Guest Blog: To be or not to be (online) – Part Two, by Jonathan Strock

Guest Blog: To be or not to be (online) – Part Two, by Jonathan Strock

Wednesday, February 11, 2015 Totally Gaming

In the second of a three-part guest blog, Jonathan Strock, the director of casino development at Lucien Barriere, tells TotallyGaming.com what you need to be on the lookout for as you move online.

 

Do you want to run a software company? If so, creating your own gaming product is perfect for you, writes Jonathan Strock.

Many have fallen into the trap of thinking that an online casino is just another distribution channel for gaming products and that casinos and casino groups are the ones having all the expertise, going online being the simple bit. This idea could not be more wrong, the overlap between on and offline casinos is only about 10% of the total, and that is the easy bit, the game rules are well known and documented.

The real hard part is the game program coding, which needs to be hacker proof, the creation and maintenance of the database is essential, it is here that all customer information, including bank details is held, securely. Here also is all game history and connection details.

All this information is extremely confidential and valuable; anybody obtaining unauthorised access to this database will put you out of business in a matter of hours. Protecting the customer details is your new business, not running a casino.

This is a highly specific job done by seasoned professionals. You can no more go easy on security than you can in a bricks and mortar casino. Online theft is a common activity.

It is then more than likely that you will want to use existing, proven software rather than creating your own. There is a large choice that is available, providing all possible types of games.

The main issues to be looked for are obviously cost, all costs, not just the revenue share part but also other costs such as hosting the platform, minimum fee charges and so on.

Also of high importance is the level of customisation that is possible, and its associated cost, it is not always included in the standard package offer, it is however essential, you don’t want to look exactly the same as your competitors.

As the game offer is going to be very similar to that of rivals, differentiation holds the key to success. A thoughtfully branded offer will always stand out from the “me too” brigade.

Still important, though less so than previously, is the choice of jurisdiction for the casino licence.

If your customers are based in Europe, there is nowadays not much choice in the matter. National laws reduce the possibilities that are available, but should your customers not be in the EU or the US, the choice of jurisdiction and the taxes that are to be paid vary dramatically and some time is well spent looking at the varying regimes that are proposed by countries issuing online gaming licences.

A licence is not just about a low tax base from which to work but also is going to define the level of compliance that is needed to maintain the activity, more thorough legislative requirements can often make you think more clearly about the offer and paradoxically can lead to a more robust and attractive player experience.

To read Part 1 of this feature, click here.

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