Many people are likely to be considering starting an small business site in 2020. Businesses online have seen a sharp spike in demand this year, with demand in the industry growing.
With the coronavirus crisis shutting down a lot of bricks and mortar casinos – which may be less attractive to visit if they can and do reopen – online casinos will become even more popular.
For those thinking about starting an iGaming site in New York State, budgeting for such a move is going to be the first thing to do. Here is our guide to the real cost of such a venture in 2020.
Regulation and licensing
The first thing to be aware of when starting up a new iGaming site is licensing and regulation. Without taking care of business in this area, customers are unlikely to be willing to trust a firm with their cash.
Online casinos, for example, often acquire their licenses from places such as Curacao, Gibraltar and Alderney. Typically, iGaming licenses can cost in the region of $15,000-$20,000 but running an online casino in the United States can cost at least twice as much as this.
Due to the fact that the industry is highly competitive, it is necessary to acquire licenses that show the iGaming site is going to operate in a fair manner.
Keep in mind that at the present time, online gambling is not currently legal in the state of New York, though this is subject to change in the near future.
Remember that offshore operators don’t have the same setup or ongoing costs. For this reason you need to make sure the product offering is way superior.
Compliance is a similar area to regulation and licensing that has to be taken into account too.
Building a high-quality iGaming site
Once licensing and regulation has been sorted for the new iGaming venture, starting the website itself is a natural next step. Basic websites can be quite cheap to run, but as with most things in the world of business, people will get what they pay for in this department.
Some website developers specialize in sites such as those for online casinos and these are likely to charge significantly more. As a guide, it can cost as little as $1,000 to start an iGaming site from scratch, but a high-quality creation will inevitably be priced at a lot more than this.
Keep in mind that the website costs more than the initial price to set it up, as it will need to be maintained too. A white-label solution might be a cheaper way of launching a new iGaming site in New York State. It is also necessary to factor in some important marketing costs here too.
Search engine optimization – usually called SEO for short – should be baked into a new website to give it the best possible chance of ranking highly in search engine results pages.
Without quality SEO, an online casino has little chance of making a splash on Google or another search engine, affecting its ability to reach an audience in this way. Paid search is another option, of course, but this can prove to be a lot more expensive than SEO in the long run.
Some marketing agencies charge for SEO and paid search in a total package, while others will price this up on a monthly basis so they are effectively being kept on a retainer. Bigger iGaming sites will be able to bring this work in-house, but more new sites will outsource this department. SEO can cost hundreds of dollars a month from marketers who are experienced in iGaming.
Extra costs to be aware of when starting an iGaming site
The areas we have talked about here hardly scratches the surface. Businesspeople starting a new iGaming site also have to factor in costs such as customer service and technical support.
Customers at online casinos rightly expect 24/7 customer service these days, which can be costly to implement even if artificial intelligence is now routinely used in areas like live chat now.
A new iGaming site will also need to secure software to run on. Some online casinos pen exclusivity deals with gaming providers to make this easier, but customers like a range of games to be available to play. It is important to get the balance right here.
All in all, it is fair to say the real cost of starting an iGaming site in New York State is not going to be low. It is hard to put an exact figure on such a business being opened up from a standing start, but typically a new online casino can cost at least $1 million to get up and running.