Considerations before picking a gambling jurisdiction

15 February 2022
Ask yourself questions before you get started.

Ask yourself questions before you get started. (photo by ResultsLab)

Starting an online gambling site is an exciting step, but some questions need to be considered before you start. For example, how much tax do you have to pay, and how much will it cost? Is the jurisdiction you're interested in business-friendly? Is a gambling license required? Here are some considerations you need to make before starting the incorporation and licensing process.
What is the fiscal situation?
When you pick an offshore jurisdiction for your gambling company, it often comes with a range of fiscal benefits. Typically, this means low tax rates on income derived outside the territory. It is always necessary to check that you are not liable for any other taxes and grasp the tax implications. At this stage, it is best to engage a professional who can help you with structuring and understanding obligations such as reporting and auditing.
What is the process for starting a company?
If you want to start an online gambling business, you need to set up a company. Look for low set-up costs, quick timeframes, and minimal ongoing maintenance if possible.
Each jurisdiction varies regarding what is required to set up a company. This can include capital needed, requirements on directors and representatives, and of course, the regular KYC documents.
Do you need a gambling license?
To legally operate a gambling company, you will need a gambling license issued by the local gambling authority. Besides enjoying the credibility that licensing brings, you won't be at risk of being shut down, arrested, prosecuted, convicted, or fined for illegally operating a gambling site. Additionally, you'll need a license to open your settlement account, negotiate terms with payment providers, advertisers, software providers, amongst others. These entities will want to ensure you are licensed before working with you.
The process of acquiring a license can take time, and it requires submitting an application and many documents. In addition, you will have to undergo due diligence procedures and pay a fee. Like with company incorporation, the cost, timeframe, and licensing obligations vary significantly, so do your research before making any firm decisions.
It is essential to understand the costs involved with starting a business.

It is essential to understand the costs involved with starting a business. (photo by Pixabay)

What are the costs?
When starting a new business, it is essential to understand the costs involved. These include company set-up, licensing, hiring staff, offices, software and hardware, hosting, games, and much more. Be sure to factor all the costs of licensing and incorporation into your budget, including courier fees, translations, notarization, and corporate service provider fees.
Your best bet is to work with a provider that gives off-the-shelf package prices or custom packages with a set fee. This allows you to take care of all corporate matters while keeping oversight of your finances. Setting up a gambling site can be costly, but these costs can be somewhat reduced if you choose your jurisdiction wisely.
Is it easy to do business there?
Another consideration before you start the process is making sure you are setting up in a business-friendly jurisdiction. Not every location is as welcoming and accommodating to businesses, making it hard to operate.
It is worth considering processes, timelines, restrictions and limitations, and costs. In addition, consider the court system and whether it is fair and efficient, and easy to navigate. Other matters to evaluate include access to local ancillary services such as hosting, accounting, and IT. The cost of renting offices, hiring staff, and access to high-speed internet should also be included in the decision.
If you are thinking of starting a gambling company and want to make sense of the decisions that lie ahead, consult with Fast Offshore. For over 24 years, we have been working with gambling entrepreneurs, and we can provide answers on the above and more. We work with incorporation, structuring, licensing, payments, compliance, and ongoing maintenance. To find out more, contact us today!

Ron Mendelson

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based business and financial consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over two decades of experience in corporate services, iGaming, international business, finance, licensing and legal matters, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.