Online casinos are great ways for gambling fans to be able to experience all the thrill of the casino environment from the comfort of their own home – or even when they’re out and about via mobile devices.
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There’s one key point to bear in mind about them though: while savvy gamblers are always looking for an edge – and can often make serious money over the course of a career – the ultimate advantage is always with the house. This isn’t to say that the chips are stacked against you as a casino user but only one party is more or less guaranteed to come out ahead over the long haul – the casino owner.
There was a time not too long ago where the idea of starting your own casino would have been preposterous. The need for millions of dollars in startup capital and complex wrangling with casino licenses and operational matters put the option out of reach of all but a tiny, wealthy few. Recent years have seen the arrival of white label casinos though – an option that makes operating your own casino a very real possibility.
In this article we’ll cover what you need to know about setting up a white label casino. We’ll look at the theory behind it, some of the major players in the industry and some key points for you to bear in mind if it’s an opportunity you’re considering pursuing.
Let’s start with the basics.
Before we look at white labelling in the context of casinos, let’s begin with a brief explanation of the concept itself. Wikipedia offers a conveniently pithy explanation:
“A white label product or service is a product or service produced by one company (the producer) that other companies (the marketers) rebrand to make it appear as if they had made it.”
If you haven’t come across this concept before, you may be amazed at how common it is in the world of business. Examples are legion across all types of industries from online dating to travel.
The idea of white label casinos is that you are essentially renting a casino from a third party who provides all of the technological and operational infrastructure behind the scenes while you concentrate on marketing, customer acquisition and branding on the front-end. You’ll receive a cut of the overall takings and probably have to supply some upfront cash in the form of a setup fee.
As the sophistication of casino software providers – and the industry at large – has grown over the last few years, it’s becoming easier and easier to set up a white label casinos of your own.
Let’s look at some of the reasons you might want to do this.
The advantages of setting up a white label casino as opposed to attempting to start one from scratch are simply enormous. You’ll often hear these referred to as turnkey casinos incidentally. Though there is technically a slight difference between the two terms, in practice they are usually used interchangeably. Here are the main advantages that they bring:
- Licensing and legals: Obtaining a casino license, whether for online or offline casinos, is a notoriously difficult endeavour and pretty much every aspect of running a casino has pretty major legal implications. By going for a white label solution, you are leaving all these matters in the hands of professionals who will do the heavy lifting for you.
- Payments processing: Setting up online payments using something like Paypal or Skrill is a relatively simple task but running an online casino involves substantially more on the processing side than simply accepting payments. A good white label casino solution will handle all aspects of payments including risk management and fraud detection and prevention.
- Customer support: If you’ve ever interacted with online casinos as a customer, you’ll know how crucial solid customer support is. Providing this on a professional level takes serious resources in terms of time, personnel and money. White label casino offerings will typically offer the provision of all customer support as an option within their overall package of services.
- Operations: As you can tell from the list so far, there are a lot of moving parts involved with running any kind of online casino operation. By using a white label provider, you can avoid most of the operational overhead that would usually be required.
- Quick setup: The final huge advantage that comes with a white label casino solution follows naturally on from all our previous ones: speed of setup. As you’re essentially taking over something that is already built, setup time can be as little as a couple of weeks.
There is an increasingly large amount of white label casino providers coming on to the market and it can be hard to sift through all the options out there sometimes. Here is a quick list of some of the more established providers to get you started:
- Playtech: Established in 1999, Playtech are one of the biggest names in the online casino world and operate a range of white label casino services. Playtech casino games are favourites across the web.
- Realtime Gaming: Another of the gaming industry’s most established players, Realtime Gaming provider much of the software powering online casinos across the world and also offer white label services.
- Tain: In operation since 1999, Tain provide a comprehensive range of white label casino services.
One quick point to make before you take the plunge into setting up a white label casino is that there is an even simpler option available to you if you are looking to dip a toe in the waters – affiliate casino offers.
This is where you register as an affiliate and take a cut of the action of any new players you are able to send to casinos. Exploring this option is often a sensible first step to take before you take the plunge with your own casino.
If you do decide to go down the white label route, there are a number of points to bear in mind as you go along. Getting started itself is relatively straightforward but you do need to be aware of certain things in advance to avoid disappointment:
- Setup fees: The vast majority of white label casinos will require setup fees and they are often fairly hefty. When you think of the amount of functionality you are accessing via white labelling, it’s only natural that there will be some sort of fee applied to access it.
- Revenue share arrangements: Under a standard white label setup, you will only receive a portion of the overall revenue generated. You need to be very clear about what that percentage is going to be and what the terms and conditions are before you pull the trigger.
- Scope of services/products provided: As with our previous points, clarity is the key here. The exact range of services included with your white label casino varies considerably from provider to provider and there is always room for negotiation about exactly what is and isn’t included. Research your options thoroughly before you begin.
- License/legal issues: One of the main plus points of white labelling is that you are outsourcing the potential difficulties associated with licensing and legal issues to somebody else. The natural corollary of this is that you need to be 100% certain that your provider is legitimate.
Your primary area of responsibility as a white label casino operator is dealing with marketing. It’s going to be your job to get people in the door so your provider can take care of the rest. Make sure you’re up to speed on the following areas:
- SEO and content marketing: You’ll need high-quality organic content throughout your site to attract visitors and point the search engines in your direction. You’ll also need to be sure that your site is set up correctly in terms of technical SEO requirements.
- SEM: The quickest way of attracting visitors to your site is via paid advertising. Different ad networks have different policies when it comes to accepting gambling related content so you’ll need to do some further research here.
- Promotions: If you have the marketing budget to make it work, promotions, prizes, competitions and giveaways can all be great ways of attracting attention to your site.
- Affiliate marketing: You should investigate the option of acquiring your own affiliates as soon as possible to outsource some of the marketing work to others. Most white label providers will be able to provide you with built-in options to track affiliate sign-ups within your casino.
We hope the information above has given you some useful pointers in terms of getting started with your own white label casino. If can afford the time and money it requires to get up and running, operating a white label casino can be a great way of adding a potentially lucrative income stream to your financial portfolio.
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