Need an online gambling license?

Gambling license cost. Comparing Top-4 most popular gaming licenses.

Last updated Jul 20, 2023
Jul 20, 2023 iGaming
  1. Curacao gambling license. Read more about how to get this license in this post.
  2. Isle of Man Gambling License. Read more about how to get this license in this post.
  3. Online gambling licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority. Read more about how to get this license in this post.
  4. Kahnawake license. Read more about how to get this license in this post.
online gambling license cost

Curacao gambling license. A perfect choice for any startup

Comparing online gambling licenses isn’t just about the price. It’s also about which license you start with, because you may need a couple of different ones.

For example, many popular online casinos start with a Curacao gaming license. This is a great choice if you want to start with markets in Latin America, Canada, Asia, Africa, and partially Europe.

If you run a startup then four things that will give you a competitive edge are:

  • The speed of a licensing process. This online gambling license can be issued within a very short time. In most cases, it takes six to eight weeks, but there are exceptions we talk about in this post.
  • Gambling license cost is another reason why the Curacao gambling license is highly popular. Depending on many factors you can get it for EUR 20,000 – EUR 32,000 flat fee. It means there are no gaming fees or any other fees involved. Just pay the annual fee and focus on your business.
  • The compliance level is friendly to startups. It is the friendliest license because compared to other licenses it doesn’t need a bulk of paperwork. You have an opportunity to get into the game without a prior experience in the online gambling business.
  • Taxes. For companies working on the internet, the income tax is 2%. So you will pay just twenty thousand dollars for every million dollars your online casino or sports betting business is making.

As soon as your license is ready you can start working with most platform providers and software providers in the gambling industry. 98% of companies recognize Curacao’s license which gives you plenty of room to build your business.

You can learn more about top iGaming software brands in this post.

You’ll be able to open bank accounts and successfully integrate payment system providers to accept transactions from your clients.

The only true disadvantage of this license is that its reputation is not as high as the reputation of the license of Isle of Man or a license from the MGA. This is the flip side of its popularity and low entrance barriers.

The Isle of Man gaming license

Why invest in this license?

  • The Isle of man gaming license is a Tier-1 license. It is highly regulated and the compliance process is the highest in the industry.
  • If you want to go public in the stock market then you’ll have to invest in this license.

The Gambling Supervision Commission (the “GSC”) is responsible for licensing and regulation of the online gambling sector in this Jurisdiction.

The license is great for unregulated markets outside of European Union.

A list of all license holders is available online via this link.

Disadvantages of the license

  • They have much higher requirements for businesses and it’s almost impossible for someone without experience in the industry to get a license.
  • Most entrepreneurs start with the Curacao gambling license to enter the market and then look for ways to grow. This is the moment when they consider choosing a Tier-1 option like the license of Isle of Man.
  • Compared to the Curacao gaming license it’s five to eight times more expensive.
  • You need to have a solid budget, a good and experienced team and you have to be determined to wait between six and twelve months.
personal gambling license
  • They have much higher requirements for businesses and it’s almost impossible for someone without experience in the industry to get a license.
  • Most entrepreneurs start with the Curacao gambling license to enter the market and then look for ways to grow. This is the moment when they consider choosing a Tier-1 option like the license of Isle of Man.
  • Compared to the Curacao gaming license it’s five to eight times more expensive.
  • You need to have a solid budget, a good and experienced team and you have to be determined to wait between six and twelve months.

All companies licensed by the “GSC” get the highest reputation in the industry. It also allows you to:

  • Open a bank account in one of the banks on the island. Capital International Bank and Cayman National will gladly work with you.
  • In many cases, you will have better opportunities to work with payment processing companies. The biggest brands in the payment industry have the highest standards when it comes to processing money for their clients.
  • Some industry-leading brands prefer to work with partners operating under Tier-1 licenses only.
  • Tax rates. The corporate income tax rate is 0% but there is a game tax (a contribution fee) that is charged on top of your Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR). You will pay 1.5% for gross gaming revenue up to £20 million per year.

Malta online gaming license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

This online gambling license is considered to be a “Bentley of iGaming licenses”. You’ll deal yourself a fullhouse if you know how to use it right.

Malta is a member of the European Union with the lowest corporate tax across all EU states.

If you want to establish yourself in Europe as an honest online casino or sports betting operator then you have to understand that the European Union market is 100% regulated.

It means you will have to get yourself one license per market you want to work in.

Having the MGA license will allow you to optimize taxes in other Jurisdictions in European Union.

Like with the Isle of Man you can pull information about any license approved by the MGA online. You can do this by visiting this link.

This is a Tier-1 license which means it’s almost impossible to obtain it if you are an entrepreneur just starting in the industry.

You also need a team with experience. Eight “key people” have at least three years in the industry. You can find more information about How to get a Malta gambling license in our post here.

Benefits of having an MGA license.

  • You can have a bank account in a Maltese bank.
  • If your business is growing and you want to take it public to the stock exchange then the MGA license is a logical step on your way to going liquid. Many companies including Playtech and William Hill have this online gambling license.
  • Many payment system providers in different countries will give you a better deal if you compare them to any other Tier-2 license.
  • The effective corporate tax rate in Malta is just 5% which is the lowest in the European Union.

