How to get a gambling licence in 2023

A special commission (known as the Gambling Commission) monitors and regulates the online gambling business conduct, making sure the company is eligible for granting a gaming license and complies with codes of its practice. Before a business owner secures the licen
A special commission (known as the Gambling Commission) monitors and regulates the online gambling business conduct, making sure the company is eligible for granting a gaming license and complies with codes of its practice.

Before a business owner secures the license permission to function, a set of sector-specific license requirements and compliance rules must be met.

A primary purpose of such procedure was designed to determine the behaviour of everyone associated with a particular gambling organisation in order to eliminate the faintest deviation from the jurisdiction’s protocol. Documented information about a business owner, business partners and employee should be provided as a result.

In addition to the personal information regarding the individuals connected to the gambling enterprise, financial and structural information is also required so that the regulator can ascertain if the company can run a sustainable business. Naturally, the requirements vary from the regulator to regulator, but the core procedure usually remains the same.


  • Curacao is preparing to introduce the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), now awaiting parliamentary approval and aiming to overhaul the licensing system and establish the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA).
  • Curacao licensing fees should be €49,200 for operators plus €250 for each additional domain launched.
  • Licensing authorities specify restricted jurisdictions; for example, Curacao doesn’t serve several countries, including the USA and France, and the MGA’s license is invalid in the USA.
  • Key regulations include the UK’s Gambling Act of 2005, the Isle of Man’s Online Gambling Regulation Act of 2001, Malta’s Gaming Act of 2018, and Curacao’s upcoming LOK.
  • Curacao charges a 2% corporate tax and a single license for all gambling forms, while Malta’s gaming tax is 5%, and the Isle of Man has a 0% corporate tax rate.

Our Services

Gaming Licensing offers a comprehensive solution that goes beyond just helping clients obtain their gambling licenses. We are here to help you launch online gambling platforms in record times, establish and maintain relationships with regulators, stay compliant, develop partnership networks, and more. 

Company Structure

  • Company registration
  • Hosting service
  • Creation of a business plan

Licensing and Compliance

  • Documentation processing
  • Agreements compilation
  • Consulting
  • Payment systems (opening of high-risk bank accounts)
  • Software systems
  • Cryptocurrency solutions

Main Regulations

The scope of each gambling regulator is clearly defined in the gambling laws of their respective countries. 

  • Gambling Act 2005 — The UK Gambling Commission operates on account of the United Kingdom’s Gambling Act of 2005 and the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act 2014. The UKGC is responsible for issuing gambling licenses for individuals and businesses, ensuring AML/KYC and other requirements are met. 
  • Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001 — The main regulation in the Isle of Man is the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001, known as OGRA. Its goal is to regulate all forms of gambling, keep gambling free from crime, protect the young and vulnerable, and ensure fairness and that players receive their winnings. 
  • Malta Gaming Act — The governance and regulation of gaming in Malta are arranged by the Gaming Act of 2018 and subsequent amendments. The scope of the regulatory acts includes player protection, gaming regulations, gaming tax, etc. 
  • Curacao LOK — The new gambling law of Curacao is the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), which is expected to come into force in 2024. Until then, the main regulation is the National Ordinance on Offshore Games of Hazard.

Types of Licenses

Operating within the UK gambling industry calls for three essential authorisations under the Gambling Act 2005: operating, personal, and premises licenses.

Operating license — This license allows entities to offer specified gambling services. It is issued by the Gambling Commission, requiring a detailed application outlining the type of activity. Even overseas online operators need this license if they cater to UK customers. Applications, evaluated according to several parameters, including identity, financial stability, and criminal record, take around 16 weeks to process. Applicants pay an initial fee, followed by an annual fee once the license is granted. The exact cost can be estimated using the Commission’s online calculator.

Personal license — This permit is obligatory for key personnel overseeing gambling operations. The two types include Personal Functional Licenses (PFL) for staff like cashiers and Personal Management Licenses (PML) for management employees. The cost for PFLs and PMLs are £185 and £370, respectively, with an approximate processing time of eight weeks.

