Gaming machines license

Why do you need a gaming machine license?

Gaming machines (or slot machines) are special mechanical or electronic-mechanical devices, or their digital versions in the form of appropriately operating software, which provide a gaming process. As a result of this process, the player, with some degree of probability, can receive monetary or other valuable prizes. Slot machines relate to  a game-of-chance gambling type. It means that a gamer’s success doesn’t depend on his skills. 

To run a slot business legally, operators need to obtain a gaming machine license. It’s necessary because without a permit, it becomes impossible to use most of the payment systems, buy official games and other software, and avoid legal problems. Also holding licenses issued by reliable jurisdictions ensures the credibility of the gaming establishment and serves as a kind of quality mark.

Not every country issues gaming machine licenses but there are plenty of jurisdictions to choose from. In this article, we’ll consider how to choose a country where to apply for a slot license and what is required for obtaining it.

License for slot machines

Gaming machine license allows its holder to operate legally. Speaking about online slots, a permit usually gives operators an opportunity to engage players from different countries. 

Legislation in the gambling industry differs from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. In every country, there is a unique set of rules, which you need to know before launching a land-based or online slot machine operation. For example, in the UK, it is prohibited to locate gaming machines in premises like fast-food restaurants and minicab offices. 

The first thing you need to do if you decide to get a gaming machine license is to choose the country where to apply for it. Then you should collect all mandatory documentation and ensure that your gaming establishment fulfills all licensing conditions. The licensing process and license fee will always depend on the country, but there are several common requirements. Let’s talk about it in detail.

How to get a gaming machine license: licensing process 

Usually gaming machine license application procedure includes the following steps:

  • Registration of the gaming establishment and opening a bank account
  • Collecting documentation about the business, its owners, and software and providing this data to the council
  • Proving that your business corresponds to all requirements and that you have enough money to run it
  • Submitting the application for the gaming machine license
  • Paying the license fee

Choice of jurisdiction 

How to choose the best place to legalize your business? We recommend taking into account the following points:

  1. Which countries you can target with licenses issued by that jurisdiction.
  2. License fees and tax policy of the country. Some offshore don’t have taxes for gambling operators at all, others have only fixed regular payments. At the same time, a number of jurisdictions have very high license fees and taxes, which is not affordable for most businesses.
  3. Application algorithm. It’s crucial to acknowledge the licensing process. In some cases it can be transparent and straightforward, in others, it is a complicated and long-term process.
  4. Period of obtaining and validity of the slot license.
  5. Rules for current licensees. Thus, in the US state of Florida, the operator is required to provide a monthly report containing the necessary records of the operation of gaming machines. By the way, such reports after submission are considered public records.
  6. Last, but not least: the reputation of the jurisdiction. Holding a license in a country with a high status in the industry will help you to engage more players.

License for slot machines online: where to register

Here are the most popular jurisdictions for gaming operations’ licensing:

JurisdictionObtaining feeAdditional info
Curacao$4,700 – $13,000/yearThe license is cheap and licensing requirements are soft. Perfect for newcomers!
The Isle of Man£5,000 ($6,000)Convenient licensing conditions and support from the authorities. Income tax – 0.1-1.5% depending on the amount of profit.
Gibraltar£100,000 ($122,000)Licenses issued in Gibraltar are valid for 5 years, which means that you shouldn’t pay a renewal fee every year.
Malta$5,200 (for application) + $26,000 (non-refundable annual fee)Very loyal laws in the field of gambling, as well as a brilliant reputation of the jurisdiction and licenses issued by local authorities in the international arena.
Romania$31,000 – $125,000/yearThe total cost is divided into equal payments for 5-10 years. Thanks to this, the launch and licensing of a casino in Romania remains relatively affordable.

All prices in the table are exemplary and can change in each unique case. 

Why is it not a good idea to operate without a license?

Conducting any gaming operations without a license threatens you with serious problems with the law. Moreover, experienced players are accustomed to playing only in legal casinos that have a license. The absence of this document will affect not only the number of players, but also the possibility of cooperation with other operators, game developers, banks, etc.

How can we help you?

Contact LicensingAid to get more information about gaming machine licensing or to start your own slots business. Our experts will help you to calculate certain expenses and obtain a permit ASAP without any issues.

Our experts can also advise you on obtaining licenses for any other gaming operations, trademark registration, design and compliance with the AML policy. Remember that the more information you have, the higher your chances of getting a permit from one of the well-known jurisdictions and start your journey to building a successful gambling business are.

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