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  • Alexander Di Giovanni

So You Want to Open an Online Casino?

Online gambling has taken over. We see online casinos such as Stake gifting Drake millions to stream his bets online to his fan base, and he’s not the only one cashing big sponsorship deals to promote these online casinos. Influencers like Nelk, Adin Ross and countless others have made online gambling mainstream and as popular as ever.

A further look into these casinos will show you that they are all offshore casinos - which begs the question - are these online casinos trustworthy? Or are these influencers just taking massive amounts of money to promote scams?

I can’t give you a definitive answer on that, but what I can do is tell you it's a lot easier than you might think to set up an online casino (a legitimate one), and that setting one up offshore is actually not a bad idea. So let’s break down 3 popular jurisdictions for online gambling startups.

1. Costa Rica

Gambling is actually illegal in Costa Rica … but only if you’re a Costa Rican. Because of this, there is no licensing regime in Costa Rica for casinos - but since online casinos are simply setting up servers and offering online gambling to people other than Costa Ricans, this lack of regulation makes it quite easy for online casinos to get set up there and test the waters. Be prepared to only operate with crypto though - payment providers and banks will not be your friend if you are going this route.

2. Curacao

Curacao is arguable the most popular choice for online casinos to call home. The licensing process is FAST (we’re talking 1-2 months if all prerequisites are met), it’s cost efficient and one license covers all types of online gambling that you can offer. Not to mention, if structured the right way you can take advantage of a 0% tax rate.

3. Kahnawake Mohawk First Nation

As a Canadian, I would never have thought that such a reputable offshore jurisdiction for online gambling would be so close to home. Located 30 minutes outside of Montreal, the Kahnawake Mohawk First Nation has earned the international reputation of being a safe, trustworthy and well-regulated jurisdiction in the industry. Although the licensing for this jurisdiction is more rigorous than Costa Rica or Curacao, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission’s reputation makes their licensing valuable to any online gambling start up AND makes it the perfect stepping stone to applying to European gambling licenses (which are considered by many to be the gold standard in the online gambling world). It also helps that online casinos pay 0 tax here.

Pando Law can help you navigate the world of online gambling regulation and ensure that your online casino has the right legal foundation. Please contact us if you have any questions or are interested in entering this industry.

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