In 2020, the video gaming industry in the United Kingdom was valued at GBP 5.3 billion, a significant increase from GBP 4.8 billion in 2019.
The boom in the online sector was largely triggered by COVID-19 restrictions where people were forced to stay home and rely on the internet for entertainment.
Online gaming, particularly online gambling, is one of the most lucrative businesses on the internet. However, putting up one can be a complicated process. There are also policies and legal requirements that you shouldn’t ignore.
If you’re thinking of investing in online gaming, here are the things you should know:
Business Model Canvas
As with any business, the first step to launching an online gaming business is creating a clear plan. A few important things to cover when you make your business model canvas are:
- Startup and ongoing costs
- Your target audience
- Payment methods
- Your business name
- Games to be offered
The Gambling Act 2005 is the primary legislation that applies to both physical and online gambling industries in the UK.
To comply with all the legal requirements, coordinate with the UK Gambling Commission (formerly Gaming Board for Great Britain).
The Commission has issued codes that online casino operators need to conform to. The most important is the license conditions and codes of practice (LCCP).
A license to operate is usually granted within 16 weeks from the day of application. Note, however, that this license only covers the local market. If you plan to offer gaming services to other countries apart from the UK, you may need to secure a different license, such as the one provided by the Malta Gaming Authority.
The success of your online gaming business will depend largely on the quality of games you offer.
Again, make sure that you’re purchasing software from an accredited game development company by the UK Gambling Commission.
Most online gamblers in the UK prefer slots over other types of casino games. An example is Slots.Ag which offers a variety of slot games for different experience levels.
Gaming Software Provider
There are hundreds of gaming software providers registered in the UK. However, not all were created equal.
Choose the software provider that is equipped with certifications from prestigious licensing institutions.
They should also provide you with a variety of games to keep your customers engaged. Most gaming software developers have focused on slot games because they are the most in-demand. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t find a reliable company that provides other games.
The more payment methods your gaming site offers, the better. Users are more likely to choose a gaming platform where they can make payments fast and easy, and of course – where their information is kept safe and secure.
About 6 in 10 online transactions in the UK are processed through credit or debit cards. So make sure you have this method as an option.
More and more online gamers are also using cryptocurrency as a highly secure way for purchasing game credits.
The online gaming industry has a very vast market. Everyone – from kids to middle-aged adults – plays a certain type of online game. However, it’s more strategic if you will focus on a niche market.
A niche market is a segment of a larger market defined by its unique needs, preference, or identity. For example, your target audience could be middle-aged men and women who are high-income earners and consider themselves professional casino players.
Your platform should reflect the games you offer and who they are for.
After spending a great deal of time creating your business plan, choosing games, finding a reputable gaming software provider, and identifying your target audience, it’s time to build your gaming website.
The following are the essential steps in building a gaming website:
- Pick a domain name and host,
- Choose a platform (e.g. website builder or a full-scale content management system),
- Build and customize your web design,
- Add relevant content.
When you have everything set, particularly your niche market, it’s time to create a solid marketing plan.
This part is going to require a lot of research. You may need the help of marketing experts in the field of online gaming.
You will also most likely utilize different channels to promote your online gaming business, such as email marketing, mobile marketing, social media, affiliate marketing, and many more.
Starting an online gaming business requires time, work, planning, research, and resources. The steps mentioned above are necessary to build a profitable online gaming business that is likely to flourish and succeed for the years to come.