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Where to incorporate my online gambling startup by Fast Offshore
Monday, 21 November 2022
Now is a great time to join the online gambling sector. The industry is going from strength to strength, drawing in more players and billions than ever. As we move towards the new year, it is a good time to start mulling your options for which jurisdiction to get started in. If you are unsure or not clear on your options, here are some suggestions.
Curacao has been one of the most long-standing gambling licenses and has hundreds of companies operating from there. The government issued several master licenses and these license holders in turn, issue gambling licenses to other companies. Costs are low and the regulatory touch is light, making it an extremely attractive option. But things are set to change. The government is rolling out a new regime which will see all current license holders transition to a license issued by the state. All new applicants will apply directly with the government and the requirements are tighter. This will, however, greatly improve the reputation of the license which has, in the past, hit a few bumps in the road. We are confident that once the new regime is rolled out, Curacao will still provide a welcoming environment for online gambling businesses.
One of the most popular licenses for startups and established brands is Kahnawake. This is because of its strong reputation and the fact it is both affordable and time-efficient regarding setup. When holding a Kahnawake license and an offshore contracting company, you can offer your services and products to a broad audience worldwide. There is also zero tax payable on all revenue, and the setup costs are reasonable. The gambling commission that issues licenses and oversees all activity, has high standards and will come down heavily on anyone that brings the jurisdiction into disrepute. Most of these requirements relate to responsible gaming, fairness, and preventing underage people from accessing the services. This is a great license for businesses of all sizes and at all stages, and can also act as a stepping-stone license to other jurisdictions.
Malta was the first European country to regulate online gambling and now as an EU member state, it is a leading choice for many international brands. While the island is small, it is home to a thriving iGaming community, including companies, service providers, events and conferences, and more. The government is heavily reliant on income generated by it and there are thousands of people of various nationalities working within the local sector. For this reason, they maintain a highly welcoming environment for iGaming entrepreneurs. Acquiring the license requires jumping through many administrative hoops and the requirements are tough, but it is worth it in the end. Additionally, costs are quite high and require the payment of periodic fees and taxes. But the reputation that comes with holding a Maltese license is not to be sniffed at and it gives you broad access to some of the key markets in the world.
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man offers a highly-respected gambling license which allows holders to operate a wide range of services and products worldwide. It does, however, come with a higher price tag than many other jurisdictions, not to mention, tougher obligations and requirements. The license itself provides the license holder with a sterling reputation which increases confidence among players and gamblers while also making it easier to work with third parties, including banks, payment processors, and those providing other gambling services. There are a number of firm requirements in place that must be maintained on an ongoing basis, including protecting player funds, using RNGs and auditing of all systems. In terms of fiscal matters, there is a gross gaming yield of between 0.1% and 1.5% and no capital gains tax. Another key benefit of being based in Isle of Man is the great infrastructure including internet, data and servers, and a highly-skilled workforce. The island is stable both politically and economically and enjoys great ties with the UK and Europe, key markets for iGaming companies.
The Wild Card Option
If you want something a bit different and with minimal regulatory oversight, you can opt for the wild card- Costa Rica. Let’s be clear, Costa Rica does not offer any kind of license for online gambling and it is completely unregulated.
However, you can open a Costa Rica company, set the activity as online gambling and then operate legally from Costa Rica, as long as you don’t offer your services to those within the country, there are no issues. The company is easy to set up, with minimal financial or administrative overheads and there is zero tax payable on revenue generated through the Costa Rica gaming company activities. The only issue with the Costa Rica option is that you will be restricted to only accepting cryptocurrency payments. This is because banks and fiat payment providers require you to have a license if you are operating in gambling, in order for them to work with you.
As no license is available in Costa Rica, this means you cannot accept fiat payments. Costa Rica is a great option for startups who want to test their concept and make some profit before they consider moving on to other licensed jurisdictions, or just those who want to only offer crypto gambling.
For over 25 years, Fast Offshore has been working in the corporate services and iGaming sector. During that time, we have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs get set up and profitable.
To take the first steps on your journey to success, contact Fast Offshore to discuss your options.