How to obtain an iGaming license in Europe

How to obtain an iGaming license in Europe

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Currently, remote gambling is becoming more and more popular in Europe, and entrepreneurs understand that iGaming is a very promising and profitable industry. It is not surprising, then, that the number of new online operators is rising year-on-year. So, what does it take to launch an online casino in the EU in 2023? First and foremost, each gambling platform needs to be licensed. In this article, we will explain why license acquisition is an important step for every operator, which European countries issue gambling permits and what is required to obtain one.

Why do you need a gambling license?

A gambling business can operate legally only after obtaining a license. That is, only licensed gambling operators are protected from troubles with the law. This is the chief reason for applying for a license, because providing iGaming services illegally can result in heavy fines or even imprisonment. The severity of the punishment depends on the jurisdiction and its gambling laws. 

Also, the lack of a gambling permit can negatively affect your reputation. Experienced players do not trust unlicensed platforms, which means that operators will lose a part of their potential audience.

Moreover, illegal iGaming enterprises do not have an opportunity to buy games and software from licensed providers. Neither can they integrate widespread payment systems on their websites and manage corporate bank accounts. This is due to the fact that official software developers, banks and other financial institutions do not work with unlicensed online casinos.

As you can see, it is hard to overestimate the role of a license for running a successful gambling business. Keep reading to find out where in Europe you can get a gambling permit and what some of the licensing requirements are.

Latvian iGaming license

All online gambling activities in Latvia are administered by the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection. The authority monitors compliance with sectoral legislation and issues licenses to new operators. Before applying for a permit in this jurisdiction, be prepared to provide detailed and up-to-date information about your business, its structure, policies, and ownership. It is also necessary to prove that the company has sufficient funds and technical basis to launch and operate an iGaming platform. The cost of a license for operating an online gambling platform in Latvia is €200,000. A yearly re-registration fee amounts to €37,000. 

Estonian iGaming license

The Ministry of Finance is responsible for issuing gambling licenses in Estonia. The licensing procedure in the country is based on the main law of the industry — the Gambling Act. To obtain an Estonian permit, operators are required to register a legal entity in the jurisdiction. The minimum share capital of the company must be €25,000 for games of skill and €1 million for games of chance. After that, as in Latvia, it is necessary to prepare and provide the competent authority with comprehensive information on your business, its structure, key personnel, financial resources and ownership.

Lithuanian iGaming license

The requirements for obtaining a gambling license in Lithuania are very similar to those in Latvia and Estonia. In order to obtain a permit, new operators must provide information about the company to the Lithuanian Gaming Control Authority. It is necessary to include details on the structure of the business, management and financial state. In addition, you must prove that your organization has the necessary technical resources to operate an online casino. tThe cost of a gambling permit in Lithuania amounts to €500,000.

Czech iGaming license

Recently, the legislation on remote gambling in the Czech Republic has changed. In order to obtain a Czech license, operators must provide the necessary information about their enterprises, including the details of key personnel, company ownership, structure and available funds. Moreover, the Czech authorities require future licensees to prove that their platforms are technically equipped for high-quality and uninterrupted operation. Though the license fee is merely €200, the operators must also provide a bank guarantee by depositing from €130,000 to as much as €2.137 million (depending on the type of games) to the bank account of the Ministry of Finance. 

Maltese iGaming license

Malta became the first European jurisdiction to make gambling legal and start issuing licenses. Thousands of operators wishing to work in Europe are trying to get a Maltese permit for iGaming. One of its significant advantages is the excellent reputation in the international market. To become a licensee in Malta, operators need to register a business there, collect all the necessary documents, prepare a business plan and a resume. The application fee is only €5,000. The annual license fee ranges from €10,000 to €25,000 depending on the type of permit.

The cost of a gambling license in European countries

It is difficult to determine the average cost of an iGaming license in Europe. Depending on the types of gambling, the amount can vary from €2,000 to as much as €1 million. Also, don’t forget that this is just the cost of acquiring a license. You also have to pay the company registration fee, the annual license fee, the renewal fee, and taxes. Feel free to contact LicensingAid for an estimate of all potential costs in your particular case.

Algorithm for obtaining an iGaming license

Each country sets its own licensing procedure, but there are several common steps that operators go through regardless of the issuing country. Let’s list them:

  1. Company incorporation. Operators need to establish a legal entity in the jurisdiction where they will then apply for a license.
  2. Gathering of the required documentation. The gambling authorities want to know everything about the future licensees and their companies: their business structure and its ownership, detailed information about key persons, the origin of funds and the technical capabilities of the platform.
  3. Ensuring that your website complies with the local gambling regulations. Operators are usually required to post some relevant information on the platform about age restrictions, gambling addiction and how to deal with it, gaming rules, etc. Don’t forget to make sure you’ve done everything that is needed before applying.
  4. Submitting an application and paying the license fees. The final step is to pay all the required fees and to complete an application form, which must be submitted to the local gambling authority.

How can LicensingAid help you?

It can be difficult to figure out the intricacies of licensing in different jurisdictions on your own. Therefore, seeking help from professionals is the best option. LicensingAid experts can help you choose the best country for obtaining an iGaming license. We can also assist you with the preparation of documentation, communication with gambling authorities and filing the application. In addition, our experts are ready to provide you with legal advice, as well as to consult you on trademark and design issues.

Don’t hesitate to write to us and start your journey to launching your own online casino.

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