A turnkey solution for an online gambling establishment is a frequent choice for those companies who want to deploy a new online gaming house fast and present it to the market in a minimal time, with limited or no customization. Unlike white-label (WL) solutions, turnkey software is less customizable and powerful, offering a limited set of capabilities compared to WL. In this article, we’re exploring turnkey solutions compared to WL solutions to give our readers a distinct understanding of how these two coexist in the market and what they offer.
What is a turnkey casino?
A turnkey solution for houses of gambling is out-of-the-box software, which is pre-built and offered to companies (gaming venue operators) as is, with little-to-no customization capabilities. It offers a relatively fast and budget-friendly deployment of a new gaming venue compared to software that has to be built from scratch. It’s a technical and technological solution consisting of various pieces of software, which is pre-designed to cover the standard needs of betting and gambling facilities in a specific market, who do not want a large scale of customization. A turnkey casino solution has built-in all essential (core) functionalities, which gaming venues typically need:
- Integration of games and game providers
- Gamester registration and management
- Depositing and withdrawing
- Functionalities of gambling, betting, poker, live games, tournaments & bonuses
- Security measures
- Customer support.
This is a solution for those gaming parlors who want to have more control over the front end of their business and are more tech-savvy than those who opt for WL options. And launching a turnkey solution typically requires less time than WL (because of less customization) although that may vary depending on the specific goals and needs of a particular gaming venue.
How to develop a casino game?
Developing a game for a house of gambling is a task that’s done by gaming providers — software companies that specialize in this kind of service. Vivid examples of such companies (game makers) are all renowned names: Microgaming, NetEnt, Playtech, IGT, Novomatic, Yggdrasil, Quickspin, Pragmatic Play & Betsoft, among the rest. Currently, there are around 100 such companies in the world, offering from a handful of pieces to hundreds of games. Some companies are as old as 30 years (Microgaming was founded in 1994, for instance) while a handful of them have been operating in a market of gaming machines for brick-and-mortar gaming venues since the early years of the 20th century. Many of these companies have been reorganized now or acquired by other companies. The most famous and long-operating of them are:
- Williams Interactive (from 1943)
- Aristocrat Leisure Ltd. (from 1953)
- Mills Novelty (since 1891)
- IGT (since 1975).
These companies produce one or more games every year (some make it on a quarterly basis). The process of development of a new game consists of a few basic stages:
- Idea or concept
- Market research
- Compliance with legal requirements in specific markets
- Prototyping, designing & embedding math behind the game outcomes
- Development: coding, creation of graphics, animation & sound design
- Testing and optimization
- Post-launch support and marketing to gaming venues around the world.
After a game is successfully developed and launched, it is included in gaming catalogs of various online gambling establishments and appears in the casino turnkey solutions of those companies who offer them to their clients. It takes some time before a new game becomes a part of a standard offer of a turnkey solution, though, — much faster new games appear in the gambling catalogs of already operating houses of gambling who watch market trends.
What is turnkey setup?
When a gambling solution is delivered to the client (after it is tuned to the client’s desires), it is time to set it up on the technological infrastructure. Here are the two common scenarios:
- As an on-premises solution (involves the technological infrastructure of a client)
- As a hosted solution (involves the technological infrastructure of a company-provider of that solution).
Nowadays, the second option is much more widespread since fewer mother companies opt for having their own technological infrastructures. That’s because having all tech infrastructure inside their premises is a cumbersome and money-requiring part of business, which needs a lot of tech personnel to support its functioning. A hosted solution has become frequent specifically after the rapid development of cloud hosting options, which are way cheaper and ensure all the tech support on the side of the host (cloud provider).
The implementation of an online casino turnkey solution in both options presupposes the implementation of these steps (which are mainly technical issues):
- Installation and unwrapping of the functionality of the gambling back office and front office, setting up access roles, tuning functions & doing all other initial technical tasks to start the work of the technological core of the gambling platform.
