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Gambling License- Sports Betting- Online Casino: Gambling License England
Gambling License-Sports betting license- license online casino: England
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Index, Malta, Belize, Isle of Man, Costa Rica, England, Antigua
- Gambling Licences and Basic Considerations for service providers
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Gambling Licence in England
As England is a member of the European Union the EU freedom of establishment and the rules of the European Court of Justice concerning the freedom of establishment and the freedom to provide services within the EU apply. Consequently, a gambling company in England can offer its services throughout the EU.
The starting point is the setting up of an English limited company or PLC with business premises in England:
-location of the senior management in England: a person whose normal residence is in England must appear as a director of the company: either the client or an agent will transfer his normal residence to England or our legal office will appoint a trust director
-proper place of business in England: having a registered office does not count as a proper place of business, however offices do not need to be large.
-account on behalf of the company in England
As part of the approval procedure a court hearing will take place in London, at which the director of the limited company will be present. The licence is valid for 3 years and can be extended accordingly. The processing time is 3 -4 months.
The online service offered is consequently hosted on an English server, and the owner of the domain is the English company (a limited company or PLC). Our English legal office will assume responsibility for the measures which have to be taken, from the lodging of the application up to and including the licence, plus bookkeeping, VAT registration, the annual accounts and, if applicable, the settlement of wages, plus the assessments of the gambling taxes that must be paid (“Everything in one hand solution”).
In England, a distinction is made between an “organiser’s licence” (where the organiser offers his own games of chance on the internet) and an “agent’s licence”. In addition, there is a difference depending on whether the company intends to provide the gambling service in Great Britain or only outside Great Britain (“Remote General Betting Licence”).
The taxes on gambling are approx. 15%, with the taxes on earnings of the English limited company or PLC rising progressively from 21-30% .
The documents required are inter alia a business plan and documentation attesting to the reliability of the management.
Gambling License England: Government Charges/Fees
There are 3 types of charges. On the one hand, there is the application fee for each licence and, on the other, the licence for the staff/management.
These must be paid in advance or along with the application respectively. In addition, annual fees arise for the licensee as a third charge as well as 5-yearly processing fees for the staff licences. The licence fee falls due for payment 30 days after the licence has been issued.
Application fee : one-off payment of 20,580.00 pounds sterling per licence application. Staff/ management licence: 330.00 pounds sterling per person.
The annual licence fee depends on the gross turnover:
- Category F – turnover up to 5 million pounds sterling
- Category G – turnover of 5-100 million pounds sterling
- Category H – turnover of 100 – 200 million pounds sterling
- Category I – turnover of 200 – 500 million pounds sterling
- Category J – turnover of over 500 million pounds sterling
If we assume, as an example, that the client falls into Category I, then the one-off fees as described would fall due for payment and an annual licence fee of 110,820.00 pounds sterling.
An audit must be carried out (using a UK firm of auditors), if an income of more than 1 million pounds sterling is achieved. In addition, an annual application for the inspection of the conditions is required.
If additional or other types of gambling such as bingo should be offered, then these are not covered by the licence and must be applied for and authorised separately.
In addition, there are certain conditions for keeping the licence that have to be fulfilled. Here are the most important of these:
- the gambling authority must be informed if the distribution of the stakes of the shareholders changes by more than 3%.
- the general terms and conditions and all the information relevant to gambling respectively must be listed on the website.
- there are various training standards /requirements in relation to employees
- requirements of the law on money-laundering
- the gambling authority must be informed whenever changes occur in the key management.
The “gambling tax” can be represented as two “duties”:
- “Betting duty”, the “tax on betting” falls due for payment on each net contribution taken in from betting – insofar as applicable-
- “Remote gaming duty”, the “tax on remote gambling”, falls due for payment on the net profits from gambling – insofar as applicable
This is 15% in both cases.
Costs of Achieving a Gambling Licence in England
Our legal fees depend on the services. We will gladly send you a summary of charges.
Initial capital does not need to be raised. On top of this there are the government fees for registration with the English Gambling Commission.
There may be other fees on top of this, e.g. for the translation of the business plan into English. We can recommend an appropriate translator in this event.
