Casino games development is a complicated process that takes a lot of time, effort and money. But, which aspect of the development is the most expensive?
Ever since the dawn of the internet, casinos have had a major upgrade. The online casino business has increased exponentially in the last two decades, and now, it is an enticing prospect for businessmen and entrepreneurs all over the world.
According to recent studies, a prediction has been made that the online betting and gambling market will surpass $123.5 billion globally by the time the year 2026 rolls around. The projected growth of 11.5% per year has been estimated for the market over the next seven years, with room for more.
And while there might be a few naysayers around, the consensus remains that this is one of the most lucrative and promising domains out there at this point.
However, building your own online gambling platform isn't as easy as you might think. The prospect, however enticing, is still an expensive venture with a lot of overhead costs and variables attached to it. Never mind the compliance pitfalls and regulatory potholes you can encounter on the way to the accomplishment of this dream.
In this article, we will deep dive into the different costs associated with getting your own online casino business up and running, pretty much from scratch.
You will explore how to get yourself a license (with the costs associated), create a website (preferably a mobile-responsive platform), develop the games, get payment systems up and integrated. And finally, the great beast—marketing spend!
Let's dive right in, shall we?
Registering a Legal Entity and Getting Started
In order to start a casino business online, you will require the three main things before you do anything else:
- The license to conduct and host the gambling activities online
- The ability to partner with third-party vendors
- The payment methods to make things work for you
And the first step to accomplishing these is to get your company legally registered. The best thing is to register in the country where you will obtain a license. It speeds up the process, and offshore zones have less taxation. This is how much this will cost you (approximately):
- The UK: From €550
- The US: From $200
- Antigua: From $2,000
- Costa Rica: From €2,850
- Isle Of Man: From €1,100
Please note that while these are the fiscal payments for registration, the actual process can cost you anywhere from $500 to 1,000 higher because you will need to get a lawyer and fulfil a lot of obligations before everything is all set.
Setting up the Software
The software is the baseline for your offering. This is where you will start building gambling experiences that can be attractive to the clients and can entice them enough to keep coming back. A gambling software needs to have the following things right from the start:
The Gaming Platform
It needs to be architected in a way that makes the management of platform resources a piece of cake for your teams. You need to be able to administer user accounts with ease. Consider this as a foundation for the website.
This kind of software can cost you anywhere between 10 to 500 thousand dollars (please note that a commission is applicable on these, and that can range anywhere from 15% to 60% of the cost).
Some of the most popular and reliable developers include Real Time Gaming, Microgaming, Cryptologic, and Playtech. If you are starting out and you don't have something too specific in mind, just researching these vendors can save you a lot of time.
On the other hand, if you do have something specific in mind (for example, a casino with a middle-eastern theme), these platforms will be happy to accommodate you. And they have some of the best graphics, features, and capabilities on the market.
The Game Content
Now that you have the platform in place, you will need games. And quite a few of them if you want to cater to a wider audience. You can build a speciality platform (like a slot-only or roulette-only), or you can have diversity, just like most market leaders do. You will have to pay for them. Traditionally, whenever you buy software, the slots will be sold to you along with it as well. However, not every vendor does things the same way.
You can end up spending anywhere from 200 to 5,000 dollars for every game you buy (please note that commissions are charged to you on top of this amount). In order to save some money here, you can buy these games in bulk from the provider. This can end up saving you thousands of dollars.
Some of the most popular and proven providers of casino games include Playson, NetEnt, Microgaming, BetSoft, and Evolution Gaming. And have you tried free slots by Konami: China Shores or Lotus Land?
Now, you will need a system for conducting transactions securely on the site. You need to include a good amount of payment options so that they suit every player from every preference (and most countries).
One payment gateway can cost you around $20,000 per month. You can use suppliers like Visa, Click2Pay, PayPal, Skrill, Neteller, and MasterCard.
Getting Your License
You need to have the right license to conduct a gambling business. You will have to learn about not just local but global regulations as well. Additionally, you will need to pay attention to the classes of these gaming licenses (for example, Malta has 6 different classes). We recommend getting a lawyer to help you with the process—and, of course, that will cost you extra.
Here is how much just the license fee can cost if you're in the following countries:
- Malta: From €15,000
- The UKGC: From €3,000
- Isle Of Man: From £1,000
- Costa Rica: From $40,000
- Panama: From $40,000
- Curacao: From $40,000
- Gibraltar: From $30,000
- Canavec: From C$15,000
- Antigua and Barbuda: From $100,000
- Belize: From $18,000
- Alderney: From $82,000
Please note that the annual fee for these licenses costs extra from country to country. You can also obtain the license from your provider, which can cost you anywhere between $30,000 to $300,000.
Setting up Your Website
Now that you have all the essentials in place, you will have to set up a site that is engaging, mobile-responsive, and secure. Doing so from scratch can cost you from $10,000-$50,000. Doing so on the white label can cost you from $3,000-$30,000.
And if you opt for WordPress, it will cost you from $20,000 to $500,000. Please note that the time required for the site to be operational and the features can vary from option to option.
Marketing Your Business
Now we come to the cost that will be recurring throughout the business's lifespan—marketing and promotion. Between doing SEO and CPA to running ads on Google, apps, websites, and platforms, this can cost you anywhere from $20,000-$200,000 per month.
So, there you have it—your guide to the total cost of ownership of an online casino business. The major costs are the software setups and getting licenses, and the most flexible spend remains that of marketing.
However, we recommend you do it like pros and spend just as much money on marketing as you do on the other stuff. After all, what's the point of a product that isn't visible to your potential customers?