GBO offers professional assistance and guidance regarding the process of obtaining an online gaming license for gaming companies.

We assist all you need for obtaining an online gaming business, including company formation, bank account , gaming license, PSP and additional services such as nominee services, virtual offices and more.

We offer online gaming regulation licensing in the following jurisdictions:

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    Online Gaming License

    All online casinos are required to carry a gaming license within the jurisdiction of their business activity. In practice, most online casinos operate from small islands. The most popular destinations that offer casinos a regulated operational base are Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Antigua, Barbuda, Curacao, Malta, Seychelles, Belize and more.

    The level of regulation differs in every jurisdiction, but what is important is that there should be some form of regulation that makes paying its players the winnings they deserve mandatory.

    In recent years there has been an escalation in criminal activity in online casinos, thus a number of online gambling licensing organizations were set up to assist in minimizing the problem. Seeing as the industry manifested such a negative name for itself online, many countries still prohibit online gambling, resulting in most online gambling licenses coming from offshore jurisdictions as mentioned above.

    Most online casinos do possess an online gaming license which ensures the legitimacy of the business as it requires regular audits on the company’s management and general business conduct. The possession of a license ensures that the company is committed to conducting its business in a lawful and honest manner, which in turn gains the trust of its players, thereby increasing the traffic and success of the website. Players who find the website user-friendly and honest, will not hesitate to return to the site frequently. It should be the aim of the online casino owners to attain that high level of trust with its players to retain a commitment to their site.

    White Label – We offer referral to relevant white label gaming solutions that include licensing and payment service providers.
    The casino white-label solution offers a large variety of turnkey online casino games that online casino site owners may be interested in including in their sites. If you are interested in launching an online gaming site, contact us and we will be happy to assist you throughout the process.

    Gaming license

    Gaming Regulatory Authorities across the world

    In the following table, we gathered all major and popular Gaming Regulatory Authorities across the world. We added the regulator homepage and a short summary for each regulator describing its operations and activity.

    Gambling Commission

    The United Kingdom Gambling Commission regulates all land-based and online gambling establishments in the UK with the exception of sports betting. Land-based and internet-based gambling is legal in Britain and licensed by the Gambling Commission. The commission was established with the UK Gambling Act of 2005 and gained more responsibility when the Gambling Licensing and Advertising Bill was passed in 2014. The new bill included reference to the Point-of-Consumption Tax which targeted British gaming companies which moved offshore, often to Gibraltar, to avoid paying gambling taxes in the UK. The Point-of-Consumption Tax requires a standard 15% taxation on revenue gained from British residents, no matter where the company was based. The new law caused an uproar among operators serving the UK online gambling market and some even left Britain. UK Gambling Commission licenses allow companies to set up their online gambling sites within UK territory and serve players in Britain and other parts of the world.

    Offshore gaming licenses

    Online gaming is an incredibly profitable venture and it is an increasingly growing sector. As the industry grows and more operators become established, new jurisdictions begin offering licensing for online gaming companies. Almost 80 countries around the world offer some type of gaming license and so choosing the right jurisdiction to match your business needs is no easy task. Some of the things you should take into consideration before selecting a jurisdiction are:

    • Your players’ residence. Online gaming operators are only allowed to market their services to residents of the jurisdiction from which they have obtained a license. If you plan to market your services as an online casino to residents of another country, then you must ensure that the gaming license you obtain, allows you to service players from that particular country or territory.
    • Costs. Online gaming licenses can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $100,000. In addition to licensing fees, there are yearly and monthly maintenance fees, costs involved in keeping a local office, professional staff, back-office and other corporate costs. Before selecting your jurisdiction, make sure you have enough funds to obtain and maintain a license.
    • Your online casino/gaming branding. Depending on where your company is licensed, a certain image is attached to it. You may be perceived by clients differently if you hold a Curacao gaming license than if you have a gaming license from the UK for example.