Alternatives to a Gambling Licence in England
Malta, in particular, suggests itself as an alternative. Malta is also a member of the European Union and offers some advantages compared to England: lower corporation taxes, provided the Malta holding company model is followed, lower taxes on gambling, and the one-off and recurrent fees are also lower than in England.
Gambling Licence Costa Rica
Costa Rican taxation for Limitada (Ltda.) or Sociedad Anomina (AG) companies:
- Exempt Companies (companies that only do business outside Costa Rica) are not taxed
- However, Costa Rica does have a provision for deduction of tax at source on dividends remitted out of Costa Rica: 15% in the case of registered shares and 5% in the case of bearer shares. As Costa Rica has no DTA (double taxation agreement) with other countries, the tax at source cannot be tax deducted, yet counts as an expense.
Gambling License Costa Rica and Fees for registering Limitada (Ltda.) companies with the register of companies in Costa Rica:
- Initial outlay including special services (establishing a company, entry into the register, apostille, translations of register documents, Reg.Office for the first year, Sec. for the first year, nominee director in the founding phase, registered or bearer shares, account opening including online banking, VisaCard and cheques): 2,500.00 Euro net, plus notary fees (800- 1,500 USD, depending on share capital. 1,500 USD in the case of share capital over 235,000 USD).
- Annual fees from the second year (Sec., Registered Office, administration): 700 USD
The purely state fees are:
- In the case of bearer shares 3% on the share capital per annum
- Fiscal: 50- 200 USD per annum
-EU-account: Opening a company account at a large Cyprian bank, including internet banking and credit cards. Cyprus has very good banking confidentiality and does not pass on company account data, expect in the case of suspected money laundering or terrorism. An account can also be opened for bearer shares; our client does not have to travel to Cyprus to open an account: 1,500.00 Euro
Costa Rican fiscal extradition agreement: only in the case of tax fraud that meets fraud criteria under domestic laws.
Double taxation agreement: none
Gambling License Costa Rica: Costa Rican company structures
The Limitada (Ltda.) is a company with limited liability.
A Ltda. is founded by means of a founding treaty recorded by a notary public, with at least two founding partners, entry into the register of companies and publication in the local official journal. The share capital is divided into company shares whereby the extent of the voting rights of each of the partners reflects the size of his share in the company (contribution made).
In contrast to the Costa Rican public company, a control body does not have to be established for this type of company.
The Costa Rican public company called Sociedad Anomina (the common abbreviation used is S.A.) is founded with registered shares. Company shareholders are recorded by name whether they hold one, several or all shares and thus the “Anonima” addendum should not be understood to indicate total anonymity.
As with the Ltda., an S.A. is founded by means of a founding treaty recorded by a notary public, with a minimum of two founding partners, entry into the register of companies and publication in the local official Journal.
Shares can be issued, including preference shares, in accordance with the requirements of the company. The S.A. is the most common form of company, as it corresponds to the wide range of company founding requirements of small or private enterprises to large companies.
A public company is managed by an executive board or a board of directors. This panel consists of at least three members: a president, a secretary and a treasurer. Both shareholders and persons outside the company may be members of the board. The elected board members are entered into the register of companies. In addition, a control body is established in the form of a (fiscal) auditor, usually this is also the company lawyer.
An interesting aspect of the public company: it can continue to exist with just one remaining partner.
Gambling License Costa Rica
Costa Rica has become the Mecca of on-line casinos and online gambling corporations because it has the best infrastructure available in the Caribbean basin. Costa Rica has a reliable telecommunication system, highly trained multilingual workers, and a lack of online gaming and Internet regulations.
A lot of online casinos and other betting and gambling corporations have chosen Costa Rica as registration country because of the fact that there are no direct prohibition on gambling business and no necessity to receive a special license to execute these kinds of activities.
In Costa Rica there are more than 200 online gambling companies, without a legislation specifically dealing with online gambling and gaming over the Internet.
There is legislation to restrict land-based gambling, but according to the legal system these laws are not interpreted as extended to Internet gambling.
As no specific license is required, these gambling corporations work under a “data processing license” which must be obtained in the Municipality (City hall). To obtain any license in Costa Rica the corporation must have a physical office in Costa Rica. Quality Solutions can assist you to obtain this license; we open a physical place in the name of the corporation, register the corporation and obtain the permits in all governmental institutions required, and fulfill any other specific requirement according to the zone where the physical place is going to be open.