Disadvantages of the MGA license

  • There are four types of licenses. Depending on the products you provide on your website you may have to apply for all four. License fees are paid separately and the final cost can be pretty high.
  • The application process can last between six and twelve months.
  • It’s almost impossible to get a license for entrepreneurs without experience in the industry.
types of gaming licenses

Kahnawake license

Kahnawake gaming commission is responsible for licensing and regulation of online casinos. Most likely you will need a CSPA license for your online casino or sports betting. They also issue several different types for different business models (including land-based).

Benefits of the Kahnawake license

  • Perfect for any startup that needs an online gambling license. The license still can be acquired by business people without any prior experience in the industry.
  • Even though it is considerably more expensive than the Curacao license, this is the only license that can be obtained for a business registered in any Jurisdiction. For example, you can have a company in Gibraltar licensed by the Kahnawake gaming commission.
  • The application process is straightforward. You can learn more about how to get the Kahnawake gaming license in this post here.
  • Kahnawake has a 0% gaming tax.

Disadvantages of the Kahnawake license

  • Even though it’s more expensive than the Curacao license, you’ll have fewer software providers ready to work with the license. In our opinion, it is the biggest disadvantage so consider all software providers before choosing this license.
  • The reputation of the license is not as high as with Tier-1 licenses.
  • The application process takes more time and requires more paperwork than the Curacao license. Not critical, but it can feel a little overwhelming for early-stage startups.
Curacao Malta Isle of Man Kahnawake
Opportunities **** ***** ***** ***
Cost ** **** ***** ***
Reach no US, NL, FR, Caribean countries w/o legal ban
on gaming
countries w/o legal ban
on gaming
no US
Corporate Curacao N.V Maltse LLC, the local substance is required Isle of Man LLC, the local substance is required Country of your choice
Time to get Six Weeks to twelve months
(reach out for more info)
Six to twelve months
(reach out for more info)
Six to twelve months
(reach out for more info)
Three to five months
(reach out for more info)
Effort required
from your team
** ***** **** ***
Contribution
fees
0% Gaming Fee Between 1.25% and 4% for the first 3 million euros
(more info here)
1.5% for GGR up to £20 million
(more info here)
0% Gaming Fee
Author photo

Max Kerry

Maxim is the founder of LicenseGentlemen.com We help our small and large clients with online gambling licensing, platforms and payment system providers. After more than 300 successful licensing projects, we know exactly what problems every startup faces. We help our clients get the license quickly, choose the best platform and connect all payment methods so they can focus on their business. We also produce free content you can find on this blog or on YouTube.

F.A.Q. (Frequently Asked Questions)

What is the easiest gambling license to get?

There isn’t a universally “easy” gambling license to obtain, as the ease of obtaining a license varies based on factors like the jurisdiction, the type of gambling operation, and regulatory requirements. Some smaller offshore jurisdictions might have less stringent regulations, but it’s important to remember that obtaining a gambling license usually requires meeting certain standards of fairness, security, and financial stability. The Curaçao, Anjouan and Tobique licenses are definitely the easiest licenses for any startup.

How do I get a US gambling license?

Obtaining a gambling license in the United States is a complex process because gambling laws are primarily regulated at the state level. Here are the general steps you might follow:

  1. Choose the specific type of gambling license you need (e.g., casino, sports betting, online gambling).
  2. Identify the state or tribal authority that regulates your chosen type of gambling.
  3. Comply with the regulatory requirements, which may include background checks, financial disclosures, and suitability investigations.
  4. Submit a detailed application to the relevant regulatory authority.
  5. Pay application fees and meet financial requirements, which can vary greatly by jurisdiction.
  6. Await the regulatory authority’s review and approval, which can take several months or longer.
Which country has the cheapest gambling license?

The cost of a gambling license can vary widely by country and jurisdiction. Some smaller offshore jurisdictions may offer more cost-effective licenses, but they might not provide the same level of credibility or player trust as licenses from more established regulatory bodies. Additionally, while the initial license cost might be lower, you may incur ongoing fees and taxes. It’s essential to carefully consider the reputation, regulations, and costs associated with the jurisdiction in question.

In addition to the license itself, you must also consider other issues related to cash flow. To avoid problems with payment system providers and ensure a smooth cash flow, your business needs to be structured properly.

Let’s face it – if you’re looking for a “cheapest” license and cost is the only factor, you’re probably not ready to start your online casino business.

How much money do you need to start a gambling site?

The amount of money required to start a gambling site can vary significantly based on factors such as the type of gambling site (online casino, sports betting, poker, etc.), regulatory compliance costs, software development, marketing expenses, and operational overhead. It can range from thousands to millions of dollars.

How long does it take to get an online gaming license?

The time it takes to obtain an online gaming license varies depending on several factors, including the jurisdiction you’re applying to, the completeness of your application, and the complexity of the regulatory process. In some jurisdictions, it may take several months to over a year to receive approval, while in others, it could be faster. It’s important to be patient and work closely with the regulatory authority to meet all their requirements and expedite the process as much as possible.

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