How Do I Start an Online Gambling Business?

12 most common questions for setting up new gaming businesses

With 15 years of international consulting experience, GBO specializes in helping clients establish online casinos, betting, and sports betting ventures.

Our extensive services cover License acquisition, Company Registration, Corporate Services, Banking Solutions, Merchant Services, and Software Provisioning.


Starting an online casino business requires several steps you might really have to take to start generating money from the iGaming industry. Essentially, these are:

A short list of the steps is:

  1. formation of the required company that holds a gambling license in the chosen jurisdiction
  2. obtaining a gaming licensing
  3. setting up bank accounts for your company operation
  4. setting up payment processing solutions to handle the website money features like player deposits
  5. establishing a functional software platform on a website.

Each one of these steps requires knowledge of the rules and regulations that apply specifically in the selected jurisdiction in which the online gaming operation will be based. It is essential to have a complete plan that takes every possibility into account so that surprises and blockages are avoided.

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    How to Open an Online Gambling Business?

    Starting an online gambling business involves a number of steps, including:

    1. Research the market and choose a niche: It is important to thoroughly research the online gambling market and determine which type of gambling services to offer and to whom.
    2. Obtain the necessary licenses and permits: Online gambling is regulated by various laws and regulations at the local, national, and international levels. It is important to obtain the necessary licenses and permits to operate legally.
    3. Set up a business structure: Choose a business structure, such as a sole proprietorship, partnership, or corporation, and register the business with the relevant government agency.
    4. Develop a business plan: A business plan outlines the company’s goals, target market, marketing and financial strategies, and operational plans. It is important to have a clear and well-thought-out business plan in place.
    5. Build a website and online platform: The website and online platform should be user-friendly, secure, and compliant with relevant laws and regulations.
    6. Implement an anti-money laundering (AML) program: Online gambling businesses are required to implement an AML program to prevent money laundering and other illegal activities.
    7. Find a payment processing solution: Online gambling businesses need a way to accept deposits and process payments from customers.

    Overall, starting an online gambling business is a complex process that requires careful planning, compliance with various laws and regulations, and a solid understanding of the online gambling market. It is advisable to seek the help of legal and financial professionals to ensure that the business is set up and operated properly.

    Do you need a license to run an online casino?

    A gambling licence is a juridical prerequisite needed to create a legal platform provided by local governments such as Curacao Gaming Control Board or Malta Gaming Authority.

    About 50 countries have legalized online gambling from their jurisdictions. Almost all of them control this activity by issuing licenses. If your platform is not licensed, you face a number of penalties and barriers. 

    Most players will avoid unlicensed websites because there is greater danger that it is illegally operated, which means they could lose all of their money, and expose their personal details to criminals. As well ,the country from which you are operating can close down the website, seize all your assets, and even imprison you. 

    The licence is also a major requirement for a gaming platform to cooperate with payment providers and gaming software providers. 

    GBO has more than twelve years experience in establishing e-gambling operations in licensed countries. Let our team of experts guide you through the steps required to acquire a license 

    How much will it cost to set up a gaming operation?

    There is no clear and unambiguous answer to how much you will pay for online casino development. Every minor detail counts. If you are going to have a casino gaming system designed from the ground up, your final Curacao gaming license price will be higher than if you are agreeable to a templated “white label” design solution. With white label solutions, the site is already built and requires only your brand name and a “look-and-feel” design according to your preferences. A white label solution should provide your players with an easy-to-navigate and user-friendly interface with intuitive controls. Some casino software packages come with built-in payment methods. 

    You will incur expenses on the pre-launch for company setup (around 20-25% of initial costs), licensing procedures (10-20% of initial costs), software system expenses (around 30-45% of initial costs) and some other areas of expenditure, including staff remunerations, rentals etc. 


    Get in touch with our experts here at GBO to get a quote for your project cost, and they will provide you with an accurate estimate based on your preferences.


    Once you reach the launch stages of casino development, marketing activities at least equal to the whole of the pre-launch, plus maintenance will double your total expenditure. When your online casino is finalized and is in successful operation, you still have expenses for marketing and promotion, operational expenditures include salaries to personnel, recurring license charges, monthly rentals to system service providers, etc. It is important for building an online casino, to remember that technologies and market demands do not stand still so many expenses are ongoing.

    Who governs online gambling?

    There is no universal body that controls online gaming. Every country, territory, and even individual states in federal countries like the USA, Australia and Canada each have their own rules and regulations. There is an organization known as the International Association of Gaming Regulators, but it is a collective and voluntary grouping of countries that wish to join and share their experiences. It has no power to regulate or monitor the operations of the other members.

    In each jurisdiction, there is usually some official body that has been authorized to supervise the issuing of gambling licenses, and to monitor the daily operations of the licensed sites. For example, in Curacao, the Gaming Control Board is empowered by the Minister of Justice to perform these tasks.

