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How to Obtain an iGaming Licence: Top 5 Offshore Zones

Such aspects as the acquisition of software, promotion, and organisation of the support team are very important for running a successful casino business on the Internet. However, it does not negate the need to obtain a licence.

This document is a mandatory component of legal operation in the modern target market. Issued by the authorised body, a licence allows entrepreneurs to work with international partners and represent their projects in different countries of the world. It also helps to increase the level of customer loyalty. Players prefer to spend their money on a safe and recognisable resource with an excellent reputation.

Gambling licence: general info

Learn more about the necessary documentation for opening an iGaming start-up from Rosloto experts. We also offer White Label projects that include sublicences from parent brands.

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Casino Certification: Overall Picture

The situation in the market has always been ambiguous: in some jurisdictions, all types of gambling entertainment are completely prohibited, and in others, only local brands are allowed to operate.

In 2018, a large-scale international study was carried out, which helped to find out what the state of affairs is in the modern iGaming niche:

Current situation

The number of countries

A complete ban on online casino products


Ban on the work of local entrepreneurs in the absence of leverage over licensees from third-party jurisdictions


Virtual gambling is allowed but only local enterprises are being controlled


The absence of direct prohibitions and the applicant licensing program


Criminal prosecution for participation in online casino games


The administrative fine for visiting gambling platforms


The situation with land-based structures is somewhat different. Offline casinos are banned in 74 countries. In another 151 jurisdictions, they are considered a completely legal business area.

In other words, gambling exists and is more or less developed in 132 regions, which is more than 56% of the world's population.

Casino Licences: Main Types of Permits

Today, operators can obtain documents of 2 categories: an international certificate and an internal one. The first type is issued by the so-called offshore zones (specialised regions with regulatory bodies and a list of requirements), and the second type is granted by an authorised representative of the country in which the iGaming brand will operate.

Any of the options has its advantages and disadvantages — it all depends on the goal of entrepreneurs and the development strategy of the future project.

Factors affecting the choice of the licensor region:

  • the reputation of the jurisdiction;
  • list of requirements for the applicants;
  • deadline for submitting an application and the period of its consideration;
  • amount of expenses (initial and annual fees);
  • taxation system;
  • geography of the potential audience of a casino.

Before making the final decision, it is better to spend some time studying the legislation of the chosen country and prepare a package of the necessary documents in advance. Business owners can and should turn to a gambling lawyer — a professional consultation will never be superfluous.

Another ally can be a software vendor. He can provide consulting services or it is possible to conclude an additional agreement with such a specialist and get legal and project support during the registration of a company and its certification.

European Regulation

This market is considered the largest segment of the global gambling industry. About 47.6% of the industry's total revenue is accounted for by the niche. However, oddly enough, the European Union has not developed a unified policy of regulation of this sector, and each country is forced to independently deal with the situation.

The only thing in which the requirements of European authorities are similar is the need for compliance with 2 rules:

  1. “Know your customer”. The standard assumes the strict identification of each client who decides to start playing games for money.
  2. Directive on combating money laundering (already the fourth in a row). The law came into force in the summer of 2017. It obliges operators to regularly carry out risk assessments to provide users with maximum protection against financial fraud.

Top 5 Foreign Offshore Zones

Casino offshore licensing: top 5 jurisdictions


A member of the British Commonwealth has an impeccable reputation. This region has become a pioneer in the regulation of the digital casino field and has about 500 registered gaming sites under its belt.

The licensing program here was launched 23 years ago. In 2004, the set of regulations was supplemented with provisions on remote access to gambling locations.

The jurisdiction offers 4 types of permits:

1st Class

This form of legalisation of the operators’ activities is based on the use of random number generators (in slot machines, games of chance, and lotteries).

2nd Class

A document legalising the provision of betting services (a wide variety of wagers).

3rd Class

It is granted to local brands that advertise and promote gambling services.

4th Class

This type of licence can be obtained by intermediary enterprises (software vendors and suppliers of hosting services).

Each of the forms is taxed in the amount of not more than €466,000 annually. The document is valid for 5 years.

Applicants are required to pay the following fees:

  • filing an application — from €2,330;
  • extension of a permit — €1,500;
  • audit of the system — €1,770;
  • payment for the licensing service — €8,500;
  • compliance audit — €2,750.

