It’s no secret that online gamblers recognize the competitive element in the industry and thus seek out casinos which are licensed and regulated by top tier online gambling jurisdictions.

In a nutshell, a gambling jurisdiction is the country or territory from which your online casino will legally operate from.  The regulations and requirements will differ from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, with some requiring you to have a physical presence in the territory, while others only requiring a fee to be paid. Read about gambling regulation in the US.

This guide provides an overview of some of the top gambling jurisdictions around the world:

Alderney – Located in the English Channel between Britain and France, Alderney’s licensing regime is run by the Gambling Control Commission.  Companies need to pay a five figure fee to cover a stringent investigation process and an annual license fee of £70,000 to operate there.  A major advantage of an Alderney license is that it is recognized by the UK government’s whitelist, which means that it is legal for your online casino to advertise to the UK gambling public.

Antigua – In recent years, Antigua, located in the Caribbean, has striven hard to toughen up its licensing requirements, and all applications to run an online casino are reviewed by the Directorate of Offshore Gaming.  A 3% annual tax rate and a $70,000 licensing fee are required.

Curacoa  - An island which forms part of the Netherlands Antilles, Curacoa is a well recognized gambling jurisdiction , whose gaming activities are presided over by the Curacoa Internet Gaming Association (CIGA).  An investigation process takes place before a license can be obtained, and monthly license fees are charged.

Gibraltar – Despite its size, Gibraltar is one of the most recognized online gambling jurisdictions in the world and is a force to be reckoned with.  Only well established companies with a sound track record can even apply for a license.  Once successful, operators need to pay 1% of their gross product in taxes each year. The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority oversees all disputes and reviews license applications.

Isle of Man – Located between Britain and Ireland, the Isle of Man has its Gambling Supervision Commission oversee all casino license requirements.  An annual renewal fee of £35,000 is required to run an online casino, as well as 1.5% tax on gross gaming yield up to £20 million.  This jurisdiction also appears on the UK Gambling Commission’s white list.

Kahnawake – A large number of online casinos call the Montreal based First Nations territory of Kahnawake their home.  Online casinos hoping to obtain a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission will need to pay a $5K application fee and $10,000 in annual license fees if they pass the tests required by the jurisdiction.

 Malta – The EU member island of Malta has a strict compliance standard set through its Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority.  There are a number of licensing options available for casino operators who manage to meet the requirements of this jurisdiction, including a six month software testing period.  Taxes are set at 0.05% per month.