Once this is done we obtain the legal “data processing license” in the name of the corporation so the client is sure that his or her company will have no impediments to develop the intended objective.
The requirements to obtain the license are:
- Power of attorney authorizing members from our staff to process the license.
- Office Lease Contract. (We rent the place and create the respective contract).
- Health permit. (We obtain the health permit in the corresponding institution).
- Workers insurance policy.
Requirements to hire this service from Quality Solutions:
- Own a Costa Rican Corporation.
- Power of attorney authorizing members from our staff to process and obtain the license. (The text of this power of attorney will be provided by Quality Solutions, and it must be issued by the correspondent Costa Rican Consul in the country of origin of the applicant).
Gambling License Isle of Man: Isle of Man General
- Surface area: 572 m2 -Languages: English, Manx
- Currency: Pound Sterling (own bank notes) -Inhabitants: 76,000
- Capital city: Douglas -Inflation: 3 percent
- Unemployment: 1.6 percent
A jewel in the Irish Sea between Ireland and Great Britain, the Isle of Man is under the patronage of the British crown. In terms of foreign policy and defence the islanders rely on the British mainland just 100 kilometres away. Up until recent times, tourism and agriculture were the main source of income for the islanders. However, today more than 45,000 British companies in particular, generate 50 percent of the gross national product through their offshore activities. The government is thus placing strong focus on transforming the island into a financial centre.
By mid 2003 approx. 70 banks and financial companies and almost 200 insurance companies were established there. Bank deposits have grown in the past ten years by more than 400 percent to approx. 40 billion Euros. But the register of shipments in Douglas is also quite impressive. Tax exemptions, low costs and a one-time registration fee have attracted foreign ship-owners. Meanwhile, more than 200 ships with a tonnage of 5.2 million tonnes fly the Manx flag.
Tax advantages, membership of the Sterling monetary area and good connections with Great Britain are the driving force behind this development. The island belongs to the EU free-trade area and with the exception of foreign policy it is exempt from all aspects of the Rome treaties; it is entitled to determine and collect its own taxes.
- Currency controls: none
- Fiscal extradition agreement: none
- Political risks: none
- Legal system: Subject to British Common Law, company and tax law are regulated by the Company Acts of 1931 and 1974.
- Patent protection: Subject to British law
- Residence: For EU citizens no problem. One must provide evidence of approx. 50,000 pound cash income. The desired tax revenue is 10,000 pounds per annum. Each foreign national that purchases property on the island, must invest an additional 50 percent of the purchase price over ten years in government bonds that are not acceptable as collateral.
- Taxes: There is no property tax, inheritance tax, gift tax or capital gains tax for residents. Should tax at source be collected on the assets of residents outside the island, these can be credited against island taxes. Income tax for resident natural and legal persons is between 15 and 20 percent of net profits. Non Resident Companies pay a flat taxation of 750 pound on their profits. Corporate tax for trading companies has been reduced from 18 to ten percent.
Losses can be presented without time restrictions or transferred within a group and depreciable mobile assets can be written off immediately. A law on exempt companies has been in place since 1984. This provides additional incentives for companies, which only conduct offshore business, to trade or invest from the island. The Isle of Man does not levy taxes on property, capital, capital gains, gifts or inheritance. Likewise, there is no such thing as stamp tax. Value added tax is at a state imposed rate of 17.5 percent.
- Double taxation agreements: only for natural persons from Great Britain
- Living costs: same as Great Britain
- Communication: good
- Travel: Car: via Liverpool. In the summer there are other connections to ports on the British Isles. Flying: via London directly to the island airport Ronaldsway
- Companies: It is advisable to establish a Non Resident Limited Company that is taxed on a lump sum basis.
In recent years the island has grown to become one of the leading captive centres in the world. Highly attractive for insurance, with well in excess of 100 companies established there – paying an annual licence fee of 2,000 pounds and fully tax-free.
With further tax advantages the government is trying to coax existing non-resident companies currently trading offshore to establish themselves on the island.
