What does the price of a gaming license include

How much is a gambling license in different countries?

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 operators. 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 most hard choice for a gambling operator is a choice of licensing jurisdiction. There are a lot of questions and one of the most important is how much does a casino license cost? In this article we’ll discuss what are the components of the permit price, what is the cheapest online gambling license and what expenses associated with a gaming business licensing in popular jurisdictions.

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.

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 operation of virtual gambling platforms allows you to open bank accounts and use popular payment systems. With a permit, it is much easier to buy official games for websites. And of course, holding a license significantly increases the level of audience confidence.

The exact expenses of obtaining a permit differ from country to country. Several gaming authorities have only the application and renewal payments, others oblige gambling businesses to pay several regular fees. The same with taxes. There are plenty of countries where gambling operators don’t pay 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 in each.

How much does a gambling license cost in Curaçao? 

There is no certain price for applying for the Curaçao gaming license. The obtaining fee differs depending on the holder of the main permit. The master license owner sets its own requirements and payments. A sub-license allows the operator 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 license issued by the Gaming control board of Curacao is one of the most affordable in the industry. Moreover, the local application procedure is transparent and straightforward. Thus, the Curaçao gaming license is the great option for newcomers.

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 policy depends on Gross Game Yield (GGY) or gross receipts. 

Gambling YieldTax rate
< than £20 mln (€23 mln)1.5%
> than £20 mln, but < than £40 mln (€45 mln)0.5%
> than £40 mln0.1%

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 ones. 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 of 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. 

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 obtain a “data processing” permit. This requires registering a company and hiring staff. The cost of registration is insignificant — about $15,000. The annual tax will start from $40,000. 

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% 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

How much does a gaming license cost in the UK?

The UK issue 3 types of gambling licenses: 

  1. For virtual casinos (bingo, lotteries, slot machines);
  2. For general betting virtual platforms;
  3. 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; they must pay an application fee of £4,224 and an annual fee of £4,199. However, operators with a GGY of more than £1 billion or more 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 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 virtual casino licenses 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.

The cost of a Kahnawake license_

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, operators 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 licensees, 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?

The Belizean license is known for its relatively low cost. The gaming license fee is $10,000. Operators also need to pay $5,000 to the Gambling Control Commission and another $500 for a guidebook. The annual renewal fee of $10,000. In addition, permit holders 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 cost of the 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.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why does the license 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 much less often, for example, every five years. It is important because regulators need to check gambling businesses from time to time to ensure that their platforms comply to local legislation and don’t serve criminal purposes.

Where is the cheapest online gambling license?

It would be misleading to say unequivocally how much a gambling license costs and in which jurisdiction it would be the cheapest. However, we can say for sure that one of the most affordable is the permit of Curacao. 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 in each jurisdiction. 

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. 

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