Do I need a gaming license?

cheater ace

Dormant account
I am starting a unique online raffle site. There will be no casino games or sportsbook. I am incorporated in Belize and host all my sites in Belize as well. Although I may reincorporate in Costa Rica and conduct my business there.

All of my banking relating to the site will also be done offshore. Is it nessecary for me to obtain a gaming license?

I don't know if a raffle is somewhat of a gray area as there are not too many sites out there that are stricty raffle sites. Any feedback would be appreciated.

An even more pressing question I have is if I partnered with another outfit such as an online casino or sportsbook, would it be relatively simple to operate under their license? Don't know if anyone can help, but I've posted in a few other forums as well with no feedback yet. Thanks


Forum Cheermeister
Staff member
Hi Cheater Ace,

And welcome to the forum. It all depends on what you are planning to do, and who you do it with. As for the online raffle site, you would probably be safe with no casino license since these are not casino games, but by offering casino games, then you need to obtain one. This is usually dictated by the software provider or turnkey provider.

If you partner up with another group that is offering casino games, you may fall under their licensing agreement, but then you may not. It depends where they are licensed as well.

On licensing; licenses from Central or South America (Belize, Nicaragua, Venezuela, etc.) are considered pretty much a joke in this industry. No offense to the licensing jurisdictions, but these licenses are not worth much except for the paper they are printed on.

Choosing a jurisdiction - I would look toward Europe. The licenses offered by the British Commonwealth (Alderney, Isle of Man, Gibraltar) are very expensive and are probably out of your league (I'm guessing). Malta (recently entered the EU) is affordable (around Euro 7500 a year) but you have to have a business presence there. I'm not sure about the terms of Cyprus - another EU country that's offering licensing.

My advice is to hire a gaming lawyer. He/she would be the best person to get answers to these questions.

cheater ace

Dormant account
Thanks for the response. I have the same thought you do regarding most of the licenses. They are a joke. I do not plan on having any casino games or a sportsbook so I think I might be alright.

I did talk to an attorney and he even agreed that it is a gray area and that my best bet would be to ask the country. Yea...........I'm 100% certain any country would say yes to get my $.

If I do this without a license and again, have no casino games or sportsbook. I wonder what the worst case scenario could possibly be. Keeping in mind I am incorporated in Belize or Costa Rica and all my financial transactions and servers are in the respected countries. Nothing to do with the business will be in the US.