As an avid online gambler, you might have found yourself spinning the reels and contemplating running a casino of your own. If you have been on the losing end of the gambling process, chances are, you have wished to be on the other side.
All casino games’ results are determined by the random number generator, so there shouldn’t be any favoritism when it comes to gambling. However, “the house always wins.” It is a well-known rule. If you look at the RTP of any game in a casino, you will know that it is correct. So it could be very tempting to consider becoming the host instead of the guest.
But what about the cost of operating an establishment such as this? How feasible it is for your average gambler to get started?
Truth be told, without a million dollars at your disposal, it would be difficult even to make the first step towards owning an online casino. Land-based casinos are even more expensive since the cost would include a location and physical machines as well. In this article, we will focus on online slot casinos, as these appear to be a more reasonable option. Still far out of reach of most gamblers, but theoretically, more reasonable.
Why and When to Invest
Online gambling is currently a booming industry. With the rapid development of technology, what used to be mostly associated with having a good time in Las Vegas has become available to everyone, everywhere, and at all times. You are probably aware of how easy it is to join a casino nowadays and what a great variety of games is at your disposal.
However, online gambling is not regulated in every country. If you are a player from the U.S., chances are you have noticed that online casinos are not permitted in all of its states. However, the tides are slowly changing, so you should be on the lookout for all the new information regarding casino regulations.
But why should you choose to start an online casino instead of a more traditional, land-based one?
As stated previously, the costs would be significantly lower. On average, each new casino machine costs between $14,000 and $25,000. When you exclude expenses such as the maker’s profit and the distributor, you will get its real value — approximately $5,000–$10,000. To avoid paying such prices, some land-based casinos rent their machines.
However, online establishments have much higher payment flexibility, do not need guards, and do not come with electrical bills. It is not difficult to gather that a virtual casino would be a more affordable option.
For an online casino to operate successfully, you will want to attract and accommodate as many gamblers as possible. This means that you will need a great variety of games and special features to entice new players. So get ready to provide many table games, video slots, and a number of ways to make them exciting. Additionally, you should offer bonus games and free spins for all the gamblers who enjoy playing slots.
One of the most attractive features of any successful online casino is the progressive jackpot. You are most likely aware of how massive this reward can be. So how do you pay out such a vast amount?
OK, let’s not get ahead of ourselves. First, you need to set up your casino, and to do this, you “only” need several things.
First of all, you will require professional software. Your software provider needs to be able to offer an up-to-date gaming management system, multiple betting markets, an ability to access the best international casino games, various currencies, and customer support.
For development parcels, you will have to pay anything between $100,000 and $300,000. Some of the best-known names in the industry when it comes to iGaming software are Microgaming, Rival Gaming, Top Game, NetEnt, RTG, Novomatic, and Playtech. RTG and Rival Gaming software packages cost around $100,000, Microgaming about $250,000, while Playtech prices its parcels at $200,000 and goes up to $300,000.
Furthermore, you will need a gambling license. As this kind of gambling is not regulated in every country, you should check out some of the most popular hosting locations. Many reputable organizations operate from places such as Malta, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Curaçao, or Antigua.
However, licensing comes with a sizable cost too. If you decide to get an Antiguan license, you will need to spare $75,000 for one year, as well as a percentage of the business’s profit, while in order to get a wagering certificate, you will be required to set aside $50,000.
We advise you to check out white-labeling. This solution allows you to lease the essential parts of your endeavors — the software, the payment system, and the gaming license.
No online casino can function without a site and a dedicated server. When it comes to building a gaming website, the cost should be about $3,000.
Every reputable casino needs a customer support team ready to assist the players at all times. The staff needs to be able to cover all time zones, 24 hours a day. So you should be prepared to employ at least a dozen professionals to do this job.
Next, you will want to merchandise the website, and for this, you will need to pay Affiliate Managers to mobilize the associates. In order to maintain the most lucrative customers, you’ll need a Player Retention Manager to keep them coming back. And as with every web-based facility, an IT team consisting of a few professionals will be necessary to make sure everything runs with no hiccups.
Now, to maintain your staff, be prepared to spend between $200,000 and $300,000 per year. And if you think this number is too high, you might want to employ people from outside of Western Europe or North America since the wages in these areas tend to be larger than in other places.
You might be wondering how much a casino costs to run for an hour. Well, when it comes to online casinos, most of the expenses are not hourly. They are either monthly or annual, except for the technical support staff.
It could be extremely tempting to contemplate running your own casino. After all, the establishment always wins in the long run, no matter the players’ individual results. But if it were easy, everyone would be doing it.
The overall cost of operating an online slot casino is out of reach for most people. You would have to consider the cost of software, licensing, marketing, and staffing, among other expenses. These tend to be very costly and require a long term commitment.
So if you don’t have at least a million dollars to invest in this endeavor, you will have to keep experiencing the gambling life as a player. And who knows, you might become eligible for this venture as early as your next bet!