Premises license — This license type is issued by local authorities that permit premises to host specific gambling operations. Applicants can file only after receiving or requesting an operating permit. The local authority determines the fees, and the applicant must notify several departments about the premises’ new function within seven days of submission.

The licensing process entails rigorous checks and fees, ensuring a regulated, responsible gambling environment in the UK.

Activities and Products Licensed by Gambling Regulators

Regulations encompass a wide range of gambling sectors to ensure fair and legal practices. These sectors include:

  • Arcades —The commissions regulate non-remote facilities like family-friendly and adult-specific arcade gaming centers.
  • Betting — Supervision extends to all forms of sports betting, including live and virtual events, with mandatory licensing for betting intermediaries.
  • Bingo — Oversight is provided for online and in-person bingo operations in the UK.
  • Casinos — The commissions monitor all digital and physical casino activities, with licensing requirements and fee structures varying based on the casino size and revenue. 
  • Gaming Machine Providers — Includes regulation of a variety of gaming machines, such as slots, video lottery and betting terminals, and fruit machines.
  • Gambling Software Providers — Providers of remote gambling software are regulated to ensure compliance and fairness.
  • Lottery Operators — This covers various lottery formats, including societal, private, and national lotteries, with the National Lottery being regulated under distinct guidelines.
  • Remote Gambling — Any gambling activities conducted online or via phone using equipment based in the UK are regulated by the commission. Other jurisdictions might not have a distinct remote gambling product.

How to Get a Gambling License

Obtaining a gambling license is a complex procedure. Here’s a step-by-step guide to acquiring a gambling license:

  1. Choose the appropriate gambling jurisdiction — investigate the various gambling license types available and determine which best suits your business model and objectives.
  2. Initiate application procedure and collect documentation — Accurately fill out the license application form, ensuring all necessary documentation is included. This typically involves personal information, proof of funding, a detailed business plan, gambling software supply details, policies & procedures, bank statements from the last six months, and customer terms and conditions. 
  3. Fee payment — Remit the application fee associated with your chosen license.
  4. Awaiting Approval — Prepare for a variable processing time, which differs by jurisdiction. For instance, the UK Gambling Commission might take up to 16 weeks, while the Malta Gaming Authority’s process involves both applicant preparation and multiple compliance audits. Curacao is known for its quicker turnaround, often completing the process in about six weeks.
  5. Receiving the license — Once your application is processed and approved, you will be granted your gambling license.
  6. Start operating — With your license secured, you are now equipped to launch your gambling enterprise.

Documents Required

During the application process, parties need to provide supporting documentation. The paperwork demonstrates the applicant’s intention to meet the licensing requirements and capabilities of executing the permitted activities.

The suitability assessment includes reviewing evidence of identity and ownership, financial data of all individuals involved with the application, integrity of the said individuals through criminal background checks, and competence.

The exact documents depend on the type of license you are applying for. The ownership structure diagram and management structure are required for all but the sole trader. In contrast, remote license applicants need to supply information regarding policies and procedures, remote technical standards and testing strategy policies, gambling software supply details, and more.

The documentation that all types of potential licensees need to submit includes the following:

  • Policies and procedures — LCCP
  • Customer terms and conditions
  • Rules of play
  • Bank statements for all accounts for the last six months
  • Business plan
  • Profit and loss projections for the next three years
  • Proof of funding
  • Details of bonus/profit-sharing schemes
  • Annual reports
  • Annual returns

GamingLicensing can help you obtain all types of licenses and handle all types of registration requests.

Application and Annual Fees

The application fees depend on the type of license you are pursuing. As for the annual fees, these are determined by your gross gambling yield (GGY). Let’s illustrate this with an example based on the licenses issued by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission.

For example, remote casinos, remote general betting virtual events providers, and bingo operating license holders with a GGY of less than £550,000 will have to pay an application fee of £4,224 and an annual fee of £4,199.

