How and why you should start a crypto casino in 2021
Cryptocurrencies are no longer just a science fiction trope. Investors hold their breath as the value of Bitcoin skyrockets and nosedives, and you can even use cryptocurrency to buy a cup of coffee — or a few rounds of an online slot. This article will look at how you can start your own crypto casino.
Blockchain is big. Those who saw investing in Bitcoin as a digital fool’s errand a decade ago are busy kicking themselves as cryptocurrencies march steadily to the forefront of the worlds of business and finance. Transparent, anonymous, and decentralized, cryptocurrencies seem to their supporters like the perfect replacement for standard currencies.
While the question of whether governments will replace their fiat currencies with crypto alternatives is still far off, Bitcoin’s place in the iGaming sphere is already undeniable. Cryptocurrencies appeal to tech-savvy people with an interest in calculated risks. Sound familiar? It should. There’s a big enough overlap between cryptocurrency enthusiasts and online casino players that affiliate sites ranking the best Bitcoin casinos are thriving.
Starting a Bitcoin casino isn’t much different from starting a regular online casino. Below, we’ll take you through how you can do it — and why you should do it now.
What is a crypto casino?
Bitcoin casinos — also called crypto casinos — are one of the biggest current trends in iGaming.
Simply put, crypto casinos are online casinos which enable deposits and withdrawals in one or more cryptocurrencies. Any casino that supports cryptocurrency payments can be considered a Bitcoin casino. It’s becoming commonplace for online casinos to accept cryptocurrencies along with multiple fiat currencies, though there are some platforms which accept crypto payments exclusively.
What are the advantages of a crypto casino?
Operators are accepting Bitcoin for more reasons than just its current popularity. Crypto casinos have a number of advantages over online gambling platforms that only accept fiat currencies. Accepting Bitcoin is smart move for operators because Bitcoin is:
- Increasingly legitimate
- Popular with the online casino target audience
The blockchain technology that powers Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies ensures a high level of encryption. Every transaction is recorded in a block of code that can never be altered, and all transactions must be verified by the decentralized blockchain network. The transactions are direct, going straight from one crypto wallet to another, which cuts out the involvement of any third parties and reduces opportunities for fraud and other security breaches, as well as cutting down on transaction fees.
Online casino players might be one of the earliest demographics to adopt cryptocurrencies. There’s a significant overlap between online casino players and crypto enthusiasts. Both iGaming and Bitcoin appeal to similar demographics — younger people with an interest in technology.
By now, not only are there a number of dedicated crypto-casinos, there are established affiliate partners that cater to the crypto-enthusiast crowd. Affiliate sites compare Bitcoin and blockchain casinos and direct their traffic towards their partners.
Why do players like crypto casinos?
Players like crypto casinos for many of the same reasons that operators do, as well as a few others:
Instead of being backed by a government, as is the case with fiat currencies, cryptocurrencies are backed by a decentralized ledger where all transactions are registered. The ledger is spread across a wide database with millions of copies. This has a few implications. One, anyone with access to the network can verify a transaction. Two, a Bitcoin’s history cannot be tampered with. Any attempt to falsify one block in the chain would affect all of them. Players appreciate the transparency and security that come along with the decentralized, public transaction record.
While cryptocurrencies are fully transparent, they also enable a higher level of anonymity. The fact that the cryptocurrency’s transaction history is embedded in the blockchain is often proof of identity enough. This doesn’t promise perfect anonymity; the address of the holder’s e-wallet is recorded in the blockchain, even if his or her name and email address aren’t.
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However, it does mean that Bitcoin users are required to volunteer less personal information than with other payment methods. Some blockchain-based casinos don’t require players to provide any more personal details than just a wallet and email address.
The terms cryptocurrency and blockchain are sometimes used interchangeably. While they aren’t exactly the same — Bitcoin is based on blockchain, but blockchain can be used for any number of other purposes — the two often come hand in hand.
One blockchain-based concept that’s valued by online casino players is provable fairness. Essentially, provably fair games use an algorithm that allows players to verify that the game wasn’t tampered with and the results are genuine. Provable fairness assures players that the results of the game round weren’t influenced by their bet. Like blockchain, provable fairness appeals to players’ interest in trust and transparency. Provably fair games are often designed to appeal to players with an interest in cryptocurrencies.
Withdrawal speed is a constant concern for players. Having to wait too long while the payment is processed by a bank or other third party can drive players to leave negative reviews on casino forums. Crypto transactions, however, don’t require the involvement of a third party. Instead of being processed through a bank or other payment provider, the Bitcoin goes directly from the casino to the player’s wallet. Instead of taking days, withdrawals can take as little as an hour — with no extra fees diverted to payment processors.
What is the difference between a normal online casino and a blockchain casino?
Any casino that supports cryptocurrency payments can be considered a crypto casino.
However, some casinos build blockchain technology into their platform’s foundation. This enables them to automate payments with smart contracts. Blockchain casinos have their own following, including dedicated affiliate sites. However, opening a blockchain casino may limit your game portfolio to only those which are also built on blockchain technology.
