Red Earth purchases online.casino for record-breaking $510,000
Domain sale is most expensive to date
Red Earth has recently purchased the domain name Online.Casino from registrar Donuts, for the record-breaking sum of $510,000. To date, this is the most expensive publicly-disclosed sale of a new gTLD domain name – a record previously held by Michael Kugler, owner of vacation.rentals, which was purchased for $500.300.
Michael Kugler had this to say: “Congratulations to the owner. It was fun to hold the top spot while it lasted, but all things come to an end. The URL is a solid left right combination and should do really well. It has to be a tricky industry and nerve wracking regulations, but if they can clear those hurdles – it should be a fun ride for them as it is for us.”
SiGMA sat down with Lucas Gerhardsson, Founder at Red Earth Ltd, for an exclusive interview.
Why did you decide to buy online.casino?
There are not many great domains available today but with the release of new gTLD’s a few years back more opportunities opened up. It is extremely hard to get a top domain within the casino industry and this domain is extraordinary in many ways, for example it reads perfectly from left to right, it is a great fit for SEO and it is also suitable in many markets and languages since “online casino” is a phrase widely used by our target groups. It’s a very clear name and to the end-user it needs no further explanation of what the site is about.
When will online.casino launch and what’s in store for us when it does?
We have a lot of amazing ideas that we want to bring to life. Designers, content writers, developers and marketers are already working on the project. We expect the website to be launched in Q2 this year, but the main objective is to make sure everything is correct from start and then we will launch!
There is some scepticism that the process is fake and that the sale is staged – how do you respond to that?
I’ve seen some comments being sceptical about large domain sales, suggesting the prices are actually lower, but are publicly disclosed as much higher to boost the prices of new TLDs. I really don’t know if that’s something people do, but I’ve never encountered anything like that. I wish that was the case here, but it is not.
The hefty price tag shows how big the online casino industry is getting – do you think this domain name has lasting power – will it keep giving value and is that value set to increase?
Yeah, it is indeed showing how big the casino industry is getting, but we have seen some huge sales of new TLD’s before in other industries as well, so it also tells a lot about the domain industry itself.
Regarding the value, right now it is only in the domain but with a top quality website, my expectation is that it will increase in value. I consider this domain one of the very best in the industry and even though the price tag was very high, I would say it is already worth much more.
How effective are non .com gTLD domains – do the.com’s still wear the crown?
From an SEO perspective I’ve seen new gTLD domains ranking just as well as any other domain, also Google officially stated that they don’t treat these domains any differently. There might be a small amount of confusion to the end-user if “online.casino” really is a URL, but to me it is just a question of time before everyone gets used to these new extensions.
From a TLD perspective, the .com is definitely still the king of TLDs and will certainly be so for a long time but I would say it is impossible to get anything close to this domain and it is also a totally, totally different price range. Maybe the .com.mt will be bigger soon, but I doubt it.
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