How Much Is a Gaming Licence or How to Open a Legal Gambling Business

1. What Are the Benefits of Gambling Commission Licence?

2. What Are the Requirements for the Applicant?

3. How Much Is a Gaming Licence: General Information

4. How to Choose an Offshore for Online Casinos: The List of Popular Jurisdictions

  4.1. Antigua and Barbuda

  4.2. Curacao

  4.3. Malta

  4.4. Alderney

  4.5. Kahnawake

  4.6. Gibraltar

  4.7. Isle of Man

  4.8. Costa Rica

5. A Sample List of Documents for Obtaining a Gambling Licence

6. How Much Is a Gaming Licence: How to Save With Smart Money

The licence is the only legal basis to engage in gambling activity. The presence of a permissive document confirms the clarity and honesty of the operator’s actions, represents the reliability of the site and emphasizes the image of the establishment.

Smart Money experts have prepared a list of popular offshore zones for obtaining permits. We will talk about the nuances of applying for a licence in different jurisdictions, how much is a gambling licence and what are the requirements for an applicant.

We have to inform you from the very beginning — an independent decision on the issue of a licence purchasing can cause substantial temporary and material losses. It is better to entrust the legal support of the project to qualified specialists with experience (contacts are at the end of the article).

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What Are the Benefits of Gambling Commission Licence?

Today, about 80 states are involved in the licencing of entertainment sites. Each of them puts forward a specific list of requirements to their applicants. According to statistics, the strictest standards are set by European countries. Moreover, even after receiving the permit documentation, the operator is obliged to act within strictly established limits, consider a lot of restrictions and work on a rather high tariff system.

The situation is quite different in the so-called offshore zones. As a rule, these are small states with small areas and low population. For foreign jurisdictions, the licencing of gambling projects is one of the most profitable sources of infusion into the economy and reimbursement of the internal treasury.

The offshore zones attract new operators with low tariff plans and the following advantages:

  • an official authorization, which becomes valid immediately after the issuance of the document;
  • the possibility of limpid legal work at the international level (the licence allows you to offer your products on the European markets);
  • the right to enter into partnership agreements with large international corporations;
  • automatic assignment of the taxpayer identification number of the EU;
  • loyal tax system (in some offshore companies, the minimum percentage of deductions is established or there is a complete absence of commission fees);
  • short processing of application time (it may take from two weeks to 3-4 months to obtain the licence documentation).

In some offshore companies, the operator is allowed not to submit financial statements (control over the activities of the site takes place formally).

What Are the Requirements for the Applicant?

How to open legal gambling business: fees and requirements

Submitting the application for licencing of the gambling business, the entrepreneur must consider the following points:

  1. Necessary work experience. The licence must confirm the experience in a management position or in the financial sphere.
  2. No record of convictions. The fault before the law (especially the punishment for economic manipulation) is one of the main reasons for the refusal of the licencing service.
  3. The presence of a real legal entity. At the same time, most offshore zones require a procedure for the formation of a company in the territory of jurisdiction.
  4. Banker guarantee. The applicant must have a certain additional amount and the means to repay the cost of the licence.

This is an approximate list of requirements — each of the licencing authorities has the right to request from the applicant additional guarantees of reliability. In addition to the provisions described above, the operator undertakes not to distribute entertainment products to the local population and to introduce at least one resident of the state (that issued the licence) to the founders.

How Much Is a Gaming Licence: General Information

Gambling licence cost depends on the jurisdiction

There is no fixed price for the service. The cost of licencing is determined by the economic policy of the jurisdiction and can vary from $10,000 to $350,000 per year. The same can be said about the tax system. As previously mentioned, some offshore companies have introduced a tax-free system, while in large European countries the amount of taxes can reach 15-25% of the total turnover of the establishment.

According to experts, the most budget option is Costa Rica. You can buy a licence in this offshore for just $15,000. More authoritative jurisdictions evaluate their services much more expensive. For example, in Alderney, obtaining permission could cost $70,000. The detailed information is presented further in this article.

How to Choose an Offshore for Online Casinos: The List of Popular Jurisdictions

We call your attention to the best offshore zones for the legalization of gambling business:

Antigua and Barbuda

The Islands have been providing this service since 1994. The gambling commission licence is presented in two types: for the legalization of online casinos and organization of betting. Submission of the application is accompanied by a non-refundable fee of $15,000. There are also annual payments for the extension of the permit, which is another $75,000. An additional item of expenditure is tax deductions in the amount of 3% of the winnings.


The issuance of licencing documentation in this jurisdiction occurs since 1996. If we talk about the virtual business, online site licencing service has been available here since 2002. On the territory of the country, there are permissions of the same type, allowing to organize both games for luck and skill entertainment, and also betting.

