Casino Selection Criteria
Before a white label casino deal gets closed (even if the setup fee is only a few hundred bucks) the offered casino platform should get carefully reviewed. Using the below listed 7 rules (selection criteria) will ensure that you won't invest your time and money into a useless casino platform which will never earn you a reasonable amount of money.
Check the offered casino license
Online gambling is often operating in a regulatory grey-zone. That is normal and acceptable because offering gambling is not selling bibles. But for many reasons an online casino should not operate illegally (without a valid gambling license). Since many casino prospects know that and request from casino providers a license coverage, gambling licenses get often falsified or just made-up. Typically these "licenses" are "issued" without any official (governmental) backing. A typical case are the Costa Rica licenses which factually don't exist (Cost Rica licenses are a scam). To prevent to end up with an illegal casino follow these important steps:
- Request from the white label casino provider the gambling license number (e. g. in form of a license copy) and the contact information of the issuing licensing authority.
- Check with the licensing authority if the issued license is valid.
- Check if the provided gaming license will cover your domain name and if your domain name is then listed with the gaming authority as a licensed gambling domain. If your casino domain is not explictiely covered your casino isn't licensed and that has unpleasant consequences which we will discuss in another article more in detail.
If a white label casino provider is rejecting your request (for transparency) you can be sure that you are dealing with a rogue provider. Do not proceed in this case, otherwise you will regret it quite soon. Ignoring this advise is suicidal even if you want to offer only BitCoin as the sole payment option in your casino. Be aware that BitCoin still hasn't a broad acceptance with casino players and therefore relying on BitCoin only might not be a smart idea if you want to make your online casino profitable. Operating an illegal gambling business with BitCoin imposes also legal risks and exposes you to pay huge fines. Offering BitCoin also won't allow you to miss-out on applying "know your customer" rules (KYC) to avoid fraudulent gambling activities in your casino. Keep that in mind because this interferes with the anonymous nature of BitCoin. Factually there is no real escape from the necessity to license your casino. Unlicensed casinos won't earn any reputation in the casino player community (players do not trust unlicensed casinos) and your casino might get blacklisted quickly.
Check the payment options
The most critical task in every online casino is the conversion of visitors or registered users into real players (money depositing players). It is all about the money. The scope of offered payment methods and the reputation of the implemented payment service providers are decisive for the success of an online casino.
The following payment methods can be considered as a "must have" in an online casino:
- Credit cards (Visa Card, Master Card etc.)
- Bank Wire
- Western Union
Beside these core payment methods with a global scope several, more locally important payment methods, are also required (Paysafecard, iDEAL, UnionPay, Moneta.ru etc.) to accomodate your players and for making it easy for them to deposit money. It is mandotory for the evaluation of a casino platform provider to test in a reference casino (of the casino platform provider) at least the core payment options and then gamble as a real money player to check how the casino is working.
The quality of an implemented payment service provider (PSP) plays also an important role. The payment rejection percentage and the charge-back rate make the difference here. Some credit card PSPs reject more than 50% of the player deposits. Good casino platforms are working with PSPs which have a small rejection rate and they are switching (invisibly in the back-ground) to another PSP if a payment got rejected. So imagine that you did all the hard work of setting-up a casino and then more then 50% of the payments won't get through. So what chances to succeeed your casino has then? Factually seen this is a reality with weak casino platform providers who have low-quality PSPs on board. Therefore do your homework and request from the casino provider the names of the implemented PSPs. Google these PSPs to get an idea if these PSPS are reputed businesses. Only high-quality PSPs (like Adyen) ensure that your casino won't fail due to many player deposit rejections. Test the payment processing with IP addresses of your core markets. Only this testing procedure will provide you a first indication if the implemented payment system will work for your planned online casino.
Check the bonus system
The online casino business relies heavily on bonuses (welcome bonus, loyalty bonus, cash-back bonus etc.). If a casino platform does not offer a powerful and flexible bonus system your casino won't have any chance in the market. Therefore test the bonus options of a casino and request a back-office (demo) access to see how the bonus setup is working. Some casino platforms won't allow operators to setup bonuses by themselves due to the technical complexity. That is acceptable so far the provider guarantees (in written form) that he will always setup the by you required bonuses in the casino platform (system). If the bonus system is weak, forget this provider, you will have no chance to keep players "on board". The player acquisition is too expensive or time-consuming that an operator can afford to have a poor player life-time. The financial success of a casino relies very much on the conversion rates, the player life-time and the average player value (average amount of deposits).
Check also which options the casino back-office is offering. Keep in mind, that for a financial success of your casino the back-office features/functions are more important than the casino website.
Check the casino games quality
Only high quality casino games will convert. Today's casino players are very well aware which casino games are offering fair gaming and have a reasonable payout rate. Offering a casino with games which are not popular and well-reputed will never attract a sufficient amount of money depositing players to make your casino profitable. Certified games (see iTechLabs and Gaming Labs) should be preferred over uncertified games. Not all providers with uncertified games are shady but the risk of manipulations (to your disadvantage) is always higher when your casino contains games which aren't certified or of an unknown origin. Checking the reputation of the game providers (Google is your friend) is also very helpful to clarify if the provided games are trustworthy and provide players a great gambling experience.
