You are no doubt aware that there are hundreds of online casinos to choose from these days. New ones seem to crop up every week and as a result the market is flooded.
From a players point of view this is great as it means there is more competition in place, so better deals will be on offer, but the question we want to address today is why are there so many casino’s and where are they coming from?
The answer is that of White Label solutions. These white label casinos are now a huge part of the industry and allow businesses to get up and running quickly and with a solid looking platform to work from. If you’ve seen a few casinos that look very similar, then it’s likely they are part of the same white label platform.
What is a White Label Casino?
A white label casino is a company that has done the hard graft and built the framework of an online casino and then hires this framework out to other companies for them to use. The framework is designed in a way that allows the company who hires them to easily insert their branding for example, and even different games, but without having the hassle of designing the whole thing from scratch.
It’s a bit like moving into a new house and only having to change the wallpaper, as opposed to buying a plot of land and building the house yourself. It’s a cost-effective way for companies to set up their online casino and can save millions when it comes to designing new platforms.
Another way to think of it is if a car manufacturer built a car and then sold it without any badges on to another company. That company could the stick their own badges on and call it their own.
White labelling doesn’t just take place in the casino industry either; sports betting, poker, bingo, live dealer casino, and plenty of other platforms all take advantage of this process.
How Does it Work?
It all starts with a company wanting to get into the online casino sector. They have a brand and then they go out searching for the best white label to host their casino. There are many different companies to choose from, each offering different features of which we talk more later in the article.
Once the white label has been chosen, the company are able to add their own branding to the pre-designed framework and can sometimes pick and choose features and layout options too. The business then has their own casino and can open their virtual doors pretty much immediately.
The company will pay a fee to the white label, which varies with each company. Some charge a one-off fee to utilise their software and others might include a percentage of bets taken. There are even some that will ask for both a monthly fee and a percentage of bets taken. The price is usually reflective of the number of features taken up with the white label, a bit like adding a bolt on to a phone contract.
What’s Included in the Package?
Each package will differ. A lot of packages are pretty flexible as well, which means that the company buying the rights can often pick and choose what aspects of the casino that they want to include. For example, some might prefer to run their own in-house banking, whereas others might like the white label to take care of it.
Below is a list of just some of the options available to companies taking on a white label casino.
- Reporting Engine – The white label will often include extensive reporting on things such as cash flow, revenue, costs, and bets to see how well your casino is performing. Often, these stats are in real-time and so offer an instant insight into performance.
- Know Your Customer (KYC) Management – Hands on approach with all customers that sign up. A way to look at personal bonuses, manually adjust balances, disable accounts, verify KYC player documents and security checks, and then also take into account player preferences which will allow the company to hone in on targeted games.
- Game Management – Easily add and remove games that the white label offers and create custom game categories. It also allows you to add in outside game developers as well, providing their games are suitably designed for the platform you are using.
- Payment Management – Take control of all payments and allow the company to confirm or cancel withdrawals, set limits for deposits, and generate coupon codes, amongst other things.
- Flexible Bonus System – Gives the company the chance to create their own bonuses and fine tune any existing offers that the white label may currently be promoting. The terms and conditions can be used from the white label themselves.
- Affiliate System – Fully integrated affiliate systems to allow people to earn commission for sending players and generating traffic to the casino. Includes stats and the ability to adjust commission amounts.
- Content Management System (CMS) – This allows the use of branded content on the site and to modify things like metatags, graphics, and manage localised web versions of the site.
- Advanced Player Segmentation – Allows the data from all players to be compiled into data charts and then create a better gaming environment as a result, including things like personalised bonuses.
- Responsible Gambling – Integrated system to not only allowed players to self-exclude, but also to manually self-exclude players who may have a problem with gambling.
- Multi-Currency – The choice of dozens of different currencies based on the location and target audience of the casino.
To be honest, the list can go on and on, and given how much control companies still have when using white label’s it makes a lot of sense for many of them to go down this route.
Why are White Labels Popular?
There’s lots to like about a white label. We have already covered the main reason in that it comes as a complete package that is practically ready to go out of the box. There’s no faff, and less initial outlay. We talk about pricing later in this article, but often a white label is a fraction of the price as a custom-built casino.
Here are a few other reasons why they are so popular:
Every online casino needs to be fully licensed to operate safely online. In the UK the governing body is the UK Gambling Commission, and it’s their job to make sure that each casino is up to scratch in terms of how fair the games are and the player safety standards, plus dozens of other criteria which must all be met.
The process of licensing can be arduous and the cost can be huge. We’re talking tens of thousands to get set up and then a percentage based on how much money the casino takes from there. Some of the bigger casinos will be paying hundreds of thousands of pounds each year in licensing fees alone.
