Offshore gaming jurisdictions
While BOOKIE does not help its operators with licensing, we have collected and combined the regulatory information of seven major jurisdictions. These regulations are subject to change, but can be used as a guidepost for companies to decide where they may want to base their gaming operations. It is recommended that you consult with an attorney before you make a final decision on where your company will be based.
The UK Gambling Commission is the regulatory body with the authority to license and regulate wagering in the UK. Their regulations are designed to prevent compulsive gambling, keep children from placing bets, and ensure fair play. All traditional types of gaming, from poker to sports betting to casino gambling, are legal and subject to licensing laws. There are minimum technical standards for online gaming companies set up by the Commission.
Six types of online gaming licenses are available: a casino operating license, a bingo operating license, a general betting operating license, a pool betting operating license, a betting intermediary operating license, and a lottery operating license. If you plan to offer more than one type of gaming experience, you will have to apply for multiple licenses.
You will be charged both an application fee and, should you be granted a license, an annual operational fee. These fees are on a sliding scale based on the gross revenue of your company.
Your company will be required to create policies that promote socially responsible gambling. These policies must be posted on your website. In these published policies, you must explain how you will help fund research into preventing problem gambling, how you will identify problem gamblers, how you will help fund treatment for problem gamblers, and how you will help educate the public as to the risks of problem gambling. Your site must also contain links to other websites that offer information and treatment for problem gamblers. You must be able to establish that you have trained your employees on how to identify problem gamblers. You must also have an option where people can exclude themselves from your services. Finally, you must make sure that all of your advertising encourages responsible gambling and discourages compulsive and underage gaming.
You may not promote your site to people living outside the UK, except for the whitelisted countries of Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, and Tasmania.
For online gaming, you will face taxes of 15 percent on your gross profit. If you operate a poker site or betting exchange, you will face taxes of 15 percent on your commissions.
Since April 2004, Malta has offered four classes of remote gambling licenses.
|Class 1||Class 2||Class 3||Class 4|
|This is for any games that require a random number generator including casino games, slot machines, lotteries and any other game of chance.||This license is for any company that offers betting on sports and other third-party activities where fixed odds, pool betting, and spread betting come into play.||The license is for companies that are based in Malta and offer advertising and promotional services for online gaming including poker networks, betting exchanges, game portals, and P2P.||This license is for companies that do not offer gaming themselves, but rather offer hosting and management services for online gaming companies.|
A license is valid for five years, and then may be renewed for additional five-year periods. Taxes are based on the revenues your company generates, no matter what license you have. The maximum annual gaming tax is €466,000.
The cost to apply for any of the four licenses is €2,330. You must pay the fee at the time you submit your application. Once you have a license, it costs €1,165 to apply to renew it for another five-year period.
Should your application be approved, your annual license fee will be €7,000.
You must set up a corporate entity before you can apply for a gaming license in Malta. Any company that that has been established as a corporate body per the Companies Act may apply for a license. Companies that operate in Malta may not accept wagers from the country's citizens.
The Governor of the Netherlands Antilles awards interactive gaming licenses pursuant to the National Ordinance Offshore Games of Hazard Law. Before you can apply, you need to register your company with the Netherlands Antilles Chamber of Commerce as an onshore or offshore, locally-formed, legal entity. You also need to inform the government which island territories you will operate from. When you submit a completed application, the Department of Justice will begin a six-week investigation. Should they find no objections to your application, your company will receive a provisional license, at which point you must pay a ANG 60,000 guarantee deposit.
Curaçao is an independent country in the Netherlands Antilles, and their laws are slightly different. The Curaçao E-Gaming Licensing Authority issues a license that covers all types of online gaming, which is valid for two years before it becomes subject to renewal.
- You also have the option to obtain sub-licenses for your company to run online gaming from the Netherlands Antilles.
- For fees ranging from $2,000 to $4,000 your main company can subdivide your gambling license for use by your partner companies.
When you have a license in the Netherlands Antilles, you will be required to pay a license fee of ANG 10,000 per month for the first two years you are in operation. At that point, new licensing fees will be set when you renew your license. The territory where your company is based has the legal right to demand a contribution of up to 2 percent of your company's net gains from gaming.