Each applicant must confirm the positive reputation of the company and provide evidence of the prospects of the gambling project (for example, a detailed business plan). The controlling authority will require an extract from the audit of bank accounts and personal information about all shareholders. The software integrated into the resource is also checked imperatively.

The Isle Of Man

The law that regulates iGaming activities in this offshore was adopted in 2001. The jurisdiction heads the “white list” of the British Commission, thanks to which certified operators can provide casino entertainment to all citizens of the UK.

The licensing cost includes:

  • execution and submission of the application — £1,000;
  • annual fee — £35,000;
  • tax deductions — 0.1–1.5% of the annual income (depending on the level of profit of the site).

As a rule, it takes the Supervisory Commission about 84 days to consider the application. The validity period of the issued permit is 5 years.

Antigua and Barbuda

It is one of the first countries to offer a licensing program for iGaming operators (back in 1994).

The region grants permits in 2 formats: for virtual platforms and betting shops. Regardless of the type of activity, when applying, entrepreneurs contribute a non-refundable amount of $15,000.

The mandatory annual fee for gaming sites is $100,000. For the providers of sportsbook services, the sum is $75,000. The deductions are paid before the licence is issued.

The jurisdiction strictly adheres to laws and restrictions aimed at preventing fraud. For example, business owners are required to report any payment made over $25,000 within 24 hours after the transaction was made.


The local authority is the oldest provider of electronic services (the system has been operating since 1996). In 2002, the certification of iGaming projects became the main sphere of action in the country. At the same time, entrepreneurs can obtain only a sublicence without the ability to provide permission documentation to any third party. The state remains the principal holder of the master licence.

The cost of the solution and related services:

  • non-refundable payment — from $30,000;
  • annual renewal — $15,000;
  • corporate income tax — up to 2% of the total turnover;
  • accounting support — from $11,000 (financial documentation, bookkeeping, annual reporting).

The time for consideration of an application is 2 weeks.


This is a relatively young jurisdiction, which is currently only gaining its right to a leading position. The certification service is provided in an all-in-one format and includes such options as the opening of trading accounts, adjustment and audit of the licensee company, and the issuance of permits for carrying out gambling activities.

In total, the service will cost €25,000, plus an annual renewal of the documents of €15,000.

Legal Business: Pros and Cons of Casino Licensing

Each country has a specific set of requirements for the applicants and offers a different range of services. Nevertheless, it is possible to distinguish the main positive and negative aspects of business certification, regardless of the chosen region:



Ability to enter the international market

Time spent on the consideration of the application (from 2 weeks to 6 months)

Provision of services on the territory of other countries

The need to make a non-refundable payment

Legal activity

The need to strictly comply with established legal regulations

Possibility of cooperation with the best providers of related services

Regular audit of the gaming site and timely provision of financial statements

Loyal taxation system (minimum contributions or no tax fees at all)

The need to open an office and bank accounts in the territory of the chosen jurisdiction

Possibility to choose a region per the geography of the potential audience

The need to hire local staff or obtain a residence permit (as a rule, one of the company's shareholders must be a citizen of the selected country)

A wide range of services depending on the type of gambling activity

Possible difficulties with the task of choosing the most suitable options

Alternative Methods: White Label Scheme

If you want to launch an online casino but have no desire to spend time on the acquisition of a permit, the best solution will be to “rent” a licence under the White Label scheme.

Such an option may turn out to be more profitable from a financial perspective. It also does not require the future business owner to wait for a long time and is more than relevant for beginning entrepreneurs.

The Main Things about Casino Licensing

Online casino licensing: key notions

The certification of an iGaming project does require a certain amount of time, knowledge, and start-up capital. The procedure involves a lot of steps, from the collection of documents to the opening of bank accounts and offices in the territory of the selected offshore zone.

We recommend that you carefully study the current market situation and consider all possible alternatives. Perhaps, the best solution would be to launch the project under the White Label program and obtain an individual licence only after the business is fully established.

To consult on the acquisition of a permit or other legal issues, you can turn to the Rosloto aggregator studio.

From us, it is also possible to order the following useful services:

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For all questions, please contact our managers.

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Clara Hazel
Author: Clara Hazel
iGaming business expert
Updated 30.04.2020
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