    Online Gaming License Requirements

    Obtaining an online gaming license is a complex procedure and the requirements vary depending on the jurisdiction. Generally speaking no matter which e-gaming license jurisdiction you choose the basic requirements for obtaining an online gaming license are: proof that the business owners/directors/partners have no criminal record; a valid passport; bank references; a business plan or description of your proposed online e-gaming business; description of your target market; proof that measures are in place to prevent minors accessing the online gaming website and proof that you have the financial back-up. You must show that you have done due diligence in regard to anti-money laundering regulations, social responsibility and safe custody of customer funds.

    In addition, when applying for an online gaming license you will have to pay the application fee and once issued with a license you will have to pay for the license and renew it each year. The online gaming license requirements aim to set a high standard in the e-gaming industry; protect customers; guarantee that e-gaming websites are run by companies with financial stability and knowledge of the industry. The requirements have also been established to discourage applicants who may be involved in organized crime or illegal activity. In applying for an online gaming license you are required to show that you have integrity; are in good financial standing and have an ethical business record.

    FAQ

    How can you obtain an online gaming license?

    We are often asked by clients about the process of obtaining an online gambling license. While we make the process sound simple, the truth is it can be quite complex and expensive if you are not advised and guided by an online gaming regulation expert. GBO’s regulation team has vast experience in helping companies obtain gaming licenses from various jurisdictions around the world and can escort you throughout the process until your license is approved.

    There are many variations in the process of obtaining a license, depending on the jurisdiction to which you decide to apply. Obtaining a sub-license from Curacao for example is much simpler than obtaining a gaming license from Gibraltar or the UK.

    What is a remote gambling license and what operating licenses do I need?

    A remote gambling license is a type of license issued to operators that service players via the internet, the telephone, radio, television and other communication devices. Operators involved in remote gambling must obtain both a remote gambling license and a non-remote gambling license. The remote casino operating license must indicate the type of gambling the company is to be involved in and any other relevant conditions appropriate to each operator.

    Operators not complying with remote gambling guidelines are treated the same as those violating non-remote gambling ones.

    Costs involved in obtaining a remote gambling license

    The cost involved in obtaining a remote gambling license, also known as an internet gambling license, varies widely according to several factors involved in the process of getting a license to operate a gambling business. One factor that has a major impact on the cost of a gambling license in the jurisdiction in which you decide to become licensed, its approach to regulation, and the type of license offered by the authorities of that jurisdiction.

    As an example, the cost of an offshore remote license in Curacao starts at about $22,000, whereas a remote gambling license issued by a country in the EU, like UK, Gibraltar or Malta can be a lot more expensive.

    What is an offshore gaming license for online casinos?

    A gaming license is an important indication of transparent business operations and that the gaming software offered to players is secure. This is why the first step followed by reliable online casino businesses when deciding to start a gaming business, is to obtain an online gambling license. An online gaming license allows your business to run a casino legally and provides the public with a feeling of trust, knowing that the operator is committed to a fair gaming policy.

    Globally, there are numerous jurisdictions that will issue gambling licenses to online casinos. The most highly regarded jurisdictions are the UK and Curacao in the Caribbean. Online casino businesses must meet the requirements set forth by the jurisdiction in which they have decided to become licensed in order to be issued an online gambling license.

    A crucial component to operating a successful online casino is the ability to collect funds online, for which you need a merchant account. Setting up a merchant account in a bank without a proper gambling license can prove to be an impossible task. Banks are very careful about who they conduct business with and tend to cooperate with partners who are acknowledged by a regulatory body in a certain jurisdiction.

    Obtaining a remote gambling license (sub-license) in Curacao brings about many benefits, and while the cost of $20,000, is higher than that of other offshore jurisdictions, the provided benefits make this a jurisdiction of choice for many online casino companies.