Gibraltar offers licenses for sportsbooks, online casinos, and betting exchanges. In general, to get a license you will have to have a proven track record as an honest gaming operator. The country will test your software to ensure fair play before it will issue you a license. There is an annual licensing fee of ₤2,000, but there is no application fee or start-up fee.
Companies are required to pay 10 percent in taxes on their turnover – up to a maximum of €500,000 per year. You are not required to pay any Value Added Tax (VAT).
Costa Rica has no laws, regulations, or legislation dealing with online gambling. The companies themselves are self-regulated and there is no licensing, testing or monitoring to ensure fair play. There is no betting or gaming tax, though you will have to obtain a standard data processing license.
This, however, could change in the future. There are proposals in the legislature to create an online gaming control board and a tax of 5.5 percent to pay for the board and for crime-fighting efforts. Some legislation would create six-year gaming licenses at an annual fee of $50,000. It is unclear when, if ever, these pieces of legislation will come into effect.
Kahanawke, a Mohawk Nation in Canada, has multiple gaming regulations designed to make sure that only reputable people and companies are able to operate, that the principles of fair play are followed, and that when people win they get their money. Should you locate your business in Kahanawke, your site must be hosted by Mohawk Internet Technologies.
Three types of licenses are available: an Interactive Gaming License, a Client Provider Authorization, and a Key Person License. If you have a Gaming License, you may operate a co-location facility to provide Internet services to companies that have Authorized Client Provider licenses. If you have an Authorized Client Provider license, you may offer online gaming services. If you are in a management position at a company that has an Authorized Client Provider license, you need to get a Key Person license.
To apply for an Interactive Gaming License (IGL), you must pay a non-refundable fee of CAD $25,000 to cover the costs of due diligence and your annual licensing fee. You may face additional costs for evaluating your potential co-location facility. Should you get your license, it will be valid for a two-year period before coming up for renewal. The annual fee is CAD $10,000.
To apply for a Client Provider Authorization License, you must pay a non-refundable fee of CAD $25,000 to cover the cost of due diligence and your first annual licensing fee. You may face additional costs for evaluating your Control Systems Submission. Should you get your license, it will be valid for a two-year period before coming up for renewal. The annual fee is CAD $10,000.
You can also apply for a Secondary Client Provider Authorization license. If you are not already an Authorized Client Provider, the application fee is CAD $25,000. If you are an Authorized Client Provider, you will simply pay for processing costs plus a 15 percent administration fee.
To apply for a Key Person License, you must pay a non-refundable fee of CAD $5,000 for the cost of due diligence and your first annual licensing fee.
Companies that hold an Alderney eGambling license generally qualify for tax-exempt status, and pay an annual fee of ₤70,000 instead. They are not subject to Value Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax. There is no gaming tax. With an Alderney eGambling license, a company may accept bets from any other country in the world.
An Alderney eGambling license is valid for all of the popular online gaming activities including casino, poker, sportsbook, and lotteries. When you apply for the license, you will have to pay a deposit of ₤10,000 against the cost of the investigation into your company and be subject to compliance testing at your own expense.
A Restricted Use eGambling license, which allows you to mirror your site from Alderney while actually being based elsewhere, is also available for a daily fee. No matter which type of license you choose, all of your advertising must be compliant with the laws of your target market.
There are several types of eGambling licenses available in Alderney.
Category 1 is the standard operator license. Your company must be registered in Alderney, and it takes four weeks or less to go through the application process. Annual fees are based on your annual Net Gaming Yield (NGY) and range from ₤35,000 per year for an annual NGY of up to ₤1 million, to ₤140,000 per year if your company has an annual NGY of over ₤7.5 million.
Category 2 is a license allowing you to host a gambling platform at an approved hosting center. You do not have to be a resident to have this type of license. There is a fixed annual fee of ₤35,000 for your license. Hosting certificates cost ₤10,000 per year.
A Restricted Use license is a short-term license for operators wanting a mirror site in Alderney for a limited period of time of 30 consecutive days, or 60 non-consecutive days during any six-month period. The fee for this license is ₤10,000 per year, plus ₤200 for every day the mirror site is up.
Gambling software suppliers have to have a license asserting that their software has been tested and meets Alderney's technical standards. The fee for this license is ₤10,000 per year.