Dec 27, 2023
6 min read

Top 9 Gambling Friendly Countries

Learn about the best places to launch your gaming business in

Gambling attracts people from all over the world. However, every country has different rules for the gambling industry. For instance, some countries or regions prefer to implement robust gambling controls or to even ban gaming altogether, while others permit easy access to casinos or iGaming websites. So, which regions are the most gambling-friendly? 


Let’s start with a small island country located in the South Caribbean. Curaçao has offered its online gaming license since 1993, making it one of the oldest, most-accessible, cost-effective iGaming jurisdictions in the world.

Curaçao’s economy heavily relies on its iGaming industry, which was legalized in 1996. Since then, the island had almost 30 years to develop an efficient gaming license application procedure. The application procedure is simple in comparison to other countries, and it does not require an enormous amount of paid-up capital. This has turned the country into a hub for online casinos. 

The price of a Curaçao gaming license is around €15000-€20000, which makes it one of the most affordable licenses among established gaming jurisdictions. 

The application process has the quickest turnaround time. When managed properly, it can take as little as two-three working days. 

In order to obtain a Curaçao gaming license, companies must meet certain requirements, such as having a physical presence in Curaçao, having a clean financial history, and demonstrating a commitment to fair play and responsible gaming.

If you’re planning to apply for a license on behalf of a company, you should submit the following documents: 

  • Copy of passport
  • Resume
  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Bank reference letter
  • Utility bill
  • Police clearance certificate
  • Professional reference letter
  • Proof of domain ownership
  • Details of used software
  • Copy of terms and conditions

If you wish to learn more about the licensing process in Curaçao, check out our in-depth guide on the topic here.

Macau (China)

Macau is a special administrative region of China which permits land-based casinos, making it one of the biggest gambling destinations in the world. When it comes to online gambling, Macau does not have specific laws or regulations prohibiting or allowing the activity. Therefore, many companies in the region use this loophole for their advantage. 

If a company wishes to operate in Macau, it has to meet several requirements:

  • Be incorporated in the region’s system as a limited liability company with share capital of at least MOP 5 billion (approximately $621.6 million)
  • Have experience in the gambling industry
  • Have at least 15% of the company’s shares be held by Macau permanent residents


Malta has a variety of  gambling activities that can be licensed. Malta’s tax credit system reduces the real tax rate to 5%, making it one of the most tax-attractive jurisdictions for gambling. The country is also an EU member. 

Depending on the type of services provided, companies will have to obtain one of the following licenses:

  • One for casino games and lotteries; the minimum capital required is EUR 100,000 (approximately $109,700)
  • One for betting; the minimum capital required is EUR 100,000 (approximately $109,700)
  • One for poker and lotteries; the minimum capital required is EUR 40,000 (approximately $43,865)
  • One for skill games; the minimum capital required is EUR 40,000 (approximately $43,865)

To obtain these licenses, companies should meet the following requirements:

  • Open an office in Malta
  • Have at least one shareholder
  • Have at least one director with the Maltese residency
  • Open at least two banking accounts
  • Employ relevant staff members, such as a compliance officer, internal auditor, and data protection officer
  • Pay a monthly fee, which will depend on the company’s income
  • Pay state duty and yearly license fee

United Kingdom

The UK gambling market is considered the second largest in Europe. To manage such demand, companies and regulators constantly need to improve the gambling system. While the regulations are not as lenient as the ones in enforced Curaçao, these rules ensure efficiency, transparency, and consistency

UK gambling licenses fall into three categories: 

  • Operating
  • Personal
  • Premises

The Gambling Commission issues Operating and Personal licenses, while local authorities issue Premises licenses. 

Each license type can be subdivided into remote and non-remote. Remote gambling operators do not have to demonstrate physical presence, such as having an office or equipment in the UK.

The Commission requires all licensees to meet these objectives:

  • Ensure that gambling is conducted fairly and openly
  • Protect customers

Licensees must obtain and verify the identity of a customer before permitting them to gamble. Required information includes, but is not limited to:

  • Name
  • Address
  • Date of birth

There are three main reasons why gambling companies ask their customers to pass verification: 

  • To confirm their identity for AML purposes
  • To check whether they are old enough to gamble
  • To check whether they are self-excluded from gambling

If you want to learn more about the licensing process in the UK, check out our in-depth guide on the topic here.

The Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has signs of self-governance, but it operates under the jurisdiction of the British Crown. The Isle of Man is considered one of the most beneficial places to get a license since the procedure is far less complicated than in many other countries. 

