COVID-19 has caused a surge in online gambling. While land-based casinos were shutting down left and right, online platforms were offering their clients access to thousands of games in one place. Even though the situation has now stabilized, online casinos still remain very popular.
A good online casino must operate within the legal framework. The presence of a license is one of the main criteria by which players choose a gambling site. Today, gambling licenses are issued by a number of jurisdictions. Below, we have compiled a list of the best countries to register a gambling business in.
The best countries to register an online casino business
Before opening your own online casino, it is advisable to make a long-term plan and think about how you see your business in the near future. This will be useful for choosing the right jurisdiction to register your company.
Almost all Nordic countries are good places to start an online gambling business in, with Sweden topping the list. There are a lot of iGaming companies with Swedish roots operating in the country. Sweden has a perfect environment for the online gambling industry. The government has taken a progressive stance on casino players’ safety.
Sweden imposes no taxes on gambling winnings. As for online casinos, they are subject to an 18% tax on their gross gambling revenue.
Gibraltar ranks very high in the list of countries to start a gambling business in. This is due to the fact that over 10% of able-bodied people in the country are associated with the gambling industry in one way or another. Applying for a license in Gibraltar is rather easy, but every casino goes through a thorough compliance check.
Submitting an application in this jurisdiction is free. An operator must prove that it provides a high degree of security for transactions. Also, it must have valid encryption certificates to ensure the safety of users’ sensitive data. Other requirements for applicants include:
- Impeccable reputation of the majority shareholder and all the board members;
- Only licensed games on the website;
- Support of official payment methods, etc.
Another advantage of obtaining a license in Gibraltar is the low tax rate on online gambling. On average, a company with a revenue of £500,000 pays only 1% of it to the state treasury.
Out of all the countries on this list, Cyprus is the most unique. The thing is, the country has some strict restrictions on gambling. Gambling activities on the country’s territory are in most cases illegal. Online casino owners can get a license for operating in Cyprus, but they must offer their services to the rest of the world and not to Cypriots.
Operators who seek to obtain a Cypriot license must go through all the verification procedures, which include:
- Obtaining the approval of the Cyprus Gaming Commission;
- Paying the necessary fees of €30,000 for a one-year license or €45,000 for a two-year license;
- Opening an account in a Cypriot bank, which will be used to process transactions on the website.
Companies are allowed to have a separate account for operating expenses in any other bank, but their corporate bank account must be opened with a local Cypriot bank.
Isle of Man
Isle of Man licenses are sought-after among operators who want to provide their services in the United Kingdom. There are three types of permits available for gambling business owners:
- Network services license;
- Full license (main OGRA license);
As a result, you can choose the type of license that will best suit the goals and needs of your company.
The country has no corporate income tax. Instead, gambling companies pay a gaming tax, which is between 1% and 1.5% of the gross gaming yield. The exact amount depends on the company’s revenue.
The majority of online gambling companies prefer obtaining their license from Curacao. Unlike the license of Antigua and Barbuda which costs a fortune, the Curacao permit is very affordable. Many entrepreneurs who do not want to spend a large part of their starting budget on a license opt for this jurisdiction.
Curacao is an island state that is a part of the Netherlands Antilles. It also has an attractive tax system for those who seek to open an online casino:
- Corporate income tax of only 2%;
- No tax on gross bets.
The above countries are great places to start an online gambling business and obtain a license. For the most part, they offer affordable tax systems and do not charge high fees for carrying out gambling activities.