The online gambling industry is a fast-growing market with an
incredibly passionate fan base. Starting an online casino makes a
lot of good business sense but it does come with a hefty price tag,
depending on where you decide to register and license your company.
Let’s take a look at the costs associated with gaming licenses
around the world.
Why you need a gaming license
For anyone looking to start a gambling
business, a gaming license should be your number one priority. A
gaming license is your ticket to legal business operation and not
something you can avoid.
Choose licenses in countries that meet your needs. Look into
gambling jurisdictions: their requirements, costs, taxation policy
and application processing time. Sometimes consulting with a lawyer
will help this process go more smoothly.
The major players in the market
Online gambling is a major business worldwide and with that comes a
lot of legal legwork that needs to be done to ensure operations
don’t get buried under a mountain of red tape and paperwork.
Several of the biggest markets have their own regulated areas
specifically designed for their own citizens, and they’ve created
some of the biggest markets in the industry.
Click here to see some of the best examples of online casinos
out there today.
After the implementation of the
Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014, Great Britain has
become the largest regulated online gambling market in the world.
In the EU alone, online gambling had a 20.7% share of the total EU
gambling market activity, while 79.3% was land-based, including
lotteries, casinos and bookmaker shops.
Although Australia has a thriving gaming and casino community, it’s
also extremely regulated when it comes to online gaming. The
Interactive Gambling Act of 2001 effectively halted all online
casinos that were not based or regulated in Australia.
That means that any Malta or Curacao-based gaming sites are
blacklisted in Australia. It’s illegal for AU citizens to play there
even though there are casinos and online gaming within its own
This situation was due to online casinos reaching for the ripe
Australian market and bypassing the Australian government
completely. With this new act, any operators looking to break into
the Australian market must go through the local government
accreditation and regulation.
For years, the United States was closed to gambling of any kind with
the exception of a few special zones like Las Vegas and reservation
casinos. In recent years, individual states have passed laws
legalizing sports betting. Soon after, bills introducing the
legalization of online gaming followed. Not every state is currently
open to online gaming, but the trend follows that the US market is
primed for a gaming revolution in the upcoming years.
When starting your online gaming business, you should be aware of
the principal licensing authorities worldwide. Here’s a quick
rundown of the major players and their associated licensing costs.
Malta Gaming Authority
As a member of the European Union, getting a license in Malta
requires quite a few hoops to jump through as well as a lot of cash.
The minimum share capital required for a Class 1 license is €100,000
and the process is lengthy, including 5 different stages. Once
you’ve obtained the license, the taxes hit. Malta gaming taxes can
range from €4,000-7,000 per month.
Each offshore jurisdiction will have its own rules and regulations
that you’ll need to take into account. The cost of licensing will
vary considerably from place to place as well, so there is no
Antigua & Barbuda
islands do not offer a cheap place to obtain your gaming
license. To start, the application fee is $15,000 and the annual
gaming license cost for obtaining an interactive gambling license is
Curacao is one of the least expensive and fastest options available
for obtaining a gaming license. The application fee is just about
€2,000; the monthly license support fee is €1,500 and most of the
paperwork can be done in just 6 weeks.
Depending on the structure of your company, a gaming license in
Gibraltar can run you anywhere between $30,000 and $70,000 for 5
years with a $2,800 fee to extend.
Isle of Man
This self-governing island off the coast of the UK is a stable and
gambling-friendly jurisdiction for your business. The cost of a full
license includes an application fee of £5,000 and an annual fee of
£35,000. The licensing process takes 10-12 weeks.
Montenegro’s package deal is the fastest and easiest way to get your
business properly licensed. The package fee is €25.000 for the first
year and €15.000 for each successive year.
Registering in Panama has the added bonus of no taxes. An online
gambling license here costs $40,000 with an additional annual fee of
$20,000 which will last you 7 years.
Getting an online gaming license can seem complicated until you
understand how all of the laws and jurisdictions work. Be sure to
research and prepare your paperwork before you apply and speak with
a lawyer to answer more detailed questions.
Having a valid gaming license is integral to running an online
casino business — your software, finances, and reputation depend on