There is a wealth of information on the internet about gambling and betting. How to start a gambling website, what do people bet on, is a betting exchange better than a sports book or casino website, or do users prefer betting online rather than betting offline? What is lacking in many of these posts is not the information they provide on starting a gambling website, but rather exactly where to start. So Where do you start, you ask? and how do you start? Would you require funding when thinking of starting your own gambling website? Are there legal pitfalls in running an online sports book or casino gambling website?
Asking these questions is only a tip of the iceberg in knowing exactly what you are getting yourself into in running a betting exchange or any of the other gambling websites, but knowing the answers will better your chance or odds in running a successful online gambling site. So where do you start? You can search and search around the world wide web and gather all the information (highly recommended) on starting your own casino, running a proper betting exchange, or on providing a fair online sports book atmosphere to your users, but knowing exactly how to use this information is key in running your outfit.
Before we get into how to use the information you gather properly, you may want to visit some of these places if you have not already done so: gambling forums, casino pages, sports website, news pages on gambling, pages on the “internet gambling regulation act” and how it will affect your online website, laws governing gambling and paying close attention to the dates the country each specific information pertains to and so on.
By now you must be thinking this is a bit to extreme. But ask yourself this: do you know what each gambler want, do you know what will make them use your site over the next Joe website. Simply put you need to know the things that will drive advertisers, sponsors to your site (funding) and most importantly what will drive users to your site. You can have the best house on the block but if not one knows about your house or you, well you get the picture.
If you have visited the suggested headings listed above and read up a bit more on gambling and the laws governing online sports book, casinos, poker rooms and betting exchanges and still wish to continue then read on my friend, you have gotten over the first hurdle. Now that we have you thinking outside the box and have a better understanding on what’s in store for you lets tackle the first and very most important question you would first need answered “Is gambling legal”.
Now this is the most important because if you are thinking of conducting or running a gambling website in a country, city, state, province, town, what ever it may be and its not legal. Like monopoly you will be fined or worst you will go directly to jail. Sorry boys and girls but we need to make one thing clear here being online business doesn’t mean a thing to the government and the authorities. You will need to register a business or acquire a business license (not the same as a gambling license), you will need hosting and you will need a bank account to hold the money generated from your sports book, betting exchange, poker or casino website. So finding out if gambling is legal where will be running your business is extremely important.
To give you a better picture of things 9/10 planning to run a gambling website have had to opt for an offshore operation. Why you ask? Well that obvious of course. In places like Costa Rica there are laws in place for gambling, but there are no law against online gambling neither is there a need for a gambling license (more on gambling license later), but you will again have to do your research, if you are serious about running a sports book or any of the other gambling websites, prepare yourself to gather information. Here is Tip #1 – Speak to a Lawyer (a reputable one if you can) they will shed a LOT of light on your situation and point you in the right direction.
So this brings us to our next question, licensing, and no its not your drivers license. A gambling license is required to run a betting exchange, sports book, casino, poker or any other gambling website most of the time but not always. This is why again you will need to do your research. But you know what they say, when in doubt get one. That was a joke Joe. If you are really unsure speak to that lawyer friend that you spoke to in tip #1 about this and any other documents you may need to complete this process, ask your local gambling or gaming authorities/associations in the jurisdiction where you plan to run your online gambling website for advise. So remember a gambling license is recommended but may not be required. Tip #2 Visit the local gambling authorities.
By now you should have gathered enough information to get you on the right track and keep you out of jail or worst a state prison.
Let us touch on a few more key areas on running your own gambling website. You will need some (the more the better) research and marketing to be done. But haven’t you already gathered enough of your own research? No Joe. That was just information gathering, getting your feet wet, getting to know how the industry thinks. Don’t assume anything. There are rules to every game, and yes there are rules to running an online business and especially a sports book, betting exchange, poker room or casino. Just because you know a little about running a website, the rules and strategies change for each business, and you will definitely need to know about these rules if you are even dreaming of becoming successful in the online gaming and gambling industry. This doesn’t mean visiting all those forums and readings were for nothing, they will definitely help when you are ready to run your advertising and marketing campaign, you will be more than glad that you did.
If you have not already done a business and/or marketing plan this will more than likely lead to the development of one. Getting to know your target market, trends, location, gender, users’ habits, wants and dislikes etc will all help you to become better aware of your strategies and help in your success. So hire a reputable marketing company or speak with a friend or someone in the marketing field that can shed a bit more light on your exact situation and point you in a better direction. You don’t want to find out the hard way that the market you were targeting does not care much for gambling. Tip #3 Get proper research done.
This brings us to our next area of interest “staff or team”. From your information gathering and research you must have realized that ever if you may want to make this a one man show you will need a team or some sort of staff. Now a team does not mean you have to hire on a full time staff. Even big time giants like Microsoft, IBM, Logitech contracts out from time to time. It just means you will need a little more than just yourself in certain areas. Even if you know the gambling world it would be wise to contract some professionals in key areas (even if its for a little while) to show you some hidden places you have not yet covered. You would definitely need a technical someone or a development company that will be able to handle any problems you may encounter, updates you may need for your website, programming you might require, designs you may want to give you that look and feel to set you apart from your competition etc. You will most likely need a bookie, bookmaker, (maybe more than one) who knows about bookmaking to set, update, prepare events, lines and odds on your sports book, casino, betting exchange or poker website. So a team or individual staff is definitely a must, but can be inexpensive if you plan properly and consider contracting. Tip #4 Put together a proper team.
Now we’ve touched a bit on your website, but what sort of website or software will you require. The next on our list will be Software. First ask yourself what sort of gambling website will this be; A full Casino, poker, Betting Exchange, sports book or better yet why not all? This is where your research and information gathering comes into play, review ask questions, speak to your lawyer, and make a solid decision. What are the risk factors, who are my competitors, where do you get my line feeds from? Those are all questions that should have been included in your research and answered by now.
After that is settled it is now time to choose a development company that specializes in online gaming (more specific online gambling). Most if not all would already have products readily available that have been tested and will usually do modifications to fit your needs, it is usually more cost effective than having a website developed and put together from beginning to end. Software can range in prices, expect to pay between EUR 10,000 EUR to EUR 60,000 EUR. Some places of interest may be: Playtech (Rated for their Casino software), E-Prompt C’s BetMore – BetMore Software (Rated for its betting exchange & sports book software), Microgaming (Rated for their poker software). Tip #5 Get good software.
Well that should be it. But lets not forget the last and one of the most important on our list “Financing”. Sports book, betting exchange, poker, and casino websites are by far the most expensive business operations you can ever run, and this does not change the facts for an online operation. You do not need a building, but you will need hosting, you do not need slot machines but you will need software, you do not need cashiers but you will need payment merchants and/or gateways. Speak to your lawyer, speak with your marketing and research team, they will give you pointers to get funding, you will definitely require money to run this business constantly, so find sponsors, investors that will partner with you unless of course you have the cash and is willing to use your own money, Here is a hint you will need more than just EUR 500K EUR. Tip #6 Get funding.