In Europe their are many entrepreneurs, but what does it actually take to start your own online casino? Many entrepreneurs will have asked themselves this question. The global market for online gambling is huge. Millions of people gamble online. In addition, the global market of online casinos has also grown in recent years. This increase will continue in the coming years. In 2023, the total market size is estimated to be USD 92.9 trillion in 2023 and USD 127.3 trillion in 2027. These figures have been researched by Grand View Research, which is the largest global market research database. Due to the enormous environment of the iGaming market and the regulation of the online gambling market in the Netherlands, the thought of starting your own online casino is therefore not so strange. In this article you can read more about what exactly it takes to start your own gambling site.
What makes your online casino unique?
There are hundreds of online casinos on the internet, so the question is what makes your online casino so unique? Differentiating yourself in this competitive market is very important for success.
A good example of this is the online casino LeoVegas, this company was founded in 2011 with an important vision for the future. The Swedish founders of LeoVegas, Gustaf Hagman and Robin Ramm-Ericson, realized in time that the online casino market would change drastically in the coming years. Especially thanks to the rise of the smartphone, and the unique possibilities that this brought with it.
In the years before 2011, people already sporadically played with other providers via smartphone or tablet, but all online casinos did not yet have such an advanced software platform that also worked user-friendly and intuitive on the smartphone and tablet. LeoVegas has made this a spearhead from the start, to develop a unique platform completely in-house. This enabled the company to set a major goal of developing the first mobile-friendly online casino. Today, the company has about 700 employees, in 2020 LeoVegas had an annual turnover of 387.5 million euros.
If you are starting your own online casino, it is important to have an important vision that makes your company distinctive. This does not have to be just in the field of technology, by the way. For example, your company can also be distinctive in the field of marketing. A good example from practice is the online casino Mr Green. This company has a stylish English gentlemen as its mascot. It is also a catchy name. Mr Green has managed to create a certain unique atmosphere on the website and in the apps. With a catchy logo, name, design, range of games and successful marketing campaign, you can also get ahead.
But then of course comes the question, what do you need to start your own online casino?
What do I need to get started?
To start a gambling site yourself, you need quite a bit, you will be shocked by this list of supplies. Then read further on in this article for the possibility to set up a white label casino. You then use the infrastructure of an existing software platform.
To be able to offer online games of chance via the internet you need a casino license. This license is issued by a supervisory authority if your own online casino meets the predetermined criteria. There are various casino licenses available, it just depends on what your budget is and which markets you want to serve.
Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority has been a major regulatory body for online casinos since the 1990s. The company has a reliable reputation in the iGaming industry. The strict rules to obtain a license also ensure trust with the player. A license from the Malta Gaming Authority applies to It is a solid basis for obtaining more country-specific licenses from there. You can read more about the specific rules in our article about casino licenses. The annual recurring costs are €25,000. Most online casinos also have a branch in Malta.
UK Gambling Commission
If you also want to conquer the UK market, a license from the UK Gambling Commission is required. Most online casinos enter this market quite soon after their establishment. In the year 2020, the annual turnover of the total number of online games of chance was 5.7 billion pounds. This makes it one of the largest regulated markets worldwide. In addition, it is easier for an online casino to meet most of the requirements once you already have a casino license from, for example, the Malta Gaming Authority. Please note that there are also country specific requirements in the UK. Especially in the field of advertising there is strict legislation that you need to be aware of to avoid a fine. The cost of a UK Gambling Commission license depends on the annual turnover. Fees start at £5,711 for a subscription and £3,748 annual recurring fees. Up to £14,647 for an application and £49,219 recurring annual fee.
Design brand, logo and corporate identity
As we mentioned earlier in Mr Green’s example. A good brand, logo and corporate identity can really help you when you are going to market your own online casino. If we make an estimate, this comes out between €500 – €10,000 depending on whether you are going for a starting freelancer or professional design studio.
Website / app
The website and app of an online casino is of course one of the most important parts. Here players can find the game offer of your own online casino, here also the transactions take place. The previously designed logo and corporate identity must be fully implemented on the website and app for optimal recognition of your brand. The whole is being converted into a functional online casino. The costs for designing an app and website depend of course on the functionalities, our estimate is between €50,000 and €200,000.
Of course you want to offer the players in your own online casino a sufficient range of games. In recent years there has been a trend to collaborate with a large number of game developers to make the game offer as attractive as possible. It is quite common to partner with 20 or more game developers for an optimal selection of casino games. This is also the part where the costs can rise considerably. The larger brands in the market charge for a basic package between €200,000 and €250,000. If you then want to add a new online slot machine to your range, you pay between €2,500 and €3,500 per game. However, these amounts can differ considerably between game developers. These costs depend on the market share and popularity of the game developer.
