A poker startup may seem a daunting prospect to some. However, our articles on latereg show you how it can be done in a professional and cost effective manner. The online gaming market (casino, sports betting, Poker etc) is mature, yet it is still growing and there are more opportunities than ever for poker startups. In this post we provide an overview of the different platforms that are available to you.
No Experience Required
Industry knowledge is not required for a poker startup. As matter of fact, an experienced management team can be contracted to take care of every aspect of the operation. Furthermore, you may well be surprised at the reletively low cost of setup and operations. More information on costs (including management fees) can be found here in this article “Launch an Online Poker Site”.
Where Do You Start?
There are many moving parts in an online gaming site. A platform is required to provide the poker software, payment processing and security. Also, players want to access other products such as slot games, sports betting and casino games. Your website will need to be licensed. Don’t be put off, this can all be handled quickly and painlessly. This post explains the different platforms and setup options available to you.
Marketing & Player Management
Affiliates or Agents will help drive players to your website, and they will require access to your brand’s advertising banners. Specialist software allows affiliates such as poker news sites to place banners advertising your brand (like this one below).
When you click on this banner, the link will take you to the sign up page for PokerStars. This link is our affiliate tracking link. We will then get paid by Stars Group depending on the rake that they earn from you. For this process to work, we, as the affiliate, have an account with Stars Group. We can login to the affiliate website and copy the code for the banner above that carries our affiliate tracking code. Therefore, for you to operate an affiliate campaign you will also need this specialist software and a website to host it.
Once players have registered, they will require looking after. For example, your players will expect customer services and support. The players will require managing, just like you receive offers from your poker provider, you will need to offer your players incentives to deposit and continue to play at your site. Therefore, chat support software and customer relations management software is required.
Social media marketing campaigns must be planned and executed to let as many players as possible know that you are open.
What Setup Do I Need?
Below, We explain 5 online poker rooms and the platforms that you will need to operate:
• White Label
• Agent Operated
• Mobile Club Poker
A White Label is when a B2B company (Business to Business) allows you to use their platform, products and gaming license to operate your brand. The company will manage certain aspects of the operation. You pay for these services by sharing the revenue that your brand generates.
The WL provider will furnish you with an online gaming platform with which you can offer gaming products such as; casino, slots, sportsbook, and poker. There is also; live dealer casino, DFS (Daily Fantasy Sports), lottery and scratch cards.
The system back office provides financial and game data. A Content Management System allows certain branding changes. You can integrate the affiliate and customer relations management systems into the platform and access the systems from the same back office.
Affordable start-up costs.
It is possible to start with just poker and add other products later.
You will use the providers gaming license for your brand.
The WL provider takes care of a lot of the day to day management, reducing your staffing costs.
The website is likely to be similar to other sites using the same WL provider. However, there are some branding and marketing techniques that can overcome this, see here.
There is a higher share of GGR (Gross Gaming Revenue) to the WL provider.
You may not be able to have as much control over the site as you wish, for example, there will be guidelines as to what promotions you can run, tournaments you can offer, and player data is sometimes retained by the software developer.
In short, if you have a limited budget and are looking for the quickest and cheapest way to get your site up and running, then a White Label is your best bet.
What is the Cost of a White Label?
This will depend on many factors; provider, Jurisdiction licensing, products, etc. However, it is possible to start a licensed WL casino, with live dealer, slots, sports betting and your poker brand on a network with full management for between €20,000 and £32,000 depending on your preferred licensing body (Curacao, UK or Malta, for example).
A Turnkey solution gives you more control over the branding and build of your site than a White Label. Albeit, at a higher startup cost. The same B2B providers will be able to offer this solution. You will be in charge of creating the front end user experience, with your own developers or using the provider developers.
Your website can be fully branded to your specs and design.
A higher revenue share is available.
You will have the freedom to market and promote your product how you want.
Higher startup costs than with a White Label.
An online gaming license is required and the application is long and expensive.
Increased legal, financial and fiduciary responsibilities.
In short, a Turnkey Solution is best if you have a good amount of money to invest.
What is the Cost of a Turnkey Solution?
There are many factors here. However, average startup should be around €100,000 (including licensing). You will have lost more operational and complaince staffing positions, so therefore your operating costs will be higher.
API (Application Programming Interface)
Third-party products can be added very easily to existing platforms. The easiest way to do this is by using an API call. For example, you already have a licensed gaming platform and want to add poker. Firstly, agree a solution with a poker software provider. Then, integrate the product to your platform.
Allows you to pick and choose what product/s you offer and from which providers.
Quicker to integrate and set up than a new White Label or Turnkey solution.
A higher revenue share is normally available via this method.
This type of integration can be complex and is usually only an option for an experienced online gaming operator.
What is the Cost of API?
It can be low or high depending on the product. Poker software API integration could be between €10,000 and €40,000.
Agent Operated Platform
Many countries that do not allow their citizens to deposit at foreign owned online gaming websites. Also, millions of people do not have the facilities to deposit online. Multi Level Marketing (MLM) is huge in such countries. For example, agents sell goods and services on behalf of companies. So, in some these countries, online gaming operators use an Agent Operated gaming Platform. Chances are, you have not heard much about it. But, do not just think this means India and other Asian countries. The grand old United States of America, the biggest economy in the World does not allow all of its citizens to play online poker, casino or to bet on sports. Only a few States have regulated online gaming. Mobile Club Poker accounts for hundreds of millions of dollars in revneues to a handful of operators (see below) who operate the MLM sytem to get deposits.
Agent Platform Advantages
The software that is available is very compehensive.
Multiple marketing levels may be operated; Country Manager, City Manager, Area Manager, Agent etc.
Full reporting software includes wagers, revenue, commissions.
The operator can give permissions for applying player credit.
No payment processing is required, Agents handle cash.
Agent Platform Disadvantages
Limited licensing possibilities (if required)
Requires a local agent infrastructure
Local partners would be required
Some risk but usually covered by savings on payment processing costs
What is the Cost of Agent Platform
The best agent oeprated platform with access to all gaming products including sports betting risk analysis, agent commission system etc, is around £35,000 (fully operational).
Agent/Club Mobile Poker
The real money, licensed online gaming market has largely been explored by the major operators. However, there is a huge market for poker in countries where real money poker is not allowed or illegal. Players in these countries have few ways to access online poker, one of them is Mobile ‘Club’ Poker, operated by agents. Some of these product are very dodgy indeed, with players going unpaid when the agent disappears with their money. Also, many players describe the RNG’s (Random Number Generator) that produces the cards as inaccurate with too many bad beats. One of the biggest operators is PPPoker with thousands of clubs in the USA, Asia and Australia.
Club/agent operated mobile poker product is now available. This product is far superior than other mobile poker products currently available, including PPPoker. Consequently. the information will be shared in this post here.
Want to Open an Online Poker Room?
So, after reading above, maybe you would like to know more about how to open an online poker room. Do not worry about a lack of experience, our staff will introduce you to a management team or assist with staffing. In this post; “Launch Your Poker Site” we explain the setup proceedure and operating costs of your White Label poker site.
If you would like more information on any online gaming startup, visit the online gaming startup specialists and management company “Here”