A gambling license is a crucial document for each gaming business owner. With a permit, it becomes possible to legally engage players from different countries and collaborate with other offshore companies. Moreover, without a license, it’s hard even to buy official software for your platform. Last but not least, people usually don’t trust iGaming websites without a license. To avoid a loss of customers, don’t launch your online casino without a permit.
The hardest choice for online gaming businesses is a choice of licensing jurisdiction. There are a lot of questions and one of the most important is how much a casino license costs. In this article, we’ll discuss what the components of the permit price are, what the cheapest online gambling license is, and what expenses associated with gaming business licensing in popular jurisdictions are.
There are many different countries that offer gambling licenses, so if the cost of one seems daunting, it may be worth considering a more affordable alternative. Before embarking on a detailed financial analysis, it is worth calculating the approximate budget to cover such aspects as application fees, required gaming taxes, and so on. Also, operators usually must pay the commission for the company registration, legal representation, domiciliation, and administrative fees. Also, when choosing a jurisdiction, it is worth considering the application processing terms because don’t forget that time is money.
The components of the price of the iGaming license
Firstly, let’s answer the question: what are the pros of holding a license? The legal gaming operation allows you to open bank accounts and use popular payment systems. With a permit, buying official games for websites is much easier. And of course, holding a license significantly increases the level of audience trust.
The exact expenses of obtaining a permit vary depending on licensing authority. Several gaming authorities have only the application and renewal payments, others oblige gambling businesses to pay several regular fees. Same with taxes. There are plenty of countries where gambling offshore companies don’t pay corporate taxes at all. At the same time, other popular jurisdictions have very high gross receipts (and other) taxes. Let’s consider the most famous licensing locations and compare the costs of each.
How much does a gambling license cost in Curaçao?
There is no common licensing authority and a certain price for applying for the Curaçao gaming license. The obtaining fees vary depending on the holder of the main permit. The master license owner sets its own requirements and payments. A sub-license allows offshore companies to launch any virtual gaming activity (bingo, slot machine, lottery, sports betting, etc.). The additional Curaçao gaming license is valid as long as the relevant main permit.
In general, the Curaçao gaming license is one of the most affordable in the industry. Moreover, the local application procedure is transparent and straightforward. Thus, the Curaçao gaming license is a great option for newcomers.
It is worth noting that the Curaçao license acquisition procedure will change in the near future. The government of the island state is now preparing changes to the gaming legislation, which will primarily affect the licensing of new operators. A gambling board will be established in the country, whose main task will be to issue gambling permits and control the gaming operation. In addition, a significant increase in the cost of the license is coming, however, there are no exact amounts yet. The timeframe of when the new rules will come into force is also still unknown.
Isle of Man gaming license cost
The local gambling license cost is £5,000 (€5,600). After obtaining a permit, operators are required to pay £35,000 (€39,000) every year. Those expenses cover all types of iGaming and allow partnerships with sub-license owners. Payment for the new partnership with a sub-licensee is £5,000 (€5,600).
The tax rates vary depending on Gross Game Yield (GGY) or gross receipts.
|Gambling Yield||Tax rate|
|< than £20 mln (€23 mln)||1.5%|
|> than £20 mln, but < than £40 mln (€45 mln)||0.5%|
|> than £40 mln||0.1%|
How much is an online gaming license in Malta?
Before submitting an application for the Malta license, operators are obliged to pay €5,000. The permit renewal fee in the country is also €5,000. To run an online gambling business, applicants should also have two additional certificates: a Key function and a Material supply. These documents cost €50 and €1,000, respectively.
Payment for the permit’s transfer within the same group is €1,500.
There are 4 license types, issued in Malta:
1 – gambling against the computer, the result of which is determined by chance (for example slot machines);
2 – bookmaking (the outcome is determined by the result of some events);
3 – gambling between players;
4 – guided skill games, such as logic games, quizzes, and so on.
The 1-3 license type owners pay €25,000 annual fee, the 4 license type holders — €10,000. This payment is fixed and non-refundable.
To sum up all the above, the total gambling license fees in this jurisdiction start from €31,050 for types 1, 2, and 3 and from €16,050 for type 4. It’s not as cheap as a Curaçao gaming license, but the great reputation of the jurisdiction and licensing authority will definitely pay off the high costs in the long run.
The annual compliance contribution for MGA licensees is calculated using the formula: (A+B) – (B+C) = gaming revenue
A = the amount of real money wagers
B = the amount of bonus wagers and other gambler incentives
C = the amount of withdrawable gambler winnings.
Costa Rica gambling license cost
The local body doesn’t issue iGaming licenses but allows gaming companies to offer gambling activities if they operate in outside markets. Operators who want to run a gaming business in Costa Rica should just register a company. It means that there is no license cost, there are just expenses connected with an entity registration. Moreover, there is no tax on internet gambling revenues in the jurisdiction, which is a huge plus for new iGaming enterprises.
Gibraltar online gambling license cost
The license for B2C companies, iGaming and bookmaking platforms in Gibraltar costs £100,000 (€114,000). For B2B operators it’s £85,000 (€97,000). Both permits are valid for 5 years.
Also, there is a 1% corporate tax on revenue. The total minimum annual tax would not be less than £85,000 (€96,800) and the maximum yearly tax would not be more than £425,000 (€484,100).
How much does a gaming license cost in the UK?
The UK issues 3 types of gambling licenses:
- For virtual casinos (bingo, lotteries, slot machines);
- For general betting virtual platforms;
- For pool betting websites.
Let’s consider the licensing payments for the different permits.
