Online casino licenses are a hot ticket these days. They generate millions of dollars in revenue for the countries that issue them and can create a tech sector where there might not have otherwise been one.
More than 50 countries currently offer Internet gaming licenses, so we thought we’d explore some of the more popular – and obscure – licensing jurisdictions over the next few weeks.
The most popular place to get an online casino license at the moment is the island of Antigua, which is located on the eastern edge of the Caribbean approximately 1000 miles southeast of Miami.
There are currently more than 100 casinos licensed by Antigua’s Directorate of Offshore Gaming. The directorate works in conjunction with the Antiguan government to ensure fair gaming at the casinos, and takes an active role in monitoring casino transactions and preventing money laundering.
Chances of the island getting hit by a hurricane are half-decent, but Antigua appeals to casino operators because it’s close to the U.S. and there is a strong technical infrastructure on the island. More importantly, the country has a solid reputation in the gaming community.
Things aren’t perfect in paradise, however. The Antiguan government has implemented a 3% tax on net winnings, and several licensees may be leaving the island because of the tax.
The Antiguan government has just reduced licensing fees to $75,000 for casinos and $50,000 for sportsbooks in a move that was likely designed to offset the new tax, but only time will tell whether that’s enough to keep the casinos there.
Antigua may have cornered the market at the moment, but other countries are also trying to attract online gaming companies. One of these is the tiny island nation of Vanuatu. Vanuatu is located a few hundred miles off the northeast coast of Australia and it’s gearing up to become one of the key players in the industry.
Online casinos in Vanuatu are supervised by Interactive Gaming Consultants, which deals with player complaints as well as licensing issues. The Vanuatan government has also made a serious commitment to online gaming and that should attract new business, in spite of the country’s smaller infrastructure and technical support network.
One of the biggest benefits of operating in Vanuatu could be the cost. Application fees are $75,000 with a $50,000 annual licensing fee, which is $25,000 per year less than Antigua. Vanuatu has imposed 2.5% tax on online gaming revenue, but whether that half a percent and the reduced license fee are enough to lure casinos away from Antigua remains to be seen.
There is one casino currently being run in Vanuatu at the moment, but there may be more on the way. Australian betting and casino giant TAB Corp. has reportedly been looking at the island after the Australian government decided to ban online gambling Down Under.
Stay tuned for more articles on Online Casino Singapore gambling jurisdictions. You may be surprised to see where some casinos are licensed.