Choosing a Gambling Jurisdiction

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Aside from selecting a software provider or a CRM and Marketing Automation platform, obtaining a license is crucial when starting an online casino. To legally operate your online casino in desired regions, an online gambling license is essential. Trustworthy game creators and payment systems will only collaborate with licensed online casinos. Players trust licensed online casinos more, as they prioritize safe and trustworthy platforms for betting.

Types of Gambling Licences

Online gambling licenses can be categorized into international (or offshore) and local (specific to a country). International licenses cater to projects targeting a broader audience, while local licenses permit casinos to operate within a particular nation’s boundaries. Countries like the UK, Spain, Belgium, Bulgaria, Romania, Estonia, Portugal, Mexico, and more have their own gambling regulations. Often, national regulatory bodies mandate both the casino and the software provider to possess the respective local license.

There are several international gambling jurisdictions to choose from. When picking a jurisdiction, consider its reputation, licensing prerequisites, the intricacy and time taken for the application, initial and yearly expenses, and applicable taxes. Here’s a quick rundown of some popular international gambling jurisdictions and their offerings

Popular iGaming Jurisdictions


Malta is recognized as a trustworthy EU gaming jurisdiction, favored by online gambling and betting businesses targeting Europe. The application charge is €2,330, followed by an annual license fee of €8,500. For the initial six months post-launch, gaming taxes amount to €4,660 monthly, and €7,000 monthly thereafter. It’s vital to remember that the application process also involves significant legal costs.

Acquiring a Maltese license is intricate and time-consuming. Applicants need to establish their credibility and present a comprehensive business strategy. Audited financial statements and shareholder profiles are also required. The Malta Gaming Authority meticulously audits the online casino’s software platform for compliance.


In the Isle of Man, the license application fee stands at £5,000 (with a non-refundable initial fee of £1,000) and an annual fee of £35,000. Gaming taxes range from 0.1% to 1.5% based on on the turnover (gross gaming yield). The application process is thorough. Applicants must maintain a robust financial reserve for payouts, demonstrate their integrity, and adhere to fair gaming standards. The business should be registered in the Isle of Man, and the casino’s servers should also be housed there.


Antigua and Barbuda are esteemed yet pricier licensing jurisdictions. The application fee is non-refundable at $15,000, with an Interactive gaming license costing $100,000 and an annual renewal fee of $5,000. The application process spans a minimum of 60 days. A $100,000 reserve is mandated before the casino begins operations, and stringent anti-fraud and anti-money laundering rules are in place.


Montenegro, a newer gambling jurisdiction, offers comprehensive services including licensing, merchant accounts, and company establishment. The package cost is €22,500, with a yearly renewal fee of €15,000.


Curaçao is among the top choices for its affordability and efficiency, making it a favorite among iGaming businesses. The licensing entity must be registered in Curaçao, achievable only through approved partners collaborating with the Regulator. The entire process, from incorporation to license acquisition, takes a few weeks and can be managed remotely. While Curaçao doesn’t mandate hosting the casino servers locally, periodic database backups on a server in Curaçao are essential. The total expenses, encompassing company registration and license acquisition, amount to approximately $14,000 for the first year and $10,000 for subsequent years.

Choosing the right gambling jurisdiction is a pivotal decision for any aspiring online casino operator. The credibility of the jurisdiction, the associated costs, and the intricacies of the application process can significantly impact the success and reputation of an online casino.


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