The Different Casino Licenses
The Different Casino Licenses – If an online casino or sportsbook operator wants to do everything legally and “by the book,” they must get licensed. Licensing allows casinos to operate legally and under regulation from a regulatory body of their registered jurisdiction. While regulations place many burdens on operators, in the end, the benefits of being legal and legit far outweigh both the costs and the legal limitations imposed.
What Are Online The Different Casino Licenses?
The Different Casino Licenses – Simply put, an online gambling license is a legal document conferring the right onto a company to operate a gambling business in a given territory. Just as land-based casinos must be regulated, so do their online counterparts.
For an operator to legally offer games of chance, such as video slots, table games, or sports betting, they must have a license that covers the territories they want to offer the games. Getting one, however, is usually no easy feat. Not only do they cost money (depending on the jurisdiction, the licensing costs may represent a significant barrier to entry into the market), but they also create an obligation for the company to follow regulations.
The Different Casino Licenses – The exact nature of the regulations depends on the given jurisdiction. Some, like Curacao, are known for being less stringent. While for instance, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission is considered especially tough.
What’s important to note is that the early days of unlicensed and “wild west” online gambling are largely over. More and more countries want to bring this form of gambling into the legal mainstream and have begun to crack down on anyone who operates illegally. Therefore, those who do so risk steep fines and even potential jail time.
In general, the licensing authority's role is to ensure that all gambling, including online, is above board and safe for the consumers. Those who want to open an online casino must have a license. The hard part of this decision is actually figuring out where to pursue getting a license. Many different jurisdictions offer them, and all of them have their own pros and cons.
The Different Casino Licenses – But, with this guide in hand, you will be able to figure out most of these questions and know what to expect as you set out on the journey to get your budding online iGaming empire up, and running, and, most importantly — legal.
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How Do Online Casinos Choose The Different Casino Licenses?
The Different Casino Licenses – Out of so many options, how do companies seeking to operate online iGaming sites decide where to incorporate and which license to seek?
Companies need to consider their needs and business possibilities to answer this question. This is what will guide the decision. Any gambling will require a license, and businesses must get one before going live.
Before they set out on the difficult and demanding licensing trek, online casinos consider the requirements each jurisdiction imposes, the costs associated with the fees, and the taxation policy. Many choose to speed this process up by hiring outside help, such as lawyers.
The Different Casino Licenses – Different jurisdictions also have different reputations. Some are more lenient, while others are hefty on the rules and limitations. For example, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission has recently decided to start regulating how fast a single round in a video slot game can be.
In Sweden, the regulatory body decided to ban the offering of bonuses. There are many factors to consider when choosing a license, and it’s of the highest importance to get it right. Play at Banzai Slots and take advantage of their wager-free welcome bonus today!
Malta Gambling Authority
The Different Casino Licenses – Malta has for many years been the iGaming hub of Europe. That’s for a good reason, as their license is considered very reputable and offers access to the lucrative European market. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the body that carries out the licensing process and confers the license to an operator. They are also the ones issuing regulations and checking compliance.
MGA offers four classes of licenses. The first type gives the right to organize games of chance where an RNG determines the result. This is your desired license if your online casino offers video slots and table games. The other licenses offer the ability to organize games based on event outcomes (i.e., sports betting), poker, and fantasy sports. In 2018, the body streamlined some of the taxation systems, removed the need for current holders to apply for separate licenses, and waived the monthly compliance contribution for the first 12 months of the casino’s operation.
The Different Casino Licenses – Getting licensed in Malta, however, is a long process. Prospective operators go through at least five stages which include several compliance audits. The application takes 3 to 4 weeks to be considered, followed by a temporary license of six months.
After that, based on extensive checks, a five-year license is given. The process is definitely involved: a fit and proper check, a business planning check to ensure the viability of the business plan, a financial reserves check, and a system review. But with so many licensed online casinos and sports betting sites choosing this license, it’s clear that it is worth it. It gives access to the European market and players place a high trust in it.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The Different Casino Licenses – Then there is the UKGC. This is the regulating body that oversees gambling in the United Kingdom and offers a host of different licenses based on what a company is doing. These include five types of remote betting ones (as an example, accepting sports betting on real events and on virtual events requires the possession of two different licenses) as well as a range of intermediately and industry licenses. This is one of the drawbacks of the United Kingdom Gambling Commission license, as operators who later want to branch out into other aspects of iGaming will need to apply for a separate license for each.