Operators of a virtual casino with a GGY of less than £550,000 are the lowest tier; when applying for a license, they must pay a casino license fee of £4,224 and an annual fee of £4,199. However, operators with a GGY of more than £1 billion must pay an initial fee of £91,686 and an annual fee of £793,729, in addition to £125,000 for each additional £500 million in GGY.
For holders of the general betting permit, the lower and upper limits are less than £550,000 and more than £1 billion, respectively. The minimal payment for an application fee is £4,693 and an annual fee is £5,282. However, operators with a GGY of £1 billion or more must pay £41,243 in application fees and £1,077,027 (plus £200,000 for every additional £500 million GGY) in annual fees.
Virtual pool betting businesses with a GGY below £1.5 million must pay £938 per application and an annual fee of £2,406. The upper limit, £1 billion or more, must pay £7,030 per application and an annual fee of £907,832 plus £150,000 for every further £500 million GGY.
Despite the UK permit not being the cheapest online gambling license, a lot of operators choose to get it because of the impeccable reputation of the jurisdiction and licensing authority, as well as numerous opportunities for the local license holders.
The Antigua and Barbuda license expenses
The application fee in Antigua is $15,000. The yearly non-refundable fixed payment amount differs for online casinos and sports betting websites.
- Holders of online gaming businesses are required to pay $100,000 every year.
- Sports betting licensees must pay $75,000 yearly.
Both permits are valid for one year with an opportunity to prolong it. The renewal fee for internet casinos is $75,000, and for wagering platforms — $50,000.
Kahnawake license fees
The gambling license cost in Kahnawake is not as high as in some other countries. Initially, applicants must pay only $35,000. This price already includes the cost of the Due Diligence with the Commission and the first annual fees. Later, offshore companies also must pay annual ($20,000) and renewal ($5,000) fees.
The Key Person license costs $5,000. This permit prolonging fee is $2,500.
Australian licensing payments
Australia issues full licenses, which cover any type of iGaming. The fee for the first year is $200,000 and the renewal one is $100,000. Taxation is on gross receipts from 5% to 15%.
How much does a Belize license cost?
Belize is known for its relatively low gambling license cost. The gaming license fee there is just $10,000. Operators also need to pay $5,000 to the Gambling Control Commission and another $500 for a guidebook. The annual renewal fee is $10,000. In addition, online gaming business owners are required to provide the Commission with a $500,000 security deposit to prevent fraud and other irregularities.
Gambling license in Estonia
The total starting сost of a gambling license, including the license fee and authorization to operate, is €51,200 for online casinos and €35,200 for bookmakers. The duration of the license is not limited, so it is a one-time investment. Nonetheless, there is a capital requirement for the applicants:
- €1 million for gambling operators
- €130,000 for sports betting websites
Gambling license in Panama
The Panamanian casino license cost is $40,000 for the first year and $20,000 for each subsequent year.
Irish virtual betting permit
Currently, in Ireland it’s only possible to get an online bookmaker or betting intermediary’s licenses. The application fee is €10,000. The renewal fee is between €10,000 and €200,000. Those figures vary depending on turnover for remote bookmakers and annual commission earnings for betting intermediaries.
iGaming license in Spain
There are two types of gambling permits in Spain: general and single. The first one simply allows the organization of a gambling enterprise. The second one gives operators the ability to offer different games like bingo, slots, lotteries, etc. As you can see, for the legal gaming operation in this sunny European country you must obtain both documents.
Each license costs €10,000, and for the registration of one permit operator must also pay an extra €2,500. In addition, there is a mandatory technical reports fee, which is €38,000. Spanish operators are required to pay an annual tax, which must be paid to the General Gaming Regulatory Authority by the end of January. The amount of tax is 0.075% of income for the previous year.
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Frequently Asked Questions
What is the usual license application processing period?
The application processing period is different in each jurisdiction. The average consideration time varies from a few weeks to several months. Remember, that the application processing may be delayed if the required documents are missing or if the competent authority has additional questions for you. To avoid such a waste of time, do not hesitate to contact us for any information or assistance in this difficult but exciting adventure, the reward for which will be your gambling license.
Why does the permit need to be renewed?
License renewal is a mandatory procedure in almost all countries. In some, it has to be done very often, for example, every three months, and somewhere license renewal is required much less often, for example, every five years. It is important because regulators need to check gaming businesses from time to time to ensure that their platforms comply with local legislation and don’t serve criminal purposes.
Where to get the cheapest online gambling license?
It would be misleading to say unequivocally how much a gambling license costs and what is the cheapest online gambling license. However, we can say for sure that one of the most affordable ones is the Curaçao gaming license. To calculate prices in your unique case, feel free to contact LicensingAid experts. We’ll help you to choose the best jurisdiction and to legalize your business asap.
Which gambling license is the most cost-effective?
To understand it, you need to decide what games you want to provide and what audience you need to cover. Then you can do some research on the potential pitfalls and analyze the gambling license cost and corporate tax rate in each jurisdiction. Don’t forget to pay attention to the reputation of the country. For example, due to the lack of gambling control on the island, Curaçao gaming license does not have the best credibility in the market. Nonetheless, currently, local authorities are considering the possibility of amending the legislation and changing the procedure for issuing Curaçao gaming licenses.
In conclusion, we would like to point out that if you are still unable to choose the place for obtaining a license, don’t worry. It’s not easy and that’s why the best decision is to ask professionals. Our team has a clear vision of what’s going on and can handle even the most complicated request.
What happens if you run a business without a license?
It’s not a good idea to save on a license. Running illegal online gaming businesses can lead not only to a high level of distrust in your website but also to fines and other problems with the law. From a long-term perspective, license acquisition is a completely worthwhile investment.