Uncertified games can also be used to bankrupt you. Shady games have back-doors which allow the game provider to setup player accounts which will always win in your casino. If you want to avoid to get "cleaned out" that way, proceed with certified casino games only (but check if the games are not faked clones).
Beware of casinos which contain games which have a bad reputation and a long record if issues. Websites like Casinomeister are a great source of information for finding out which casino games are part of many rogue casinos. if you check this list you can see that NetEnt, Microgaming and Amatic are not very attractive for rogue casinos. The main reason is that these providers are offering certified games and respect fair gaming, something what doesn't correlate with the objectives of shady casino operators.
If a casino provider promises to provide high quality games like Microgaming, Net Entertainment (NetEnt), Amatic, Playtech, BetSoft check if you can demo-play these games. Trust soleley to what you can test under real casino conditions. If there is no fully functional and in the market active reference casino (check e. g. AskGamblers) which passes your tests (regarding payment-processing, quality of the games portfolio, stability of the game-play) then do not proceed.
Finally make sure that the casino game portfolio consists of many well-developed HTML 5 casino games which you have tested successfully on various mobile devices. Flash games are history and won't reflect the requirements of your player audience. If Flash games are used the casino provider must make sure that these games aren't displayed on mobile devices. It turns off players to get Flash error messages on mobile devices.
Check if the casino games are generic (and not faked or stolen)
There are casino game providers in the market which are offering faked games of popular game providers like Novomatic, NetEnt and Microgaming. These faked or stolen games are looking at a first glance identical with the real games but the features "under the hood" are crap and the players get cheated. There is then also a risk that these games have back-doors where the game provider can create faked players which will constantly win with these manipulated games (e. g. triggered by an URL query parameter) and "clean you out".
If a casino provider promises to provide high quality games like Microgaming, Net Entertainment, Amatic, Playtech, BetSoft check if you can demo-play these games. Trust soleley on what you can test under real casino conditions. If the games are generic (and not faked) can get analyzed by checking the games URL (e. g. in the Google Chrome Inspector). For more details how these tests can get performed please get in touch with us.
Avoid cheap website clones
Some white label casino providers are selling the illusion that with setting-up the casino website the main work of a casino setup is done. Amateurs might believe that because there exists a widespread misconception about the importance of the casino website. Here the facts: The casino website has only two core functions, to convert visitors into registered users (persons who have registered on the website with their email address) and to offer visitors, registered users and real players (money deposition players) a selection of games (to play) and access to the cashier and user account. Once a visitor has registered on the website the hard work of converting the registered user into a real player needs to be done by the back-office and the casino marketing team. Primarily the features and the quality of the back-office are decisive for the financial success of your casino - and that much more than the website which has a limited purpose. The website is usually the main entrance into the online-casino and represents only a small percentage of the casino functionality. But for the initial step of converting visitors into registered users the website is of great importance.
Some white label casino providers are selling the illusion that with setting-up the casino website the main work is done. On top of misleading clients that way the provided casino websites are simple clones. Such websites won't convert becuase casino players are browsing through many casinos and they will identify such casinos quickly as cheap clones. A successful casino requires a strong brand name, a good domain name and a unique website (design). Cheap website clones will work only for the casino providers (by minimizing their setup work) but not for your own business objectives.
The provided website needs to work well on all devices (e. g. desktop PCs and mobile phones). Responsive design needs to be done in a smart way to ensure that the game embedding works well on all devices and that the data volume is reasonable. Responsive websites have the tendency to be overly bloated, slow and bandwith hogs. A better choice for casino websites would be adaptive design.
Make also sure that you have full control over the website. If the provider is offering a CMS system for the content management that also should be seen as a great advantage because it might minimize the amount of time which is required to keep the promotions and other contents easily up-to-date.
Insist on a written agreement
Unfortunately the white label casino market is full of shady casino providers who take your money but might never be able to deliver what they promise you. Do not get blinded by shiny websites and bold promises. Only a written agreement which specifies all your requirements secures your interests. Ensure also that the signee (provider) is a valid entity. Request always a due diligence package. If the casino platform provider (contractual partner) is located in a jurisdiction which is not well respected consider twice to move on with this provider. Never pay any money before the casino setup and service agreement is not signed. Without a written agreement you might end-up with empty hands. Break down the payment of the setup fee into parts which get paid only if contractually defined milestones are reached. That keeps the motivation of a white label provider alive to complete the casino.
Regarding the above listed criteria it is not sufficient to only discuss these with white label casino platform providers and trust oral promises or statements on the website. It is mandatory to check the facts carefully (do your homework). If you are in doubt, make your casino specifications (your requirements) part of the written agreement. As a cost free service we are also offering to review your agreement if that is sufficient and safe enough to protect your interests. If a provider is not willing to close a written agreement with you or if the legal entity of the provider is not traceable (no due diligence package provided) you better move on to another provider.
Be smart! Applying these basic rules when you are dealing with casino platform providers will significantly minimize your risks (of making a poor investment).