What’s going on with popular licenses in the gambling industry?

There’s so much to keep track of in the iGaming industry — especially regulations, which can drastically change. Slotegrator keeps close tabs on licensing jurisdictions around the world; here’s a rundown of the current state of the industry’s most popular licensing authorities.

Current and potential iGaming operators should always be aware of terms and conditions in popular licensing jurisdictions. The experts at Slotegrator give a brief overview of the current situation on licensing in Curaçao, the Isle of Man, Kahnawake, Malta, and Anjouan.

1. A transitional period in Curaçao.

The Curaçao gaming license has long been a top choice for new online casino and sportsbook operators, but now its gaming regulations are in transition.

Although the existing system is operational during the transition period, licenses under the master license regime are very limited for new applicants, and it is essential to underscore its potential for change anytime as new legislation is being formulated. New regulations, known as the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), are scheduled to come into effect from September 2024.

According to the revamped regulations, there will be a new regulator — The Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA) — which will replace the Curaçao Gaming Control Board and issue licenses, according to a new, standardized schedule of fees. As of 15 November 2023, operators can apply for a new license under the current legislation directly through the GCB’s website: portal.gamingcontrolCuraçao.org. Sublicensees under the old system can also register through the portal. The annual fee for the license should be ANG 120,000 (approx €62,500).

However, the prevailing circumstance in Curaçao is characterized by unpredictability. As a result, the regulatory landscape in Curaçao remains volatile, with potential transformations anticipated in light of impending legislative revisions.

2. A world of possibilities on the Isle of Man.

Many operators are drawn to the Isle of Man due to its liberal legislation.

While the island is very welcoming to the gambling industry, the standards of the Commission have gotten stricter over time, due to increased advocacy for fair and responsible gaming. At the same time, the more stringent the regulatory requirements are, the more credible the license holder’s reputation is in the eyes of the gaming community and the players.

The license is granted for a five-year period, and the Commission reserves the right to revoke it at any time if any terms are violated

Here is a list of notable advantages of the Isle of Man license:

All game types covered by one license
All currencies are supported
A variety of markets available for operation
Competitive tax policy
Foreign players may be accepted with the network license
Financial support available for licensees.

Both start-ups and experienced operators can get professional help and advisory support with legal and banking services, company administration, investment, marketing, software development, and other processes. The Isle of Man Enterprise Support Schemes include micro business grants, loans and equity investments, funding towards business improvement projects, etc. Special grants will potentially cover your business relocation to the Isle of Man as well.

In addition, the Isle of Man demonstrates a very competitive tax policy. There is no capital gains tax, and gaming taxes are low; operators pay a 1.5% duty on gross gaming yield of £20 million, a 0.5% duty on GGY of more than £20 million but less than £40 million, and only 0.1% on GGY over £40 million.

The jurisdiction is a member of the World Trade Organisation and is whitelisted by the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development). Due to the regulators’ comparable standards of fairness and safety, the Isle of Man license is also whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission, which allows licensees to advertise their services on UK territory.

Slotegrator has obtained the Online Gambling Permit for Software Supply from the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC). The gambling license is valid from December 5, 2023, to December 4, 2028.

3. Operational stability in Kahnawake.

The Kahnawake gambling license is a favorite among operators due to its widely respected regulatory authority and lack of gaming taxes.

The jurisdiction offers many licensing options to choose from, and obtaining a Kahnawake online gaming license carries a number of benefits. Additionally, the Client Provider Authorisation is valid for five years, and last but not least, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission permits licensees to target players in any jurisdiction aside from the USA, provided they adhere to the regulations of their target market.

Let’s take a look at some of the benefits:

Cost-effective: relatively low license fees.
No taxes: 0% corporate tax rate, no additional gaming tax.
Reasonable: comparatively flexible requirements.
Reputation: widely accepted by players and payment service providers.
Universal: licensees can target markets worldwide.
Responsible: promotes fair and responsible gaming.

When it comes to taxation, Kahnawake looks like an ideal place to license an online gambling business. The jurisdiction has a 0% corporate tax rate and no additional gaming tax. In this regard, Kahnawake is one of the most attractive jurisdictions for casino licensing in the long term.

4. Malta continues to be a welcoming destination.

If iGaming has a native country, it’s Malta.

Online gambling licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority are highly valued by operators.
The iGaming industry accounts for a massive portion of the Maltese economy — in fact, it is the third-biggest private sector industry in the country.

Perhaps out of recognition of the industry’s value, the Maltese government is one of the world’s most gambling-friendly. The 2018 regulatory restructuring simplified the licensing regime and streamlined the tax system to avoid double taxation by eliminating the gaming tax.

Despite the number of giants who’ve set up shop on the tiny Mediterranean island, there’s still plenty of room to go around. The MGA’s pro-business stance extends from the heights of the industry down to tough-nosed entrepreneurs — the monthly Compliance Contribution, which varies depending on revenue, is waived for start-ups’ first twelve months of licensed operation, provided the company meets certain criteria like being less than five years old and making under €10 million in revenues.

The MGA is on the United Kingdom Gambling Commission’s “Whitelist,” allowing MGA license holders to advertise in the UK market.

5. The Anjouan license gives startupers a chance to launch a legal online casino business.

The Anjouan license has become one of the most widely discussed topics in the iGaming community in 2023. With the upheaval of the status quo caused by reforms in the Curaçao gambling licensing regime, Anjouan seems to be a very timely solution.

The Anjouan license has become known for its low licensing fees and simple application process.

Another advantage is that the Anjouan license is also universal in its geography: licensees are authorized to operate almost anywhere in the world. Exceptions are the USA, Australia, Austria, the Comoros, France, Germany, Netherlands, Spain, and the UK. But the geography still remains very broad.

Another benefit is that the Anjouan license is all-inclusive. Licensees are allowed to organize all forms of gambling (as opposed to authorities like those in Malta, which has a different license for each vertical): online casino, lotto, sports betting, bingo, scratch cards, games of chance, and more and even the provision of software and white-labeling services.

Here are some of the highlights of the Anjouan license:
In comparison with the Gibraltar license, which is valid for a period of 5 years, the Anjouan license is valid for one year, and renewed annually. It costs around $25,000.
The license is available for both B2C and B2B.
The license can be granted within three weeks.
The Anjouan Gaming License may be granted for 2 URLs.
Sublicensing is not permitted.
Businesses pay 0% gaming tax in their GGR and 0% VAT.
The license is valid for one year and has to be renewed annually.
Compared to other popular licensors (e.g., Malta or Kahnawake, which both provide access to international markets), the Anjouan license is very affordable for companies with tight budgets seeking to enter the iGaming industry for the first time.

One of Anjouan’s license requirements is to give players enough information to contact counseling or assistance services if it is needed. It is one of the points of responsible gaming which allows operators to take care of the players and to prevent gambling addiction.

So, in summary, the Anjouan license gives startupers a chance to launch a legal online casino business and saves them time and money they can use to focus on platform development and marketing. It’s a great opportunity to carve out a niche from the beginning, and it could well take over for Curaçao as a great low-cost option for new iGaming operators.

The Slotegrator team knows every step of the application process for obtaining a license in each of the jurisdictions on the list.

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