    Online Gaming License Background Check

    One of the stages involved in applying for an e-gaming license is background checks on the applicant and in some cases also background checks of the company’s directors, shareholders and employees. This is to determine whether the applicant is a worthy candidate for an e-gaming license. The background check examines the applicant’s past financial records; net worth; business dealings; employment record; criminal history (including criminal conduct which did not result in a conviction) and general integrity.

    In Malta for example applicants for an e-gaming license will need to undergo a “fit and proper exercise” in matters of finance and management. The jurisdiction where you are applying will most likely make enquiries with other national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies to check your probity. There will be an in-depth analysis of your financial history and in some cases a financial audit and even fingerprints can be required.
    Applicants release all claims against the regulators for any liability resulting from their investigation. The investigation is done by either an in-house team or an outside agency that conducts the inquiry. The investigators usually include individuals trained in law enforcement. The internet gaming license background check can take several months depending on the complexity of your history, the number of company individuals investigated and the jurisdiction resources. The background check process can include personal interviews with the applicant and other relevant parties. Internet gaming license background checks vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.
    If the background check reveals that you have submitted false information in your application then you are not likely to be issued an e-gaming license. If you are found to have been convicted of any crime your application is likely to be rejected. By applying for an internet gaming license the applicant is agreeing to full transparency and to accurate and complete disclosure of all requested information about shareholders, directors, employees and company owners. The background check is complete when the investigators have verifies that the information included in your application is accurate; detected any information you failed to submit and uncovered any illegal or unethical dealings you may have had specific financial transactions, money laundering, bribery or tax evasion. It is always best to be completely transparent with the information you provide even if it is negative as the e-gaming license background check will undoubtedly uncover all information anyway.

    Obtaining an offshore gambling license involves a complex process that incorporates adherence to legal requirements of the online casino business and following the regulations established by a particular jurisdiction.

    Obtaining a remote gambling license (sub-license) in Curacao brings about many benefits, and while the cost of $20,000, is higher than that of other offshore jurisdictions, the provided benefits make this a jurisdiction of choice for many online casino companies.

    Online Gaming License Cost

    The cost of an online gaming license varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction and the cost of an e-gaming license can change. There is a fee for making the application and then once you have passed the screening process and your application has been approved there is the cost of the license which must be renewed each year. To make your internet gaming license application you will be required to present a number of documents. There may be a cost involved in obtaining copies of these documents. In addition of course there are fees paid to lawyers, notaries, certification costs, licensing agents and the cost of setting up your business – software, staff, banking fees etc.

    You will also need the required capital to obtain an e-gaming license. When calculating the cost of your gaming license you need to look not only at the cost of the license itself but also at the cost of ongoing taxes in your chosen jurisdiction. There is no point getting an e-gaming license in a jurisdiction where the license is cheap only to discover that the taxation is crippling.

    Here are some approximate figures to give you an idea of gaming license fees

    Curacao has favorable tax laws (about 2% on net profits) and provides e-gaming licenses for about $20,000  set up fee and a few thousand per month for the first two years.

    In Malta, the application fee for a new e-gaming license is approximately €2000 – €5000. There are also all kinds of additional services and therefore additional fees to be paid in advance. Then the fee per annum for the Internet gaming license is about €8,000 – €20,000.

    Don’t underestimate the procedure and cost of obtaining a gaming license.

    You may have read on internet forums about low-cost gaming licenses available in places like Malta where you can pick up a gaming license for about €9,000 per annum. Well, don’t believe everything you read because it sounds too good to be true and it is. You cannot build a successful business by cutting corners or without careful planning. It is necessary to invest in any new venture to insure it has all the correct documentation and is irreproachable. Here is a concise list of steps to follow and the necessary fees and taxes to consider when purchasing a gambling license.

