Anjouan: Competitor or Successor to Curacao?

The jurisdiction of Anjouan Island is gaining increasing attention in the realm of online gambling. Its potential to emerge as a global hub for online casinos is on the rise, while the vulnerabilities of other regulatory bodies are becoming more apparent. Currently, obtaining a gambling license in Anjouan has become a significant milestone for companies operating in the gambling industry.Similar to Curaçao, Anjouan has already established a legal framework and regulatory environment that is favorable to operators in the i-Gaming sector. The issuance of its license serves as a confirmation that the company adheres to the legislation and requirements set forth by the island’s regulators. Furthermore, this license ensures the protection of players by guaranteeing the integrity and security of the games offered.

What is Happening with Curaçao Today?

Anjouan is increasingly drawing comparisons to Curaçao; however, it has yet to attain the same level of popularity and recognition within the global gambling industry. Nevertheless, there’s every chance it will.

Curaçao has been a recognisable and popular destination for iGaming businesses for many years. Online gambling licenses in Curaçao are available at a low cost, and the application process is relatively straightforward. Conveniently, different types of gambling are provided under one Curaçao license.

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic had a significant impact on the economies of many countries, including Curaçao. However, the island received financial assistance from the Dutch government, albeit with the condition of reforming the gambling sector. Plans are currently underway to abolish the existing licensing system in Curaçao in the near future.

Spoiler: starting from 1 September 2023, Curaçao is implementing a more stringent regulatory framework for the gambling industry, particularly concerning the process of obtaining a gambling license. The primary objective behind these changes is to shed the image of being the most accessible gambling jurisdiction and to combat the presence of illegal operators.

Will Anjouan “reach” Curaçao?

In the realm of online gambling, various alternatives exist for obtaining licenses, such as Malta, Isle of Man, Alderney, Costa Rica, and more. However, one destination that has been garnering increasing attention is Anjouan, situated on the sunny coast of the Indian Ocean. Located within the Comoros archipelago, in close proximity to Mozambique, this island offers a favorable licensing system for online gambling operators. Despite its advantageous features, Anjouan remains relatively unknown and underrated.

Benefits of obtaining an Anjouan license:

  1. Facilitating any form of gambling, unlike other jurisdictions (e.g. Malta). This includes poker and casinos, White Label services, software, etc. This eliminates the need to obtain multiple licenses for each vertical.
  2. The speed at which an Anjouan Gambling License (AGL) can be obtained depends solely on the prompt submission of valid documents. The application process for an AGL can also be completed online.
  3. A host of benefits, including no regular audit requirements, unlimited URLs, B2C and B2B availability, make life much easier for Anjouan license holders.
  4. Competitive conditions interest more and more companies in search of advantageous and reliable regulators.
  5. Preferential tax rates are becoming attractive to those seeking to minimise their financial obligations. Operators holding an Anjouan license are exempt from paying taxes on gross gaming revenue (GGR).

The Anjouan licensing system offers advantages for those seeking a more flexible and versatile license. The island is preparing a conducive business environment for the iGaming market.

Anjouan Licensing Challenges

So, what are the obstacles that operators may face in obtaining an Anjouan license? Firstly, they may face a relatively time-consuming licensing process, which involves confirming readiness to do business and providing legal and financial guarantees. To register as an IBC (International Business Company), a package of documents will be required. Secondly, a local registered office is a prerequisite. Thirdly, there is no avoiding a security and suitability check of the beneficial owners of the company. The disadvantages of AGL licensing include:

  1.  Limited recognition compared to well-established jurisdictions like Curaçao and Malta, which may lead to doubts and uncertainties for some operators.
  2.  Lack of familiarity. While Curaçao has long been associated with online casinos, “blue buildings”, and diving, Anjouan’s popularity has not yet reached the level required to attract major i-Gambling players.
  3.  Time to build trust. As a new regulatory body, Anjouan needs to establish trust within the industry, which requires both time and effort.
  4.  Comprehensive documentation requirements. Once a license is granted, owners must adhere to various legal regulations, submit detailed reports promptly, and comply with KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML/CTF (Anti-Money Laundering/Counter-Terrorist Financing) guidelines.

Outlook for Anjouan

The future of Anjouan as the next Curaçao remains uncertain. However, with its commitment to growth and competitive advantages, it possesses significant potential to establish itself as a prominent destination for global gambling companies, earning a reputable position on the global online gambling stage.

Anjouan already provides operators with a competitive licensing and regulatory environment, appealing tax rates, a favorable business environment, a pool of highly skilled professionals, and a rapidly advancing technology infrastructure.

Gaminglicensing’s team of experts is fully prepared to offer guidance on an array of matters concerning registration and licensing for gambling enterprises across jurisdictions such as Malta, Curacao, Isle of Man, and more. Our aim is to equip the clients with the essential resources and expertise for a prosperous launch and operation. We provide a comprehensive range of services, including document preparation and assistance throughout the licensing process. Contact us for more information or advice!

Aug 25, 2023