What does it take to start an online casino?

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  • 23 Dec, 2019  |
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Let's face it, digital technology has enhanced our lives quite dramatically! There was a time not too long ago when the telephone was used simply to make telephone calls, would you believe! Back in 1947, microwave technology allowed us to speak to our nearest and dearest that lived across the oceans, and by the '80s communicating via optic fibre became the norm. But it wasn't until 1993 when Simon the smartphone was launched by IBM. Suddenly we had touchscreen technology at our fingertips, we could send and receive faxes, play games online and things were never quite the same again.

The year after Simon was launched, the Free Trade and Processing Act was passed in the tiny island of Antigua and Barbuda. This was the start of licensed online gambling and giants such as Microgaming and Cryptologic Limited wasted no time launching the first-ever online casinos. By the year 1996, there were 15 online casinos available and this figure grew to 200 by the next year. By 2000, there were a record 8 million people playing online games night and day! Online casino gaming sure is big business!

In our article, we'll run through the steps required for starting an online casino. It's worth doing as much research as is possible to get your casino off the ground.

1 What does it take to start an online casino?

Start planning for your online casino launch!

If you've ever had a thought of being part of the growing iGaming online industry by starting your online casino, it's possible! Naturally, you will need to carefully plan the entire process from start to launch and factors such as licensing, jurisdictions and costs need to be carefully evaluated before any decision is made.

There are essentially six important steps to opening an online casino. For starters, choosing the correct software providers and gambling content is crucial to the success of the casino. Another thing to think abou tis, how will you handle casino hustlers?

You'll also need to secure a gambling license and select verified methods of payment for your clients to enjoy hassle-free deposits and withdrawals. Then your website will have to be designed and uploaded followed by smart and effective marketing and promotion strategies so that players know where to find you.

Apply for a casino license

The very first decision that needs to be made is to decide which jurisdiction your casino will fall under. Thereafter you'll also need to arrange a license to trade. Every country offers its own set of legalities when it comes to securing an online casino license. Take as much time as you need to research this stage of building an online casino, as, without a license, you cannot open. It's also a wise idea to enter into contact with a specialized lawyer that can assist you through the intricate and complicated legalities.

Some of the online casino jurisdictions around the world include:

Online Gaming License from Curaçao - Situated in the southern part of the Caribbean Sea, Curacao is about 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela. To obtain a license from this jurisdiction, you'll need to supply a Police Clearance Certificate, a professional letter of reference and other important documentation. The Government of Curacao will also need a copy of your software agreements and proof of a Random Number Generator. Registering with Curacao means 0% tax on casino profits and a fast licensing process that takes around 2 months to be completed.

Online Gaming License from Kahnawake - Situated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission regulates and issues licenses to a large number of online casinos for Canadians as well as online sportsbooks and Poker Rooms. The first annual license fee is around $€40,000, software inspection will cost you about $€15,000 and the annual license renewal fee is approximately $€10,000.

Online Gaming License from Malta - The Malta Gaming Authority makes applying for a license easy to understand and detailed tutorials are offered as videos on their website. Securing a license from the Malta Gaming Authority is considered prestigious as Malta is on the UK Gambling Commission's White List. This means that with a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, you’ll be allowed to welcome British players to your casino. The application takes around a month to be processed and the initial license is granted for 6 months. After that period, the Malta Gaming Authority will extend the license for 5 more years. From the 1st of January in 2018, new taxation rules were instituted for online iGaming such as slots, card games, board games and Live Dealer games. There is an annual tax of 1.25% if profit does not exceed $€3.000.000 and 0.55% for profits up to $€10.000.000.

We've touched on three jurisdictions, but there are so many more available. You don't need to license your online casino from the country you live in, so investigating the advantages and disadvantages of all the different jurisdictions is essential to your decision making process.

