1. Please tell us more about your company. What do you do? What services do you provide and what are their advantages over other offerings on the market? What is the key to your success?
Our core business is gambling licensing, but we also provide comprehensive solutions for our clients. We offer full legal and technical support, including software and games API integration. This is especially important for startups who are just beginning their journey in the gambling industry. Our team consists of professionals with extensive knowledge of technicality, who can foresee and resolve any potential issues. We know which labs do the best testing, and that allows us to help our clients get certified. Thanks to our expertise, we can efficiently organize hosting and data backup, as well as provide company registration and payment system integration services. These resources and knowledge make GamingLicensing a must-have partner for those seeking to start and successfully develop a gambling business.
2. What is the global goal of your company, and what future of gambling licensing do you aim for? What inspires you most about your business?
Our global goal is to become an unrivaled leader in gambling licensing. We are committed to creating a global infrastructure that allows operators to run their business legally and successfully around the world. We are inspired by the opportunity to help our clients succeed, as our work involves not only licensing, but also providing comprehensive solutions and support. We are willing to deal with an ever-changing regulatory environment because we are positive that all these changes help us improve. We adapt to any alterations in gambling licensing and constantly look for new solutions. Our main focus is finding the most effective and efficient solutions for every client to help their business achieve success.
3. And what is the main benefit of obtaining a gambling license? What licenses do you work with?
Some gambling companies refuse to get licensed, assuming that it is a long and complex process, and that they lack resources to meet all the requirements. Sometimes companies believe that the regulation is underdeveloped and not up-to-date, especially if they intend to use tools like blockchain. And sometimes, they are simply driven by unwillingness to pay fees and meet other obligations.
We have experience with a number of licenses, including Maltese, Curacao, Isle of Man, Kahnawake, Romanian, Greek, Dutch, and Canadian (Ontario), but mostly we sell Curacao and Maltese ones. I am adamant that obtaining a gambling license has many global benefits. First, it makes a company legitimate and trustworthy for its players, partners and investors. Secondly, licensing provides access to regulated markets, which expands the customer base. Third, licensed companies are required to meet high safety and fairness standards, which enhances the quality of their products and services. I believe that obtaining a gambling license is an important strategic step for every company that strives for success and sustainability in this industry.
4. In your subjective opinion—regardless of business goals, budget, duration of paperwork and other factors—which license is better: Curacao or Maltese?
I think it is impossible to make a choice based on a single criterion of “better-worse”. We have to consider all the factors you have mentioned. For me, the best license would be the one that best fits my client, taking into account their budget, strategy, and goals. For example, a Curacao license can be obtained faster and cheaper, while having less demanding and more flexible rules and requirements. To get a Maltese license, you have to meet stricter regulations and pass more rigorous tests than for a Curacao one. However, this is offset by a prestigious reputation and greater access to the European market, which will be a significant advantage for your business. All factors should be considered, and I recommend operators to consult with experts before making a final decision.
5. What makes Malta a stable jurisdiction for gambling licensing? Did the corruption scandals of 2014-2015 have any lasting impact on its global image and popularity among operators? What is the situation now?
Malta is considered a stable jurisdiction with a great international image, as it has been successfully regulating online gambling for a long time now. The Maltese license is notable for transparency and strict standards, which builds trust among operators and players. Thanks to the country’s EU membership, companies get access to the European market, and this is why Malta is the best choice for anyone looking to expand in Europe.
The corruption scandals of 2014-2015 temporarily damaged the license’s reputation, but the government and regulators took measures to improve its image, as well as fight corruption. Malta continues to adapt regulations to keep up with the changes in the industry and combat current issues. Today, the situation has drastically improved, and Malta is again considered a reliable and transparent regulator.
6. What are, in your opinion, the advantages and disadvantages of dividing Curacao licenses into master licenses and sub-licenses?
The division of licenses into master licenses and sub-licenses is a common approach of regulators in various jurisdictions around the world. The main difference between Curacao and some other jurisdictions is its simplified system. While in other jurisdictions, such as the UK or Malta, there may be different license categories for business (e.g. for operators, software suppliers, payment processors, etc.), in Curacao, the licensing system is limited to two main types of licenses.
Given the overall context, classifying licenses into master licenses and sub-licenses gives companies more flexibility. Master licenses are great for big players, while sub-licenses can help smaller companies enter the market faster. Sub-licenses are cheaper and easier to obtain, and that attracts companies with a tight budget. On the other hand, the regulator’s control becomes looser, as this function is delegated to master licensees. There emerge potential risks to the Curacao license’s reputation. Master licensees may also face problems, for example, if a sub-licensee fails to pay license fees. In this case, the liability for non-payment passes to a master licensee. Besides, the issuance of sub-licenses may not be efficient for a master licensee, since the fees go to the jurisdiction and not to the master licensee.
