The UK is home to over 30 million people and has a high-income population. This makes it an ideal market for any online casino looking to expand its presence in Europe.
The gambling industry in the UK has grown rapidly in recent years, and online gaming sites such as Britain Play are seeing the fastest growth. Market analysts predict that by 2025, online gaming will account for about 20% of total gaming revenue in the UK – which is around £2 billion per annum at current exchange rates.
Opening an online casino certainly appears a lucrative proposition, however, assuming you have your idea and a team of developers in hand, you can’t just code it, open up and start play – there are some steps you will need to take before launch.
Read the relevant regulations
If you’re looking to open an online casino in the UK, it’s important that you read up on the relevant regulations. The legal framework for running an online casino in the UK is strict, and if you don’t follow all of the rules, your business could be shut down. :
There are two main pieces of legislation that govern how casinos operate: The Gambling Act 2005 and Remote Gaming Regulations 2014 (RGRA). They both set out guidelines for how gambling should be conducted in Great Britain, including licensing requirements and other rules regarding fairness and transparency.
These regulations apply specifically when using remote means such as computers or mobile devices rather than land-based casinos.
Obtain a licence
If you provide facilities for remote gambling (online or through other means), and advertise to consumers in Britain, you will need a licence from the Gambling Commission. Local licensing authorities also provide lottery registrations and gambling permits for pubs, clubs and other establishments for low-level gambling.
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is responsible for regulating gambling in Great Britain and Northern Ireland. In addition to general licensing requirements, you must also adhere to specific rules regarding:
- Games offered on your site (e.g., slots vs table games)
- Currency accepted by players at your site
Plan your marketing strategy
Once you have your plan and licence in place and are ready to start building an online casino, it is important to strategize how you will market your site even before you have finished creating it.
Marketing is an essential part of any business, but especially so for an online casino. Your marketing strategy should be aligned with your business goals and designed around measurable outcomes that can help you achieve these goals.
Before deciding what type of marketing campaign will work best for you, take some time to consider who your target audience is and where they spend their time online. Are there specific platforms where they congregate? Do they read blogs or watch videos online? There are many different types of media available today; understanding how people use these tools will help inform how best to reach them with advertisements, campaigns and more!
You will also need to ensure that your marketing complies with advertising law, for example, your site should promote responsible gameplay and should not be promoted as a means of ‘making money’.
Consider your hosting options
When choosing a hosting provider, there are a few things to keep in mind. First and foremost is the location of your server. You’ll want to choose a company that has servers located in the UK so that you can avoid costly licensing fees and comply with local laws.
Secondly, consider how reliable their servers are. You want to be sure that your site will stay up at all times–and not just when there’s no traffic on it! You also need access to 24/7 support if anything goes wrong or if you have any questions about setting up your website or managing content on it (e.g., adding new games).
Choose a payment provider
You will need to choose a payment provider that meets your requirements. To do this, you should consider the following:
- Is it reliable, secure and trustworthy?
- Has it got a good reputation?
- Is customer service good in case of any problems or questions you may have about using their services?
Recruit a support team
While the core of your business will take place online, you would be amazed how many ‘real world’ staff it can take to support an online gambling business. If a customer experiences an issue with the game or a payment, they will expect a fast response – slow customer service will instantly reduce faith in your business, bad reviews build up and your brand will lose trust. Therefore, before you launch, have a trained, experienced customer support team to help players with any issues that could arise, using virtual staff if necessary.
We’re sure you’ll agree that opening an online casino in the UK can be a daunting prospect. However, if you follow the steps outlined above and educate yourself on all aspects of running your business, it will be much easier to make a success of things.
This article is not a substitute for professional advice and we would always recommend seeking professional advice when starting or running a business