    • Prepare to initiate the approval process at the relevant agency in the seat country (our partner attorneys in the seat country will handle the preparatory steps leading up to the approval process). You will need to prepare a number of documents for submission depending on the seat country. Among the information you will have to submit there is: your business plan and profit and loss plan for the first few years; software; measures for child and youth protection and addiction prevention; general terms and conditions of the gambling operation; credit record of the managing director; proof that you have sufficient capital in the event of distribution etc.
    • The approval process from initiation to receiving the license.
    • Establishment of a company in the seat country; insuring that the company meets the requirements of the seat country as defined by term/act/provision. Each seat country has its own specific regulations regarding the formation of a company.
    • Payment of government fees to the relevant agency in the seat country including gambling taxes and corporate/company taxes.
    • Additional fees in some countries may be required for the prescribed auditor, accounting fees, annual financial statement and preliminary VAT return.

    Choosing a Gambling License Jurisdiction

    For all forms of online gambling – poker rooms, sports betting, online casinos, etc you must have a gambling license before you go live online. Online gambling licenses are issued by countries across the globe but the most popular are those issued by countries in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands like Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Dominica, Curacao and Vanuatu.  The ideal gambling license jurisdiction is one with a sensible approach to taxation; strong licensing laws; high technical standards and reasonable licensing costs.

    For all forms of online gambling – poker rooms, sports betting, online casinos, etc you must have a gambling license before you go live online. Online gambling licenses are issued by countries across the globe but the most popular are those issued by countries in the Caribbean and Pacific Islands like Antigua, Barbados, Costa Rica, St. Kitts, Dominica, Curacao and Vanuatu. The ideal gambling license jurisdiction is one with a sensible approach to taxation; strong licensing laws; high technical standards and reasonable licensing costs.

    Why get a gambling license for your online gambling business at all?

    Although you could go ahead and start an online casino, sports betting or poker site without a license, here are three good reasons why it is essential to get your gambling license before you put your gambling business online.

    • Online players view websites with a gambling license as more reliable and likely to treat them fairly. Players have more confidence playing on a website with a license so they are more likely to visit the site and spend time there gambling.
    • Banks insist that online gambling companies have a gambling license when setting up an account, opening a company account for a gambling business or receiving credit-card payments.
    • In many countries it is illegal to operate a gambling business without a gambling license and breaking this law could lead to legal action, termination and criminal action.

    Gaming License Application

    The regulatory body will examine your business proposal to assess the viability of the operation. Background checks into your personal, professional and business history are often part of the gaming license application process. There is usually an in-depth financial analysis of your business plan which must go into detail including how you plan to handle marketing, who will be your target audience, measures you will take to prevent underage gambling and criminal activity on the website as well as how you aim to finance your endeavor. The rules, terms and conditions you will be imposing on your online games and the set-up of the gaming and control systems will also be examined. You will require a minimum capital sum and your online gaming application will include providing completely transparent financial information about your banking. Once you have obtained your license and your online gaming license application has been successful you can then go ahead with choosing a payment system provider; setting up a merchant bank account; designing your gaming website and implementing a marketing strategy.

    To operate a legal online gaming website, businesses need to be in possession of a gaming license. You can apply for an online gaming license in a number of jurisdictions worldwide and although the application requirements vary slightly from place to place there are certain standard requirements for obtaining an e-gaming license. Gaming license applications can be made via a licensing agent; independently or sometimes even online. The gaming license application process can be complex and confusing. You will need to submit a number of documents and undergo personal and professional scrutiny before you are deemed worthy of an e-gaming license. First, decide what form of online gaming your website will provide. Then select a jurisdiction where you intend to apply for your e-gaming license.

    There are a number of popular online gaming license jurisdictions including Malta, the Isle of Man Gibraltar and Curacao. Apply for an online gaming license in the jurisdiction where you want to set up your business although as an online business you will probably be operating in many countries. Local legislation, where you register your company will prevail over international law in the event of any disputes. The application process for a gaming license can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months. As part of the online gaming license application all information relating to your company and its owners, partners, shareholders and directors can come under scrutiny.

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