In addition, the UKGC has some of the longest approval processes, which can last up to 16 weeks, and in recent years, the regulatory body has begun tightening the leash on what operators in the country are allowed to do.
So, why get licensed by the UKGC at all? The UK is one of the largest contributors to the international gambling industry, generating a gross gambling yield of £2 billion between October 2011 and September 2012. There’s your answer.
The Different Casino Licenses – Before 2014, the UK had a more relaxed attitude to remote gambling, and operators from so-called “whitelisted territories” (such as Malta and Gibraltar) could both accept bets from Britons and to advertise in the country. Since 2014, regulation changes mean that anyone wanting to access the UK market and advertise in it must be licensed by the UKGC. So, despite UK regulations being onerous with a trend of increasing regulatory pressure, online casinos still get licensed here due to the lucrativeness of the UK iGaming market.
The Different Casino Licenses – Curaçao is a small island in the Caribbean with a large presence in the online iGaming industry. This is in large part due to the ease and low costs of gaining a license.
How it works is that there are master licenses and sub-licenses. New operators apply for a sub-license at one of the four master license holders (they have been fixed since 1996). Master licenses are renewed every five years, and sublicenses are valid for as long as the master licenses are. The main advantage of this system is that online casinos need only one license for the entire iGaming vertical. This is in contrast to jurisdictions like the UK, where separate licenses need to be obtained to offer different kinds of gambling.
Where the Curaçao license really shines is in how cheap it is. While each of the four master license holders has its own rules and fees, it is in the neighborhood of $5,000 annually. There is a one-time application fee (around $2,000) and a couple of other smaller ones.
In addition, Curacao has a 0% corporate income tax and a 2% net gains tax. Getting a Curaçao license is fast and takes as little as six weeks. There are a couple of significant drawbacks, however. Casinos licensed in Curacao cannot accept players from the USA, France, the Netherlands, and Curacao.
The Different Casino Licenses – Overall, however, due to its simplicity and quickness, Curacao is an excellent choice for many first-time operators. Of course, such operators can always choose to be licensed somewhere else later.
Gibraltar Gaming Commission
The Different Casino Licenses – Gibraltar is another very attractive jurisdiction due to low taxes — just 1% of revenue and capped at £425,000. Quite possibly, Gibraltar is the most exclusive jurisdiction there is. Online casino owners need to prove financial solvency, provide a business plan and be ready to perform all transactions solely through banks based in Gibraltar.
This jurisdiction also has some of the most stringent regulations and is the golden standard of trustworthiness and reliability. The license fee is paid in one lump sum of £100,000. But that’s far from the only thing you’d need to pony up to get a license here.
Gibraltar is selective, preferring to give licenses only to established operators with reliable licenses. As it states on the regulator’s website, the authority only considers “blue chip companies with a proven track record in gambling.”
The Different Casino Licenses – Perhaps the most critical thing written on that website is “Licenses are generally difficult to obtain.” So, there you go. This is an option for established operators who want to pay fewer taxes. If you want to get started, you’ll have to look elsewhere.
The Different Casino Licenses – For a long time, gambling in the country was a state monopoly. But recent changes have seen the market open up. Spelinspektionen is the regulatory body that decides who gets a license and who does not.
Sweden, being a new market, is also quite stringent. The focus of the Swedish regulators is player protection and the reduction of gambling addiction. It is also a very reactive body. In 2020, during the Covid-19 pandemic, Sweden took temporary responsible gambling measures such as a SEK 5,000 limit on deposits (around 488 ) and a bonus limit of SEK 100 (less than 10). Spelinspektionen may be seen as a very restrictive jurisdiction, but it also represents an opportunity for iGaming companies as the market liberalises.