By Ron Mendelson, Fast Offshore Founding Partner

Which are the best jurisdictions to get an online gambling license in and why?

Based on over two decades of experience in iGaming, Fast Offshore analyzes what it considers the three best jurisdictions to acquire an online gambling license.

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 2:52 min
The expert in online gaming selects Curacao, with its 0% rate tax and no requirements for additional gaming taxes; Kahnawake license, which he finds cost-efficient and relatively straight forward; and Malta, considered one of the world’s most respected online gambling licensing jurisdictions.

Over the last six months, this already dynamic industry has continued to grow and evolve. As a result, more intrepid entrepreneurs are on the lookout for licensing opportunities to realise their vision.

A growing number of jurisdictions are offering up licenses for online gambling operators, but of course, not all are created equally. Cost, fees, application processing time, terms, limitations, and ongoing maintenance are all factors that need to be considered before a decision is made. After all, making the wrong decision can be detrimental both financially and in terms of your success.

Based on over two decades of experience in iGaming, Fast Offshore brings you the three best (in our opinion) jurisdictions to acquire an online gambling license. Within these licenses, there is something to suit every budget and requirement.


The Island of Curacao is located in the Caribbean Sea and it has been home to a successful financial services hub for around 200 years. Then in 1996, the authorities issued the very first online gambling license. Since then, Curacao has become a go-to place for startups and entrepreneurs looking for licensing for their online platforms.

The Curacao online gambling license is particularly beneficial for these kinds of enterprises as the cost of the license is more efficient than in other jurisdictions. Additionally, requirements and obligations are less complex and more streamlined. This means the issuance time of the license is significantly lower than others, making it an obvious choice for those that want to get up and running quickly.

But by far the best benefit of the Curacao license is the 0% rate tax and no requirements for additional gaming taxes or similar. This key plus-point is still in line with EU rules on tax compliance and fiscal practices.


A First Nations Reserve in Canada, the Kahnawake territory has been offering online gambling licenses to operators that meet its requirements for around 20 years. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission which oversees the applications and supervision of licensees has created a framework that is flexible and amenable to small to medium enterprises.

While the license is a little more costly than Curacao’s, it is still cost-efficient and relatively straight forward. There is also zero gaming tax or income tax to be paid on revenue generated outside of the Territory- a great bonus for those on a budget or looking to minimize start-up costs. Furthermore, Kahnawake has a solid reputation and enforces comprehensive compliance, fair, and responsible gaming guidelines.


The fully-fledged EU Member State has been issuing licenses since the year 2000. It has now cemented its place as one of the world’s most respected online gambling licensing jurisdictions. It is home to some of the biggest international gaming operators as well as ancillary service providers including affiliates, software developers, and game developers.

Last year, the MGA made some changes to iGaming legislation that streamlined the licensing process and restructured the fees. Instead of having to apply for a different license depending on the types of games you offer, now, applicants choose between a B2C or B2B license. The process is still stringent and costly- after all such a prestigious license comes at a price.

License holders can enjoy fiscal benefits including a full imputation system on dividends paid to shareholders. They also benefit from operating in and from an EU member state.

The last word

Picking a jurisdiction to start your online gambling or casino business is a difficult process. Not only do you need to consider the licensing process but you should consider the process of company incorporation, tax, banking and other matters as well. Some jurisdictions also have restrictions on where you can offer your services when you are up and running.

Different licensing authorities also have different standards of compliance, policies, responsible gaming, and other operational matters. Therefore, it is wise to engage with a professional who has extensive knowledge of not just the industry, but the intricate requirements of each jurisdiction. Ideally, you want someone that can take care of all matters from start to finish, giving you time to focus on other matters relating to the launch of your new venture.

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