It is very tough to break into the online casino industry, but it is also a very profitable trade if you can find enough customers and keep them loyal, so there are always plenty of new sites fighting for a slice of the pie.
The trouble for anyone wanting to run a casino site, however, starts long before they are ready to do battle with all of the other brands out there.
The start up costs for a new casino brand would be astronomical if they had to create everything from scratch, enough to be a barrier to entry for all but the wealthiest of entrepreneurs.
Having to design and build a website, create and run the games, market your business and handle all of the payments and customer queries would cost a bomb, and that’s before considering the money you would need in the bank to cover any big wins.
The other big issue is licensing. Getting the all clear from the UKGC comes with its own costs and it can also take a very long time for all of the checks to go through, and this is where a white label provider comes in.
What Services Does a White Label Provide?
They provide everything except the brand to put it bluntly. And some of them actually operate their own brands, so technically they can even do that.
White label providers and platform providers are terms that are often used interchangeably, and while they used to be slightly different most companies could be classed as either these days. The services they offer include:
- Licenses – Some have licenses in multiple jurisdictions, but the one needed in the UK is a UKGC remote operating license. The white label will also need a remote software liecnese.
- Platform – The mechanics of the site, the engine that runs it. You can think of the platform as the framework the site is built on.
- Website Design – Most providers offer a few different website templates for clients to choose from, with perhaps a small number of elements that can be personalised. Some take a more custom build approach but this is more expensive.
- Payment Processing – The provider will have pre-established relationships with all major payment providers in each country. These are set up and ready to go so the payments can go through pre-existing channels.
- Customer Support – Usually only offered as a first line option, with anything really serious needing input from the company that owns the brand. For your everyday questions and complaints though, the provider can handle it.
- Content – There will be a large number of game studios associated with a white label. They will all have their own deals with the company and that makes them available to all brands operating under the white label, giving those brands an excellent choice of gaming content. They can also handle things like comp points, bonuses, and promotions.
- Technical Support – If the brand is struggling to update their site, wants to implement something they can’t do using the API as it currently stands, or has spotted a bug, they can contact support instantly.
- Responsible Gambling Tools – This is something all casinos have to provide, and the white label has developed a set of tools built into the platform that are ready to go.
- API Management Tools – Application Programming Interface. Think of it like WIX but specifically for the online casino industry. It’s the program the brand uses to manage and update their site, monitor customers, and track their performance.
Once the initial setup is complete, the brand can access the casino site and make their own changes, running the surface level elements of the site themselves but knowing that everything behind the scenes is being managed properly by the white label provider.
For example, the brand can use the API to issue personal bonuses to key players, accept or decline deposits and withdrawals, update and remove games, access player analytics in order to market the right product to the right customer; but the white label is always there to handle any more complicated issues if they arise
This saves untold amounts of money, and allows a brand to operate with a much smaller number of employees than would otherwise be necessary.
How do White Labels Work in the Gambling Industry?
As we now know, a white label solution refers to a license holder and platform provider that rents out their license and other products to smaller brands who are just starting out.
There is no limit to the number of brands they can sign up as white labels, but unless they have an excellent API with loads of personalisation options, all of those sites are going to look fairly similar. This is something a new brand would take into account, alongside their budget and what kind of features they want.
A brand does not need to buy all of the white labels products and features, it can take only the elements it needs (up to a point). Some brands use platform providers to bolt on an extra product, a bit like building an extension on a house.
Each white label provider will have a whole host of tech solutions to allow any company big or small to almost hand pick the services they need, and then ‘plug and play’. It’s a short cut that saves time, money, and effort.
We can pretend that you are going to start your own online casino to explain the process further:
Let’s imagine that you want to launch a love themed casino brand, called Casinova. You don’t have the capital to build a website etc, and you want to get to market in time for Valentines day, so you need to move quickly.
You could contact a white label casino provider and agree a deal with them to operate using their license (after agreeing to their terms), and to use their casino platform. You would pay them a monthly fee plus a percentage of all profits, and they would provide you with a website template (otherwise known as a skin or cookie cutter site) on which you could put your Casinova branding.
You would also be able to choose the games you want from their list of partner developers and decide which ones get top billing on your site (the romantic slots obviously), and they could get you set up with payment providers through their own channels, and even handle customer service for you.
Your only real job would be to market the site and promote the brand, and decide what kind of promotions you wanted to run. A love at first sight welcome package perhaps?
This slightly silly example would be the full white label service which outsources almost everything to the white label provider. It is the easiest way to get things moving but it doesn’t leave the people behind the brand with much control.
A company could do this until they managed to get their own license, at which point they could move to a slightly different arrangement where they only need the providers platform services. This option is often called a turn key solution and is a little cheaper.
A more established brand might prefer to just integrate a single product from the provider, such as first line customer support or a sportsbook to run alongside a self-built and managed casino. It all depends on the needs and resources of the company in question.
The whole thing is a bit like buying a new kitchen from a big chain store. They have various styles and designs along with numerous different sized cupboards that can be slotted together to fit your kitchen and make best use of the space, plus all of the appliances and extras. All you have to do is look through their catalogue, decide what you want, then once they have come and fitted it your job is to keep it clean and make minor repairs as and when.
Sometimes you need a completely new kitchen, other times you just want to change the worktops. Either way, the company can do it for you.
Well Known White Label Casino Providers
This company has been providing proprietary white label casino platforms to operators since 2011. Using market leading HTML5 technology with content from 15 top gaming software providers, their service has been the first choice for hundreds of new brands over the years.
