Poker has always been a firm favourite for casino bettors, and the likelihood is that while gaming trends come and go this will still be the case in years to come.
But for those looking to start out in the gaming industry, it can often be quite challenging to set up an online poker business. You have to consider branding, website creation, which software provider to partner with and licensing among many other things.
In the latest in a series of articles where BetConstruct takes us ‘back to basics’ for all things igaming, we look at the steps needed to set up an online poker offering and the pitfalls that prospective operators may face.
It may sound obvious, but it is a very necessary step, and that is to create a clear business plan. Without this, BetConstruct explained, it is hard to keep track of your business’ raison d’etre.
“Planning is crucial, especially when starting an online business, as you need to be very precise about certain things such as budget, staff, regulations, software providers, marketing strategies and the like. A business plan will help you track the entire process, make important decisions along the way and increase the likelihood of success.
“Only when you have a solid understanding of each and every ‘why’ in your business can you move forward. And as your business grows, so will your online poker business plan, which is not only the beginning but also part of your important journey. Think of it like road maps, preventing you from getting lost on your way.
“Before you get your online poker business started, just keep in mind that the industry is quite competitive. And you will definitely need your own mark to stand out from the crowd.
“Users are to know what’s special about your business, right? Which means that you should show your competitive advantage over others.
“To set a clear USP, we suggest finding a gap in the industry and start working on that. This will give you a chance to offer players something they don’t have yet and, well, highlight your benefits. Once you define your target market, identify all the points that make your product unique and make it concise, it only remains to promote your USP and succeed for many years ahead.”
As with any business, gambling-related or otherwise, you must also have a budget in place to cover all associated expenses such as marketing, technology, human resources, regulatory costs and licensing.
Looking at a poker business specifically, BetConstruct highlights that you cannot start up an online poker room without the necessary certifications for that individual jurisdiction. Without the correct licensing, businesses can face hefty fines from regulators and players will likely lose trust in the operator.
BetConstruct added: “In order to conduct your business legally, it’s mandatory for any poker room owner to get a gaming licence that should be issued by a credible gaming authority. The process is not an easy one, considering the long and tedious paperwork involved, but the prospect of getting rid of further problems suggests that it is definitely worth it.
“Trust is all we seek for. Players always try to find a platform where they can be at ease, not worrying about their safety and data leakage. They need to be sure that their private and financial information is safe and everything about licences and certifications the platform has acquired is easily accessible.”
Arguably, the software you use is one of the most important considerations that must be made when creating an online poker room – especially when looking to replicate the traditional, brick-and-mortar poker experience into an online environment.
BetConstruct said: “Professional poker software should involve the most diverse poker games rich in multiple features, as well as high-quality services. Hence, be pinpointed while choosing a software provider for your poker business. As they say: the right poker software provider is half the battle.
“BetConstruct’s poker solution can come to the rescue with its wonderful team of experts. Innovative and customised design, the latest technology and tools and a full package of services to help you get a poker platform based on your specific needs and expectations.”
In addition to licensing, software and finding a USP, BetConstruct also walks us through some of the ways that online poker rooms can best engage players. As you can imagine, one of the most engaging strategies is the use of “quality content”.
Game content, BetConstruct explained, must find a balance between informative, fun, and SEO-optimised texts. Combine this with a sleek UI/UX and you’re supposedly on to a winner.
BetConstruct concluded: “When all’s said and done, we can wrap it up: starting an online poker business is not an easy task. It requires some initial investment, strength and patience with all the legal processes and well-thought igaming marketing strategies to be a roaring success. Once you are able to make that happen, you’ll see that it’s worth its weight in gold.”
Read BetConstruct’s blog to find out more about how to start a poker business