5 Things You Should Know About Online Gambling

The arrival of the internet has irrevocably altered many things in the entertainment business, from music to TV, movies to porn, and of course gambling as well. For most governments, gambling is a touchy subject.

On the one hand, it is a good source of income. But on the other hand, it comes with its own demons like problem gambling, corruption, criminal syndicates, and more. As a result, most governments have taken a cautious to hostile stance towards online gambling.

But these are still early days in an industry which has been around for just over 20-25 years. With the 2008 recession far behind us, online gambling is gaining more acceptance across the world, and especially since many casinos offer free slot machine games with free spins.

Here are 5 things you should know about this enigmatic industry:

Where do all the gamblers come from?

All historical cultures and civilizations have had their fair share of gambling. Humans are fascinated by the unknown, and in a game of chance, you never know for sure what the result is going to be.

While all humans share a common fascination, due to a variety of factors like local laws, customs, and population, some countries are ahead of the pack when it comes to the number of gamblers.

Here are the top five nations/regions for online gambling:

  • The United States

    The United States
  • The UK

    The UK
  • EU Countries

    EU Countries
  • Australia

    Australia
  • China

    China

Of these, online gambling has shown maximum success in the UK and EU, since they have legalized and regulated in very effectively over the last couple of decades. In other nations, players have depended largely on offshore casinos, which sets up our next point.

What does it cost to set up an online casino?

Anybody who has seen the list of online casinos available these days would surely have this question pop up in their heads. Offline casinos are massive establishments that cost tens, if not hundreds of millions of dollars to set up and operate. So naturally, there is only a handful of these out there.

In comparison, there are hundreds and hundreds of online casinos out there, with many more springing up almost every other day. Here is the reason why they are so numerous – it doesn’t cost that much to start an online casino.

Here is a quick breakdown of the costs, with minimum estimated costs:

The License – You can’t legally operate an online casino without a license and a base. The cheapest licenses can be found in the Caribbean and should set you back anywhere from $20,000 to 100K or more annually.

The Software – You can source software and games packages from the big names in the business like Microgaming, Netent, RTG, and Playtech. The cheaper ones will cost under $100,000, while higher-end providers like Microgaming ask for $250,000 minimum.

The Website – If you want to attract customers, you will need a smart looking website with an enticing theme. This could set you back between five to ten thousand dollars.

Staffing – Big companies have hundreds of employees. But smaller operations can survive with a skeletal staff of around 12-24 people, including IT, Support, and Customer relations teams. The salaries would cost around 300k or more.

Marketing – For giants like William Hill, the marketing budget is calculated in the billions of dollars. A new casino can get by with affiliate marketing and a budget of $50,000.

Payment Processing & Cash Reserves – A casino startup will have to pay at least $250,000 to a payment processing company, while also holding cash reserves of at least half a million to pay customers who win big in the opening months.

In total, you will need at least $1.5-$2 million to get a new online casino safely up and running.

Not all licenses are created alike

The most reputed casino licenses also happen to be the most expensive. These include Europe-based licenses like the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA). They also happen to have strict rules regarding customer security and payment protection, making them more appealing to players in regulated markets like the UK and Europe.

Licenses based in Costa Rica and the Caribbean Islands of Curacao and Antigua are far more liberal and far less expensive as well. But they do not have as good a reputation as the European licenses among online gamblers.

Perhaps the most interesting license in the whole world of online gaming comes from Canada. The Kahnawake Gaming license is provided by the aboriginal Mohawk Tribe residing in the Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec.

The funny thing about this license is that it is illegal according to Canadian law on online gambling. But since the First Nations in Canada have special rights and autonomy, the Kahnawake argue that they have the freedom to set their own laws on online gambling.

The matter has never been challenged in court, and the Canadian government has never shown any interest in pursuing the matter. As of now, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission license is used by at least 250 online casinos!

What are the most popular online casino games?

The first answer will come as no surprise to anybody who has ever visited an online casino website. In most casinos, at least 75-80 percent of the games catalog is dominated by slots games. And the same is reflected in the income as well, with at least 70% of the reported income of online casinos coming from their slots games.

But the big surprise is the immense popularity enjoyed by lotteries and scratch cards. Studies estimate that at least 55% of the world’s population has tried their hand at lotteries at one point or another in their lives.

Perhaps, it is not so surprising that many online punters like to test their luck at the scratch cards and lotteries at their favorite casinos.

Who in RNGesus and why does he matter in online casinos?

RNGesus is a popular meme related to online video gaming circles. In these games, certain rewards and outcomes are decided by algorithms that generate totally random results, much like a pair of dice.

Since these Random Number Generator (RNG) software results cannot be predicted, players started joking about their divine nature. Somebody came up with the name RNGesus and it exploded in popularity.

All modern casinos, both online and offline, use RNG software for their slots machines and games. In online casinos, they are also used for other games since everything is virtual. All casino players are at the mercy of RNG.

These algorithms are tested by special labs to ensure that do not stack the odds in favor of the house. This ensures total fairness, as all outcomes in a game are completely random and based on your luck, or in other words, the favor of “RNGesus!”