But, when a casino is using a white label, there are no fees to pay at all. The UKGC state that as long they are just marketing the brand and not tampering with player funds or games, then they do not need an operating license from them as they are covered by the white label’s operating license.
If the casino does want to get involved with those things, then they will likely have to apply for at least a part license. Often these things are determined on a case-by-case basis.
There are still rules that need to be met though, and the casino needs to state on their website that the license is for the gambling partner and not the marketing partner, which in the eyes of UKGC is the casino itself. They also need to make sure that they don’t claim the casino or the legitimacy of the casino to be ‘theirs’, otherwise a license may be required.
Easy to Set up and Market
The timeframe between signing the contract with a white label and opening those virtual doors is actually quite small. The only real issue comes from the branding and whatever tweaks they want to make, which is often relatively simple given that the framework is already there.
They are then able to go through the options on offer (see the list above) and add the features they want as simply as ticking a box in some cases. Some of the bigger white labels are super easy to set up and this means one less employee or tech team the casino needs to employ.
If you compare this to the time it would take to build something as intricate as an online casino from scratch, then you are saving months if not years’ worth of time and all of the costs associated with that.
The casino is not only ready to go straight out the box but it is properly tried and tested. If you’re using a reputable white label, then it’s probable that there are dozens of other online casinos that have already got this platform installed.
This means that the casino is going to be super easy to manage and there should be very few issues along the way, as you would hope these would have been ironed out by the companies before you.
If you are starting with a brand-new company though, then there could be some early teething issues involved. The cost will usually reflect this.
Low Start-Up Costs
We will talk more about start-up costs a little later as we explore how to go about starting a white label casino, but the costs are going to be significantly lower than creating one from scratch.
We all know that the usual problem for new brands and companies are start-up costs and cash flow. Why casino white labels work so well is that they often take a large percentage of their fee in the way of commission based on how much money the casino makes. This takes the pressure off and gives new companies a fighting chance.
These fees are high though – they can be as much as 50% – but the initial outlay otherwise is often in the 5-figure range, which is much, much lower than a fully customised online casino would be.
What are the Negatives of White Label Casinos?
As with all things, there are good and bad sides to using white label casinos. Even though we’ve listed them as positive and negatives, you could flip them if we are being honest and it comes down to how well that process works for the company.
High Revenue Share
We touched on the revenue share above and to be honest, the prices that are charged are really high in most cases. The initial up-front costs are pretty good value for most of them, but that’s often because they are coupled with these revenue share numbers.
The numbers are based on the amount of revenue the games generate for your casino. They can range from between 10% and 50%. Now, if you’re able to get in at the lower end of the scale then it still offers really good value, but as you move higher, it’s going to seriously eat into any profits.
However, it is worth noting that there are some white labels that take an upfront fee and then just a monthly fee. So this fee isn’t based on your revenue amount and is a fixed sum. Again, these range, but it could save a lot of money for higher turnover casinos to take this option over a revenue share deal.
Finally, some won’t have any fee at all. They will charge an upfront fee and once you’ve got the software you are free to use it as you wish. But, some of these partnerships end after the purchase, so you will likely need to apply for an operating license from the UK Gambling Commission as well.
Aside from the branding and then the marketing, you have very little say in how the casino can be changed from the users end. For example, if the company wanted to change things that appeared in the sidebar or the layout of the casino home screen, aside from branding, they might not be able to do this.
Some white labels also have a fixed set of games that you can choose from. This means that there’s no flexibility with what’s on offer so you can’t chop and change games as you wish, you have to wait for the casino instead.
The issue with making wholesale changes is that the white labels are very reluctant to do it. They would need to roll out new software to all casinos as very few will make major changes for just one brand. This is why some casinos outgrow their white label and instead go custom after a period of time, taking their branding with them.
The fact of the matter is that the white label sector is now highly competitive.
There are more casino’s wanting to use them, but as you will see later in this article, there are also plenty of options to choose from, which means that competition is fierce.
It’s not uncommon for white labels to close their doors with very little notice given to the casinos that are using their software. If this happens, the casino needs to find an alternative provider and quickly; given that it can take weeks to transfer across it is a constant worry.
Clone of Other Sites
Given that branding is pretty much the only change that can be made aesthetically with a white label casino, it means that many brands can look very similar if not identical.
There is very little individuality between the brands and this highlights the fact that you’re not using your own software, which may be off putting for some players as it can look ‘cheap’ in some peoples eyes.
The fact that the casinos look the same isn’t a huge problem in terms of functionality, but players do pick up on these things and they are unlikely to jump from one casino to another that looks and functions exactly the same.
Main White Label Casino Providers
This is not an exhaustive list, but it does cover the main providers currently operating in the UK:
White Hat Gaming
White Hat Gaming are on the biggest in the business, with 21 casinos currently using their software. One of the reasons why they are so popular is that they offer a modular process, which means that casinos can pick and choose what options and features they want to include. They can then give 30 days’ notice to turn on and off any additional features as they wish, which will affect the final price.