Trusts are a specific feature of the Isle of Man. These may be established by non-residents for the usufruct of non-residents. Where the income of the trust is earned outside the island, there is no taxation obligation on the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man was the first offshore centre to be afforded a special status – under the British financial services law. Thus approved investment companies and shares in mutual funds on the island can be sold in Great Britain. The annual fee income of the Trust manager is tax free.
Gambling License Isle of Man
- Gaming (Amendment) Act 1984
- Gaming, Betting and Lotteries Act 1988
- Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001
- Casino Act 1986
- Pool Betting (Isle of Man) Act 1961
- Betting Act 1970
- Pool Betting (Isle of Man ) Act 1970
- Casino (Amendment) Act 2018
- National Lottery Act 1999
- Gambling (Amendment) Act 2006
Regulations made under the Online Gambling Regulation Act 2001:-
- Online Gambling Duty Regulations 2008
- Online Gambling (Advertising) Regulations 2007
- Online Gambling (Prescribed Descriptions) Regulations 2007
- Online Gambling (Systems Verification) (No.2) Regulations 2007
- Online Gambling (Betting and Miscellaneous Provisions) Regulations 2007
- Online Gambling (Disaster Recovery) (No.2) Regulations 2007
- Online Gambling (Registration and Accounts) Regulations 2008
- Online Gambling (Licence Fees) Regulations 2009
- Online Gambling (Exclusions) Regulations 2010
Regulations made under the Gaming, Betting and Lotteries Act 1988:-
- The Controlled Machines Regulations 1985
- The Controlled Machines (Exemption) Order 1992
- Licensed Betting Office (Opening Hours) Regulations 2017
- The Certification of Premises (Application Fees) Order 2003
- The Controlled Machines (Prescribed Amounts and Percentages) Regulations 2014
- The Controlled Machines (Suppliers Licences) (Fees) Order 2003
- The Controlled Machines (Exemption) Order 2016
Regulations made under the Casino Act 1986
Isle of Man Online Gambling Commission
The Isle of Man Government actively encourages the development of gambling and e-gaming business on the island. It remains committed to delivering a stable government and strong regulatory environment, supported by a wide range of attractive business benefits.
In 2001, the Isle of Man Government was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce legislation specifically designed to benefit gambling and e-gaming firms and fully protect customers. Following further recent changes, the licensing and regulatory controls are now more responsive to the needs of the gambling and e-gaming industries.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission was founded in 1962 and is fully independent and committed to player protection.
The Isle of Man Government and the private sector have worked hard to ensure that the island has a world class infrastructure and full range of support services in place for the gambling industry.
The Isle of Man Gambling Licensing Process
For more information on the range of commercial and business benefits which the Isle of Man can offer to your company, see the information provided by the Department of Trade & Industry.
The main objectives of The Isle of Man gambling commission are as follows:
- ensuring that gambling products promoted by operators in the Island can compete effectively throughout the world
- facilitating competition
- facilitating the provision of modern products and services
- ensuring that gambling is conducted in a fair and open way
- protecting children and other vulnerable persons from being harmed or exploited by gambling
- preventing gambling from being a source of crime or disorder, being associated with crime or disorder or being used to support crime
The licensing application fee is £1,000. The annual license fee for a betting site is £35,000. There is a 1.5% tax on gross gaming yield up to £20,000,000. Yields over that amount are taxed at a reduced rate.
The corporation tax is 0%, provided the site does not accept bets from Isle of Man residents. As with land-based gaming, e-gaming regulations are reviewed and enforced by the Gambling Control Commissioners.
Gambling License International
Our law firm – i.e. the network partners of the Low Tax Network – form companies with gambling licenses on the Isle of Man, Malta, Gibraltar, England and other countries (for example: Belize, Antigua, Barbuda, Costa Rica, Kahnawake) for our clients, … key to the realization of an online gambling offering (online casino, online betting, lottery, sports betting, the company offers services itself or as a reseller). We welcome the opportunity to provide these services to companies who provide gambling software. We provide consulting in the selection of the seat country and the required license, as an additional service within the scope of the “tax planning” (seat country and/or “affiliated companies”).
Do not underestimate the costs!
