Requirements for Obtaining a Gambling License in Seychelles
For receiving a gambling license in Seychelles, the applicant should follow all the terms and conditions laid down by FSA as per the Financial Services Act, 2013.
Accordingly, the applicant should have his company or parent organization registered in Seychelles to obtain a gambling license. That means if you are planning to start a casino in Seychelles your business organization should have its head office in Seychelles. FSA allows foreign entrepreneurs to shift their head office to Seychelles so that they can get a valid gambling license.
The next condition relates to the supporting infrastructure and servers that manage the casino activities. This is particularly applicable for applicants who wish to receive an online gambling license. According to FSA all the servers and technology supporting the online casino website should be located in Seychelles. This allows FSA to monitor the gambling sites and their operations without any hindrances.
The third requirement for obtaining a gambling license is that the casino site should use only certified gaming software. This means all the games and Certification ensures that the slot machines are safe and meets the requisite fair gaming standards. The certification or software license ensures the authenticity of the technology used.
List of regulation
Apart from the basic provision and requirements, the licensee should follow a list of regulations related to casino operations that ensure complete player protection.
- FSA requires every licensee to submit a copy of their company’s registration certificate and requisite documents to prove complete compliance with prevalent tax laws.
- Online casino providers aspiring to receive FSA certification should submit details about their software suppliers. This includes the submission of documents that prove their licenses for creating and supplying such software.
- Casino service providers should submit requisite data that proves the authenticity of their source of capital. This involves documents related to the authorized capital and company accounts.
- FSA requires every casino operator to mention the legal address and physical location of the company or the parent organization on their gambling website.
- Detailed reports on the payment system employed, transparency of transactions, and extent of payouts should be furnished as and when required.
- FSA also requires the casino operator to submit the RNG (Random Number Generator) certificate for the games on offer. This is to ensure that all the games function based on RNG technology and thereby produce random and fair results.
- Regarding the RTP of various games, the casino operators should submit an eCOGRA certificate that validates the authenticity of the RTP (Return To Player) percentage displayed on the gambling site.
License and Registration Fees
FSA issues gambling licenses to applicants who comply with the aforementioned rules and pays the prescribed amount of application fee and annual license fees. The fees charged vary depending on the type of license required.
For obtaining a land-based casino license you need to pay SCR25, 000 as an application fee and SCR 1,000,000 as a base fee. In addition, a fee of SCR3, 500 has to be paid for each casino table and SCR2, 500 for each slot machine. The base fee and the casino table fee come under the annual license fee. The operator has to pay this sum annually to maintain the license.
For obtaining a slot machine license the application fee is SCR15, 000 and the annual base fee is SCR125, 000. In addition, the applicant has to pay SCR2, 500 for each slot machine.
In the case of obtaining an Interactive Gambling License, the applicant has to pay SCR50, 000 as an application fee and a fixed amount of SCR300, 000 as the annual fee.
The license fee mentioned above (except the application fee) has to be paid annually for renewing the license. Details regarding the annual license fee and registration fees are available on the official website of FSA. Casino owners who wish to receive a Seychelles gambling license can check out the fee structure, download the application form and send an online application.
FSA also provides an option to transfer the gambling license from one person to another. The procedure involves a fixed fee that is equivalent to the license application fee. Also, the licensee has to pay separate fees for appointing workers and employees. The fees for appointing expatriate workers are higher than the fees for appointing Seychellois workers.
Advantages and Disadvantages
Gambling is an activity that can prove harmful if not controlled at the right time. For this reason, many countries have banned gambling activities like sports betting and table games. And countries that have legalized gambling often impose strict measures to prevent various kinds of malpractices. Every nation has its own set of gambling laws that help the authorities in effectively managing various types of land-based and online casinos. In Seychelles, the government has empowered FSA to control and monitor the gambling activities within the country. FSA is a powerful authority that controls all the non-banking sectors in Seychelles.
Club Liberte Casino, Gran Kaz Victoria, and Star Casino are some of the best gambling centers in the country. These land-based casinos hold an FSA license and operate in compliance with the present gambling laws. Also, FSA monitors and audits the activities regularly.
