iGaming has established itself as a very profitable business model. According to surveys, there are over 4,800 online casinos all over the world.
Needless to say, not all of the casinos are equally compelling and loved by the players. It comes down to how well the operator understands the target market.
If you’re an entrepreneur and looking for a new business venture, an online casino might be a good place to start. However, you can’t just create a platform out of thin air as there are plenty of regulations to consider.
At the same time, you must keep the payment method availability in mind. The most competitive players in the game often operate internet casinos with quick withdrawals, which are universally appreciated by gamers. Also, casinos that cover multiple jurisdictions are generally more credible. At the end of the day, where you decide to launch your casino will contribute to how well your business does.
This article will provide insights into the industry as well as provide a list of the best countries to open an online casino in 2023. Among other factors, this list prioritizes regulatory leniency and tax benefits.
The Caribbean island nation Curaçao has recently become one of the top destinations for online casino operators. As part of the Dutch Antilles, this country offers excellent benefits for operators regarding taxation. For small operators, it’s only 2% corporate tax. And if you can manage to go over a certain revenue threshold, you’re looking at no taxes at all.
To complete the whole administrative process, you’ll have to wait about 6 weeks. The application fee is a mere $2,300, and you pay $1,700 a month to maintain the license.
If you look at some of the most popular online casinos nowadays that cater to a global clientele, you’ll notice that the majority boast Curaçao license, the Antillephone N.V. license to be precise. It’s one of the four master license holders in Curaçao.
But if you apply now, you’ll get the universal Curaçao license due to the change in regulatory policies by the country’s government.
Before Curaçao came up on the international scene, there was Malta. The license issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is still one of the most prestigious. This island nation in the Mediterranean Sea is the prime choice for operators based in Europe. If you live in a country that’s part of the European Union, you may also consider pursuing the MGA license.
The fees for applying are pretty affordable. You pay a $2,700 upfront fee and about $10,000 per year to maintain your casino license. However, the process takes a few months to complete, which might slow you down.
Most of the software providers that offer legit online slots to casino players around the world are licensed by the MGA. This goes to show that this jurisdiction is globally trusted and loved by both casinos and game providers.
3. Isle of Man
The Isle of Man is home to Microgaming. In case you’re not aware, Microgaming is the forefather of online casinos. It started developing online casino software in 1994 and launched the first-ever brand, InterCasino, back in 1996. This makes it one of the earliest adopters of iGaming.
With a strong reputation, the Isle of Man is a great place to start your online casino because it offers different tiers of licenses. You have the option to choose between a network services license, a sublicense, or a full license. Of course, you’ll need to consult with your business team to decide which is the best choice for your needs and goals.
Another good thing about this license is that there is no corporate tax. Depending on your revenue, however, you’ll end up paying between 1% to 1.5%.
The HM Government of Gibraltar is a niche license that you may not see very often. Interestingly, over 10% of the country’s workforce is employed in iGaming.
One of the main highlights of opening your business in Gibraltar is that there is no application fee. But to qualify for the license, you must prove that your platform is secure. The board will also check the background of the shareholders to gauge their moral compass.
As you’d expect, there is no corporate tax in this jurisdiction. The only tax you’ll pay is 1% on your profits from the revenue.
Cyprus is undoubtedly the most interesting addition to this list. In Cyprus, only online betting like sports betting is allowed. There is no license available for card games, lotteries, or casino games. Moreover, betting on horse racing is prohibited.
It also happens to be the most expensive jurisdiction on our list. The annual license costs a whopping €30,000. This is why it’s recommended that you apply for the 2-year license that costs €40,000. It’s a bargain compared to the 1-year license.
Besides the high cost of obtaining a license, the National Betting Authority in Cyprus will perform rigorous checks before issuing the license.