It doesn’t take much to open an online casino or a sports betting resource – only a skilled web designer and some startup budget for the branded gaming software. However, your website will be dead, meaning that you won’t be able to operate it in any jurisdiction before you get a gaming license for it. In a nutshell, a license is a permit that characterizes your gambling website as a legit, credible establishment, and that gives you a legal go-ahead for processing the money of your users online. For a live betting website to become legal, it needs to have either of the three licenses we discuss below (or even a couple of them).
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
Malta is a jurisdiction with a long history in the gambling niche. The MGA issues gambling licenses for 5 years, after which the gambling website needs to renew it. To be endorsed by the MGA, your website has to showcase rigorous security and financial safety standards, pursue the responsible gambling policy, and be transparent in terms of their financial performance by issuing open financial statements. Getting the MGA permit is sheer luck for any gambling company as it paves the way to licensure by the UK Gambling Commission, giving your casino access to the UK player population as well.
You might be surprised to find out that Curacao is a tiny Caribbean island that nevertheless licenses over half of the global gambling resources online. Though it is the lowest in value (meaning that your casino will be available only for a small number of jurisdictions), it is still the most accessible way into the gambling market. Besides, when functioning under the Curacao license, you won’t need to pay any taxes on profits. If you want to launch the gambling business quickly, Curacao is the best choice; it will set your casino going and let you acquire your first players while you’re applying for other licenses to expand the outreach.
The third most famous and most widespread license is that of Kahnawake. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission located in the namesake province of Canada is also famous across the globe for issuing gambling licenses for hundreds of online resources. Getting a permit here is also easy, but it’s costlier than in Curacao. Casinos operating under the Kahnawake license have to pay annual fees at the amount of $40,000, and an additional charge of 15,000 is taken for software inspection sessions. The license is typically given only for one year, and each year, a renewal fee is charged at the amount of $10,000.
Overall, to start a business in the gambling niche, you’ll need any of these three licenses. But keep in mind that each of them has certain restrictions in terms of the jurisdictions covered. For instance, the casinos with a Curacao license can’t operate in North America and some European states. Gambling establishments with a Kahnawake license can function in the territory of Canada but still have restricted access to the U.S. and UK markets. The best variant is to seek an MGA license as it offers much broader coverage of jurisdictions and enjoys a much better reputation than other licenses. Gamblers seeing an MGA seal on the website know that this resource can be trusted, so they register and deposit real money more eagerly than they would on a new website with no reputation and a more doubtful license.