Operators whose GGY exceeds £1 billion must pay an application fee of £41,243 and face an annual cost of £1,077,027 plus £200,000 per additional £500 million GGY.

The same top and bottom rates apply for remote general betting standard real events (standard sports betting), with only a slight difference for those operators whose GGY falls somewhere in between.

As for remote pool betting licensees, those with an annual GGY of less than £1.5 million will have to pay an application fee of £938 and an annual fee of £2,406. If their GGY exceeds £1 billion, then the application fee will be set at £7,030, and the annual one will be £907,832 plus £150,000 per additional £500 million GGY.

All licensees can access UKGC’s fees calculator and check how much their respective fees will be.

How Can GamingLicensing Help You Get a Gambling License

Acquiring a gambling license is a crucial yet complex process that calls for an in-depth understanding of the subject matter and precise execution of the arranged business plan. This is where GamingLicensing provides an indispensable service.

We leverage our extensive expertise to mitigate common errors and expedite the licensing process, saving clients valuable time and resources. Our consultancy services extend to guiding clients in selecting the most suitable gambling jurisdiction, meticulously preparing all requisite documentation, and verifying that the client’s software adheres to the stringent standards set by the licensing authority.

Additionally, we act as a communication channel between the client and the licensing body, facilitating dialogue to ensure alignment of interests and objectives.

Recognising the industry’s need for quick solutions, GamingLicensing also offers an all-encompassing white-label and turnkey solution. These services are designed to allow operators to launch their online casinos in the shortest time possible. Furthermore, the solutions come with quality software and payment systems, hosting services, and other essential services necessary to run a successful online casino enterprise.

By entrusting the licensing procedure to us, our clients are free to focus on essential business initiatives, such as marketing strategies and player acquisition.

Why Do I Need a Gaming License?

Acquiring an online gaming license might seem challenging due to the costs involved and the complexities of the application process. However, understanding the long-term strategic advantages reveals that the gains outweigh the immediate challenges.

Operating without a license significantly hinders the potential growth of an online casino. Key financial institutions and prominent payment service providers are often reluctant to associate with unlicensed casinos because of perceived risks. A situation like this can limit your ability to handle various transactions, inhibiting your business’s scalability and making it difficult to access top-tier game developers.

There have been several cases where shady operators promoted the games from Evolution, NetEnt, and other A-list providers. The developers’ response was to denounce their collaboration with these platforms. Players notice these things — lacking top games will negatively affect your ability to retain existing users and attract new ones.

Furthermore, a gaming license is a perfect conduit for building strong relationships with major payment providers.

Ultimately, a critical factor in a player’s decision-making process is the reputation of the online casino. A gaming license serves as a testament to the credibility and reliability of your platform, positively influencing reviews and fostering customer loyalty.

On the legal front, unlicensed casinos are subject to significant risk. Consequences can range from hefty fines to incarceration, with potential website blocking and asset freezing adding to the severity of repercussions.

Top Offshore Gambling Regulators for Your Online Gambling Business

There are several key destinations operators look for when licensing their gambling platforms:

Curacao — This small paradise in the southern Caribbean Sea is recognised globally for its quick, two-month licensing process, cost-efficient maintenance, and 0% tax on casino profits. Online casinos operating under a Curacao license must host their server on the island, have a local as a director, and meet other requirements. The country is looking to implement new and more stringent regulations regarding licensing, which includes an overhaul of current master licenses and other lenient requirements.

Malta Gaming Authority — The Malta Gaming Authority provides B2B and B2C licenses and requires operators to adhere to stringent guidelines, including regular financial disclosures and robust player data protection. Following a six-month provisional permit, compliant operators may secure a 5-year license. The tax obligations vary between 0.55%–1.25% based on the casino’s profit.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission — The Commission issues several types of licenses and is known for high compliance and ethical gambling standards. The licence warrants enhanced player protection and business credibility. Operators enjoy a 0% gaming tax, which allows more profits to be reinvested into the business. The application cost is $35,000 and includes the first annual license fee.

