Do you have the ambition to start your own online casino? Obtaining an online gambling license is a crucial part and the most important step you need to take to get into the business of online gambling. A gambling license allows you to avoid any problems with the law. Different regions of the world have specific laws that allow licensing and regulation of online gambling sites. These are also called gambling jurisdictions. If you want to run this business in a legal manner, it is definitely advisable to obtain such a license. In this blog, you will read more about what the conditions/requirements are and we will look at the different regions (gambling jurisdictions) that can grant these licenses.
Online Gambling Licence Requirements
In order to obtain an online gaming license, there are of course some requirements you must fulfil. Firstly, without a gambling license, you can do very little. You need this to purchase legal gaming content, for payment systems and, for example, to open bank and trade accounts. The location and regulations of that location are also important. We will come back to these different jurisdictions later in this blog.
However, it is true that your gambling site, for example, must largely carry out its activities in an area where you want to obtain the license. It is therefore important that you think logically about the laws and regulatory arrangements in the location where you are based or from which you want to operate. Obtaining such a license is not difficult at all. All you have to do is follow the rules! Some preconditions:
- Choose areas/countries that match your needs and look at the characteristics of the different gambling jurisdictions. Pay attention to the requirements, possible costs, application processing time and tax policies. Tip! Think you’re having trouble with this now? In order to speed up the process you can always hire a lawyer;
- Prepare all your personal documents in advance. You will need a copy of your passport, a criminal background check, proof of address and a reference from your bank;
- Have you found a good jurisdiction for your online gambling site? If so, well done! However, it is important that the software you use for your casino meets the requirements of this jurisdiction;
- Sometimes a jurisdiction requires certain information to be displayed on an online casino website. This is important to keep in mind.
Secondly, most licensing jurisdictions nowadays have a list of rules that online gambling companies must abide by. Keep in mind that not every jurisdiction requires the items listed below. The most important points from this list:
- RNG software repeated periodic testing and validation;
- Displaying elapsed playing time in the gaming software;
- Maintaining records of payouts to players (return to player) from each game;
- Set a limit for deposits;
- Display elapsed playing time in the gaming software;
- Maintaining a list of permitted customers;
- Offering good support via e.g. email/ live-chat and telephone;
- Conducting a fit-and-proper-person test for owners and management. The purpose of this is to prevent corruption and unreliability;
- Appear reliable. This is done by responding quickly and honestly to customers;
- Establishing and adhering to waiting periods for limit increases.
The Best Gambling Jurisdictions From Different Countries
Are you looking for the fastest and cheapest way to open an online casino? Then Curacao is a good choice! Here it is possible to obtain an online gambling license within 6 weeks. You also have the choice to apply for a master or sublicense with application costs of approximately € 2000. For licence support, you pay an additional €1500. Is your gambling company based in another country? No problem! In this case, it is possible to apply for an Ezone-license. Here you benefit from a low net corporate tax rate (2%) and 0% tax rate on gross bets.
The jurisdiction of Malta can be considered the world leader when it comes to granting a online gambling license. In granting licenses, they have created 4 classes. Class 1 is for online gambling/table games and Class 2 covers pool and sports betting. With class 3 you have to think about poker rooms and with class 4 we distinguish licenses which are granted to sellers of gambling software who want to manage operators at a distance.
The costs for classes 1 to 3 amount to approximately EUR 25,000 per year. An annual license for the 4th class amounts to approximately EUR 10,000.
Antigua and Barbuda
Applying for a Nordic casinos with no Swedish licence in Antigua and Barbuda is a bit more expensive and can take a bit longer compared to other regions. The average time for the application process is about 2 months. When looking at the costs, the application fee is about $15,000. The annual costs for a permit amount to no less than $100,000(!). There are two options for obtaining a license. Firstly, a license for gambling (including online casinos) and secondly, a license for interactive betting (including sports betting).
Isle of Man
Isle of Man offers three different gambling licences for gambling operators:
- Network Services license
- Full license
The cost of the first application for both full and sub-licenses is £5,000. In subsequent years, you pay £35,000 for a full license and £5,000 for a sub-license. With a full gambling license you make it possible for yourself to operate gambling activities.
The entire process of applying for a license in the Isle of Man takes about 10 to 12 weeks. However, there are a few requirements that your gambling site must fulfil. For example, your gambling business must be registered in the Isle of Man and all associated servers must be hosted in the Isle of Man. There is also a 0% corporation tax and a small percentage gambling tax to pay (approximately 0.1 to 1.5%). However, this depends on your gross profit.
There is also a third possibility: a Network Services license. This can be useful if an operator wants to allow more foreign players on the server in the Isle of Man without having to register the player data again. Of course, you pay a bit more for this. The costs are approximately £50,000 per year.
This gambling jurisdiction is extremely regulated and incredibly reliable. Furthermore, there are not many different costs. You pay approximately $132,000 per year for a license. No distinction is made here between (online) casinos or sports betting.