- Setting up the work of all basic and essential modules and processes of the system: gaming providers and games, processing of payments, user management system, security measures, data analytic module, reporting, content management and CRM systems, etc.
- Setting up the functions of regulatory compliance, marketing, user communication and support & website design.
After the installation and setup are finished, employees of the gaming venue’s mother company can log in and start their work in the workplaces in the back office and front office systems of their new gaming venue, doing necessary setting and managerial functions.
What are turnkey activities?
Turnkey activities refer to a set of tasks or services that are completed and delivered by a third-party provider, in this case, a provider of a turnkey online casino solution. These activities produce a fully functional and ready-to-use solution. The term “turnkey” signifies that the client receives a product or service that is ready to be used immediately, with little or no capabilities of fine-tuning the product and its parts, thus, receiving software that cannot be modified after it is delivered to a client and deployed on the servers.
However, most turnkey solutions do have space for customization — but it is done during the preparatory work before delivering the solution to a customer. And here the question arises about the differences between the turnkey solution and a tailor-made WL one (because at this point, they seem as interchangeable notions). Let’s consider them below.
What Is The Difference Between Turnkey And White-Label Casinos?
Although in many issues, turnkey solutions and WL solutions seem to be the same, they do have differences.
To vividly understand the basic differences between them, let’s resort to the following comparison.
Let’s imagine that we have an Android operating system. There is a client who comes to the Samsung Company and says he wants to sell the Android OS under his own brand. He asks to change the logo of Android to something else and replace “Android” everywhere in the texts of the OS so that future users of ‘his’ system understand that this is HIS system, not Samsung’s. Samsung agrees and introduces the changes. After that, a happy client sells this OS to everyone under his name. Along with that, all the legal, financial, operational, licensing, technical, technological & client support issues are still handled by Samsung on behalf of that client. A client in this case is only responsible for selling copies of that OS to people, leaving part of that income to himself and paying the other part of the income to Samsung as royalties. This is white-label.
Now, imagine a second client who comes to Samsung and asks to fine-tune Android to work only on tablets. He also wants to change the logo to make it seem like this is ‘his’ OS, but he agrees to handle himself the issues of user interface, client support, legal, financial, licensing & marketing. Here, Samsung will only be responsible for the technical and technological parts (initial work and further updates). This is a turnkey solution.
Now that you understand the basic differences between the turnkey and white label, let’s translate that into the plane of online gaming venues:
|The name of the functionality
|Function of the presence of gambling games
|Choice of games and game providers
|User registration and management
|Reporting and analytics
|Website design choice
|Absent or basic
|Bonuses and promos
|Language and localization
|Broader or full
|Absent or basic
|Broad or full
|Flexibility in customization
|Absent or basic
|Modular functionality (turning separate modules on and off)
|Absent or minimal
|Time to launch
|Efforts to launch
|Post-launch efforts of a mother company
|Legal, marketing, PR, client attraction & retention & licensing
|Marketing, client attraction & retention
|Technical support from the company software maker
|Payment gateway integration ease
|Responsible gaming features
Thus, if your company wants to focus solely on marketing, client acquisition & retention, then it is expedient to spend more time and effort on the initial fine-tuning of a WL solution yet never have the headache during its launch and running since the rest of the issues are handled by the company who provides a WL solution to you. But if you want to launch faster and with a lower budget, yet be responsible for a broader circle of tasks during the day-to-day operations, then opt for a turnkey solution, which is nearly as little customizable as out-of-the-box software.
In other words:
- WL is a solution that has you totally covered. It includes software for a gaming venue, website, your branding, all processes set, licensing, client support & software updates. You are only responsible for sales of your product — that is, finding new gamesters for one’s gambling establishment and conducting ad campaigns. When a large software update appears, you usually get it by default or with little payment.
