There is hardly any polite way of saying it – you need to have a proper gaming license, if you wish to run an online gaming site, operating an online casino, sports bets, poker rooms, lottery etc.
Regulators around the world regard any gambling activity with caution. The idea that it is an industry that should be enforced with regulatory care and consideration—a notion which has permanent affect on the gaming industry—is not only stabilizing, but, in fact, strengthening, leading to even stricter supervision. Regardless of your whereabouts, when operating an online gaming business, it is necessary to comply with rules and regulations in order to avoid unnecessary risk.
Operators of online gaming websites, who operate their business without a proper license, are not only jeopardizing their business but take an enormous personal risk, facing sever legal implications:
- Authorities, nowadays, hold on to an aggressive approach towards any illegal gambling activity. Let us say that you approach potential players in jurisdictions to which you have no permit. Local authorities will forcefully respond to your unauthorized activity; whether this respond will be prompt and instantaneous or take several years to come, know that the moment you will be forced to account for your illegal gaming activity will indeed arrive. Once the authorities respond, it will be irrelevant whether or not one operates as an incorporate company in offshore jurisdiction or use nominee services or trusts. Disappearing without a trace will not be optional since virtual footprints are inevitably left behind, even when one is convinced otherwise.
Additional predicament, for example, might arise if you accept American citizens, as players, without having a US gaming license. Landing on American soil, even ten years after this incident has occurred, puts you at high risk of being arrested. This has been seen in companies which operated in the Forex market where years after complaints against their websites were made, employees were arrested when arriving to American jurisdiction.
Notably, we have seen cases in which affiliates, advertising banners which promote online casinos on their websites, were accused of solicitations to illegal gambling activity. Apparently, the casinos these sites were promoting had no suitable license and were unauthorized to operate in the jurisdiction of the county associated with the affiliates’ websites.
The same applies to your payment services providers and banks. Having traffic and players from the US while allowing card payment method on your site, for example, exposes the PSP to the risk of being accused in assistance to an illegal activity.
- Your ability to develop and improve your sites will be utterly limited. Developing your site without a proper license is impossible. You will find it difficult to open a business bank account, add additional payment methods to your site and open a call center for marketing. More importantly, however, financial services companies will refuse you as a client, not willing to take the risk involved in associating with an unlicensed company; be sure that if one such company will be found, they will make sure to charge you with the highest possible fees, as compensation for their risk taking while conducting business with you.
- Your business’ credibility will be impaired:
- By potential players wishing to play in a regulated environment.
- By your own employees, unwilling to work for an illegal and unlicensed operation which exposes them to regulatory sanctions, worldwide.
Finally, bear in mind that the gaming business has gradually become an industry that is run by medium-large companies. Only a strong, financially-stable and legitimized online gaming business can survive the competition and avoid the unnecessary risk of being prosecuted by the authorities.
There many jurisdictions which offer a regulatory framework and licensing. European countries, such as Gibraltar, England or Malta, or countries such as Curacao egaming or the Philippians are some of the most prominent countries from which one can obtain a license with licensing costs from 20,000 USD.
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