly become the best online gambling site business owner, you have to know the ins and outs of casinos and gambling. Wandering into a casino and playing as a rookie is an obvious mistake. Starting your own business in gambling without knowing the ropes is even worse.
In this article, let’s talk about everything you’re going to have to think about before you start a gambling website. This is a very serious topic, and creating your own business can literally be a matter of solidifying or completely ruining your livelihood. Pay attention!
Develop a Budgeting Strategy
First and foremost, creating a gambling site is not a cheap process. To understand roughly how much you’ll need to invest in your new business, you need to first determine the scope of what you’re about to build.
Are you looking to create a business from the ground up, completely custom, with a source code entirely owned by you? Well, you’d better be a millionaire if so. Developing custom online casino software is going to cost you an arm and a leg, and that’s why most people don’t do it. You’ll also be responsible for hiring on-site staff, coding the games or odds-making system, and so much more.
It’s not an exaggeration to say that roughly $1.8 million is a good estimate to shoot for at the start, according to answers of a popular Quora question on this subject.
However, another approach to starting a gambling site or an online poker site is by becoming a white label. Becoming a white-label gambling site effectively allows you to mirror the software and structure of an already-built gambling site at the cost of paying them a percentage of your earnings. The upside is that this is exponentially cheaper, easier to maintain, and will be up and running much faster.
You can have a white label built with only around $50,000, but it’s still incredibly important to create a proper budgeting plan. You need to do your research and create reasonable estimates for every expense that you’ll need to make for the first six months of your business. As you read through the rest of this blog post, it should become clearer what some of these costs will amount to.
Obtain a License in a Jurisdiction
One of the most important parts of establishing your online gambling site is to determine where to open your business. Despite operating online, it will need to be established in a physical location of which the laws must be obeyed.
The United States is home to the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006, which places limitations on gambling site transactions involving bets or wagers. That being said, a resident of the US can apply for a license to create a gambling site somewhere overseas.
Some of the most popular jurisdictions include Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, Malta, and Montenegro. The prices for the application and annual fees vary greatly—for example, you’ll have to pay $15,000 for the application and a $100,000 annual fee in Antigua and Barbuda, but just €2,330 for the application and €8,500 annually in Malta.
You’ll also need to consider the approval rates and how long it takes to process applications in each jurisdiction. Taxes and additional fees are something else worth paying close attention to, because the application and recurring fees aren’t all that can get you.
I highly recommend that you do extensive research into all of the available jurisdictions where you can apply for a license to open your gambling website, because this holds long-term financial and legal implications.
Choose an iGaming Software Platform
“iGaming” is another name for the online gambling and casino industry. It’s most often referred to when discussing the online gambling space in terms of its practices in software.
With that in mind, there are a lot of iGaming software providers, like EveryMatrix, BetConstruct, Playtech, and OpenBet. The pros and cons of each of these platforms are made clear across product pages and review websites, and it’s on you to determine which is ideal for your specific site model.
The best online gaming platforms are going to provide the following services:
- A fully customizable frontend so that you can design it to match the rest of your site
- Either built-in payment processing options or functionality to work alongside the best payment processors
- An integrated customer support portal
- Either a selection of the top worldwide casino games or integration for the best odds-making APIs and services
- International market coverage
There may be many other requirements that your specific online gambling business needs, but these five are going to be the most important for online gaming platforms.
Choose a Payment Processing Platform
Payment processing platforms, sometimes referred to as merchants or merchant accounts, legitimize the way that your online gambling site’s customers can pay for your services. A few popular payment processors that may work alongside your online betting platform are eMerchantBroker, PaymentCloud, and Durango Merchant Services.
Several online casino white-label services or online betting platforms have integration for payment processing platforms. For example, EveryMatrix uses its own payment platform and risk management system called MoneyMatrix.
Each payment processor is going to allow payments from its own range of options like credit cards, cryptocurrency, and online payment systems like PayPal. There may be a specific method of payment that you’re looking for that you’ll need to ensure is available through the payment processors you’re browsing over.
Create a Site Design and UX
This is the part of the process that can really make or break your entire business. To put it bluntly, no one is going to care about or sign up for your online gambling site if it comes across as untrustworthy.
A significant amount of your budget has to be invested in creating a clear and concise site design and user experience that is going to both allow customers to create and use your website as easily as possible and instill trust in them. If you are running a white-label service, it better not look like it. Gamblers want to be working with the real deal, not another middleman down the line.
Don’t hire someone from a cheap freelancing website to handle this for you. Find web developers and designers from established companies and startups to make your website look as clean and professional as you can get. Thanks to services like the Internet Archive, putting something online has a degree of permanence to it. Create a strong website out of the gate—it’s not something you can build into.
Putting out a shoddy, poorly-designed website to wrap around your online gambling business is like dropping your casino in the middle of the slums. This is a mistake you can’t afford to make.
Market Your Online Gambling Site
When you first create your online casino or sportsbook, you’re a small fish in a massive ocean. How is anyone going to find you? The only way for your business to get off of its feet is if you launch it with a respectable advertising budget.
You’ll need to be familiar with self-serving ad platforms, like Google Ads, Facebook Ads, and Quora Ads. There is much more real estate for online advertising than there is for physical advertising, but that’s something you may eventually be able to move into.
If you decide to take on the task of controlling your own marketing campaigns, you’re going to have to learn about basics such as how to gauge a reasonable CPM, what a good click-through rate looks like, and how to target high-performing keywords in the online gambling industry.
Some keywords on Google are so hot that they’ll cost you over a dollar per click, so imagine thousands of people clicking on your placements per day. Online advertising involves haggling for lower rates, getting better (and more) display ad exposure, and knowing when, where, and who you should be targeting. It’s all about analytics.
Your website is also going to need a lot of written content to appeal to search engines. Traffic from search is one of the most effective ways to succeed as an online business, but again, the online gambling space is incredibly competitive. You’re going to need a great marketing strategy to make it.
As you can see, getting started with your own gambling site isn’t as simple as picking up the idea today and launching tomorrow. This is a process that can take months and years, or even that long just to finally obtain the license and legal documents required to be able to get started. It’s no joke!
However, having more gambling sites available encourages a healthier space as a whole. Competition breeds better services, so you’re doing a big favor to the online gambling community by even considering this, even more so if you follow through.
With good comes bad though, and there are also risks involved with these new gaming sites. As a customer, trying out a new site opens you up to the potential of being scammed, and that’s why reviews matter. Review sites that take an objective look at gambling, like LegitGamblingSites.com, are incredibly important. Don’t be the guinea pig and let sites like ours do the testing for you.
In closing, becoming a better gambler and bettor can do nothing but help you succeed in owning your own business that revolves around the two, so become a student of sports and the casino. Who knows, maybe the earnings that you rack up along the way will even be what helps you kick off your own gambling business. One day, your site might even be featured on our list of the best online casinos.