How To Create An Internet Gambling Website
How many hits did your website get this month? What is being done about the unethical online casinos and the owners that operate them? How many players did you sign up this week?
These are just some of the questions portal casino webmasters normally ask each other by speaking the language of their business operations. We currently live in a digital economy fueled by the tremendous growth of the Internet. Access to the Internet is transforming the way we live and the manner in which we do business. It’s important that aspiring gambling webmasters learn as much as they can about cyberspace because there’s opportunity online.
What is the Internet and how does it support e-commerce and what are the benefits it offers? What initial considerations confront an Internet startup? What are some of the criminal and ethical issues related to the online gambling industry? These are the primary questions I’m going to address in this article.
”The ultimate goal of your website is to expand its scope with the necessary tools by giving it an unbeatable edge over your competition. An edge that renews and transforms itself faster than the competition can keep up.”
The Internet And Cyber Gambling
Since e-commerce is predicated on the Internet, I’m going to give a brief history lesson on it first.
What Is The Internet? In 1957, the Russians launched the first unmanned satellite, Sputnik into space. Their success in the first lap of the space race spurred a chain reaction in the United States. One of the charges given to the U.S Department of Defense, in response to the fears raised by Sputnik, was to develop a communication system that would survive a nuclear war. The department began an intense and secret research on a different way to transmit information over communication channels. Today this is known as the Internet.
The Internet is one gigantic, loosely connected computer network that links smaller networks all over the world through modems, phone lines, satellite links and other communications channels. It enables people to communicate with other connected computer users via electronic (email) and real-time (typed) conversation. It provides hige amounts of data, stored on computers all over the world, that can be read or downloaded. The Internet is a phenomenon that has significantly changed and will continue to change they way people communicate in the new millennium.
How Does The World Wide Web Work?
The World Wide Web (WWW) is a system of Internet servers accessible with browsers, which navigate hypertext links. The World Wide Web was conceived and initiated in 1992, at the European Laboratory for Particle Physics, commonly known as CERN in Switzerland. The idea was to expand the types of media used to convey information-not only to use text but also sound, video, animation and hyperlinks. Today, all the information we need is posted on a Web ”page”.
A casino’s servers store information and process requests from online gamblers. Using HyperText Transfer Protocol or HTTP. The servers send the requested information and instructions on how to display that information (formatted in HyperText Markup Language or HTML) back to players. The clients then handle the core of displaying the information for the end user. In order to display the information, clients use a special type of program called a Web browser.
Using E-Commerce To Market Cyber Casinos
What does the term e-commerce mean? E-commerce means electronic commerce or the paperless exchange of business transactions over the Internet. It is a means of conducting an ‘online gambling sale or sign up‘ that would have traditionally been carried out in face to face brick-and-mortar casinos.
The Internet, like the telephone is merely a tool that parties use to communicate with one another, in essence it’s the ultimate communication medium. It’s reshaping the way in which internet casinos conduct business while also providing an alternative to the brick-and-mortar casino. The age old adage: ”Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. It suggests that innovation is the foundation to a successful marketing strategy.
Myths About E-Commerce
Although e-commerce is still in its infancy shoes, several myths about it have already surfaced. To avoid confusion, I will briefly examine and dispel each myth.
- First myth. The technical nature of the Internet makes e-commerce too expensive for the smaller portal casino webmaster. This is simply not true. Many successful online casinos or portals first started out with limited budgets. When we launched Cassaon-casino.com in 2006 our budget was a mere $5,000.
- A second myth is that e-commerce is just another way of taking orders, replacing the capabilities of the telephone and fax machine. True, customers can place orders on a website. But, e-commerce offers so much more to both internet marketers; it requires business savvy and sound planning.
”We find ourselves in an Age of the Startup. Everywhere it seems, people have a new idea that they want to turn into a business, a new business model that they want to turn into a company. If you’re not incubating a startup, you’re starting an incubator.”
The dictionary defines an opportunity as a ‘‘combination of circumstances favorable for a chance to advance oneself”. It’s a logical concept surrounding e-commerce in its current state as a means to uncover opportunities. The term business model describes a group of shared characteristics, behaviors and goals that a website can follow in a particular situation. Portal casinos differ in their decisions in terms of player attraction, retention, how to become more profitable and the type of information posted on their websites.