- Turnkey solution is basically only the software to run the core functions of the gaming house. The rest is your responsibility: finding new gamesters, receiving a gambling license, making a website (if it does not come in a turnkey solution), building integrations with third-party pieces of software (like reporting, CRM, data analysis, AI, etc.) & client support. When a large software update appears, you don’t get it by default.
How does a turnkey operation work?
A turnkey operation is in other words a process of selecting a proper software solution that fits your needs. It can be described as a series of such steps:
- Scan the market to understand what the offers are and what the functionality of the software is.
- Define several options that best suit your needs. Apply to the companies with a list of the functions you need additionally in the offered software to find out the costs of the development. Also, find out the costs of ongoing support and the complexity of the implementation.
- Pick a company that has offered the best result in terms of cost and time required for extra developments and ongoing support.
- Negotiate and conclude a contract for receiving a tailored turnkey solution in a while.
- While the solution is being tailored, work on receiving the gambling license and completing other legal processes required to start the work of a new online gaming venue.
- After the tailoring of software is done, together with the specialists of the company provider, install and deploy the system to start working.
- Start working.
How is casino programmed?
Programming software for a house of gambling is a complex process handled by a software company specializing in these kinds of developments. In simplified steps, it can be described as below:
- Game development is usually done by companies that produce games for gambling. They typically use HTML5 for web-based games while other languages like C++ or Unity may be used for more complex games.
- Then goes the integration of databases, payment processing, user authentication, security measures & external APIs.
- Mobile compatibility is ensured.
- Testing, bug-fixing & deployment.
- When new software is successfully deployed, employees of the gaming venue’s mother company do the necessary system settings to meet their working needs and start running the gaming venue.
- Ongoing maintenance of the system is provided by the software company, which delivers the technological solution to update the system, fix bugs & solve urgent issues.
What is the best strategy for casino?
In terms of choosing, what is the best for a gaming venue — a turnkey option or a WL — several things must be taken into consideration:
- Entanglement of software. WL is perfect for those who do not want to deeply dive into tech details & want to feel covered 360° in their daily operations.
- Budget consideration. WL is usually costlier than a pre-built turnkey solution.
- Time to deploy. It is faster to go with a turnkey solution since WL takes considerably more time to be fully customized and deployed.
- Needs for customization. A turnkey solution is customizable to a very small extent while WL can boast of very extensive opportunities for that.
- Operational control. The WL solution offers more control in daily work.
- Licensing and compliance are far better covered in a WL solution.
- Scalability is better in a WL solution.
- Brand identity is also far better in WL.
- Market differentiation. WL inherently has a greater potential for that.
- Long-term strategy. WL is optimal to develop a long-term strategy, looking to build a distinct brand.
How much does software cost?
The cost of software for a house of gambling can vary widely depending on several characteristics, like the type of software, its features & functions, customization requirements, licensing fees & the reputation of the company provider.
- Turnkey solutions can range from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of dollars. Factors affecting cost are the complexity of the gaming platform, the number and quality of games included, payment processing integration, security features, ongoing support & others.
- WL may have similar cost ranges to turnkey solutions, but customization efforts and their degrees can potentially add to the overall expense.
- Custom-built solutions are those developed from scratch. They are the costliest, starting from several hundred thousand dollars and ending with millions, depending on the complexity.
In addition to software costs, launching a new gaming parlor is a process that also includes license fees, payments for ongoing maintenance & integrations with game providers, and the number of their games in the catalog of a gambling establishment.
Examples of turnkey solutions
There are many well-known turnkey software pieces for gaming parlors:
- SoftSwiss Online Casino Platform.
- White Hat Gaming.
- Tuko Productions.
- Quantum Gaming.
- Smart Money.
What is a turnkey project example?
