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    How Much Does It Cost To Start An Online Casino Scaled

    How much does it cost to start an online casino?

    Article by : Milena Petrovska Jun 17, 2024

    According to the report from Coherent Market Insights, the online gaming market will grow by around 11% annually over the next seven years. Therefore, many investors are considering establishing an online casino. 

    At the same time, the online gambling industry is highly competitive. There are numerous established players already dominating the market. In turn, this presents a challenge for new entrants. Therefore, new online gaming operators should put in maximum effort. To succeed, new entrants must offer something truly distinctive or superior to what is currently available. This effort will help new casinos to stand out in the industry. 

    However, It is important to note that an online casino requires a substantial investment. In particular, the costs associated with starting an online casino can vary significantly based on several factors, including:

    • A variety of games offered
    • Chosen platform, and 
    • Regulatory jurisdiction in which the casino will operate.

    In this article, you will discover a breakdown of the expenses involved in launching an online casino. This breakdown includes: 

    • Costs of obtaining a license 
    • Costs for developing a website 
    • Creating software and game content 
    • Integrating payment services 
    • managing advertisement campaigns

    We will also cover other expenses associated with setting up and running an online casino.

    Major Factors that Impact Online Casino Cost

    Starting an online casino can be complex and expensive. The total cost will be influenced by several factors, and some of these factors include:

    • Jurisdiction

    The cost of acquiring a license to operate an online casino can vary significantly based on the jurisdiction. For example, the license expense in Malta is approximately $50,000. At the same time, obtaining a license in the United Kingdom could cost up to $2 million.

    It is also crucial to remember that the online gambling sector is subject to various regulations. Acquiring and retaining a license can be costly. In addition, operators need to invest in internal audits and other compliance tools. Furthermore, it is essential to follow the specific laws and regulations in selected jurisdictions. Non-compliance could lead to substantial fines or penalties.

    • Platform and Software 

    When it comes to running a casino, the expenses for the software and platform can differ significantly. For example, solutions from reputable providers such as Microgaming or Playtech may cost up to $500,000 and the price depends on many factors. On the other hand, creating a custom platform in-house can result in even higher costs.

    • Casino Games 

    The expense of obtaining the rights to provide specific games, like poker or blackjack, is an additional factor that contributes to the total cost. As an illustration, the licensing fee for the widely used Microgaming platform can range from $10,000 to $50,000.

    • Marketing and Advertising 

    Operating an online casino entails substantial marketing and advertising efforts to entice players. The associated costs vary depending on the marketing strategy employed, including search engine optimization, pay-per-click advertising, and affiliate marketing.

    • Payment methods 

    Processing payments from players is crucial for the successful operation of an online casino. Establishing and managing payment processing can incur notable costs, including fees for merchant accounts, payment gateway charges, and expenses related to chargebacks.

    • Customer service 

    It is essential for any online casino to offer 24/7 customer support. This includes maintaining a call center, employing support personnel, and offering live chat and email assistance. However, these operational expenses can accumulate rapidly.

    • Technical support  

    Maintaining the software of a casino platform can be a significant expense, encompassing costs for hiring IT personnel, software developers, and hosting services.

    • Legal considerations 

    Employing a legal team to guarantee adherence to laws and regulations and to manage any conflicts or legal matters that may emerge can also come with a significant financial investment.

    • Player acquisition 

    Casino operators must also be prepared to make significant investments in acquiring players. It may be more expensive than anticipated. This process may encompass a blend of paid and organic marketing efforts, customer relationship management strategies, and various other tactics aimed at attracting and keeping players.

    Also, operating an online casino requires substantial investments in key areas such as security measures and compliance to adhere to regulatory standards. 

    In addition, there are ongoing expenses related to employee salaries and other operational costs.

    Initial and Recurring Costs

    When investors start an online casino, they experience initial, or one-off, costs, as well as recurring costs. Above we have mentioned the major expense categories for online casinos. The next stage is to divide these categories into initial and recurring costs.

    Initial Costs to Start an Online Casino

    Launching an online gambling platform also involves initial costs across different categories. The one-off expenses at the initial stage are:

    • Gaming software. The cost depends on a software solution.
    • Licensing fees. The costs for obtaining the necessary licenses and meeting legal requirements can range from $20,000 to $500,000. It depends on the jurisdiction in which the platform will operate.
    • Game and software expenses. This cost can vary widely, but a rough estimate would be between $100,000 and $500,000 to acquire and develop the games and software for the platform.
    • Website development. New casinos should anticipate spending between $10,000 and $50,000.
    • Marketing expenses. Initial marketing campaigns and setup efforts may require an investment of around $50,000.
    • Security. It costs approximately $10,000 to $30,000 to set up robust security measures to protect the platform and its users.
    • Other start-up expenses. Additional setup costs, such as some infrastructure needs, may require an investment ranging from $10,000 to $30,000.