Consideration of the application involves a one-time non-refundable deposit of $35,000. After approval of the petition, the operator is obliged to pay $5,000 per month for two years. Later, the number of commission deductions can be revised.

It will take six weeks to consider the application.


The Republic of Malta can be called one of the largest and most respected jurisdictions. The state introduced a system of control and licencing of virtual resources as one of the first. The controlling body of the offshore company is the Department of lotteries and gambling.

Are you interested in how much is a Malta gaming licence? First of all, the operator will have to pay a one-time fee of $7,000. In case of registration of a remote project, the price of the service is $3,000.

The Maltese system of taxation and related charges:

  • total tax of 5% of the establishment proceeds;
  • the commission for the entertainment organization — $107,000;
  • the location of server equipment on the country territory — $5, 400;
  • the procedure for the petition consideration — $18,500;
  • rent of office space and hiring a local secretary and two shareholders-referents of the offshore costs $3,500;
  • the annual licence fee is $9,000;
  • renewal of the document costs from $1,500.


The Supervisory authority (Gaming Commission) Alderney began its work in 2005 and is subject to UK legislation. The applicant is obliged to provide the checking authority with full access to the internal components of the gambling site.

Licencing documentation differs for B2B and B2C operators. The cost of consideration of any of the applications is $15,000. The tax on gambling activity is represented by a fixed annual amount — $100,000.

An additional item of expenditure is the compulsory purchase of the Software Provider Certificate. The service will cost $15,000 annually.


This is the Canadian region, an Indian reservation with a population of about 9 thousand people. Despite the rather modest area (41.52 square kilometres), more than 250 virtual platforms from 50 different operators are registered in this country.

In the jurisdiction issued four versions of documents:

  • hosting registration;
  • confirmation of the legal entity status with the possibility of operating with any kind of games;
  • legalization of gambling services with the permission of a third-party offshore;
  • management of business issues of the authorized owner of the gambling site.

In addition, the jurisdiction issues permit for online poker. The price of the service depends on the type of documents and varies from $5,000 to $25,000. Annual renewal costs $10,000.


The licenced body of Gibraltar began its work in 1998. On the territory of the country are issued permits for the organization of interactive lotteries, virtual casinos and sports betting.

There is an interesting feature — no fee for consideration of the application. The operator is obliged to pay only an annual commission (from $3,000) and a tax fee of 10% of the total turnover of the establishment.

Isle of Man

This state licences online projects and land-based locations. The operator can order an unlimited licence (any number of gaming projects, regardless of the format of the site) or a limited version.

The cost of consideration of the petition is $1,500. An annual fee for the licence is $55,000.

Costa Rica

The state does not issue specialized gambling permits. The owners of entertainment sites are invited to purchase data processing permits. However, there are no fees and tax rates.

The cost of this service is $15,000. The contract is renewable quarterly and involves contributions in the amount of $1,500.

A Sample List of Documents for Obtaining a Gambling Licence

When applying, the operator provides a set of related documentation:

  • identity cards of all interested parties (in some offshore companies, in addition to copies of passport data, fingerprints of founders are also required);
  • information about the company (legal address, phone numbers, a copy of the protocol on the name assignment, a charter of the enterprise);
  • confirmation of the office existence (copies of receipts from utilities);
  • bank statements (confirmation of opening a current account, the presence of “insurance” costs);
  • a copy of the company’s business plan, financial schemes and statistics of the expected turnover of the enterprise.

This is only an approximate list of documents. Depending on the foreign offshore policy, the data set may change. For example, as additional information, the operator may be requested to provide copies of contracts with software providers, evidence of the proper operation of the security service, etc.

How Much Is a Gaming Licence: How to Save With Smart Money

Many jurisdictions offer the services of intermediary companies that take on the responsibility of finding office space, hiring staff, opening a bank account in the country. As a rule, the price of services is higher than the total cost of the licence. For example, in Malta, the intermediaries work costs $50,000 (and this is the basic set of components, and any additional procedure is paid separately).

Smart Money offers a convenient alternative: we will take full legal support of your project for a very modest fee. You can always get a comprehensive consultation on any issues of the gambling business and choose a set of services in accordance with your own wishes.

The selection includes a wide range of ready-made solutions: platforms and entertainment content (there are games from Playtech, Novomatic, IGT, NetEnt, Microgaming), stock terminals, software for live casinos and mobile platforms. We select profitable affiliate programs, offer current payment services and a large selection of equipment for bingo halls, land-based facilities of any format. All products are available for purchase and rent.

For those who want to become the owner of an exclusive solution, the “online casino turnkey” service is available. You can also order a full-scale marketing campaign. With Smart Money, you get a good chance to enter the international market and fully pay off the start-up costs in six months after the launch.

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