7. In light of the huge number of Curacao gambling sub-licenses currently in operation around the world, what are the risks of Curacao’s transition to the new licensing system for the global market?
Curacao’s licensing regime changes are inevitable, and they will lead to an improvement in the quality and safety of gambling services. Stricter oversight from regulators will increase the credibility of Curacao-licensed companies. The decrease in sub-licensees will reduce the number of gaming operators but enhance their quality. It will also increase licensing costs.
We recommend everyone interested to apply for a license now before the new rules come into effect. The changes will primarily affect big players, a lot of resources and time will be spent on them. Applications from smaller companies will be considered last. All of this will result in significant downtime. The current licensees should prepare for price increases, but generally, the transition will be easier for license holders than for those who are just starting out.
8. What are the main trends and changes the gambling licensing industry saw over the past decade? Were they beneficial or harmful to the gambling sector, consumers, and states?
Over the past decade, gambling regulation has become more strict, leading to greater transparency and safety for players, as well as market expansion, since online gambling continues to grow and attract new investments. Some countries have introduced their own licensing systems to localize the control of gambling activities. Technological innovations, such as blockchain and cryptocurrencies, have led to shifts in approaches to gambling licensing and regulation. Combating money laundering and terrorist financing has become one of regulators’ priorities. Also, more and more attention is being paid to problem gambling and protection of vulnerable players. These changes have led to the creation of a more safe and transparent environment for players, enhanced the gambling industry’s reputation, and brought additional revenue for state governments. However, excessive bureaucracy and complicated procedures are hindering business development, especially for small and medium-sized enterprises.
9. What aspects of gambling regulation in your chosen jurisdictions do you consider fair and necessary, and which ones are unnecessary and holding the gambling industry back?
Ensuring player safety, taking measures to improve game security and fairness, and protecting player data are necessary actions to maintain the industry’s credibility. Combating money laundering, protecting vulnerable groups, and a transparent tax system are also important. However, regulation becomes excessive and counter-productive when regulators require too high deposits or financial guarantees from applicants. This makes it harder for small and start-up companies to enter the market. Some regulators ask applicants for lots of additional documents and reports; these unnecessary requirements slow the industry down, reduce competition, and hinder the development of new, innovative companies. Good regulation should find balance between protecting players, ensuring safety and fairness, and supporting development and innovation in the gambling industry.
10. What is, in your opinion, the motivation for some gambling companies to refuse licensing? And what is the main benefit of obtaining a gambling license?
Gambling companies refuse licensing thinking that it is a complex and time-consuming process. Smaller businesses often don’t have enough resources to meet all licensing requirements. Some may believe that regulation is underdeveloped and inadequate to modern tendencies, especially if they seek to implement innovative tools like blockchain. A simple unwillingness to pay fees and meet other obligations can also be a reason.
However, in my view, getting a gambling license has many global advantages. First of all, it gives a company legitimacy and credibility among players, partners and investors. Secondly, having a license provides access to regulated markets, expanding potential customer base. Thirdly, licensed companies must meet high security and fairness standards, which enhances the quality of their products and services.
11. What other innovations that may drastically affect your company’s operations do you expect from gambling regulators worldwide in the coming years?
Blockchain technologies will draw more attention. New cryptocurrency standards as well as new crypto gambling licenses will be developed. Regulators will use AI and machine learning to identify problem gamblers and prevent money laundering in the gambling industry. As esports and esports betting grows, as virtual and augmented reality technologies develop, regulators will introduce new rules and standards for these new forms of gambling. GamingLicensing will be preparing for these changes to stay competitive and successful in the industry.
Because of AI and machine learning implementation, there will be mechanisms to more strictly and effectively control all types of illegal gambling activities. For example, traffic will be analyzed with greater accuracy, allowing for faster detection of suspicious websites. Machine learning models will become more sophisticated and will more likely detect fraud and other illegal activities. AI will be able to analyze data from social media and other open sources to identify discussions of, and links to, potentially illegal gambling websites. Machine learning methods will be used to cluster and classify online casinos based on a number or parameters, such as registration information, payment methods, etc. to identify platforms that may be operating illegally. AI will also be able to monitor and analyze payment system transactions to identify illegal activities related to online casinos.
All these developments will create a safer and more controllable environment for players and law-abiding companies. Such innovations underscore the importance of getting a gambling license for companies that want to successfully operate in this industry. In light of the rapid growth of technology and the increasing regulatory attention to the gambling industry, obtaining a permit is becoming the most reasonable and responsible decision for any company seeking sustainability and legitimacy.
Since December 2012, Igor has been the Head of Sales at GamingLicensing, a company specializing in gambling licensing, games API integration, remote banking, global e-commerce, and payment processing.
During his 15 years in the gambling industry, Igor has become an expert in the global iGaming market and gambling licensing. He closely follows the development of the market and provides clients with relevant and effective solutions, such as integration of casino games with multiple currencies, including crypto.