    It is important to note that these costs can vary significantly based on the specific requirements and scale of the online gambling platform.

    Monthly Operational Costs

    In addition to start-up costs, casino operators also have recurring costs, specifically, monthly costs. A very draft budget for such monthly operational costs is the following:

    • Employee Costs. The total sum of the lower end of all the salary ranges from the table amounts to $1000,000 per year. It averages to roughly $83,000 per month.
    • Software. The cost of affiliate software is around $2000 per month.
    • Marketing. The estimated monthly marketing budget is approximately $10,000.
    • Server Costs. The monthly server costs range from $2,000 to $5,000.
    • Security. The monthly expenses for security services fall between $1,000 and $3,000.
    • Other expenses (Utilities, rent and others.). The general monthly miscellaneous expenses amount to $5,000.

    These calculations are very rough and depend on many factors. The process of launching an online casino or any other online gambling platform involves substantial initial investments. Moreover, it is subject to numerous variables.

    Despite the high initial costs, the profit margin in the online gambling market is quite significant. Furthermore, the iGaming industry is experiencing rapid development. Experts also forecast continued growth in this market over the next years.

    Factors that Impact Potential Earnings

    The potential earnings from owning an online casino can fluctuate significantly. While some online casinos have the potential to generate millions of dollars in annual revenue, others may find it challenging to cover their expenses and make a profit.

    The following  factors can influence an online casino’s earnings:

    • Number of Players. The success of an online casino depends on the number of players it has. A larger player base can lead to increased revenue through gameplay and associated fees.
    • Types of Games. In the casino industry, certain games, like slot machines, usually have higher profit margins compared to other games, such as table games. This could be due to factors such as popularity, house edge, and player behavior, which contribute to the overall profitability of the games offered at the casino.
    • Success and popularity of an online casino. The casino’s overall performance, such as its public image and its ability to satisfy customers, can also have an influence on its profits. The financial performance of a casino is closely linked to its reputation among customers and its ability to deliver a high level of satisfaction. 

    Businesses also need to select software. Online gaming software should prioritize such factors as: 

    • Security 
    • Customization 
    • Trustworthy payment options, and 
    • User-friendly interface

    It is also important to pay attention to the following elements of a casino platform as:

    • Responsive layout
    • High-quality graphics 
    • Clear navigation 
    • Mobile compatibility, and 
    • Interactive features

    These factors play a vital role in determining the overall success and profitability of the casino.

    Online Casino Affiliate Programs

    When starting an online casino business, it is crucial first to establish a solid business model. In addition, gaming operators should define their brand’s positioning. This is where casino affiliate programs may help. In particular, these programs can enhance visibility and boost a casino’s revenue. 

    Affiliate marketing is a type of digital advertising in which individuals or businesses promote online casinos and receive a commission for every new customer they bring in. Affiliates employ a range of strategies to direct traffic to the casinos, including:

    • Generating engaging content on their websites and social media platforms 
    • Running paid advertising campaigns, and 
    • Tapping into their network of connections 

    Through partnering with affiliates, casinos can gain enhanced visibility and greater brand exposure. It will result in increased conversion rates and ultimately, higher revenue.

    Casino affiliate programs can be a highly successful strategy for boosting traffic to your online casino. Collaborating with affiliates allows you to tap into their traffic sources and expand the reach of your brand to a broader audience. An affiliate program usually involves compensating affiliates with a commission for each player they refer who registers and plays at your online casino. This arrangement creates a mutually beneficial partnership for all involved.


    When it comes to potential costs and earnings related to online casino operation, it is difficult to provide a precise figure. Expenses and revenues can vary significantly. A properly managed and effectively marketed online casino has the potential to generate profits. Also, it is crucial to remember that operating an online casino comes with significant expenses and difficulties. 

    Moreover, like in any other start-up success is not guaranteed. Starting an online casino can be an expensive and intricate endeavor. It involves numerous regulatory, technical, and marketing hurdles. Therefore, it is crucial to thoroughly assess and comprehend the costs, risks, and potential profits associated with this venture. 

    Milena Petrovska

    Hey everyone, my name is Milena, and I’m proud to say that I’m an iGaming expert with nearly 10 years of experience in the industry. I’ve joined the SlotsUp team to help readers discover more about this exciting market by sharing the most interesting news.