Isle of Man — This licensing regime is highly esteemed for its stringent requirements and professional ethics. Despite being one of the pricier jurisdictions, it offers operators competitive tax rates, with 0% corporate tax and a gaming tax between 1.5% and 0.1% of the yield. It is also a member of the World Trade Organisation, adding to its credibility.

All regulators operate under a distinctly legal framework which can impact the time to market (TTM) period and the effort needed to obtain the license, making the involvement of GamingLicensing in the entire process all the more important.

How to Select a Gambling Jurisdiction

The process of choosing a gambling jurisdiction should be primarily based on target markets, goals, budget, and capabilities of specific licenses. 

Here’s a quick overview of different regulators and their strong suits:

  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission — Serves players from Canada. Kahnawake issues five licenses: Key Person Licence, Casino Software Provider Authorization, and Live Dealer Studio Authorization. The starting cost is $40,000, with an annual fee of $20,000.
  • Malta Gaming Authority — Widely accepted throughout the EU. Licence is known for its strict conditions and worldwide renown. The fees depend on the licensing type, with four different B2C and two B2B licenses, as per the Gaming Licence Fees Regulations (L.N. 409 of 2017). The costs can reach up to €600,000, including compliance contribution. The annual gaming revenue tax is 5%. 
  • UK Gambling Commission — Mandatory for access to the UK gambling market. The annual fees depend on the type of licence and your revenue. 
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission — The application fee is £5,000, and it will typically take 10-12 weeks for them to process your application. The current annual cost for the five-year OGRA license is £50,000 plus supplementary charges, then £35,000 for a standard license and £5,000 for a sub-licence.
  • Curacao — The Curacao license is the cheapest and fastest to obtain, with an approximate cost of €20,000 for the entire process. A widely accepted offshore license, well-suited for crypto gambling businesses.


All gambling licenses come with a specific set of advantages and features that determine their value.


  • No VAT
  • 2% corporate tax from net income
  • A single license for all forms of gambling
  • The total cost of a license is around €20,000


  • Gaming tax is 5%
  • Corporate tax is 35%
  • The non-refundable license application fee is €5,000
  • The fixed annual license fee is €25,000
  • Reputable license

Isle of Man

  • The yearly cost of a five-year OGRA license is £50,000
  • The application fee is £5,000
  • Time to launch around 12 weeks 
  • The corporate income tax is 0%
  • Gross Gaming Yield tax is between 0.1% and 1.5%


  • 0% corporate tax
  • Targets Canadian players
  • 0% gaming tax


  • The annual fee of £100,000 
  • General betting duty is paid at the rate of 0.15%
  • UKGC recognises the Gibraltar licence

Advantages of Having a Gaming License

Owning a gaming license entails numerous benefits to online gambling businesses, fostering legitimacy, economic advantages, market access, and more. Here are some of the advantages: 

  • Player confidence — Players are more inclined to engage with licensed casinos, knowing their financial security and game fairness are guaranteed, thereby attracting a broader audience.
  • Access to markets — A license enables operation across various regulated markets, increasing business scalability and reaching a broader target audience.
  • Legal compliance — A license shields against legal issues, reducing the risk of fines or prosecution associated with unregulated operations.
  • Financial benefits — Favorable tax conditions and the ability to establish settlement accounts in various jurisdictions are key financial perks of having a gaming license.
  • Partnerships with the leading software developers — Licensed operators can collaborate with leading software developers, benefiting from their marketing campaigns and contributing to player retention strategies.
  • Credibility and authenticity — Licensing significantly boosts a business’s trustworthiness, facilitating partnerships and associations within the industry.
  • Access to payment providers — Payment processors and providers usually only liaison with licensed operators, prompting businesses to legitimise their enterprises.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Gambling License

When the time comes to opt for a jurisdiction, several notable elements mandate careful consideration and deliberation. These factors include but are not limited to:

Operating expenses — Gauge the financial commitment associated with your preferred jurisdiction, considering elements such as licensing fees, set-up costs, day-to-day operations, regular maintenance, and tax liabilities.

