Casino Regulators Comparison: Part 1

Online Gambling Licenses

Operators can choose from several fiat-money and Bitcoin online casino licensing methods. Each regulator offers licenses that come with a different set of requirements and various ways from which businesses and customers can benefit. But the question is: Which of them gives the best offer?

Fiat-money and Bitcoin casino regulation play an important role in helping gambling businesses achieve success or avoid failure in the iGaming industry. Online gambling licenses help casinos build a good reputation. But more than helping casinos cement their brands in iGaming, these licenses, in theory, also provide players the necessary protection they can get against unfair treatment and ill-doings of abusive casino operators.

Now, has anyone wondered how crypto gambling is regulated around the world? In this article, we will have a closer look on three regulators that help determine the legality of Bitcoin gambling and fiat-money gambling. These are regulators in Costa Rica, Curacao, and Malta.

Advantages of Each Online Gambling License Table

Costa Rica Online Gambling License

Costa Rica is among the popular destinations for online gaming companies mainly because it gives operators the ability to register their online casinos as an official commercial business. But more than this, obtaining an online gambling license in the country requires only a few easy steps, enabling operators to set up shop without much hassle.

Costa Rica

Licensing Requirements

Costa Rican laws are very lax with regard to online gambling licensing, so casino operators do not need to prepare several documentations in order to apply for a license. However, it must be noted that residents of Costa Rica are strongly prohibited from engaging in any form of gambling online. This is the reason why operators must ensure that their servers block access of any player residing in the country.

How to Obtain the License

Operators must simply provide the necessary government certifications and file a completely filled-out registration form with the Costa Rica Tax Authority in order to apply for the said license. The waiting time for the process to complete is quick, after which the online casino will already be tagged as officially registered under the government of Costa Rica.

How the License Protects Players and Businesses

Online gambling operators are the main beneficiaries of this license as it provides them with a framework that enables them to legally operate within Costa Rica. The drawback with the Costa Rica online gambling license, however, is that it does not protect the players who spend real-money in Costa Rica-licensed casinos. This means that when players experience legal or financial problems with the said casinos, they would need to tap third-party authorities to help them deal with the casinos. Nonetheless, there are still many operators who choose to get licensed in Costa Rica because of the lower operating costs involved.

Curacao Online Gambling License

Previously known as Netherlands Antilles, Curacao is a small island in the Caribbean that is popular among online casino operators mainly because of its favorable gaming conditions. In fact, Curacao is a hot choice among operators who want to get a Bitcoin casino legal status. The government of Curacao offers two types of licenses – Master license and sub license – but operators these days can apply only for the sub license.


Licensing Requirements

Operators looking to get the popular Curacao online gambling license must first set up shop in Curacao as this is one of the primary requirements needed to get the license application approved. They must also provide all the necessary information and documentations, including the following:

  • Certificate of no criminal record
  • Copies of passports, bank references, and utility bills
  • Professional certification of the Random Number Generator
  • Proof of domain ownership
  • Copy of the terms and conditions

Other than these, the Government of Curacao also requires operators to store in the country all the data involved in the said iGaming business transactions.

How to Obtain the License

Those applying for a sub license can apply one from one of the master license holders in Curacao. This process alone takes about four to six weeks, while registering an offshore company will take them approximately one to two weeks. But operators with complete requirements and documentation will get their license much faster.

Acquiring a sub license also comes with a fee, so operators must ensure that they have the money to pay for the fees involved in the process of license application. Besides the fees needed for the application, casino operators must also be able to pay fees moving forward.

How the License Protects Players and Businesses

The Curacao online gambling license, unfortunately, does not protect players registered in any of the Curacao-licensed casinos, which is similar to the case of the Costa Rica online gambling license. But it is a completely different story when it comes to the benefits the license brings to casino operators.

One of the reasons why many iGaming companies choose to get licensed in Curacao is the fact that they are exempted from paying any value-added tax. On top of this, they are required to pay only two-percent tax rate on net profits, which is low compared to most online gambling licenses.

The bottom line is, casino operators who have the money to pay the fees and can provide all the necessary documentations will breeze through their application for the Curacao gaming license. But they do need to prove to the players that their licensed Bitcoin casinos or fiat-money casinos can be trusted and respected as the license in itself is simply functions like a business permit.

Malta Online Gambling License

Malta is a small island also known for its warm reception toward gambling businesses. It started regulating online gambling in 2000, which then led to the foundation of Malta Gaming Authority one year after. Online casino players treat Malta-licensed casinos with high regard because of the reputation the said online gambling license brings.


Licensing Requirements

Everyone hoping to get licensed in Malta must first set up their company in the country. The other requirements are for the for owners and operators to prove that they are fit to hold licenses issued by the government. This means they need to provide the following:

  • Proof of no criminal record
  • Certified copies of passports, utility bills, and bank references
  • Full and detailed business plan
  • Details of all gaming software used
  • Compliance and software audit

In addition, the servers the company will use for the gambling business must be hosted in the country.

How to Obtain the License

What is great about getting licensed in Malta is the fact that operators can choose between a B2B and B2C license, as well as which type of license is appropriate for the business. The permanent licenses are also valid for 10 years. For these, the application process for the said license is rigorous.

Operators must first go through the pre-application process with an accredited officer from the MGA, after which all the needed requirements must be submitted. The actual application process may take three to four weeks. Those who are considered for the license will receive a temporary gaming license that is valid for only six months. The MGA will then assess whether or not granting a long-term license will be granted.

How the License Protects Players and Businesses

The Malta online gambling license is known for its good reputation in the iGaming industry. This, alone, gives all casinos registered in Malta to have the edge over other online casinos and sports betting sites. Even better is that it provides assistance to players who experience issues with a Malta-licensed casino.

When it comes to the business owners and operators, this license allows them to enjoy a corporate income rate of as low as five-percent of the gross gaming revenue. They can also trust the country to have a stable political climate and economy, along with a highly educated workforce with expert knowledge of the iGaming business.

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