Can a poorly devised business model be a major factor in business failure? Yes, it can. Despite the many exciting changes brought about the electronic age, one issue remains a concern to both online and traditional casinos: profitability. For example, webmasters learned that they could sell advertising space on their sites, with the placement fee tied into the number of hits. In the early days of the Internet banner adverting was an important source of income to webmasters, not any more.
A popular form of site linkage today is called casino affiliation. The portal casino owner enters into a ”formal agreement” with the operator which allows internet gamblers quick and easy access to the sponsoring firm. This type of relationship can be a substantial source of revenue for smaller webmasters. Sites like Casinolistings.com and AskGamblers.com earn thousands of dollars in affiliate commissions every month.
Launching Your Gambling Site
Before you launch your site numerous decisions must be taken into account first. I’m going to discuss three critical startup tasks related to setting up a portal casino here:
A. Creating and registering a site name.
B. Building a user-friendly website.
C. Promoting the site
A. Creating And Registering A Site Name
Selecting an appropriate name for your cyber casino is a very important decision. Contrary to general opinion, there’s still a ton of available names. Currently, a domain name can have a maximum of 60 odd characters. Given all the letters, numbers and hyphens that domain names can contain, it’s estimated that 95 percent of all the possible dot.com domain names are still available.
Since a domain name gives a small business its online identity, it’s very important to select a descriptive and appealing name. Obviously some of the shorter and more creative names are taken. But, just like real estate websites can be bought and sold. Once again I’d like to circle back to Casinolistings.com. Have a look at this site’s domain name. Does it fit the criteria I’ve just mentioned, I think so? Once you’ve selected the desired name, it should be checked for availability and registered.
The Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICCAN) is the nonprofit corporation currently overseeing the Internet. Keep in mind that ICCAN does not register websites, this must be done through a domain register firm. Another ICCAN accredited domain name registrar is Namesecure.
B. Building A User-Friendly Website
First impressions are important, a high-quality web design will only stand you in good stead. Sites can be built in a number of ways (PHP, HTML, Flash etc), using a wide variety of site-building tools. Common examples are Dreamweaver, Drupal and WordPress. Most websites and blogs share certain features that we can control and to help with on-site SEO. These features include things like the page title, headlines, body text, ALT tags and so on. However, different platforms have their own set of challenges and WordPress is no exception. The technical aspects of developing a website is beyond the scope of this article.
My purpose here is to give you some useful tips when designing your website. There are many reasons why websites fail to retain their players. Online gamblers are a fickle bunch and the slightest inconvenience will send them away. If a page takes more than 20 seconds to load chances of abandonment are high. If your site fails to meet your customers’ needs it will also fail. Some designers make the mistake since they look inward towards the business, rather than outward to customer needs.
9 Important Website Design Tips
1. Make It Easy to Buy
This tip may seem vague and ambiguous but it’s very important. Put yourself in the gambler’s shoes and test your designs. Isolate issues that might block users from making a successful purchase (sign up). Ask yourself the following:
- How many pages and clicks does it take before I start seeing signups?
- How much information must users have to fill out initially, compared to a second purchase?
- Can a quick purchase be made directly from the home page?
- Does the site provide clear instructions on how the player can register an account at the casino?
- How well does your site communicate with the player?
2. Make a Strong First Impression
Your website’s home page must grab the player’s attention from the word go. This is where a potential gambler will be grounded to your company and persuaded to make further deposits. Next, provide a clear visual definition of the various pages on your site. This can be accomplished with tabs or within the navigation bar.
3. Minimize Distractions
Avoid excessive banner advertising above the fold. The goal of your homepage is to encourage players to sign up.
4. Make It Personal
Looking for a way to build a strong rapport with your gamblers? Provide personalization. Once the player registers, use this information to provide a personalized greeting to the home page or to other sub pages.
5. Avoid Long Instructions
If you need to include instructions on how to use your site or how to make a purchase, it is time for a redesign. To complete a quick purchase, a player needs minimal-to-no instructions. As it is very few players read long instructions and may turn them away in confusion.
6. Provide Visual Clues to Location
If your portal casino has multiple pages, it’s important to create changing colors on the navigation bar and provide different titles with text or graphics. However, don’t over do this, I like to keep things to a bare minimum-KISS (keep it simple stupid).
