Why do you need a license?
The most crucial step for everyone, wanting to launch an iGaming platform is a license acquisition. Why is it so important?
Running a virtual gambling business without a permit is illegal. By saving on a license, you have the risk of losing everything in a short time, because customers do not trust unlicensed casinos, and the authorities of jurisdictions severely punish those who violate the law on their territory.
In some countries you can be fined a large amount, while in others you may even face jail time. Moreover, nobody wants to collaborate with unlicensed operators, thus you won’t be able to buy official software or new games for your platform. Also, the lack of permission makes it impossible to use widespread payment systems and manage corporate bank accounts.
So what do you need to get a license? First of all, you should analyze the market and choose the best jurisdiction for your business. Further actions will depend on this choice, because each country has its own rules that imply the fulfillment of certain conditions and the collection of specific documents for applying for a license. To facilitate the flour of choice for you, we picked the top 3 best locations to legalize an iGaming platform in 2023.
Malta has been issuing licenses since 2001. This tiny island state was the first European territory, where gambling was declared legal. As a member of the EU and jurisdiction with fair and incorruptible gaming authority, as well as strict and comprehensive industry legislation, Malta has an unquestionable reputation in the international gambling market. Customers easily trust platforms with a local permit, that’s why this license is so desired.
It’s not easy to obtain a Malta permit: the application process is pretty straightforward, but requirements are very serious and extensive. Also, the Maltese license is not the cheapest one, so it can’t be called affordable for newcomers. Nonetheless, all these difficulties will definitely pay off in the long run, because the list of advantages of licensing on the island is long and imposing.
Maltese permit gives its holders a rare opportunity to operate in Europe and offer numerous types of virtual gaming services. This country with stable currency and economic situation is a perfect option for big and experienced enterprises, newcomers with a big available budget or operators who decided to change the licenses of Curaçao, Costa Rica or some other controversial ones to something much more reliable.
And yet, what exactly are the high standards of jurisdiction that Malta’s licensees have to follow? These are AML / KYC requirements in accordance with EU law, strict compliance rules and internal obligations regarding fair play, advertising, random number generator and responsible gaming. Operators are also required to protect against the harmful effects of gambling minors and vulnerable persons with gambling addiction. Thanks to the careful supervision of the Malta Gaming Authority, these rules are fully respected by holders of local permits.
The Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is one more respected jurisdiction, which license allows operators to offer gambling activities to the UK citizens. Moreover, the local permit in general has a very wide geography of coverage markets, which make it one of the best in the industry. The island gambling license is a synonym of quality and safety, which invariably attracts thousands of players to the platforms with this permit.
What other pros of holding the Isle of Man iGaming license? Low taxes: rates vary depending on the company’s revenues and can be from 0.1% to 1.5%. Running a gambling business with a local license gives you access to the highly skilled and multilingual workforce of the island, as well as full and comprehensive support from the local government. One more huge advantage is the local license duration (5 years) and its versatility (you can offer all types of games with just one permit).
It is worth noting that the requirements of obtaining the island license are pretty hard. For example, you need to open a physical office and place all servers in the jurisdiction, and also it’s mandatory to have two directors, who are residents of the Isle of Man. In addition, the consideration process is not fast — it can take about 3 months and more (in a case, if the local authority will need to obtain additional documents or extra info).
Kahnawake is perhaps the best option for startups and beginners. This is possible due to the affordable cost of acquiring a license and a short consideration period (4-8 weeks). The application process in this territory is more complicated than in Curaçao, but much easier than in Malta or the Isle of Man.
Among the pros of holding a local license are the brilliant reputation of the settlement and the absence of taxes for iGaming platforms operating outside the jurisdiction. Operators pay neither corporate tax nor gambling tax here. Also, the Kahnawake license is convenient for those, who want to offer several gambling types, because it is an all-in-one permit, which covers both casino games and sports betting.
Like the first two jurisdictions on our list, Kahnawake also cares about its status in the gambling market. This means that the local body (Kahnawake Gambling Commission) strictly enforces local gambling laws. KGC also carefully checks all applicants and does not issue licenses to suspicious ones. Moreover, even a minor violation of the rules can be a reason for revoking the permit. But don’t worry about it: if you are an honest player, you have nothing to fear.
If you’re interested in getting a license of one of these three or any other jurisdictions, don’t hesitate to ask us about any necessary information or professional support in the acquisition procedure.