The ICSGroup are able to arrange "Gaming Licence" in a number of jurisdictions. However the example we list in for Antigua and Barbuda
Procedural steps for applying for a gaming licence in Antigua and Barbuda
An application for a licence must be submitted via a local representative, usually an attorney or an accountant, to the Director of Gaming, the Directorate of Gaming being a division of the Free Trade and Processing Zone. The application seeks to extract from the applicant company, which must be an International Business Corporation registered in Antigua and Barbuda, all biographical data required for the Directorate of Gaming to perform due diligence exercises on its shareholders, directors and officers. Hence the following information is elicited:
- Particulars of each investor who owns or intends to own 10% or more of the company, whether as an individual or a corporate person;
- particulars of each member of the Board of Directors;
- a bank reference in respect of each investor or Board Member;
- a Commercial or Credit Reference in respect of each investor or member of the Board;
- an official Police Record from the permanent country of residence and the country of nationality of each investor or Board Member, if different;
- the value and nature of the investment put into the company over a three year period.
In addition to the above an applicant must typically submit a Certificate of Fairness and Reliance of Software from an independent third party who must also prove his credentials. This certificate may issue from a reputable firm or international chartered accountant or any qualified institution or professional acceptable to the Directorate of Gaming.
Because the establishment of a gaming company necessarily involves the importation of electronic equipment, computers, telecommunication devices etc., the government offers a waiver of all taxes relating to the importation of such items.
The activities of any gaming company is governed by the Virtual Casino Wagering and Sportsbook Wagering Regulations No. 20 of 1997. This piece of legislation sets out conditions for a grant of a licence and as a corollary its revocation. It may be useful to note that licences may be revoked for the following reasons among others:
- an attempt to sub-licence other operators under the licence granted to one specific operator;
- abusing or misusing Tax and Duty exemption privileges;
- permitting the fraudulent or unlawful use of the licence;
- supplying misleading information upon which the director relied for the grant of the licence.
- failure to meet all commitments to players, or giving false information in advertising or promoting the business activities of the company;
- failing to have an established administrative office or company representative in Antigua;
- making unapproved changes to the software after it has been approved by the Directorate of Gaming.
The process above outlined usually takes 2 to 3 weeks to the issue of the licence although it is not uncommon to have the licence granted within 7 days based on the quality of the documentation presented upon application.
The question of costs:- The licence fee on Casinos and Sportsbooks are payable annually. The fee on a virtual casino wagering licence is $100,000.00. Where multiple licences are applied for by the same entity any other licence apart from the first will be obtained at the reduced fee of $75,000.00.
On the other hand, a Sportsbook wagering licence costs US$75,000.00. Any other licence granted to the same entity will be obtained at the reduced fee of US$50,000.00. Legal fees for the licence application may range from US$6000.00 to US$7500.00 plus the IBC incorporation fees being US$1300.00.
As we fast approach prohibition on the United States it would seem the importance of the jurisdictions such as Antigua looms large. Antigua as a jurisdiction first and foremost guarantees privacy and confidentiality to all operators.