Stability — It’s prudent to select a jurisdiction with a robust political, economic, and social infrastructure, thereby mitigating potential disruption from legislative changes, like exchange rate instability or contractor negotiations.

Taxation treaties — Learn about the bilateral tax agreements with the chosen jurisdiction to avoid double taxation.

Privacy levels — Jurisdictions differ in confidentiality norms and information disclosure requirements. Select one that aligns with your privacy requirements.

Viability — Not every jurisdiction is suitable for every business model. Evaluate variables like capital needs, disclosure mandates, tax incentives, and compliance issues for sustainable operations.

Regulatory structure — Opt for licensing that emphasises stringent regulations, consumer safety, ethical gaming practices, and measures against financial fraud which can guarantee safety for both players and your business.

Repute and trustworthiness — The jurisdiction’s standing within the online gaming industry can significantly impact the trust quotient among players, business partners, and financial entities.

Licensing procedure and expenses — Understand the intricacies of the licensing process, the associated costs, and timeframes. Find a balance between a favourable licensing process and the jurisdiction’s regulatory expectations.

Market reach and accessibility — Evaluate your target demographic and select a jurisdiction that caters to that specific audience.

Financial services and banking relations — A well-established financial sector and trustworthy banking relations are crucial for seamless operations.

Potential for future expansion — Pick a jurisdiction that exhibits a forward-thinking regulatory environment that is adaptable to technological advancements and industry trends.

These are just some of the most important caveats to consider when choosing a regulator. Note that your plans and ideas must align with the services and benefits provided by the jurisdiction that will license your business. The process inherently demands a lot of time and effort and no small amount of experience in the area. This is where GamingLicensing comes to the forefront with its expertise and services. Contact our agents for more information on how to license your online gambling platform.

Basic Terms and Conditions of the Gambling Commission to Apply for Gaming Licence

The basic T&Cs you need to meet when applying for a gaming license include: 

  • Detailed description of customer terms and conditions;
  • Bank statements, profit and loss projections, and proof of funding;
  • A detailed description of gambling business: an owner of the gambling business should provide the detailed and current information in a particular field of gambling he is planning to run;
  • Clear ownership structure scheme, plus the details about the profit-sharing plan;
  • Accounting data reports and auditing information;
  • A clear description of games offered to the visitors, games specification and system functionality;
  • Gambling software supply deals if you are applying for a remote license;
  • Personal Management License for the person responsible for running the business;
  • Detailed account of all policies and procedures — LCCP;
  • Copies of licenses from any other jurisdictions.

Requirements for the owners of gambling businesses:

The regulations of various jurisdictions can vary, however, the license is a must for any authorised gambling business entity that has implemented proper business-planning efforts to stay solvent.

The requirements for obtaining the license for gambling companies are almost the same as for financial companies, insurance companies, banks, exchange offices, etc. They primarily concern accounting and auditing, in addition to functionality of the games and a detailed description of the company’s business activity:

A good reputation is an asset, which includes: the lack of criminal responsibility, verified identity, proven credit track record, positive credit history information of the owner and employees;

Detailed summary information on the structure and finances to determine whether the company possesses sufficient resources for the full-fledged business in the field of online gambling.

Employment data requirements:

The primary requirement for almost every jurisdiction is that one of the directors of the company has the citizenship of the country, where the license will be issued. The development of some other rules that will exclude the possibility of applying for a business license in the field of gambling to persons who do not have the sufficient experience in this area as well as the necessary financial capacity is also possible. In a case of non-compliance with certain gaming license requirements, a gambling committee may reject an application for a license. If approved, the company agrees to conduct their business under the laws of the given jurisdiction.

To facilitate the process of obtaining a license, many gaming committees offer to split for a few jurisdictions in the country. If the company plans to start working in one of the online gaming niche-fields, GamingLicensing experts will gladly help you every step of the way, ensuring a smooth application process.

