How to start an online gaming site

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Youmay well have read about the rampant success of online gambling – a £15 billion a year industry – and thought about getting involvedyourself. There’s just one thing to bear in mind before starting – it’s afiercely competitive marketplace to enter. Make getting started as easy as itcan be by checking out this simple step-by-step guide.

Step 1: Decide whether you want to be an affiliate or an operator

Thefirst thing to consider is: are you sureyou want to be an operator? Another way of getting into the gamblingindustry is by setting up an affiliate site, which earns revenue by directingplayers to operators. Plenty of entrepreneurs have made money in this way. Hereare the key differences between affiliates and operators in the gamblingindustry:

  • Online casinos want to market their services and win more customers
  • Affiliate sites publish content that drives customers to different online casinos, encouraging them to make purchases there

Here’show affiliate marketing in the gambling industry works:

  1. The affiliate site reviews a casino,product or writes about a certain issue in the gambling industry
  2. In affiliate-produced content is a linkto an online casino which directs traffic to their website
  3. Online casinos are able to spot whenusers have clicked through from an affiliate site as the link will containtheir ID or username
  4. All purchases made by those customersare credited to the affiliate account, earning them commission for salesthey’ve helped create

Soyour first decision is whether you’d rather make money as an affiliate –potentially working for many different operators – or go it alone as your owncasino. And ultimately, that decision might rest of how much money you mightmake.

Yourearnings as an affiliate have noboundaries. Someone might earn zero – someone else might earn one milliondollars a month. In general, casinos will pay you a percentage of the grossrevenue you’ve helped earn – ranging from 20% to 40%, depending on how many playersyou’re helping the operator pull in.

Asan online gambling operator – again,there are no limits. The industry is worth around $60 billion, so there’s a lot of money to be made,with many companies listed on the stock market. In order to do this, you’llhave to obtain a gambling licence.

Step 2: Designing your website

Howdo you stand out in such a congested market? Design a quality gambling website– focusing on developing a slick interface, exciting range of games and simplesite navigation.

Fromthe moment your user lands on your main page they should be able to access yourfavourite casino games in just a couple of clicks due in an easy-to-playlayout. Make sure you also focus on featuring an exciting range of games,including engaging slots, immersive live casino and a range of classic tablegames suiting all types of players.

Followthe example of 888 online casino and make sure your gambling website hasthe quality to draw in the huge numbers of customers it does.

Step 3: Choose a payment operator

Dependingon whether you’re operating domestically or internationally, you may need toprovide multi-currency transaction support. The payment service provider thatyou choose will preferably have excellent customer support and offer multiple payment options.

Frauddetection and advanced risk management are also important factors to consider.

Alongsidethis, there’s also an obligation on companies within the UK to monitor theircustomers’ spends and intervene when problem gambling becomes an issue. Failureto find a provider that offers all of these services will not only see youfalling foul of the law, but will scare off potential customers.

Step 4: Choose a gaming software provider

Nowyou have your gambling licence and a trustworthy payment operator, you canfinally start thinking about what you’re going to offer your customers. Thereare several different gaming software providers on the market to choose from.

Aswith the payment provider, it’s important you find a software provider thatoffers your customers the very best gaming experience.

Youcan go for the cheapest options and provide your clientele with basic 2D gameswith dull interfaces – but that might affect how many customers stay on yourwebsite and ultimately hurt your profits. Look for a provider with acustomizable front-end to separate you from your competitors. This will giveyou a large coverage of betting markets and access to a large selection ofcasino games.

Step 5: Invest in technology and resource

Withso much data passing through your server and folder space required, you need toinvest in server farms which can give you the computer power and necessarybandwidth you’ll need to serve millions of customers worldwide.

Whenstarting any business – especially one that serves customers across the world –you need to make sure you have the required high quality technology. Only withrobust infrastructure and systems can you hope to sustain the levels of growthyou should have in sight. For example, a CRM system is essential formaintaining customer relationships and ultimately driving sales growth.

Ofcourse, you’ll also need the right people resources too – including digitalmarketers, who will help push your brand out into the marketplace and grow yourbusiness.

Step 6: Promote yourself

Yourwebsite is all ready to go, it looks fantastic and the customer interface isstate-of-the-art. Now’s the time to begin advertising and pushing yourself outto the gambling world.

Marketing campaigns – From traditional media advertisingsuch as TV and radio, through to blogs, podcasts and YouTube videos – you needto be on every platform to really grow your presence. It’s wise to invest in abig marketing campaign that builds up to your website launch – though this canbe fairly expensive to execute. There’s also organic forms of social mediamarketing, which can be an inexpensive way to drive customers to your site. Offlinemarketing is important too – so think about how you might stage in-personevents and spread the word through postering and other offline formats.

Bonuses – These are a great way to also appealto new customers. Some big online casino brands offer daily deals as well asone-off chances to win big with free spins. Several gaming sites offerregistration offers, like free spins or welcome bonuses, in order to drawcustomers in initially. To keep them there, they offer deposit bonuses, forplayers who add big sums to their account balances. That way, you’re promotingas you go along and build a reputation as a gambling site that not only rewardsnew players but looks after its existing ones too.

SEO/SEM – By ranking higher in Google searchresults, more customers will click through to your pages – driving conversionsand revenue. With so many factors at play here – including your site speed,content and website technicals – it’s a good idea to hire an agency which canmeasure your SEO performance and advise how you can improve. They might, forexample, suggest you focus on developing or optimising content on your websiteso you can establish more authority and a greater presence in organic searchresults, which would complement the inevitable paid marketing push that’scommonplace in the gambling industry.

Step 7: Relax and watch your profits grow

Onceeverything is set-up, it’s all about maintaining a consistent level of serviceto your customers. Once you’ve laid the groundworks with a well-designedwebsite, your main job is to continue to attract new customers with new games,offers and incentives.

Theonline gambling market moves fast, so keep on reinvesting amounts into yourdesign and promotion. That way you can stay ahead of the competition andcontinue to reap the rewards of this competitive marketplace.

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About Annabel Johnson

Part time gamer, reviewer and blogger. Full time geek and tech expert!

View all posts by Annabel Johnson

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