The Curacao gambling license is in a state of flux, leaving many operators unsure of where to get licensed. But there are other options, including one in particular which offers more benefits than Curacao, says iGaming industry consultant Ron Mendelson in his latest analytical article.
Why you need an online gambling license
If you want to open an online gambling business, you need an offshore license which will allow you to offer betting and gambling products via app or website to players around the world. The only exception to this rule is Costa Rica, where a license is not necessary, and you must simply open a gambling company. However, this limits you to just accepting cryptocurrency payments, as you will be unable to open a bank account or accept fiat payments. Therefore, operators should get a license to ensure they are legal and compliant and can serve players in the best way.
With an iGaming license, you can do the following:
Operate in a long list of international jurisdictions legally
Provide your product to citizens across the world in a legal manner
Enjoy fiscal benefits such as zero tax or low tax rates in some of the offshore licensing jurisdictions
Negotiate solid relationships and terms with payment providers and merchants, including all the big names
Open a settlement account in a range of jurisdictions
Benefit from lucrative advertising deals, as well as advertise yourself elsewhere, or sponsor
You’ll be able to work with the best hardware providers
Get access to the best games and other forms of software for your platform
List your gaming app on the Play and iStore
Enjoy the credibility and authenticity that licensing brings. Your clients and potential customers will be reassured and more likely to pick you.
You won’t risk being shut down, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, or fined for illegally operating an online gambling site.
The Curacao online gaming license
For many years, Curacao has been one of the world’s leading offshore igaming jurisdictions. Its license was one of the most cost-effective, simple, and quick to acquire and thus attracted hundreds of operators. But with the licensing regime set to change this year, some operators are looking elsewhere, and potential licensees are considering other options.
Curacao is on the verge of rolling out new iGaming legislation after the Dutch government called for reform to release COVID-19 assistance funds. It is not known exactly when it will become law, but existing license holders have already started to transfer over to the new system.
The new rules include the creation of the Curacao Gaming Authority, doing away with the master license/ sub license system, independent B2B and B2C licenses, an application fee of EUR 40000 and an annual license fee of EUR 12,000. Companies will also have to appoint key persons into certain roles to oversee anti-money laundering measures and ethical and responsible gambling policies.
Why look elsewhere?
While existing license holders have 18 months to move over to the new system, many are looking elsewhere. Potential licensees have also starting considering other options as uncertainty over the rollout of the new laws and when exactly it will happen are putting people off.
While there is nothing wrong with the proposed changes, per se, some entrepreneurs are preferring to look at other options such as Kahnawake. The Kahnawake jurisdiction has a long history with online gambling and with that history comes a solid reputation which makes it particularly attractive for operators. Fast Offshore is still working in Curacao and will continue to do so, but we are also happy to guide our clients to other jurisdictions that offer more stability and certainty, particularly during 2023.
The Kahnawake Mohawk Territory is located near Quebec, Canada and is a First Nations Reserve that enjoys legal autonomy. In 1996, this allowed it to create the Kahnawake Gambling Commission and to create a legal framework to regulate the burgeoning online gambling sector. Today, the commission licenses online betting sites, casinos, and poker rooms as well as three land-based casinos. The licenses issued by Kahnawake are the Client Provider Authorisation and the Key Person License. Both of these are required to operate an online gambling site from the territory.
There are currently more than 50 operators licensed in Kahnawake, representing nearly 300 different online gambling sites.
So what are the benefits of a Kahnawake license?
Low cost: While it is not as low-cost as the current Curacao license, or even the proposed new licensing costs, Kahnawake is still towards the lower end of the scale. This gives entrepreneurs more money to invest in growing and expanding their businesses, while also making more profit.
Quick: You can have your application ready in around two weeks and you can expect to wait a maximum of 10 weeks to have your initial license in hand. This is much lower than many other jurisdictions where you can be waiting several months to even find out if it will be issued.
Good reputation: Kahnawake is known for taking a hard stance against unfair gambling practices, underage gambling, or any form of cheating. The commission works to monitor activity, deal with any player complaints, and do its utmost to maintain the reputation they have built. Those that fall foul of the rules can end up with fines, license suspensions, or even revocations.
Fiscal benefits: An online gambling company in Kahnawake will pay absolutely zero percent of any kind of tax locally. Of course, if you have a contracting company in the EU or elsewhere, you may be liable for taxes there so be sure to check with your corporate service provider.
Accessibility: A Kahnawake license will give you access to a range of global markets including Latin America, Europe and Asia. You cannot, however, offer your services to FATF-blacklisted countries, those under sanctions or players based in the US.
If you think the Kahnawake license benefits sound promising and you want to find out more, Fast Offshore is here to help. From ensuring you pick the right jurisdiction, to navigating smoothly through the process. We also offer ongoing maintenance services to keep your license in good stead. Let us take the labour out of the paperwork so you can focus on building a successful business.
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