Yana Khaidukova is a Managing Director at Slotegrator. Khaidukova is a business development expert. At Slotegrator she was Head of the Customer Account and Vendor Departments for 3 years, having worked with clients and partners. She now manages a variety of processes at the firm.
The online casino industry has seen significant growth in 2022, with the global market now expected to grow at an average annual rate of 11% through 2030. With that in mind, Yana Khaidukova, managing director at Slotegrator, reviews how to open a top online casino in 2023.
The pandemic, the geographic expansion of gambling legalization, and the growth of online promotion opportunities for gambling businesses gave a strong impetus to the development of the iGaming market. The sheer profitability of iGaming is prompting numerous entrepreneurs to consider starting a business of their own. In 2022, market research firm H2 Gambling Capital, which analyzes the gambling market, shared that worldwide iGaming revenue should reach $117 billion in the next 5 years, more than twice the number for 2018.
As more and more countries begin to recognize the economic potential of the gambling industry and regulate the sector, more markets are popping up across the globe at an astonishing rate. At the same time, the impressive speed of technological innovations in everyday life is erasing the business horizons that existed in the past, leaving behind a wide range of opportunities for long-term projects and smart investments.
Here’s how to open a top online casino in 2023, according to the experts at Slotegrator.
If you fail to plan, you plan to fail. First, you need to define the target market, make a detailed business plan (which you also need in order to obtain a gaming license), create a financial plan, learn all about the regulations of your target market, and obtain a license. Careful planning is an important stepping stone to success.
Legislation governing the gambling industry varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, and sometimes even varies within the same country.
For those who are just starting their way in the world of online casinos, it is recommended to choose the jurisdictions of Curaçao, the Isle of Man, Alderney, Gibraltar, or the UK; and for those who are seeking to reach the next level of business, the jurisdiction of Malta is popular. These recommendations are based on an analysis of market dynamics and the specifics of obtaining gaming licenses.
More and more legal markets are appearing, which opens new opportunities for investors. The tendency towards the legalization of gambling, both online and land-based, is now global. Recent moves to regulate in Germany and the Netherlands are a few examples. The tide is also turning in Asia: Thailand is discussing the details of market regulation, and a pilot program is being tested in Vietnam, allowing locals to play in casinos where previously only tourists and some states in India are considering regulating online gambling.
Careful study of regional regulations is necessary to be sure there are no legal barriers between online casinos and their target audience.
The more detailed your approach, the clearer it will be for marketing to understand what business strategy to follow, how to attract and engage players, and what marketing tools to use. The right questions will lead to the right audience segmentation, and therefore a laser-focused targeting of your customer.
Determining audience preferences will be one of the most important stages when developing an online casino project.
Platform software is the foundation of the business. High-functioning software is essential to ensure that gameplay is never interrupted and that the platform’s UX is inviting and easily navigable.
In 2022, Slotegrator introduced an updated online casino platform, which has all the functions online casinos need — the integration of gaming content and payment systems, affiliate services, and 4 special modules for the efficient operation of online casinos: an analytics module, risk management, a bonus module, and a KYC module. These modules allow the operator to increase revenues by up to 23% through the elimination of alternative costs.
Another important characteristic is security. Sometimes online casinos are subject to hacking attacks. For this reason, in the process of obtaining a gambling license, the authorities make sure that the project is protected from all fronts, requiring quality software and, at the same time, reliable systems for tracking potential risks. The risk management and KYC modules on Slotegrator’s platform help keep online platforms safe.
Bonus programs are well-known to increase player retention. The main advantage of this strategy is the typical variety of bonuses you can offer your audience: welcome bonuses, deposit bonuses, free spins, free game chips, free bets, loyalty bonuses or activity bonuses. The list depends on your imagination and the feasibility of certain steps toward attracting players.
Increased gamification, such as having a leaderboard for certain games and holding regular tournaments, is also increasingly common.
Affiliate marketing is one of the most effective ways to attract players in the online casino industry. First of all, this strategy provides a high return on investment (ROI) because it is focused on results — affiliates are rewarded based on how many players they direct to a platform, and often receive a share of their losses, giving them the incentive to send as many quality players as possible. It is also easy to measure the effectiveness of an advertising campaign with this form of collaboration. In some markets with high levels of advertising restrictions, affiliate marketing is also one of the only available options.
Just as people are judged by their appearance, players scan online platforms before shifting their attention to the functional part of the site. Therefore, developing an appealing design requires careful consideration: color scheme, dominant palette, size of banners and buttons, location of the latter, and many other aspects.
Game content developers are always in fierce competition, trying not only to meet the demand but also to generate it. At the same time, it is important to create a quality partner network, working not only with proven market players but also with small studios that enter the market with fresh games and ideas. This allows operators to offer players fresh and interesting games on a regular basis.
The hardest part is giving players a competent and engaging tour of the offerings so that, in the end, they can be impressed and choose what they would like. Gaming content should be grouped according to the most sought-after requests, such as the genre or volatility of the games; players shouldn’t have to search too hard to find what they want.
Fast and reliable payment processing is a must-have for an online casino. Deposits and withdrawals should be as speedy as possible to maintain players’ satisfaction and the casino’s good reputation.
Similar to gaming content, studying your target market will help you determine the most popular systems and currencies in the region, as well as which are needed to meet the demand of the platform's international users. Online casinos should employ as many verified payment service providers as possible in order to make sure that players never have a problem making deposits or withdrawals.
Essentially, the more payment systems available, the better.
"Today, opening an online casino is considered a promising area for investment," emphasized Yana Haidukova, managing director of Slotegrator. "It is very important to go step by step through the process of preparation, obtaining a license, thinking through a marketing strategy, and entering the market. Only in this case can you expect high profits and plan future expansion".