Due to its internationally well respected regulatory authority and zero-percent taxes, the Canadian Kahnawake gambling license is one of the favorites among operators.
The Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake is located in Quebec, Canada. It’s an Indian reserve that’s about 48.05 square kilometers. There are several Kanien (’kehá:ka) territories that are part of the Mohawk Nation, and Kahnawake is one of them. It was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to see the potential of the online gambling sector and decide to regulate it. The first gambling regulations were enacted in 1999 by the official licensing and regulatory authority for gaming activity in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake — The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (“the Commission”). Since then, the Commission has ensured that online gaming is conducted responsibly, fairly, and on a lawful basis.
The following types of licenses and permits are issued by the Commission:
- Interactive Gaming Licence (IGL). This license allows the holder to operate a co-location facility that provides internet services to Authorized Client Providers. Only one Interactive Gaming Licence has ever been issued by the Commission: Since 1999, Mohawk Internet Technologies (MIT) has held the sole IGL.
- Client Provider Authorization (CPA). This allows the holder to conduct interactive gaming from the co-location facility owned and operated by the IGL holder as well as other premises located within the Territory. The holder of a CPA is known as an Authorised Client Provider (ACP). This is the license that a regular iGaming operator would apply for if looking to base their operations in Kahnawake.
- Casino Software Provider Authorization (CSPA). This type of authorization allows the holder to locate and operate interactive gaming equipment at the colocation facility owned and operated by the IGL holder, as well as providing casino software to a third-party operator for use on the third party operator’s website. The holder is not entitled to offer interactive games directly to players.
- Live Dealer Studio Authorization (LDSA). This authorization allows the holder to operate a Live Dealer Studio, to conduct Live Dealer Games, and to conduct interactive gaming-related activities from premises located within the Territory.
- Inter-Jurisdictional Authorizations (IJA). This authorization is issued to an entity that holds an IGL from another jurisdiction but wants to locate some or all of its equipment and/or personnel within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake.
- Key Person Permits. Key persons can be employed by either the IGL or the CPA and perform one of the following functions: key managerial or key operational functions. All operators with a CPA license must designate at least one Key Person to perform key managerial functions for or on behalf of the Authorized Client Provider. Therefore, a regular iGaming operator would need to get a Key Persons Permit in addition to the CPA license.
Why should you get a gambling license in Kahnawake in 2021?
The Kahnawake license allows the holder to operate an online gaming business legally while enjoying cooperation with the industry’s most popular game developers and payment system providers. The jurisdiction offers many licensing options to choose from, and obtaining a Kahnawake online gaming license carries a number of benefits for the operator. The benefits of getting a gambling license are huge and indisputable:
- Cost. Relatively low license fees;
- No taxes. 0% corporate tax rate, no additional gaming tax;
- Reasonable. Flexible requirements compared to other jurisdictions;
- Reputation. Widely accepted by players and payment service providers;
- Universal. Covers all market except the USA;
- Responsible. Promotes fair and responsible gaming.
Operators should keep in mind that their actions must conform to the laws of the chosen target market, including advertisement regulations.
How to obtain a Kahnawake gaming license?
When compared to other jurisdictions, the process of getting a gaming license in Kahnawake could seem longer. However, it could be obtained faster, if the following steps are followed:
- Appoint a key person
- Gather the necessary paperwork
- Submit your application and pay the application fee
- Wait approximately four to eight weeks
- Launch your online casino
The commission will consider the application and the operator has three possible outcomes: the application is granted and the license is issued, the application is denied, or the application is returned to the operator with a request for additional information.
In the case that all the documents are approved and the application is granted, the license will only be issued for six months. 30 days prior to the expiry of the initial six-month period, the Commission will review the operator’s performance and consider whether the operator has satisfactorily implemented the appropriate continuous compliance program. The Commission will investigate if there have been an inordinate number of complaints from players or other third parties, and if the operator has broken any laws, breached any regulations, or committed any other act that has negatively affected the credibility or reputation of the Commission.
Based on this assessment, the Commission will decide whether to renew the license for a term of five years, decline to renew the license or extend the term of the Client Provider Authorization for another three months.
Application process (four to eight weeks)
When the application is received by the Commission, it is assigned to the Compliance Officer, who verifies the application fee has been paid and then reviews all the documentation.
What are the required documents to obtain the Kahnawake gambling license in 2021?
In order to establish credibility and successfully receive a Kahnawake gaming license, operators must first gather all the necessary documents. The list may seem long, but this should not discourage a potential licensee. If all the required papers are gathered in a timely manner, the operator will save time, as the risk of having the application returned with a request for additional information will be minimized.
To obtain a CPA license the following documents are required:
- Application for Client Provider Authorization (CPA) license
- Business Entity Information Form
- Personal Information Form that is to be completed by each of the following individuals:
- Each director of the applicant corporation (privately held corporations only)
- Each shareholder with ten percent (10%) or more ownership of or controlling interest in the applicant corporation
- Each person who submits a Key Person Licence Application Form
- Control System Submission
- A letter from the holder of a valid Interactive Gaming Licence, indicating that it is aware of and consents to have the Applicant’s Secondary Client Provider Authorization if it is granted, appended to the Interactive Gaming Licence
- A list of all directors, with a biography or CV for each director
- Annual reports prepared by the corporation for the past three years
The operator will need to obtain a Key Person permit and the following documents are required:
- Key Person Licence Application Form. This form must be completed by each of the applicant’s Key Persons. Each applicant must nominate at least one person who exercises a key managerial function.
- Personal information, in the approved form, for each of the proposed key persons.
- A letter from the proposed license holder or authorized client-provider addressed to the Commission confirming the existence of the key relationship, the type of key function the proposed key person will perform and a detailed description of the duties and functions the proposed key person will fulfill, as well as the type of training the proposed key person has received that would qualify him or her to perform the proposed key person function.
Additionally, like all other jurisdictions, Kahnawake requires the following basic documents from each authorized person, officer, director, shareholder, beneficial and ultimate beneficial owner:
- Original Certificate of no criminal record of the owners of the company
- Certified Copy(ies) of passport(s)
- Birth Certificate
- Original bank references of the owners
- Personal Financial Statements for Directors, Shareholders, and UBOs
- Original or certified copies of utility bills
- Description and details of the games offered and gaming software being used
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- Gambling jurisdiction and business advisory
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- Gambling license application
Why is the license needed?
Online gambling licenses not only give the casino credibility but also help operators run their business more effectively.
- Business operations. A license is needed to establish and register a gambling company, open bank accounts, and set up operations.
- Player acquisition. A license gives your business credibility in the eyes of players. Experienced players always prefer to deposit in licensed casinos, as they feel more secure in case some problems with withdrawals or other operations arise. Beginning players choose licensed platforms as well, as they are new to online gambling and prefer to start at a casino that seems more trustworthy.
- Security. Having a license protects operators from legal issues. Operating without a license can result in large fines or prison time.
- Partnerships. B2B software suppliers are more willing to cooperate with licensed operators. This has several advantages, such as assistance with game content and transaction difficulties, which isn’t guaranteed for unlicensed operators, as well as the opportunity to cooperate with internationally-recognized brands.