Casino software platform
This is the part where things get a little more complex, of course all these game developers and online payment methods have to be processed in a casino software platform. The costs for this vary, you can easily think of an amount of € 200,000 if 4 experienced programmers work on this for one year. A cheaper solution is an online casino white label, more about this later.
Online payment methods
It is important for the casino player that there are sufficient options to buy and pay out credit. There are also various online wallets that are popular among players such as: Neteller, Skrill and Trustly. If you want to start your own online casino, you should enter into a partnership with these companies. However, it doesn’t just stop with an agreement, these online payment methods also have to be integrated into the casino platform. In most cases, you will be charged for each transaction. Some companies also charge start-up costs, the costs differ per company. In addition, players must also be paid funds, one company that carries out such transactions is WorldPay AP Limited.
Staff is a major expense for any online casino. Certainly the larger organizations have a long list of personal members. In order to meet the requirements of the casino license, each individual member must be thoroughly screened. For example, you will be asked whether you have come into contact with the law, and you will also be asked about previous employers and family members. This screening process is important to rule out criminal interference. If you are going to work at an online casino, keep such a screening process in mind.
As we have indicated before, many personal members are needed if you are going to start your own online casino. Below you can find a list of departments that an online casino has at its disposal.
- Data analysis;
- Legal department.
Some departments can consist of 3 to 20 people. This can of course be quite expensive if you employ these members full time. But of course you don’t immediately start with 70 people. The staff grows with the organization.
Work with experienced people from the iGaming industry
When you start your own gambling site, it is important for some functions that you choose staff members with experience in the iGaming sector. This way you can take advantage of the experience a staff member brings from previous positions at other online casinos.
Marketing is one of the biggest costs when you start your own online casino. You are dealing with large international parties that have been active for many years. To be able to compete as an online casino you would need at least €500,000 in the first year to market your brand. We are talking about a minimal budget, large international parties spend a multiple of this amount on an annual basis.
Make sure you have enough budget
If you’re not already scared of the cost, maybe you are now. Because it does not stop at the aforementioned cost items. What happens if you have just opened your virtual doors to your own online casino and someone wins a €600,000 jackpot? Then you should be able to pay out. There are also casino games with a high chance of winning. If you can’t pay out, you have a problem and you can expect a lawsuit. Speaking of lawsuits, it’s always good to have a reservation for any costs associated with a fine or lawsuit. As the holder of a casino license, you are closely monitored by the supervisory authorities where you have a license. If you do not comply with the rules, you may be subject to a fine. Amounts of such fines can vary from a few tons to a few million euros.
The costs of your own online casino
Below you can see an overview of the costs if you want to start your own online casino.
- Casino licenses: One-time investment €80,000 / €30,000 annually;
- Design brand, logo and corporate identity: One-time investment €500 – €10,000;
- Website and App: One-time investment: €50,000 – €200,000
- Game offer: One-time investment: €250,000 (minimum costs) / Annual: Percentage of sales (depending on the game developer);
- Staff: Annual: €750,000 (startup with 15 staff);
- Marketing budget: €500,000;
- Unforeseen costs: €1,000,000.
According to our calculation, you need at least €2,200,000 budget to start an online casino yourself. Then we are talking about a fairly simple online casino with a fairly limited range of games. There are online casinos that only spend the above amount on marketing on an annual basis. So know what you’re getting into if you want to enter this competitive market. A cheaper option is that of a white label, you can read more about this below.
Alternative option, choose a white label casino
Instead of reinventing the wheel yourself, you can also sign a contract with a white label casino. The advantage is that you can use the software platform, game offer, technical support, payment method and licenses. In return you pay one-time and sometimes recurring costs. At some parties you already have your own white label casino from €10,000. The prices can increase further as you have more wishes.
What is a white label casino?
If you have your own white label, you have an online casino that uses the software, payment methods, licenses, games and the staff of specialized companies. You use these services and you often pay one-time and sometimes recurring costs for this. Once you have chosen a white label provider, you can realize your own custom website design within the established frameworks of the platform.
The advantages of your own white label casino is of course that you do not have to arrange everything yourself. As you have read above, starting an online casino is not easy, there is a lot involved. These specialized companies already have the complete infrastructure ready. This saves considerable costs during the start-up phase but also when it comes to recurring costs.
A white label casino not only has advantages, the disadvantages are that you can be less distinctive. You can of course adjust the design to your own liking, but broadly speaking your casino will resemble a number of other brands. If you use a platform from a white label provider, you cannot make significant changes to the platform yourself. This can be seen as a disadvantage, especially if you have very specific plans to set yourself apart from the competition.
Popular white label casino platforms
Below are a number of popular white label casino platforms
- White Hat Gaming;
- Together Gaming;
- L&L Europe;
- Aspire Global