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How much does it cost to start an online casino?

Many people who know how cheap it is to create and run a website are interested in launching online casinos. If you are one of them, you should know that the situation is slightly different when comparing gambling websites with regular websites. Still, starting an online casino is much cheaper and more straightforward than opening a land-based one. In this case, you don’t need millions of euros, but you’ll still need a significant amount of money. Many websites dedicated to online gambling, like GoodLuckMate, for example, have analyzed this topic and come up with conclusions.

The important thing here is to understand that the final cost depends on many things, which will be analyzed in this blog post.

Creating a site

This is probably one of the first steps you should take in the process and the most inexpensive one. Modern online casinos are not built from scratch, meaning most use relatively inexpensive templates. We are talking about amounts between €1,000 and €10,000. Of course, if you go with a new, trending company, you can pay less. Still, experienced website designers and design agencies will ask for more.

The complexity of the website (how many pages, the design, imagery, etc.) will also play a role. If you want a mobile application, that will require a few hundred (or even thousand) euros more.

Online casino license

Many online casinos operate without a license, but it’s much better to get a license because most players today stick to this category of gambling sites. Fortunately, you can choose ones issued by various authorities in this field, which don’t cost the same. For example, a license from the UK Gambling Commission can cost over €200,000 a year. In contrast, a license by the Malta Gaming Authority can go as low as €30,000 per year.

In this case, it all depends on your target audience. If you are focused on UK players, you should definitely get one from the UKGC, and the MGA license works for most European countries.

Getting an online casino software

Another thing you should take into account is the casino software. Some brands have in-house software, but this is a bold and risky move. Creating your own software requires time and money, and you can never predict the results – the players might like it, but it can also be a complete failure. So, we recommend getting pre-made online casino software from reputable brands like NetEnt, Microgaming, Amatic Industries, etc. This will make it easier to get their games too. The cost of the software starts at €20,000 per year.

For a higher sum, you can also opt for gaming aggregators like Digitain, GamingSoft, White Hat Gaming, or SoftGamings. These companies have deals with dozens of casino software suppliers, meaning your website will get hundreds of games immediately. Don’t forget that some of these packages cost over €100,000.

Creating a team

Online casinos don’t need dozens of employees (at least not at the beginning) like their brick-and-mortar counterparts. That’s where you can save a lot of money. Yet, you will still need money to pay the site’s small team. For example, good customer support is a must. You can choose to provide live chat/phone support 24/7 or only during working hours if you want to save money.

Then we have the IT technicians that should take care of the flawless work of the site. Many online casinos have marketing departments, account managers, and other positions. Even if you start small, you should be prepared to pay at least €30,000 a month for this purpose. You can cut the cost by hiring freelancers or external agencies to do some of these tasks in the beginning.

Cash reserves

Every company needs money they can keep on hand to meet their short-term and/or emergency funding needs. This is especially true when it comes to online casinos, where the cash flow changes rapidly. Also, this is not something left to you to decide on – the payment processors you have made a contract with will ask you to keep such reserves. In this way, players can rest assured that they will get the money they won without delays.

This cash reserve is usually at least €100,000. On top of that, you must pay between €20,000 and €50,000 to use the payment processor. The situation is slightly different when using cryptocurrencies because processing these transactions is way cheaper.

Final thoughts

While it’s true that starting and running an online casino is much more affordable than doing the same with a land-based casino, it’s also true that you will still need a lot of money to get involved in such a business venture. So, if you are interested in that, create a business plan and consider all the initial and ongoing expenses. 

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