They pride themselves on delivering quality in a number of key areas, but first and foremost is a fast and efficient entry into the marketplace with a guaranteed eight week time frame from signing the contract to going live.
They aren’t the most diverse in terms of website designs – you can spot a Nektan site a mile away – but they are popular for their cost effectiveness weighed against the excellent suite of CRM tools, commercial agreements and revenue structures, and account support. Nektan also provide one of the most robust real time reporting and business intelligence platforms complete with an insights module. This allows operators to effectively monitor and manage their brand, analyse data to devise new strategies around increasing revenues, and then target their marketing to customers based on this data.
A specialist in premium gaming content thanks to their strong relationships with some of the most globally recognised online gambling software developers, Nektan are able to offer well in excess of 600 of the most popular games and slots in the industry. Although this package may be limited in number compared to other companies on this list, for brands fresh out of the box it provides enough choice and from quality developers.
In operation since 2012 and holding gambling licenses in the UK, Malta, and Ireland, Progress Play offer market leading content for both casino sites and online sportsbooks.
The company have strong links with most major game developers such as Microgaming, Scientific Games and Quickspin, but where Progress Play perhaps distinguish themselves from other white labels is by also promoting newer forward thinking studios like Lightning Box, Games Warehouse, and Tom Horn, bringing their clients a fresh approach to gaming.
The multi-solution framework that Progress Play provide is vital for their clients, because the API integration to a client’s website is a crucial element of what the white label does. The framework is designed so that their clients can automatically receive updates in real time to keep track of all elements of their business.
The company are also strong when it comes to their CRM and customer acquisition tools. The CRM products include sophisticated funnel conversion, customer retention tailored towards promotions and events, VIP services, cross selling strategies, and customer segmentation. In terms of acquisition they have a wider range of promotional tools than normal, as well as a strong affiliate program.
Interestingly, Progress Play partners with the highly reputable Bet Construct for their sports betting offering, who are another white label provider.
Formed in 2007 and now with over 160 employees, Soft Gamings specialise in providing their clients with fully functional and optimised white label platforms at speed. They claim to take just 6 weeks from initial consultation to get a new brand to market.
Their platform can easily process millions of daily transactions and perform weekly updates to software without causing interruptions to the functionality of their client’s websites. Speaking of their websites, Soft Gamings have a wide variety of website templates which means their clients can retain more of a unique appearance than those operating under other white label providers.
They are known for their quality mobile platform as well as their desktop product, and tend to attract clients that don’t have the resources for mainstream advertising but want to work with Soft Gamings to improve customer acquisition.
Their expertise in this area is another selling point, as well as their partnerships with a great mix of game studios from industry greats to new industry disruptors.
Like many other white label providers, Soft Gamings also offer a sportsbook product and all of their software is proprietary and developed in house.
Launched in 2008, the company’s initial intention was to be a software supplier in the same vein as the likes of Playtech and Microgaming, but it soon found that there was more value in diversifying into white label solutions which quickly became the focus of their business operations.
With headquarters in Curacao, their software is actually developed in Belarus though this does not stop them having clients around the world. They also operate as an online auction platform and are one of the only providers offering a bitcoin casino solution.
Although not yet available as a white label in the UK, they are a huge player in Europe, where their customers benefit from a 360 degree view of their sites’ performance, excellent KYC management, and advanced customer segmentation capabilities.
Their partnerships with more than 70 game providers opens the door to 10,000+ games which gives their clients a staggering amount of choice, and they can also supply a sportsbook for multi-product brands.
Soft Swiss are a particularly good choice for those with limited experience as they not only have a lot of helpful information on their site regarding starting an online casino business, but their team offer to walk their clients through the process too.
There are many advantages to using a white label provider, and those who do can have peace of mind that their players have a comprehensive user experience.
A white label provider can act as a guide and mentor to a young brand, helping to steer their business to market; or they can just provide specific products off the shelf to more established brands and let them get on with it.
This means a white label provider is a very flexible business and also one that is safe regardless of how their white label brands perform. It is obviously better for the provider if their brands do well because the profit share model means they will earn more, and the brand will continue paying the fee to rent the platform.
However, there will always be new brands looking to launch, so any that do fall by the wayside can be replaced, meaning a white label provider has a nice balance between long term successful customers and new clients.
Are white label online casinos reliable and safe?
So long as the provider has a gambling license for the UK (assuming you are a UK player) then the casino itself should be reliable and totally safe.
Ultimately the provider will get into trouble if the white label brand misbehaves, so there are checks completed before deals are signed, and unscrupulous types would find it difficult to get a reputable provider to work with them.
White label providers also host multiple brands, so their experience combined with products that have been developed and improved over more than a decade mean that you are as safe with a white label casino as you are with one of the big brands.
Can I get access to the same slots and games if I join a white label site?
The majority of white label companies work with all of the major software developers, which means that their clients will be able to play their favourite games. It is up to each site as to which games they include, but they should have access to 95% of what’s on the market.
However, it may be that some games are exclusive or that the software developers give priority to really big companies when it comes to release dates. There are all sorts of commercial agreements out there but they tend to only affect a limited number of games.
Are there any advantages to using a white label casino site?
From a player’s perspective the answer to this is no, but there aren’t really any disadvantages either.
Every casino site, regardless of whether they are working with a white label company has their own unique selling points and they market these in order to attract the players that they want.
It’s true that white label brands tend to have fewer other products (sportsbook, bingo, etc) than a more established brand might have, but from an online gaming point of view there isn’t much between them.
It ultimately comes down to player preferences, because each player has different tastes when it comes to where they play, and know what they like and what they do not like. Whether or not it is a white label site though, should not really make too much of a difference.