The online Gaming Industry is a relatively new industry in Belize and legislation has been introduced to attract genuine investors to participate in the expansion of the financial services sector. Regulations of the Gaming Control Act, Revised Edition 2000, have been adapted from similar regulations in successful gaming countries and adjusted to suit the Belize situation. New regulations have been approved for the Gaming Control Act of 2000 and can be found in the Gaming Control (Online Gaming) Regulations which came into force in October 2004.
The Gaming Control (Online Gaming) Regulations provide for the regulation and administration of online casinos. Online gaming covers the spectrum of any games played by one person by means of a computer or other device, even though no other person participates in the game. It also includes games of combined skill and chance conducted by means of telecommunication for winnings in money or money’s worth, the negotiation or receiving of any bet by means of telecommunication; or, any lottery in which any participant acquires a chance by means of telecommunication. The online gaming regulation of October 2004 is specifically designed to cater to online gaming operators. A licensed online gaming operator is allowed to maintain servers elsewhere, but customer service operations should be conducted from within Belize. A licensing fee has to be paid to the Government of Belize at the time the license is granted. One license is held per company at any given time and is valid for a period of twelve consecutive months commencing on such date on which the license is granted. The licensee has 60 days prior to the date of the expiration of the license, to apply for a renewal. If approved, an annual renewal fee becomes due and payable to the Government of Belize. Our firm can facilitate your online gaming application paperwork quickly. The best time to apply for a license is now as the Government of Belize is open to applicants and the application procedure is relatively efficient. Assuming that the applicant is in possession of all the necessary documents, the entire procedure should not take more than six to eight weeks.
Procedure to apply
The requirements for the fulfillment of an online gaming license application are:
- The applicant must be an International Business Company that is incorporated in Belize. Slogold will incorporate such a company and provide registered agent and registered office service.
- The applicant must be able to demonstrate the adequate financial means of the company’s beneficial owners and the integrity and competence of its board of directors and management by submitting the particulars of each person who has any financial interest in the entity that is applying for the license.
- Copies of audited accounts of the applicant must be submitted comprising balance sheets and profit and loss accounts for the last three years, including the most recent.
- Full set of fingerprints must be submitted for each person who has any financial interest in the online gaming entity.
- Copy of the personal identification card and two recent black & white photos must be submitted for each person who has any financial interest in the online gaming entity.
- Copy of Naturalization Documents must be submitted for each person who has any financial interest in the entity if such persons are naturalized citizens or permanent resident of another country.
The conditions of the license require the holder of the license holder to:
- Provide and maintain security deposits and reserves with the Central Bank of Belize for the payment of debts arising out of online gaming being conducted;
- Notify the Online Gaming Licensing Committee if it has to withdraw or call upon its security, deposits and reserves
- Comply with the recommendations and directions of the Committee for the provision of substituted security, deposits or reserves.
- Become liable to any person to whom any winnings, wagers, prize money or money’s worth of any kind becomes due and payable.
Who qualifies for an on-line gaming license
For the purpose of the new online gaming regulations, a person who conducts online gaming is anyone who is actively engaged in the organization, management or promotion of gaming or a lottery or any business involving the negotiation or receiving of a bet or the maintenance of any computer or other device in Belize by means of which a game or lottery is operated. Anyone intending to conduct online gaming in Belize must be licensed by the Gaming Control Board. The conditions of the license prohibit the online gaming operator from accepting bets from any person resident within Belize.
With a government that is committed to maintaining high standards for its new online gaming industry, Belize is one of the best choices to consider for an online gaming license.