By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

Kahnawake online gaming license: well respected, low cost, no gaming tax

Ron Mendelson finds Kahnawake a logical choice for startups and entrepreneurs.

Ron Mendelson is the Director of Costa-Rica based International Business & Corporate Services consultancy firm, Fast Offshore. With over 24 years of real-world experience in iGaming Licensing and Payments, Regulatory Compliance, Tax-Efficient Corporate Structuring, Incubator and other Hedge Fund Licenses, Blockchain and Cryptocurrency related services, he advises a number of international clients on their business needs in the Americas, Europe, and beyond.

Reading time 3:07 min
The online gaming industry expert says Canada's Kahnawake Mohawk Territory offers quick set-up time and cost efficiency in obtaining an online gaming license, allowing startups to cater to players from most countries in the world. He delves into the benefits, kind of licenses, requirements and application process.

A large percentage of the clients we work with are startups and entrepreneurs, looking to break into the billion-dollar online gaming and gambling industry. These types of entities are often looking for a cost-effective license with a straightforward and quick licensing process. 

One jurisdiction which offers both quick set-up time and cost efficiency is that of the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory. This jurisdiction also allows you to cater to players from most countries in the world.

A First Nations reserve in Canada, Kahnawake has 8,000 residents and is situated over 18.5 square miles. Understandably, it may slip under some people’s radar, but in reality, it is a great place for online gaming ventures.

Kahnawake offers online gambling licenses to platforms providing poker, sportsbook, eSports, casino, slots and more. Furthermore, it has become known as a jurisdiction of good repute.

If you are looking for the right place to set up and run an online gaming company, sportsbook, lottery, or eSports platform, Kahnawake could be a great choice.

What are the benefits of the Kahnawake license?

Getting your online gambling license in Kahnawake has several benefits. First of all, application fees are relatively low when compared to other jurisdictions. It´s well regulated, which translates into great availability of payment methods and player acceptance. 

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission promotes fair and responsible gaming. Additionally, they run thorough inspections on their applicants and constantly monitor their licensees. 

These regulations guarantee an ideal level of player protection that makes both business partners and users comfortable knowing that specialists are always observing their licensees´ procedures and policies.

Additionally, the licensing process is straightforward and not unnecessarily complex. This offers a greater level of flexibility which is exactly what most startups are after. One of the biggest benefits is the fact that there is a 0% corporate tax rate and no need to pay additional gaming taxes.

As a start-up who needs to be up and running, and profitable quickly, these are important benefits to consider.

What kind of license do I need?

As a startup launching an online casino or similar, you will need to apply for a Client Provider Authorisation (CPA) and several Key Person Permits (KPP). The CPA authorizes the holder to conduct interactive online gaming from within Kahnawake. This is the licensing that a regular iGaming operator would apply for if looking to base their operations in Kahnawake.

In conjunction with the CPA, the applying entity must also apply for Key Person Permits. These are permits given to at least one person who is responsible for operational and managerial functions for the entity that holds the CPA.

What are the requirements?

The following conditions must be met and submitted by every authorized officer, director, shareholder and ultimate beneficiary owner:

  • Certified passport copies
  • Birth certificate
  • Original certificate of no criminal record
  • Certified (or original copies) of utility bills
  • Bank references of the owners
  • Personal Financial Statement (Directors, Shareholders and UBOs)
  • Fill out the Kahnawake Gaming Commission application forms
  • Provide details of the games offered and gaming software provider selected
  • Confirmation of the RNG application and its fairness (if applicable)
  • Hosting of servers in Kahnawake

All documents above must be in English and no older than 90 days. Where documents are not in English, certified English translations are required.

How do I apply?

To apply for a CPA, some documents are required along with a completed application form. These include a Business Entity Form, a Personal Information Form, a Key Person License Application Form, and a Control System Submission. The information must also be made available on shareholders and beneficial owners. This includes identification, CVs, and other forms of due diligence documents.

Anyone wishing to get authorisation to carry out online gambling and gaming-related services from the Territory is also bound to abide by ethical considerations. These include operating in a far, responsible, and honest way, and ensuring the business is not linked to crime or criminality. Applicants are expected to implement rules to protect underage and vulnerable users and to respect privacy laws.

Once the application has been submitted with all supporting documents, a decision will be given within eight weeks. At this point, the license will be issued for six months. Then, the operator can decide whether to relocate to another jurisdiction or apply for a two-year license.

The last word

A somewhat overlooked jurisdiction, Kahnawake is a logical choice for startups and entrepreneurs. With a quick set up time and good pricing, it allows entities to be up and running and profitable in just a couple of months. Furthermore, it has a good reputation and is well respected throughout the online gambling world.

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