cost-effective online poker juristiction

Douglas Hogan

Dormant account
Oct 25, 2012
United Kingdom
Can someone give me some advice on a cost effective location to obtain an online gaming license. This is for poker specifically, but I presume the question is the same for all online gaming.

It seems that no jurisdiction offers any real protection to players they just seem to differ in reputation in that larger and more reputable companies seem to congregate in more reputable jurisdictions with Gibraltar and Isle of Man being the top of the tree

Costa Rica has the reputation of being quick and cheap. Certainly it appears quick to open there and without many hurdles. It doesn't appear so cheap however, with many $ '000s being requested for the legal services involved and '000s more per month to run servers out of there.

Curacao has a better reputation but is also not really cheap. Seems to have legal and licensing comparable costs but they seem to request a lot of money on deposit up front ~$50000.

Kahnawake seems like a very expensive place to set up with a lot of money being requested up front.

Malta also look for about a 100k initial investment to get the company formation legalities and licensing sorted out.

Has anyone investigated applying for a UK online gaming license. The licensing costs < £10k per year and its got a solid reputation. There is just the 15% gross profit levy. Is that the only downside? Everything else seems to point to the UK to be a good place to run an online gaming operation.

Also, it seems datacenter costs are many times more expensive for similar hardware compared to the UK (£67 per month gets you a dedicated server here). It would seem that in the UK you can get 4 or 5 servers hooked up for £300-400 per month. Offshore locations seem to charge a lot more than this. Is this just a money grab or is there a lot more required for running and online gaming operation?

Is there anyone that has detailed knowledge of all jurisdictions that I can contact directly?

I'm trying to come up with a ballpark figure for first year fixed costs, the lower the better. If the money flows then can see about moving the operation elsewhere.

Any feedback, opinions and information appreciated :)



Senior Member
Jan 16, 2012
Hi Douglas,

Had you considered going down a free-play route via a platform like Facebook to run your Poker through? Much less risk for a start-up and you can host your site legally without having to have license restrictions.

You could then use this start-up to gather capital and a future fan base if you wanted to move to a true payout system in the future?

Poker is a pretty tough market and is heavily saturated when it comes to snapping up decent keywords for your players to find you, most of the new sites that pop up don't make it through the first few months without a huge surge in capital to snap up some decent premium traffic.

Just an idea :)

- T

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