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Where to Obtain a Permit: a Brief Review of Jurisdictions

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Experts of the Rosloto company will tell you about the main changes in gambling regulation in 2024 and name countries with the most favourable working conditions where iGaming startups can be launched quickly.

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Curacao

Curacao casino licence: key benefits

The island state in the Caribbean has been issuing licences since 1996. For more than 25 years, the local authorities have gained a good reputation thanks to such characteristics as honesty, transparent management, and enormous preferences for business.

Why companies choose to obtain a casino certificate in this region:

  1. Global coverage. The document gives the right to legally operate a website with a .com domain name. Entrepreneurs can attract Internet traffic from different countries, receive a stable income, and improve audience involvement indicators.
  2. Low taxes. Curacao has a minimal fiscal load on business. Owners of gambling projects pay only 2% of NGR (net gaming revenue). Entertainment companies are exempt from taxes on dividends, withdrawn capital, and property.
  3. Comfortable economic environment. All types of brands are registered on the island, which also has many IT hubs and advanced data centres. There are also many consulting companies operating here that gladly provide legal and accounting support.
  4. Cryptocurrency legalisation. Curacao was the first to grant a permit to a blockchain casino. The document was received by the Lithuanian firm in 2017.

New Procedure for Issuing Licences

In 2024, the jurisdiction found itself on the verge of important changes in the casino industry’s regulation.

Javier Silvania, Minister of Finance, noted:

The new legal provisions are the result of consultations and collaboration with the online gambling niche. We believe that the offered certification scheme is well thought out and workable. It will make the market more transparent and competitive.

The LOK document introduces 2 types of permits:

  1. B2C. It gives operators the right to legally accept bets and manage digital platforms, sportsbook portals, resources that sell lottery tickets, poker rooms, live casinos, and other projects.
  2. B2B. This is a licence for the developers of games, payment systems, websites, and security software.

The changes are expected to take effect on September 1, 2024. Until this time, holders of sublicences and general permits must update their documents. The transition period lasts from December 1, 2023, to August 31, 2024.

The processing and issuance of certificates will be the responsibility of the Curacao Gaming Authority (CGA). Applications can be filed through the government website portal.gamingcontrolCuraçao.org. It was opened on September 1, 2023.

Enterprises that obtain a licence under the new rules will be able to display the GCB digital seal on their platforms.

Main Requirements for Applicants

It is worth mentioning the new way to recruit staff. Companies must appoint a director and at least 3 employees who should be the country’s residents, as well as rent an office in Curacao and place servers in local data centres.

The regulator plans to conduct additional inspections of the brands’ key persons. These are investors, co-founders, top managers, shareholders, etc.

The law also provides for stricter anti-money laundering (AML) and responsible gambling provisions. Operators are required to launch KYC procedures in relation to all players, regardless of the region from which Internet traffic is attracted.

The annual licence fee is set at €62,500. The document is valid for 5 years.

Kahnawake

Kahnawake online casino permit: advantages

The Indian reservation in the province of Quebec, Canada, is one of the first to legalise online entertainment for money and begin granting permits. The regulator has been working since 1996. During this time, hundreds of certificates were obtained by both local and international firms.

Advantages of the business registration in the jurisdiction:

  1. Lowest taxation in the world. The GGR indicator is 0%, and there is no corporate tax at all.
  2. Versatility. The licence allows enterprises to legally accept bets from residents of most countries, except for the US. iGaming projects can operate in the .com domain zone.
  3. Availability. The regulator offers flexible certification conditions and strong government support.

What Permits Are Issued in Kahnawake

Entrepreneurs are most interested in 2 types of documents:

  1. Interactive Gaming Licence (IGL). It allows companies to legally provide services and place RNG games on their sites. Content must have certificates of conformity from independent laboratories. They confirm the high quality of play mechanisms and program components.
  2. Live Dealer Studio Authorisations (LDSA). The permit is intended for live casino owners. They can have studios with real croupiers in the reservation and broadcast games internationally.

Software vendors and payment system providers will be interested in a CSPA certificate. It will allow them to legally release slot machines, financial gateways, sportsbooks, and gambling platforms.

Operators are also required to obtain Key Person Permits, which are intended for managers and executives who are involved in the casino administration. That is how they can confirm their high qualifications and vast experience.

Each business owner is required to hire at least one employee with Key Person Permits. This condition is carefully checked by the regulator when the application is approved.

The Cost of Launching an iGaming Startup

One of the benefits of working in Kahnawake is the low licensing fees.

The cost of sending a relevant request is $40,000. This amount already includes the expenses related to the passage of Due Diligence procedures. For the issuance of Key Person Permits, it is necessary to pay separately (the price is $2,500).

If entrepreneurs obtain a permit for the first time, it will be issued for only 6 months. During the probation, the regulator evaluates the work of the iGaming platform and checks if there are any complaints from players and B2B partners.

After the test period, the Commission issues a permanent certificate, which is valid for 5 years. The cost of the document’s annual renewal is $20,000.

Georgia

Georgian gambling licence: the main nuances

The local gambling market is showing impressive growth rates.

The jurisdiction attracts users and investors from neighbouring countries where entertainment for money is either completely prohibited (for example, in Turkey) or is just in its formation stage (like in Armenia).

Georgia's key advantages are its favourable geographical location, strong economic growth, and active government support to the sector.