7. Showcase Your Products
Add relevant images/screenshots of the online casinos you’re promoting. Process the images in three sizes: thumbnail, medium and large. A thumbnail photo is best used in a list of several products. At the individual product level, provide a smaller image and the ability to click to view the enlarged version of the casino. The more details you can provide the better. If the images are too big it can have a negative impact on your site’s load time.
8. Encourage Spontaneous Purchases
This can be accomplished in various ways. If the product is mentioned on the homepage, place product images and details such as the bonus offers, games that can be played, withdrawal time frame and comps.
9. In Long Lists Alternate Background Colors
A good visual trick to make long table of items easier to read is to alternate a light background color for each row or item.
C. Promoting The Website
There’s a myriad of ways you can use to promote your gambling website. The most direct approach to website promotion is making sure that the site can be accessed by Internet search engines. If your website does not adhere to Google’s quality guidelines it will be penalized and your visitors will never see the great content on it. The content on your site must be niche specific and written by an expert. It must not be keyword stuffed, must contain clear and concise headings and the site architecture must be spot on.
Criminal And Ethical Issues Plaguing The Online Gambling Industry
Although the iGaming industry is still relatively young, it has already demonstrated a vulnerability to crime and questionable business practice. With its low cost of entry and instant access to potential gamblers all over the world, the Internet is a prime venue for criminal activity.
Criminal activity over the internet has become known as cyber crime. Cyber crimes have an important impact on e-commerce which includes hacking, scamming and violation of intellectual property rights. Hacking is a potential problem facing cyber gaming casinos. It troubles them in three distinct ways:
- First, hackers can get control of the operator, deface or vandalize it.
- Second, hackers may steal electronic files. This is the cyberspace equivalent of breaking into a traditional brick-and-mortar store and carrying off the contents of the safe.
- Third, some hackers will hack into a dot.com site just to block customer access. This disruption may be achieved either by bombarding the site with traffic or by redirecting traffic to a competitor’s site. This is why internet casinos use highly sophisticated SSL (secure socket layer) encryption software that prevents their sites from being compromised.
Regrettably Internet scamming is on the rise. There are literally millions of players gambling online, we’ve seen an increase in both the number of complaints and the amounts of money lost. It points to the need for consumer protection and increased education.
Dubious E-Commerse Practices
The enormous number of data exchanges in e-commerce raises serious questions about personal safety and privacy. One potential threat to privacy bears a sweet name but a sour taste-cookies. What is a cookie? A cookie is a data file that is electronically sent to the player’s computer when other requested materials are downloaded from an online casino. Cookies were developed so that websites could recognize return visitors and thereby generate a customized and personalized response. Let’s consider the following scenario:
Say a player goes to www.xyzcasinos.com. The casino asks the computer if it can store a cookie on its hard drive. The file in effects says: ”This is User 2145. While there, you the user, tell the casino that you live in Portsmouth, like traveling to Ireland and like bonuses with low play-through requirements. It notes that User 2145 has these interests. Next time you visit the casino, it asks your browser if it has a cookie stashed there. ”I do indeed”, your browser replies and sends it over. ”Ah, the casino thinks to itself, ”User 2145 wants to know the promotional offers and latest casino games.
Players who object to having cookies on their hard drive can use three methods to control the consumption of it:
- Delete the cookies regularly.
- Set the browser to stop cookies.
- Install a cookie manager program.
This it’s why it’s important that owners of portal casinos address the privacy issues. The venture’s commitment to satisfy its players’ online privacy concerns will create an environment of trust and player confidence.
How will aspiring gambling webmasters use e-commerce to build their businesses? In cyberspace, the concept of ”build it they will come” has created hundreds of dot.com failures. Technology is wonderful but it will never replace traditional customer service and retention strategies. The crux of the matter is if you decide to venture into the online gambling industry; don’t enter a mature, highly competitve industry with an inefficient strategy.
The world economy is in transition. National economies that were once isolated by trade and investment barriers, difference in language and culture, distinctive business practices are now merged into one thanks to the Internet. The benefits of economic liberty speaks for itself and the positive impact on prosperity has made the cyber gambling market accessible to all.
1. How To Start An Online Casino: http://www.wikihow.com/Start-an-Online-Casino
2. How To Create A Betting Website: https://income.com/2749/create-betting-website/[addtoany]
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