Legal Issues of Online Gambling
The first online gambling website has opened 16 years ago, paving the way for thousands of others, that can now be found on the Internet. According to the study conducted by the Australian government in 2001, that time there were slightly fewer than five million online players in the world, who spent over $ 11 billion on online gambling.
Online gambling – is a very popular type of business. The rules of this business are constantly being tightened, and the procedure of getting a license for online gambling has currently become a fairly complicated process.
Online gambling is included in the so-called legal gray zone. Although in most states of America this business is illegal, it is very difficult to find individual players guilty and charge them of a crime, since they play from home. According to the US law, websites are prohibited to do business with gambling, therefore offices and servers of online gambling are generally located in other countries. About 70 states have authorized online gambling sites, including Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany and several provinces in Canada.
When you register with an online casino, you must accept all the terms and conditions on the website. It is your task and responsibility to determine whether gambling is legal in your country or not. You must also meet the age restrictions set for games in your region. If online gambling is prohibited where you live, and the authorities find out you won the money, your prize may be confiscated.
Differences in jurisdictions make gambling legislation even more uncertain. The American bookmaking legislation (“Wire Wager Act”) prohibits the method of electronic transmission (which is essentially the Internet) for bets in places where gambling is prohibited. So the Dutch casino violates US law, if a user based in the US plays on this site. However, the United States does not have legal authority to charge anyone in other countries.
Since players are also almost never charged, illegal actions remain intact. Certainly, if a foreign casino decides to cheat a player in terms of his win, while in his residence country online gambling is considered illegal, it will be very difficult for a player to sue this online resource.
This brings us back to the topic of regulation. Some countries that have permitted online gambling have defined strict requirements and rules to ensure that the casino operates in accordance with the law. They guarantee that in the case of a win, the player will be paid the amount, and the claimed coefficients correspond to the real ones programmed into each game.
Online gambling in Australia and Finland are known for their perfect compliance with the national standards. Some countries are not so strict about regulation and may be more interested in gambling taxation than in making sure the process is completely honest. There are so many online gambling sites to choose from, and thus it will be very useful to learn about the regulation that they adhere to before making the final choice in favor of this or that site.
Popular online gambling jurisdictions to start a business
Issues gaming licenses Class 1 on 4, cost – starting from 50 000 euros.
Pros: prestigious jurisdiction, member of the EU, good tax advantages, possible to connect to a direct merchant account.
Cons: you will need to pay taxes and prepare financial statements.
License cost – 30 000 euros, annual renewal – 2000 euros.
Pros: prestigious jurisdiction, convenient cooperation terms with European banks, direct processing of bank cards, lack of down payment.
Cons: taxes (income and gambling), licenses are issued only to companies with high work efficiency, the need to conduct a full audit.
License cost – $40 000 plus $5 000 CAD for a non-refundable license fee, $ 15,000 CAD fee for testing the system, license renewal – $ 10,000 CAD.
Cons: requirements for justification of license, software security and confirmation of the ability to pay winnings to players.
Antigua and Barbuda
Issue licenses for online games and betting (online gambling and sweepstakes). License cost – $25 000, annual fee – $50 000 и $70 000 (gambling and sweepstakes respectively), license renewal – $5 000, payment for director services.
Pros: absence of requirements to the authorized capital, zero taxation rate of (subject to acceptance of rates from non-residents).
Cons: very stringent requirements for companies, user accounts, severe restrictions on age (> 18 years), requirements for particular sections of the site (numerous warnings on the home page are mandatory).
The possibility of obtaining both basic license and sublicense. License cost – $35 000, monthly payment for the first two years – 10,000 guilders.
Pros: minimal license cost, possible to use a single license by several partner companies.
Cons: the owners of online gambling and sweepstakes pay 2% of their profits; compulsory investigation against the company, large deposit; at first, only a temporary gambling license in Europe is issued.
License cost – $15 000, cost of renewal for three months – $1 500.
Pros: absence of taxes (subject to acceptance of rates from non-residents of Costa Rica).
Cons: requirements for the office lease and hiring, the presence of the Resident Representative, the need to obtain a gambling license from the local municipality, the exchange of information with the United States (based on a contract signed between the countries).
Isle of Man
Cost of a license application – £1000, annual renewal – £20,000.
Pros: member of the EU, favorable conditions for non-UK companies.
Cons: tax (fee) of 1.5%
Issue licenses for any gambling activities. License cost is $ 18,000, the annual renewal is $ 10,000.
Pros: single tax – on a franchise (franchise fee).
Cons: submission of fingerprints of all individuals who are interested in the profit, copies of their citizenship papers, the need to make a deposit, financial statements for the last three years.
License cost – $40 000, annual renewal cost – $20 000.
Pros: absence of taxes (subject to acceptance of rates from non-residents of Panama).
Before making a final choice in favor of this or that jurisdictions, be sure to consult with specialists. You might also need a European license for lottery games for your particular business.
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