Why many casino operators choose this region:

  1. Quick acquisition of a licence. The application is reviewed within 20 weeks. The package of requested documents can be sent online through the Revenue Service website.
  2. Flexible taxation system. The fiscal rate depends on the type of gambling and GGR per year. The lowest levies are provided for the organisers of the lottery and bingo.
  3. International recognition. The local permit is highly rated in the global casino market. A huge number of top developers (Playtech, Amusnet, etc.) certified their projects in Georgia and opened representative offices in this country.

Legalisation of the iGaming Niche

For many years, the entertainment industry in the region has grown mostly thanks to the land-based sector. Access to offline locations was allowed for both foreigners and residents. Partly, the sphere became more successful due to tourism. Travellers visit Georgia for its beautiful beaches, magnificent mountains, and the best casino complexes.

In 2024, the government amended the bill, dividing the online and land-based segments. To launch an iGaming startup, entrepreneurs no longer need to obtain a licence to own an offline enterprise first or sign an agreement with an already registered operator.

The reaction of people to such changes was positive, and investors began to actively pour money into the Georgian entertainment niche. Innovations speed up and simplify certification processes, allowing entrepreneurs to reduce initial expenses.

The cost of an online casino permit varies from $94,170 to $113,004. The total amount depends on the GGR for the reporting period. State duty is transferred quarterly.

Offshore companies cannot work in the jurisdiction. Operators are required to register a legal entity, open an office in the country, and hire local employees.

Responsible Gambling Principles

Georgia is one of the European leaders in the implementation of such rules.

In 2022, the government raised the age limit for those who want to play slots to 25 years old and to 21 years for sportsbook platform visitors. Participation in lotteries is available to citizens over 18.

In 2023, the authorities banned all types of casino advertising. The exception was sponsorship contracts, but even in this case, the information dissemination is severely restricted.

Innovations also include mandatory audits of gambling systems and betting sites. All program components must be tested separately.

The regulator is focused on the following aspects:

  • correct operation of the RNG;
  • moderate bonus accrual;
  • timely transmission of data on the winnings of clients to the tax service.

In 2024, tax rates are going to be increased. Thus, the GGR tax will become 15% instead of 10%.

Isle Of Man

The Isle of Man casino licence: general info

The Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) was founded in 1962 as an independent expert in the management of land-based casinos. In 2001, the regulator started issuing permits for online businesses, which caused unprecedented interest among investors.

Advantages of working in the jurisdiction:

  1. Full coverage of the market. One certificate provides access to all types of entertainment for money: digital casinos, sportsbook sites, poker rooms, and portals that sell lottery tickets.
  2. Different formats of cooperation. The Isle of Man offers to obtain a general permit or a sublicence and obtain a network certificate for hassle-free Internet traffic reception from other countries. Brands also have access to a temporary licence under the Disaster Recovery program if they have to urgently stop working in their home country.
  3. Advanced telecommunications infrastructure. The island is covered by a 5G broadband network. Modern data centres and advanced IT hubs are located here. There are also many software vendors and consulting companies operating in the region.

Legal Circulation of Cryptocurrencies

The Isle of Man is the first jurisdiction to regulate payments in digital assets and allow the operation of blockchain casinos.

In 2015, the government included cryptocurrency in the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism financing law. Two years later, the local Gambling Commission gave players permission to replenish accounts and withdraw prizes in virtual tokens.

Since 2019, the country has offered voluntary licensing for the providers of software created based on tokenisation and blockchain.

The B2B certification can be obtained by brands that produce games, financial services, and management systems that support the technology. A fee for the acquisition of such a document is £52,500.

In 2019, the Isle of Man Blockchain Office and Sandbox department was opened. It is responsible for supporting the cryptocurrency sector.

Flexible Tax Policy

One of the main advantages of working in the jurisdiction is the minimal fiscal burden.

The country has a progressive taxation scale. The more entrepreneurs earn, the less money they need to transfer to the public treasury.

The levy is calculated based on net gambling revenue:

  • those operators whose NGR is less than £20 million pay 1.5%;
  • large companies with an NGR of £40 million or more must deduct only 0.1%.

In this way, the government encourages brands to earn and invest more, as well as scale their iGaming businesses.

Casino owners are exempt from VAT, corporate tax, and capital gains fees.

Operators with a licence from the Isle of Man can easily drive online traffic from the UK. In this case, additional levies and state duties will not be charged.

The Main Things about Gambling Regulation in 2024

Gambling regulation: key features

A permit is the main document that gives entrepreneurs the right to legally accept bets in casinos and on sportsbook platforms.

The most popular jurisdictions for registering this type of business are:

  • In 2024, the Curacao market is expected to undergo major changes. They are related to the reorganisation of the procedure for issuing certificates, the increase of state duties, and the introduction of new measures to fight crime and money laundering in the iGaming industry.
  • In Georgia, the government allowed operators to launch digital casinos without obtaining a licence to own land-based ones. This had a positive effect on the region’s reputation and attracted huge investments.
  • The Isle of Man is one of the most attractive countries for implementing gambling projects. All types of entertainment for money are allowed here, including the blockchain sites.
  • Kahnawake attracts investors with reasonable taxes, a clear regulatory framework, and a well-developed IT infrastructure. Licensing costs here are among the lowest in the world.

The Rosloto studio is your reliable business partner. From us, it is possible to buy a turnkey online casino, a high-quality script, and other solutions.

We also provide the following useful services:

  • business plan writing;
  • assistance in obtaining a licence;
  • payment software installation;
  • promotion of iGaming projects, and much more.

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Clara Hazel
Author: Clara Hazel
iGaming business expert
Updated 16.02.2024
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