GamingLicensing team of professionals will provide a detailed information covering all the major nuances on how to obtain a gambling license in certain jurisdictions, that would be tailored to your particular needs and budgetary Basically, you’ll get a bunch of highly experienced professionals who will make sure your company fits all of the gaming license requirements and is ready to run a successful business.

Prohibited Countries and Markets

The licensing authorities, such as Curacao or the UK Gambling Commission, clearly state which jurisdictions and markets their licensees can’t serve. Gaming Licensing advises all its clients to be wary of these restrictions and act accordingly so as not to jeopardize their licenses. 

  • Curacao Prohibited Countries — Curacao license doesn’t serve Curacao, France,  the Netherlands, Australia, and the USA.
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Prohibited Countries — The MGA license is not valid in the USA or any other country with local gambling laws. 
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission Prohibited Countries — The Kahnawake Gaming Commission doesn’t license operators targeting the USA and any other country or region where online gambling is illegal. 
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Prohibited Countries — The Isle of Man gambling license is not valid in is not valid in the USA or any other country with local gambling laws. Note that the UK Gambling Commission has whitelisted Isle of Man operators.

2023 Updates

Curacao’s new gambling law, the National Ordinance for Games of Chance (LOK), has entered the Pairlament awaiting approvals from MPs. The goal of the new licensing framework is to eliminate the master and sub-licensing regime currently in place and contribute towards creating a more robust and stricter licensing regime. LOK differentiates between B2B and B2C licenses and will lead to the establishment of a new regulator, the Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA).

According to Minister of Finance Javier Silvania, the licensing fee for operators will be €49,200 per year, plus an additional €250 charge for each domain the operators launch. The current licensees will be grandfathered into a new law and will not have to pay the annual fee c until the first anniversary of the new rules.

Changes have been marked in other gambling jurisdictions as well. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) have renewed their Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), indicating their joint effort toward ensuring a fair and safe gambling environment.


Securing a gambling license is a crucial step for any online gambling business, signifying compliance, legitimacy, and access to a global market. The process involves navigating various regulations and choosing the proper jurisdiction, each with its specific demands and benefits. This task, while complex, is essential for ensuring legal and ethical operations, instilling player confidence, and facilitating industry partnerships.

Gaming Licensing plays a vital role in this journey. Our expertise simplifies the intricate process of acquiring a gambling license, aiding businesses in selecting the appropriate jurisdiction and ensuring compliance with all regulatory requirements. With our guidance, companies can efficiently navigate the licensing landscape, providing a solid foundation for credibility, trust, and long-term success in the online gambling industry.


Who issues gaming licenses to gambling companies?

Gaming licenses are issued by special commissions called gambling commissions. It is in their jurisdiction to issue gambling licenses, regulate online gambling, and decide which gambling companies are eligible to obtain a license based on their business conduct and codes of practice.

What are the basic requirements imposed by gambling commissions?

The basic requirements gambling business owners need to meet to obtain a gambling license include giving a detailed description of their business and the type of gambling operation the company intends to run.

All accounting and data reports need to be submitted for revision as well. Also, you need to provide an unambiguous description of games offered to players, as well as the games’ specifications and functionality.

Are there any requirements for business owners?

Business owners are required to submit financial reports, bank statements, and credit card rating reports to prove their companies are financially capable of maintaining a full-fledged online gambling business. Moreover, a good reputation and a lack of criminal record are considerable assets.

Are there any employee-specific requirements?

Almost all gambling commissions require that at least one of the company directors is a citizen of the country where the license is to be issued. Also, considerable expertise in the gambling industry is required from the company’s employees since that will guarantee the stable operation of the gambling business.

Igor Rumyantsev
Igor is the Head of Banking and Licensing Department at GamingLicensing who has over 15 years of experience in the industry. He is responsible for game and payment system integration, iGaming product licensing, and B2B certification. Igor is an expert in the gambling sector and game licensing. He keeps a close watch on industry trends and is always open to new ideas that can improve GamingLicensing’s services and help our clients.

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