The corporate tax rate is set at 0%, and there is no capital gains, wealth, or inheritance tax. This means that gambling operators can save significant amounts of money by choosing the Isle of Man as their licensing jurisdiction. Also, the Isle of Man can offer flexible and investor friendly regulations that ensure protection of vulnerable individuals, but isn’t too punitive towards investors. 

In addition, the Isle of Man offers a wide range of license types to suit the needs of different types of gambling operators. These include:

  • Online gambling licenses for casino, sports betting, and poker operators
  • Software supplier licenses for providers of online gambling software
  • Hosting service provider licenses for companies that provide online gambling hosting service

To obtain a license, companies should take the following steps: 

  • Register a legal entity in the Isle of Man
  • Open a corporate account
  • Collect the necessary documents (e.g., corporate policy, business plan, software documentation, etc.)
  • Submit the application to the Gambling Supervisory Commission (basic fee is approximately $47,000 and the application fee is $6,700)

The license is valid for a period of 5 years.


Companies that wish to provide gambling services in Italy must get licensed by the government. The regulatory bodies in charge of land-based and online gambling in Italy are Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato (AAMS) and Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM). ADM exercises the role of overseer of the state with regards to gambling, ensuring the interests of the Treasury by collecting duties and managing disputes.

When it comes to online gambling, Italian licenses can be separated into the following categories:

  • Skill games (e.g., roulette, slots, card games)
  • Fixed odds betting (e.g., horse racing, pool betting)

In order to obtain online gambling license, companies need to provide following documents:

  • Proof of physical presence in Italy
  • Proof of existence of a local bank account 
  • Proof of minimum share capital of the company in Italy (the exact percent depends on the type of activity)
  • A monthly declaration with details regarding income
  • Evidence showing compliance with the principles regarding the protection of minors 


With a 1% corporate tax, and no sales tax or VAT, Gibraltar is an attractive licensing jurisdiction. The government is supportive of new gaming companies, realizing the importance of the sector. Gambling operators are equally interested in legislation and want the environment to be predictable. 

However, the advantages come in only after the company gets legalized. Prior to that, each applicant has to go through a thorough check. Companies need to obtain one of the following licenses, depending on their activities:

  • Casino Gaming
  • Betting 
  • Lotteries
  • Social Gaming

The requirements for the licenses include:

  • Opening an office in Gibraltar
  • Having local directors
  • Proving the impeccable reputation of the shareholders and the directors
  • Proving prior experience in the gaming industry
  • Showing a license obtained in another jurisdiction
  • Opening necessary bank accounts in Gibraltar
  • Paying all the necessary fees


Australia simultaneously has an enormous number of gamblers and pretty strict regulations, which aim to minimize the negative impact of the industry. 

More online gambling operators are entering the market, and more people are participating in various forms of online betting, including sports betting, casino games, poker, and more. Online gambling in Australia saw an 8% increase from 2020 to 2022, and keeps growing.

In Australia, there is no single overarching gambling authority. Each state has its own regulator.

The key responsibilities of state gambling regulators include: 

  • Granting licenses
  • Monitoring compliance with regulations
  • Legal enforcement 

Gambling operator requirements in Australia include:

  • Physical presence in Australia 
  • Opening of a bank account
  • Proof of share capital
  • A monthly declaration with details regarding income earned from games of chance
  • Regulatory compliance with:
    • Local state regulations
    • Principles of minors protection
    • Principles regarding the content of the promotional material and the locations where they can be displayed.

If you want to learn more about the licensing process in Australia, check out our in-depth guide on the topic here.


Gambling is illegal in Canada unless otherwise regulated by a province. Therefore, commercial gaming and betting can be allowed only if it’s conducted or managed by provincial authorities. So, to open a casino in Canada, it’s necessary to comply with local laws, which differ from province to province. 

Provincial legal authorities do not establish casinos themselves. Instead, provinces have established separate gambling authorities that register and regulate gambling providers.

Over the last several years, the country has lifted some of its regulations and simplified certain registration procedures, finally removing a ban on offering bets on single games in 2021. 

In November 2020, the government of Ontario announced its plan to create iGaming, a gaming market regulated by the Alcohol and Gambling Commission of Ontario (AGCO). iGaming Ontario began registering companies in late 2021, and the market launch took place in April 2022. 

The introduction of iGaming Ontario allows third parties to provide online gambling services by registering with the AGCO and entering into an agreement with iGaming Ontario. This new system has significant consequences for the gambling industry, as it finally opens the market for outsiders. Still, Ontario can’t allow all third parties to act independently. Therefore, iGaming Ontario performs a monitoring function. 

If you want to learn more about the licensing process in each province of Canada, check out our in-depth guide on the topic here.

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