Specific cases that are known to the market (when gaming venues procured turnkey solutions) are numerous. SoftSwiss has helped 800 online houses of gambling, for instance. Amongst them such names as BetChain, 1XBet, Mbit, PlayAmo, King Billy, Bit Starz, N1 Casino, Loki Casino, Winny, Golden Crown, Woo Casino, RooBet, Avalon 78, RocketPlay, MegaSlot, DuxCasino, Cleopatra Casino, 7bit Casino, Brillx, BetChain & many others.
SoftGamings Company has helped with a turnkey solution for such operators of the iGaming business as PariMatch, OmniSlots, Pin-Up Casino, FavBet, RioBet, UpGaming, Groove Gaming, SultanBet, Vavada, LeaderBet, VikingBet.IO, Cat Casino, 1Win, Slottica, Advabet & SoftMaya.
ProgressPlay Company has helped such betting facilities as BetArno, Dazzle Casino, SlotLux, 21LuckyBet, LasVegasCasino, Casino77, Wombat Casino & LottoZone amongst others.
Dragonfish Company has helped such gambling establishments as MoonGames, SecretSlots, SlotsOfDosh, CostaGames & WickedJaskpot.
If you visit the pages of the named companies on the list, we’re sure you can find more information about their partners.
Is turnkey software free?
Turnkey software is a complex package that has a pre-built functional platform with many kinds of software, payment processing, licensing support & various other features. Developing, maintaining & supporting such solutions require significant resources, expertise & ongoing efforts from the providers, who hire tens or hundreds of employees to perform these tasks, which results in direct & associated costs. So, no, turnkey software for online gaming houses does not come for free.
How to Select the Right Solution
Here are some tips about how to choose the right software based on the most important criteria that the mother companies of gaming parlors usually seek.
A solution must have room for growth in performance, UX & security as one’s gaming parlor expands. The scalable things are usually server infrastructure, database capacity, the workload of the gaming venue’s systems, user management system, payment processing, gaming catalog, reporting, analysis, etc.
Select a solution offering robust customization options to align the platform with specific preferences. The things that can be customizable are website design, branding elements, game selection, promo campaigns and bonuses, payment methods, tournaments, languages of the interface, UI features, customer support channels, etc.
Not all systems are created equal. The same goes for compliance with global and local iGaming regulations, such as licensing, AML, KYC, data protection and security, financial transaction protection, fair gaming, geo-restrictions, age verification, responsible gaming, standards of advertising, reporting & auditing.
Tech Maintenance & Support
A good turnkey solution must come with 24/7 technical support, regular updates & proactive maintenance to ensure optimal performance.
If software delivered by this or that company does not cover 100% of the venue’s needs in the performance of business processes, it must be integrated with third-party pieces of software. Integration options can be provided for more games, payment methods, cryptocurrency, third-party services for working with clients, reporting, live dealer solutions, fraud monitoring and prevention systems & various other tools.
A good turnkey solution must have reliable encryption, secure payment processing, access controls for players and gaming venue’s employees & financial data protection. These issues are provided by such methods and technologies:
- SSL/TLS encryption
- PCI DSS implementation
- Two-factor authentication
- Firewalls and IDS
- Security system certification (like ISO 27001)
- Regular data backups and recovery plans in place
- Regular security audits
- Employee training.
Post-Launch Considerations and Growth Strategies
Selecting software to launch a new betting facility is one step of many. After it is up and running, it is crucial to perform day-to-day work to develop it and make it grow. Here, all the classic steps are necessary, just like in any other gaming house, no matter what software it uses in its core to operate:
- Further diversification of the gaming portfolio
- Working towards personalized content and client offers
- Fine-tuning the remuneration system of a gaming venue (in terms of VIP ladder, loyalty programs, special bonuses & offers)
- Expansion of payment options & languages of the interface
- Advertising through digital ad campaigns, affiliate marketing, community building, cooperation with influencers, SEO & SMM
- Implementing innovative technologies
- Expansion of data gathering and analysis
- Continuous innovations.
We hope that our thorough guide will help bring your casino to the peaks of glory, where it will be unattainable to competitors!