On the other hand, more and more casinos are opting to accept payments in cryptocurrencies in addition to established fiat currencies. This gives them a broader reach, both in terms of layer base and game content.
What are the downsides?
There are only a few downsides to running a Bitcoin casino.
The first is that you never know for sure how regulations might change. One of Bitcoin’s key features is the fact that it’s backed by a decentralized network, not a sovereign government. However, it’s impossible to predict how governments might view cryptocurrencies in the future.
Furthermore, cryptocurrencies have a bad reputation in some corners, with the anonymity and lack of a centralized authority leading to suspicions of criminal associations.
Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Litecoin are all famously volatile. Casinos have to be ready for drastic fluctuations in the currency’s value and make sure they always have enough capital to cover player winnings despite a spike in value. Some casinos manage this risk by automatically converting cryptocurrency payments into a standard fiat currency and converting them back upon withdrawal.
What do you need to start one?
To start a Bitcoin casino, you need the same components as you do when opening a normal casino:
- Platform software
- Payment systems (Crypto included)
Careful planning is an essential step for every business. Analyze different markets around the world before choosing one that best suits your resources and goals. Once you’ve chosen your target market, learn everything you can about your audience. Their spending power and gaming preferences will shape your expectations and game offering.
When doing your research, leave no stone unturned — markets can have their own idiosyncrasies, like certain payment methods that players will expect or even need to be able to use. Traditional bank accounts, for example, are not always an option, and players in some regions need to be able to make payments through their mobile contract (or crypto wallet).
It’s true that many online gambling platforms pass on the application fees, licensing fees, and taxes that come along with license operation, but that means they’re also skipping the chance for legitimacy and stability.
Most players will check for a license, especially experienced players who are more likely to bet bigger and stay longer. Furthermore, having a license allows a casino to have a stable base of operations and assurance that your business won’t be blacklisted or shut down.
Operating without a license exposes the business to the risk of blacklisting, fines, or other legal ramifications. While license and application fees can be a steep up-front cost, they’ll save money and increase earning potential in the long run.
Online gambling platform software needs to be powerful, flexible, fast, and effective.
A reliable backend will enable you to keep tabs on your business’ performance, track progress, and generate reports. For a platform to be fully functional, it should have a customer relationship management (CRM) system, marketing tools, a reporting system, financial and fraud modules, player segmentation, live chat, and 24/7 technical support.
Quality platform software allows for a customizable frontend. This means you can tailor a website’s features, navigation, and appearance for specific markets depending on players’ tastes. Turnkey and White Label solutions enable operators to customize the website’s frontend.
Your game content will be largely determined by your market research. Instead of trying to cast as wide a net as possible from the get-go, it’s usually much more effective to focus on a specific niche and then expand once you’ve built a large enough base of loyal players.
Slots, blackjack, roulette, and baccarat are all common choices. Depending on your market of operation, including region-specific games like Andar Bahar, Teen Patti, and Dragon Tiger will show local players you understand their preferences. In addition to classic slots and casino table games, some developers create innovative new forms of gaming — often based on blockchain technology. Players in some areas also enjoy bingo, keno, and scratch-off games.
Live casino is one of the biggest trends in iGaming at the moment. Players connect to studios where live dealers run their favorite casino games, providing the same thrill as the real casino experience and letting them interact with the other players and the dealers. While live dealer games first caught on among players who mistrusted the RNG that drives online casino games, they’ve now been established in their own right.
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Betting on football is nearly universal. However, players in different regions have their own interests when it comes to sports betting. Indian players like to place wagers on cricket, while Australian punters love betting on rugby. Again, market research will reveal which sports your target audience favors. Aside from live sports, players in many markets also enjoy fantasy sports, esports, and virtual sports betting.
Every online casino should support as many different payment methods as possible.
A Bitcoin casino needs to accept payments in cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum, but that doesn’t mean it can’t support deposits and withdrawals in fiat currencies as well. Doing so will only mean they can accept a higher number of players.
Blockchain casinos exclusively accept payments in Bitcoin, but platforms built on blockchain may only be compatible with blockchain-based games. This drastically limits the number of games they can offer.
Online casino marketing has two main phases: Acquisition and Retention. Online casinos need to build awareness of their brand, give players a reason to prefer them over their competitors, offer the right incentives for players to take the last step and sign up, and offer increasing value over time to keep players from migrating to a competitor’s platform.
Why is now the time?
There’s never a bad time to open an online casino. The industry is only a few decades old — jurisdictions started to license and regulate online casino gaming in the mid-1990’s — and its growth is only accelerating as people spend more and more time online. But aside from the industry’s overall growth, finding a specific niche to focus on can give an online casino the boost it needs to get started. If that niche is set to grow, all the better.
Cryptocurrencies are here to stay. As the value of Bitcoin climbs higher and higher, the value of opening a casino that supports crypto payments climbs along with it. Effecting transactions with an e-wallet is steadily moving from a rarity to a norm, and players’ expectations will follow suit.
At this point, there are two possible futures: one where you’re thankful you started a Bitcoin casino when you did and one where you can’t believe you missed the boat on such an obvious opportunity.
Get in touch with our sales managers to learn more about how to start your own Bitcoin casino.