Starting Your Own Casino: How Much Does It Cost?
On the off chance that you’re not bankrolled by the Chicago mob, it’s unlikely that you can build a land based casino. If this is the case, and we both know that it is, then your efforts to get a brand new casino operation off the ground should be concentrated on the internet.
So forgetting about opening up in Vegas, how much would it cost somebody to raise the necessary funds to start up their own online casino?
Well, one bonus is that e-casinos are spared the overheads, which impacts on set-up time and technology. Every consideration that needs to be contemplated with a physical building now becomes irrelevant.
To open an online casino might, at first, seem like a ridiculous idea, perhaps even a little overbearing. Not only is this a relatively new market, but also subject to regular legislation upheavals, particularly internationally. Then, of course, there is the whole host and ever-growing list of competitors all fighting over the same buck.
There are those who already have the backing or credit needed to begin the journey down the road of casino ownership. For others, the affiliate option of promoting other company’s casinos offers a more realistic route into the industry and, with royalties as high as 35% a month, there is definite profit to be made, while the parent company assumes the risk and marketing strategies.
The Tech Problem – Deciding on Your Software
Once you’ve decided to take the plunge on outright ownership of a casino and put your team together you’ll need to decide on the software platform that will host home your games. This will either determine the style of the casino you intend to run or the style of the casino you intend on running will determine your software client decision.
Another approach is to develop your online casino from the ground up, starting on a blank page, save for the idea that inspired you in the first place. This takes time, dedication, drive, ideally experience and a whopping load of wonga. Development packages range from $100,000 to $300,000, and most come with a 15-45% company royalty payment on any net profit which can usually be lowered with higher royalties.
With so little jurisdictions worldwide offering online gambling, “hosting” locations where you’ll locate your server, should be selected on the venue best suited to your needs. The Isle of Man, Malta, and Gibraltar all being popular in European locations, while Antigua and Aruba in the Netherlands, and the Antilles attracts many Caribbean based online casinos.
Casino operators choose these locations carefully for reasons such as reputation and living conditions for their staff, the location’s telecommunications infrastructure, and existing taxation polices already in place for internet gambling. For instance, Gibraltar, while under UK sovereignty, is not subject to the same taxes as operators on the British main land, making it a popular choice for many of British operators.
Similarly, Antigua is a common choice and was one of the first jurisdictions with Internet Gaming licensing. An Antiguan license will cost around $100,000 for a casino, an extra $60,000 for a sports book, and in Gibraltar licenses coast £2000 for the year.
So, we have already racked up setup costs of a half million dollars before we even consider other issues. Issues like hardware, branding, marketing, banking partners, and bankroll. Given the rest of the costs outlined above, a conservative estimate would be around $1-2 million at least. A lot certainly, but worth it.
Is The Cost Worth It?
Setting up an online casino is an extremely tough and engaging process that is very time consuming and financially crippling and yet, even at that $1 million outlay, a well-run casino site will, or should, see that returned at the minimum in the least.
It’s the old adage; you have to spend money in order to make money. Having launched at a cost of $1m, you need to see a return on your investment. The key to running a successful online casino is, of course, marketing.
A well-run casino without sufficient internet traffic is, in fact, a badly run casino and you can kiss your investment goodbye. So marketing becomes vital and it’s wise to spend big here. Most emerging online casinos allow for around $50,000 per month for marketing. The big boys, of course, allot much more.
Totaling up the cost of licencing, soft and hardware, staffing, location, branding and all other considerations, none of which can be a half-hearted, corners-cut effort, you can see that it is expensive and costly at every turn, and certainly out of the reach of many everyday people. If, however, you do happen to have a spare $1m or two, down the back of the couch, it might be worth a punt.