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Vanuatu iGaming Jurisdiction

iGaming Jurisdictions - Vanuatu

Vanuatu was amongst the first to capitalize on online gaming. The Vanuatu Government undertook a mighty project in 1999: an extensive research and analysis project, probing into e-gaming and examining the pros and cons.

This task took a full nine months to complete, but the Government determined that, if managed correctly and regulated, online gaming could be an extremely lucrative venture with ample advantage to operators both within Vanuatu and abroad.

Since the early 1970s, Vanuatu had heavily encouraged some type of off-shore activity to boost the economy and draw recognition to the area. With a combined effort of the private sector and governing body, the offshore venture really picked up in the 1990s.

However, after the OECD labeled Vanuatu as an uncooperative nation regarding the global fight against money laundering, legitimate business took a serious hit. With the gaming proposal of 1999, the region would receive a much needed boost to its reputation.

Not only does Vanuatu work to bring offshore gamblers into their jurisdiction in order to profit and create business opportunity, but they're also on a self-proclaimed mission to legitimize gambling via the internet and other electronic devices.

There are so many nations around the world who still prohibit gambling, and by attracting wealthy and big-name operators to their authority, Vanuatu appears much more legitimate when broaching the subject of worldwide legalization.

In 2003, four years after the new provisions were passed, the Vanuatu Government announced changes to its e-gaming legislation. Their goal was to offer an even more competitive licensing system that would handle sports books and other betting mediums. On March 17, 2003, Asia Pacific Totalisators Ltd. became the first officially licensed sports book in Vanuatu, procuring a license for 15 years.

Not only did the new regulations allow for a rather lengthy licensing period, but they also opened the door for a new fee structure to deal with firms restricting their operations to fixed odds, event wagering, etc.

Vanuatu may be eager to legalize gambling across the globe, but they're extremely selective about which corporations they give licenses to. In order to be approved, the applicant must go through a rigorous process that includes a multitude of background checks, gaming system inspection, security and financial information, and a detailed look at the business plan of the applicant to ensure the proposal is legitimate.

If approved after the application process has run its course, operators then must pay a gaming tax of 2.5% on gross monthly earnings, and a 0.1% turnover tax on fixed-odds betting. For sports books, operators must pay a $35,000 application fee, and also a $30,000 license fee. Every other type of game operator must pay $75,000 per application and an annual license fee of $50,000. A Vanuatu license is one of the most expensive.

Key Figures

  • Corporation Tax Rate: 0.1% on fixed odds betting.
  • Gaming Tax Rate: 2.5% of gross monthly earnings
  • Licence Fee: - For sports books: $35,000 application fee plus $30,000, annually.
    - Other types of operator: $75,000 application fee plus $50,000 annually
  • Licence Length: 1 year

Contact Details

Manager, Licensing Review and Audit
PO Box 124
Port Vila

Tel: +678-25243
Fax: +678-25635


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