    Some of the larger countries have established data centers that share information about criminal and illegal activities, especially to prevent money laundering. They share “black lists” of individuals and companies that are known to be engaged in illegal activities, and so try to shut down any associated gambling operations. However, this is a voluntary operation that is enforced only inside the European Union where there is the legal power to do it.

    Is online gambling against the law?

    Some countries have completely outlawed online gaming. Among these are Saudi Arabia, North Korea, Iran, Pakistan, Singapore, UAE, Cambodia, Lebanon. Countries where online gambling is legal include Japan, the Philippines, Algeria, Morocco, and South Africa. In India, gambling is strictly limited to Sikkim and Goa. 

    All through Europe and the UK gambling is permitted but highly regulated. Individual states in the USA and Australia have their own laws. Some, such as Utah in America and Tasmania in Australia have completely banned online gambling. Others like Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New South Wales have very relaxed laws and permit most forms of casino-type online gaming, sports betting, slots etc.

    Do you need a license for a gambling app?

    Some countries and jurisdictions will not allow operation of a casino on an online gambling site unless the software gaming systems have been individually licensed. In general, these are controlled by issuing B2B licenses, whereas gambling sites will require a B2C license. Examples for these are Malta, where under the Malta law, holders of gambling licenses are permitted to offer both online and land-based gambling, such as casino gaming, sports betting, gaming devices, remote gaming, a National Lottery or other lotteries, and others.

    Under the Malta Gaming Act, the Critical Gaming Supply license (aka B2B license) is a business-to-business license to supply a gaming service for a separate corporate entity.

    GBO has more than twelve years experience acting on behalf of investors wanting to set up e-gambling operations. Let us guide you through the steps required to acquire a licenses gaming platform 

    How to get an online casino license?

    Three steps. You must incorporate a company located within the relevant country or territory’s jurisdiction. If it is inside the EU, it can be in any member state. You must acquire a license valid across all the countries from which you will be gathering gamers. Without a egaming license you cannot run an online casino legally. Unlicensed online gaming companies will find it almost impossible to open a corporate bank account or merchant account, making funds flows almost impossible to manage. Applicants will usually need  to disclose their recent and past finances; show a business plan; show identification of Ultimate Beneficial Owners; proof of no criminal record; proof of enough capital and compliance with KYC policies; and due diligence showing your plan to  prevent underage gambling and money-laundering. There can be further requirements depending on the jurisdiction. 

    GBO has been advising investors on the best way to set up online gambling operations for more than 12 years. We have the knowledge and experience of what it takes to license and set up gaming websites at the most advantageous cost and fastest times.

    Do I need a license to operate an online casino?

    Almost all countries have laws and regulations requiring the issuing of a license before a company can set up and operate an online casino. The few exceptions have extremely bad reputations as havens of illegal activity, where customers will not trust your operations, and it will be almost impossible to establish the necessary infrastructure of banking and merchant accounts.

    The best thing you can do is to consult with experts like GBO, who have many years of experience in the whole range of available licenses, and know the best way to negotiate so that you get the right deal.

    What jurisdiction is best for an online casino?

    With many years of experience, we can report that the top jurisdictions, based on the overall cost of establishing all aspects, availability of licenses, the ease with which an operation can be set up, the value of the country’s reputation with gamblers, and the quality of the infrastructure available for an online operations are:

    Do online casinos make money?

    Online casino business is a profitable business that is desirable to explore by interested business-minded individuals regardless of their previous experience. The enterprise has turned out to be one of the leading internet businesses in the world today that offers maximum profit over a relatively short period of time. However, you can come on board into the market either as an iGaming casino operator or as an online casino affiliate.

    If you wish to kick-start your online casino business as an online gambling website, the costs of starting the business are much higher, and the gaming  laws and licensing requirements are more complex. However, the casino business eventually yields great returns starting as soon as it gets accepted by casino customers in the world-wide market. Alternatively,  can start as an online gaming or marketing affiliate, and this can be quickly profitable if you have the essential experience and skills in internet marketing.

    Is it legal to operate an online gambling website?

    Numerous countries have legalized online gambling platforms. If your software platform is licensed and your operation is certified by the authorized jurisdictions, then you can operate in most countries. The license is a major requirement for a gaming platform to cooperate with payment providers and gaming software providers. It is also a prerequisite for having a good reputation in the global market of the eGaming industry and to gain credibility among players.

    Having an offshore gambling licence, a legally owned domain address, an operational gambling company and gaming bank accounts, gambling merchant accounts, certified software, and game providers are essential. GBO provides the full service for each of these requirements and can guide you through the steps of launching your online casino.

    What is the difference between White Label and Turnkey gaming solutions?

    White label is an “out-of-the-box” solution provided by vendors who have good experience in casino systems. A white label solution is the most cost-efficient solution that requires minimal up-front investment. It can be purchased or leased, making less demand on setup costs.

    A turnkey solution, provides a more advanced solution if you are wanting a more customized solution and a platform designed to be tailor-made for your look and feel. Turnkey solutions take more time and cost considerably more but provide more independence in operations. 

    If you need to know more to determine the best solution for your needs, GBO can help you.

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