In some Internet forums one can read entries which state, for example, that a license can be purchased in Malta for approximately 7,000 Euro per annum. This is of course total nonsense; one cannot just develop a lucrative business “on-the-fly”. He who wishes to be a successful entrepreneur must make certain investments. The following fees and taxes must be considered when pursuing a gambling license:
– Preparatory steps regarding the submittal of the approval process at the relevant agency in the seat country (these services are provided by our partner attorneys in the seat country). For this process numerous documents/proofs must be submitted depending on the seat country: Business plan and profit and loss plan for the first years, software, general terms and conditions of the gambling operation, measures for child and youth protection as well as addiction prevention, excellent credit record of the managing director, sufficient paid in capital in the event of distributions and many more considerations.
- Approval process / accompaniment up to receiving the license
- Formation of a company in the seat country, no bogus firms [as defined by term / act / provision]. In this process, for example, Gibraltar mandates a commercially structured organization.
- Government fees to be paid to the relevant agency in the seat country, gambling taxes, corporate / company taxes
- In many countries: Fees for the prescribed auditor, fees for accounting, preliminary value added tax return and annual financial statement.
Fundamental Differences and Issues
Within the context of Internet gambling or betting offerings one must first differentiate if the client only acts as an “agent”, i.e. as a reseller of existing web offerings or if the client wishes to realize its own platform/service. In the event a client wishes only to pursue “reseller activities”, in this case the client could, for example, form a Cypriot Limited which offers such services. It is true that gambling is illegal in Cyprus, however, reseller offerings are legal. In the event the client wishes to offer its “own offering” the laws of the target countries must be considered. Of course the domestic laws of the respective seat state must also be taken into account. Within the EU the a license can be obtained in an EU state (for example Malta), and that said license must , under certain conditions, be recognized by the other EU states. The legal basis for this opportunity is the effect of the EU freedom of establishment and the judicial decisions of the European Court of Justice The situation can become legally problematic, if the offering is to be made available to customers in different countries, also outside of the European Union. If a license is realized in a EU state (for example in Malta), then one must consider that the only applicable law is the law of the seat country and that no permanent establishment exists, as defined by an applicable double taxation agreement. This could lead to the application of the target country’s domestic law, which as a rule should be avoided., Consequently, at most only a representation may be installed “in other countries outside of the seat country” (no permanent establishment as defined by a an applicable double taxation agreement, only consulting activities). Based on different legal considerations we however are inclined to recommend against maintaining any connection to a target country, for example Germany or Austria (as a rule the seat country of the beneficiaries).
Popular Gambling License Jurisdictions
To operate an online casino, poker room or sports betting gaming site legally you will need to obtain a gambling license first. The actual gambling license to operate online gaming site is issued by many governments worldwide, but the most popular jurisdictions issuing such offshore gambling licenses are from the Caribbean and Pacific Island Governments such as Antigua and Barbuda, Costa Rica, St Kitts, Dominica, Curacau and Vanuatu. When selecting a gambling license jurisdiction, you should select one with a sensible approach to taxation, and license cost in combination with a strong licensing law and technical standards.
Why do you need the gambling license for your online casino, poker or sports betting site?
It is possible to make your online gaming business without a license, but most of major online casinos have license. Here are three main causes why it is worth to have a gambling license.
- In player’s opinion gambling license guarantees reliability and straight dealing of the gaming company. Players have more confidence playing in casinos and poker rooms with license.
- In case of a settlement account opening banks insist on gambling license and especially while concluding agreements for receiving payments from bank cards.
- In many countries operating a gambling business without a gambling license is illegal and it may result in termination and criminal responsibilities.
You can apply for a gambling license in one of the countries listed below:
Gambling License Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda is a twin-island nation located in the Eastern Caribbean. Antigua and Barbuda was one of the first jurisdictions to license interactive gaming and wagering companies in 1994. The internet gaming companies are classified as “Financial Institutions” and are subject to all the Anti-Money Laundering (AML) and Caribbean Financial Action Task Force (CFATF) requirements of the jurisdiction.
The licensing and regulation of online gambling services on the islands of Antigua and Barbuda is handled by the Financial Services Regulatory Commission’s Division of Gaming. The FRSC Gaming Division awards two types of licensees: interactive gaming and interactive wagering.
The gaming license is for casino and poker sites and the wagering license is for sports betting sites. It’s one of the offshore jurisdictions which contain the biggest number of registered online casinos.
