| Can you set up an online
|The simple answer is yes
and you can do this anywhere in the world and offer your service to nearly
every country in the world. This has however become more complex in the last
decade if you intend to offer legal betting, whichever country you are in and
ones you intend to serve.
In The Beginning
At the beginning of the internet
age it was as simple as having a bookmakers license and then finding an
in-house software team that could build you a safe platform that could take
bets online. You needed money though and it was a gradual development process
taking several years from the late 1990s to the early 2000s. Major betting
sports like horse racing and football were the main offerings and there was
little in the way of frills. It was in the these early years that real
incentives to join up were invented with straight sign-up bonuses of real money
that had few or no strings attached.
Bookmakers and online casinos were
largely separate offerings from the different sections of the gambling business
but as time progressed bookmakers added casinos and casinos added bookmakers.
The exchanges came online at roughly the same time as the bookmakers and they
began diversifying by offering traditional odds as well as casinos and the
overall offerings started to look like each other.
The huge investment
in development was not only a drain on resources but it prevented anyone other
than the giants in the business from offering a complete package. And so the
dawn of the software supplier was born. No longer was it needed to have
expensive multi discipline in-house IT teams when you could turn to companies
dedicated to providing online platforms. Even the big players like William Hill
and Ladbrokes saw the efficiency and cost savings and switched to using these
3rd party developers. But this just made the product better and cheaper and so
the competition could afford it too.
The Situation Now
Fifteen years on from this new
business model developing, its now the easier part of the equation. Look
through the internet and you can connect with the providers already brimming
with turn-key solutions to fit your budget. What used to be the easy part,
getting a bookmakers license, has become the difficult bit.
knew regulating body was brought into being by the 2005 Gaming Act, the
Gambling Commission. Now the premier licensing body in the world, although with
plenty of critics calling for its rebuilding, the UKGC is the body you have to
go through to be licensed, and you need more than just one.
In the good old
days if you wanted to take a bet legitimately then you needed a bookmakers
license and there were not that many hurdles in getting one. Now there are
twelve different types of license and that is just for betting and they do not
cover casinos, bingo or the use of gambling software, which needs its own
The type of licenses you are in need of to start an online
bookmaker are varied and in the UK will have to be obtained through the
Gambling Commission's license application system. The software
partner you choose will need a license and if want to provide a complete
service like virtual horse racing, that needs one too.
Having all these
licenses to apply for may seem daunting but if you can show a clean bill of
health in terms of an advanced background check, then you are through the first
hurdle. This will include criminal records and financial records but will also
include any jobs you have had and any properties you have or still do
Once you are through these checks its all about your business plan
and where the start-up capital is coming from and who you chose as partners, if
at all. If you pass all of this then you can be granted the necessary licenses
and many people still do for UK licenses which is the toughest in the world to
So you have made it through the obstacle course and now its time
to put your business plan into action and this will not take a small amount of
money because there is so much competition and thus you will be spending to get
a foothold into the market.
Leading The Way
The classic example of starting
small and ending up big is Denise Coates. After leaving university she took
over management of her families' small chain of betting shops in Stoke. She
bought the domain name Bet365 in 2001 and renamed her company with it and then
borrowed £15m from a bank against the whole business. This she invested
in heavy and aggressive marketing and sharp customer procurement techniques.
Now she is the highest paid executive in the UK and in the top 10 richest
people in the country.
Of course her story should not put genuine people
off but be a lesson. She went all-in with an internet platform, selling the
chain of shops to Coral, and grew from no online presence to the biggest player
in the market. So you just need a proper plan and to have strong marketing and
a platform that spots new and niche markets that benefit from specialisation.
It is still possible to do.