Some of their casinos include Dream Vegas, 666 Casino, Spin Rider Casino, and Slot Planet. The company, set up in 2012, works alongside game developers such as NetEnt, NextGen, NYX and Quickspin, to name just a few.
Every Matrix are probably the biggest all-rounders on the list, as they offer a number of products for sports, poker, and bingo, as well as casino. Their casino platform is run by CasinoEngine and over 1,000 games to choose from come with it, with developers on board including Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, and Play N Go.
Currently there are 10 casinos on their platform, these include Casino Wishes, Mr Win, and Fantasino, who all enjoy the plethora of features that Every Matrix are able to offer.
Established in 2005, Aspire Global have been one of the leading white label casino providers for a long time now. As a result, their knowledge and expertise within this sector is clear, given that they have over 20 casinos all utilising their framework and making them one of the busiest in the world.
The company are keen to offer a unique package and allow a huge amount of flexibility in terms of what can and can’t be added, probably more than any other on this list. They have a large catalogue of games to choose from with developers such as QuickSpin and NextGen on board. Some casinos currently using their platform include Pirate Spin Casino, Goliath Casino, Mr Play Casino, and Casino Luck.
Nektan are one of the biggest for UK casinos, with 38 in total. The company is fairly unique in that they cater for both European casinos and US based online casino. Their total number for casinos around the world is 75, which is very impressive.
Their casino platform is called Evolve and it’s thought to be one of the best. It’s highly editable and comes with a great range of games from Blueprint Gaming and Realistic, amongst others. They were one of the first white labels to jump on board with HTML5 integration as well, which highlights their desire for innovation within the industry.
ProgressPlay are another unique addition in that they offer a separate desktop alternative to their mobile casino. The mobile casino offers the latest HTML5 technology, which means that games are allowed to run pretty much flawlessly on any device. Their desktop version is a little less flexible, but then it’s not needed given the resolution of the games and most desktop screen resolutions.
The company have continued to really push their mobile capabilities and as a result now have 45 UK based casinos on their books, including Sparks Slots Casino, Fable, and Jackpot Paradise.
Another of the bigger companies is that of PairPlay, who at the time of writing had 67 UK based casinos using their software. The company reportedly pull in around £2million per month and include a really diverse mix of games which online casinos companies really love.
They are licensed in both the UK and Gibraltar, which opens a lot of doors for platforms not just in the UK, but also across Europe and even globally. Some casinos associated with them include Mega Reel Casino, Slots Animal, and Big Thunder Slots.
How to Set Up Your Own White Label Online Casino
Have the cogs started turning?
Given the information we’ve highlighted throughout this article, you will hopefully have an idea of how these white labels function and what features that they are able to offer. Now we are going to run you through a few pointers that you will need to consider if you are looking to set up a casino using a white label company.
The cost of setting up a casino is going to be make or break, but they aren’t as high as you’d maybe think. If you were starting from scratch you’d be looking at 6 or even 7 figures, but with white labels they are vastly reduced.
Pricing is actually quite hard to come by as it is often based on individual circumstances. However, there’s a company called BetConstruct who are UK based and quite open about their pricing policy, so let’s work from that.
They have two packages that you can choose from:
- Gaming suite – Includes slots, poker, live casino, skill games, Ogwil, Keno, Farkle and Virtual Games. Cost = €15,000.
- Casino suite – Just slots from 40+ providers. Cost = €10,000
On top of that you get two revenue-based options. These are based on turn key or white label.
- Turnkey = 10% Revenue paid to Betconstruct
- White Label = 30% Revenue paid to BetConstruct
As you can see, for as little as €10,000 and then 10% of your revenue, you can have a fully functioning online casino, ready for you to apply your branding. It’s worth noting these are the company’s base level packages, so as you add in more features, the price will increase.
You also need to budget for things like staff and marketing, which are going to be two huge parts of the business, especially the marketing part given how competitive the industry is right now.
How Long Does the Process Take?
Not as long as you might think.
Once accepted onto the platform, casinos usually take around 4 weeks from initial acceptance to going live. This is another reason to have a solid marketing strategy in place before you begin, otherwise, things could get ahead of you.
Again, this can range given the amount of work needed and the level of implementation that you take on from the white label, but the bulk of the work is already done in terms of design and framework for the casino.
What to do When it’s Live?
The main role for any business that uses a white label layout is to market their brand effectively so as to get customers through the door and get cash flow going.
As we stated, there are hundreds of online casinos these days so it’s imperative to get the brand in front of as many people as possible.
Given that you likely aren’t going to be offering any exclusive features since others will have the same framework, it’s often more about making people aware of who you are rather than what you offer.
Personality goes a long way in this game.