For more information on Antigua’s interactive gaming and wagering laws and regulations see the following:
The Antiguan gaming regulations are enforced by the Antiguan Directorate of Offshore Gaming (the “Directorate”). For more information on obtaining a gambling license in Antigua and Barbuda please visit www.antiguagaming.gov.ag
Gambling License Costa-Rica
Costa Rica is the Mecca of online casinos and poker rooms because it has the best infrastructure available in the Caribbean basin – its reliable telecommunication system, its multilingual workers, and its lack of online gaming and Internet regulations. A lot of online casinos have chosen Costa Rica as registration country because of the fact that there are no direct prohibition on gambling business and no necessity to receive a special license.
There is no online gambling license in Costa Rica. A company incorporated under the laws of Costa Rica can operate an online gaming business. Companies operate under a “data processing” license.
Costa Rica is home to 200+ online gambling companies, without a legislation specifically dealing with gambling over the Internet. Legislation does exist to restrict land-based gambling, but these laws are not interpreted as extending to Internet gambling.
The requirements to obtain a license are:
- Office Lease Contract
- Health permit
- Workers insurance policy
For more information please visit https://www.meic.go.cr
Kahnawake Gambling License
Kahnawake is an Indian (native American) territory in Quebec, Canada.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is an organization that licenses a large number of online casinos and online poker rooms. The Kahnawáke Gaming Commission was established in June 1996. The Commission is empowered to regulate and control gaming and related activities within and from the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawáke. These gaming activities are regulated in accordance with the highest principles of honesty and integrity.
The fee for the initial application is C$15,000 plus an annual license fee of C$10,000
Visit https://www.kahnawake.com/gamingcommission for more information.
Gambling License Panama
Panama adopted regulations governing the licensing of electronic games of chance and wagering activities in late 2002. Internet gaming companies domiciled in Panama enjoy complete tax exemptions. Customs duty concessions are given for imports needed to carry on Internet gaming. As long as the income made from Internet operations are to jurisdictions outside of Panama, there is no income tax, withholding tax, sales tax or VAT taxes. Offshore companies, such as online gaming companies are not subject to foreign exchange control. There is also a new call center incentive and training program that boast numerous qualified bilingual workers.
The regulations allow master licenses to be granted that are valid for up to seven years upon payment of a license fee of US$40,000. There is also an annual license fee of US$20,000. Master license holders may grant sub-licenses, which are subject to the annual fee. Applicants must pay all investigation costs incurred in the processing of the application. Operators must comply with money-laundering regulations and notify the Financial Analysis Unit of any suspicious transactions above US$10,000. An account must be maintained to guarantee payment to winners. Until now a very few companies have applied for the license, mainly due to the huge paper work and the cost of the gambling license.
Antilles Netherlands and Curacao
Within the Netherlands Antilles, Curacao offers gambling licenses for online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks. Gambling licenses are available through the Department of Justice or through sub-licensing from an existing gambling license holders. Licenses from the Department of Justice last for two years.
Gambling License Gibraltar
All gaming operations in Gibraltar require licensing under the Gambling Ordinance 2005. Remote Gambling licenses, including for telephone and internet betting, are issued by the Government of Gibraltar.
Only companies with a proven track record in gaming, of reputable standing and with a realistic business plan can be granted gambling licenses. Gibraltar gaming licenses are generally difficult to obtain.
For more information on obtaining a gambling license in Gibraltar visit
Isle of Man
The Isle of Man specifically encourages the location of online gambling businesses: “The Isle of Man Government actively encourages the development of gambling and e-gaming business on the Isle of Man. It remains committed to delivering a stable government and strong regulatory environment, supported by a wide range of attractive Business Benefits.“
The Commission requires independent testing of software to ensure games offered are not rigged and will make accurate payment of player winnings. Games may only be offered by licensed, corporate operators. All operators must also establish bond arrangements to guarantee players will be paid in the event the licensee ceased operations for any reason.