2 What does it take to start an online casino?

Choosing Software developers to power your online casino

The two main reasons people stop visiting an online casino is because of long cash out times and a site that's of poor quality. The poor quality could be because there are insufficient casino games, not enough variety, or because the casino games don't load as quickly as they should. To build a successful online casino, enough attention has to be placed on the choice of software developers. Imagine logging into an online casino and the games take too long to load or are difficult to find, you’d soon give up! That's what will happen without software developers powering your online casino. Companies like Microgaming, Playtech, NetEnt and Evolution Gaming are the superstars that power online casinos. They offer flawless software and interesting games that load instantly. Software developers also ensure quick payment methods, a friendly, knowledgeable and easy to get hold of customer services team, great bonuses and promotions and of course, a top-quality casino that’s completely safe and secure to play at.

When people search for an online casino to play at, they usually look at the types of casino games on offer. For slots enthusiasts, the casino must have a variety of classic and modern video slots and for players that prefer card games, classics such as Blackjack, Baccarat, Poker and Roulette must be available. A casino’s Welcome Bonus is every new player's best friend as it offers the opportunity for extended gaming time and more funds in the bankroll. For your existing clients, there should also be a variety of promotions that offer Free Spins and other lucrative bonuses. Take your time and do the homework. Have a look at all the software developers available, compare and analyse them carefully as this part of the process can make all the difference to the success of your casino.

There are 2 types of suppliers you can opt for, and each offers its own set of unique advantages. You can select several software companies that develop the casino games themselves, or you could use the services of Business-to-business (B2B) suppliers, companies that offer casino games as packages. If you do decide to go with a B2B supplier, you will be able to get a sub-license from the company, and this alone will save you much time and money.

Software companies such as Playtech, NetEnt and Microgaming supply premium gaming to around 60% of the market. If you can’t include all the top 3 because of budget constraints, then you should at least consider offering one of them. The average charge per month is around $€10,000 and a 15% cut of the royalties from the casino. Although it sounds quite costly, in the long term opting to use the services of reputable software developers means you’ll more than be able to make up the money in the long run.


The oldest and largest software company on the market, Microgaming launched the first-ever online casino is 1994. If you should decide to include Microgaming to power your casino, you'll have casino games with excellent graphics, story lines and animations. Microgaming also offers amazing Progressive Jackpot games like MegaMoolah, affectionately known as the millionaire maker because of its gigantic jackpot payouts.


Playtech was founded 5 years after Microgaming. They are respected in the industry because of their huge range of games in a variety of different categories, including slots, table games, card games, video poker, and live dealer games. Playtech is also famous for producing fascinating slot games such as their superheroes series from Marvel Comics.

Ash Gaming

Based in London, Ash Gaming is innovative and creative and their games in offer portray these very same qualities. Although the company focuses heavily on slots, they also supply a variety of Roulette games and Video Poker. Ash Gaming doesn't offer any Blackjack but more than make up for this with their library of table games. Sometime in 2011, Ash Gaming was purchased by super software developer Play Tech and the deal was conditional that the core development team stay in place. Ash Gaming might be small but backed by one of the best in the business they supply a large variety of interesting casino games we all know and love and fantastic customer service.

Select your available payment methods.

Once you have registered your business and have decided on your software developers and casino games, and which jurisdiction you'll fall under, the next stage is to select which payment methods your clients will be using. Consider having as many methods as possible as online gamers enjoy a variety. If the available deposit and withdrawal options aren't sufficient to create easy and painless deposits and withdrawals, your clients may look elsewhere.

These days finding the right payment providers to service your online casino is not difficult. Meet with credit and debit card suppliers and enter into contact with a variety of eWallet services such as PayPal, Neteller and Skrill. Casino operators should also consider making available wire transfers, mobile top-up cards such as PaySafeCard and even Bitcoin.


One of the best ways to attract clients is to have an attractive, versatile and easy to use website. If the landing page falls on a site filled with interesting and eye-catching information, your brand awareness will be raised considerably. If you are thinking of opening an online casino, then, by all means, do so! According to statistics, commercial online gaming revenue reached a whopping $€41.7 Billion in 2018, and this is more than enough proof that online iGaming is still considered a lucrative business.

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