- GBP35,000 per annum
- GBP1000 one off administration fee which is non-refundable
- for gross gaming yield not exceeding £20 million per annum 1.5%
- for gross gaming yield of more than £20 million per annum, but not exceeding £40 million per annum 0.5%
- for gross gaming yield exceeding £40 million per annum 0.1%
For more information on how to obtain a gambling license in the Isle of Man please visit
Gambling License Malta
Class 1 – Remote Gaming Licence for online gaming
Class 2 – Remote Gaming Licence for online betting office
Class 3 – Promotion and abet gaming from Malta
Class 4 – Hosting and managing only gaming operations, excluding licences itself.
Licences are issued for a minimum period of five years and may be extended for further periods of five years each.
Obtaining a gaming licence in Malta is a serious affair and in the interest of the consumers and the local reputation, the Authority would require to know that the applicant can meet the licence obligations. The licensing procedure is quite extensive but thanks to the professionalism of the persons involved, this procedure should not take more than 5 to 6 weeks.
The application for a gaming licence requires the following documentation:
- Detailed profile of the promoting company
- A copy of the last audited accounts of the promoting company, where applicable
- A business plan indicating the economic activity – including job creation if any – which will be carried out from Malta
- A plan of the premises earmarked for adoption as a call centre.
- Personal details of all shareholders having more than 5% interest in the local operations.
- Both hardware and software involved in the operations must be located in Malta, and there exist companies that can provide this service without the need for the licensee to obtain its own premises.
- The activities of the International Trading Company are limited to those carried outside Malta. No Maltese resident is permitted to place bets with such a company.
On submission of application form – Lm1,000 (US$2,700) for any class of remote gaming licence.
On Issue of any Remote Gaming Licence – Lm3,000 (US$8100) per annum. Such a licence is normally issued for a 5 year period.
On application for renewal of any Remote Gaming Licence – Lm500 (US$1,350)
On online gaming – Lm2,000(US$5400) per month for first six months and Lm3000(US$8100) per month for the entire duration of the licence period.
On Class 4 Licences – Lm0.0 (NIL) per month for first six months and Lm1,000(US$2700) per month for the next six months and Lm2000(US$5400) per month for the remaining period of the licence.
Online betting operations – one half of one per centum (0.5%) on the gross amounts of bets accepted
Online betting exchanges – one half of one per centum (0.5%) on the sum of all net winnings calculated per player per betting market.
Online pool betting – one half of one per centum (0.5%) on the aggregate of stakes paid.
Provided that in no case will the maximum of tax payable per annum by any licensee in respect of any one licence, exceed Lm200,000.
A Malta based gaming operation must be carried out by a Malta registered company as specified in Regulation 4 of the Remote Gaming Regulations (LN176/2004). Gaming companies are not subject to any special tax regime. In fact, online gaming operations may be carried out through a normal limited liability company registered in Malta under the Companies’ Act.
Taxation of Online Gaming Companies
Companies registered on or after 1st January 2007 are taxable at the rate of 35% however, shareholders are entitled to claim back a 6/7ths refund of the Malta tax upon distributions of profits. Alternatively, shareholders may claim a 2/3rds refund of the tax payable in Malta.
In addition, Malta does not levy withholding tax on any outbound distributions of dividends. The refund system and the absence of a dividend withholding tax ensures that profits derived by gaming companies are taxed and repatriated outside Malta in the most efficient manner.
The EU presently does not regulate gambling and in accordance with the EU principle of solidarity, EU member states are free to regulate the matter at a national level. In fact the EU welcomes Malta’s approach to attract and regulate the online gaming industry.
In a number of test cases, the European Court of Justice has held that the Treaty of Rome applies to the sector since online gaming is classified as a service and therefore guaranteed by one of the four freedoms enshrined in the treaty of Rome.
An important aspect to remember is that in order to benefit from the application of the Internal Market Principles and provide cross border services within the European Union one should be established in the EU. Malta, being an EU member since 1st May, 2004, offers such an opportunity which few other e-gaming jurisdiction can match.
What Malta Offers
- Low taxation on gaming operations in Malta
- Tax leakage in Malta may be as low as 5%
- A wide network of double taxation agreements
- A sound legal and financial system
- A sound ICT infrastructure
- Legislation on betting and e-commerce
- Strong regulatory bodies
- A solid international reputation
- Skilled work force
- Low cost of doing business
- State of the Art telecommunications facilities
- An internal market of circa 500 million EU citizens.