FSA Gambling Laws
As an autonomous authority, FSA has imposed all the necessary regulations required for issuing appropriate gambling licenses. FSA’s gambling laws and regulations are crucial in protecting the interest of players as they engage in various types of betting activities. Over the years, FSA has successfully helped genuine business entities establish numerous land-based casinos and offer a wide range of licensed gambling games. However, in the case of the online gambling market, FSA has yet to undertake several regulatory measures. Even though FSA came into existence in 2013, the authority has not been able to entirely control the interactive gambling sector.
As of today, many online casinos accept players from Seychelles but not all of them hold a Seychelles gambling license. FSA identifies such sites and warns the players against conducting any kind of transactions. Even though several penalties and punishments exist, the government could not eradicate such unlicensed gaming platforms. Despite the shortcomings, FSA as a regulatory body has several advantages in the long run. The authorities are trying to improve and organize the unlicensed gambling market in Seychelles. In this context, several initiatives are undertaken on a day-to-day basis to make this industry a safer and better place for gamers.
Introduction to Casinos and Gambling Regulations in Seychelles
Seychelles is one of the most beautiful destinations in East Africa. Since 1976, the country has witnessed a steady growth in the tourism and hotel industries which in turn, has resulted in the development of gambling and entertainment sectors.
Seychelles is a group of islands located in the Indian Ocean. Europeans discovered it in the 16th century and the place was uninhabited. After gaining independence from the UK in 1976 agriculture and tourism became the major source of income. During the 1980s several hotels and beach resorts emerged throughout the country. Ever since the country witnessed a remarkable growth in tourism infrastructure. Eventually, casinos and gambling centers were set up for entertaining elite guests and tourists.
Thus, the country has a gambling history of a few decades. Initially, the casino sector was largely unregulated but then, the government initiated Seychelles Gambling Act intending to control the gambling activities in the country. However, the gambling laws were not entirely practiced by all the casino owners. This led to the development of a loosely regulated gambling market wherein most of the interactive gambling operators remained unlicensed.
Seychelles is a popular holiday destination that comprises a group of 115 islands. The countless beaches, exotic wildlife, and aquatic sports have made the country an international holiday destination. To regulate the gambling activities associated with the resorts and luxury hotels, the government of Seychelles developed a set of gambling laws.
The initial legislative measure taken in this context was in the form of the Interactive Gambling Act which came into force in 2003. Even though the act required operators to obtain a license before setting up a land-based or online casino, the rules and legal formalities associated with the same were not strictly followed. Seychelles is one of the lowest populated countries in East Africa and this was one of the main reasons behind the lack of adherence to the gambling laws and regulations imposed by the act. However, the decade that followed witnessed significant growth in the tourism and hotel industry.
Several casinos were established near tourist attractions across the country. The steady rise in economic activities improved the overall standard of living and people started venturing into online casino sites that offered gambling services in other African countries like Mauritius. In 2013 the government established the Seychelles Financial Services Authority. The purpose of this regulatory body was to govern various types of non-banking financial services and companies. Since then the Financial Services Authority controls all the gambling laws.
FSA Is the Autonomous Regulatory Body in Seychelles
Seychelles is primarily a tourist destination with beautiful islands, beaches, nature reserves, wildlife, coral reefs, and rainforests. To regulate and encourage various types of foreign investments and non-banking financial activities, the government of Seychelles introduced the FSA in the year 2013. The FSA as an autonomous regulatory authority was introduced as a replacement for the Seychelles International Business Authority Act which came into force in 1994.
Nevertheless, FSA is much more comprehensive than its predecessor SIBA and covers a broad spectrum of financial sectors including various types of gambling activities, interactive gaming, and sports betting that involves real money. Also, FSA is entirely responsible for controlling the International Trade Zone activities that primarily involve various types of foreign investments. Thus, FSA is the sole authority to issue licenses to foreign entrepreneurs aspiring to establish and conduct their business activities in Seychelles.
Governed by the Financial Services Act, 2013 FSA has complete authority to issue gambling licenses to casino operators. This includes both land-based casino services and online casino websites. The authority has prescribed a set of rules for the applicants who wish to obtain a valid gambling license in Seychelles. FSA is also responsible for monitoring the activities of licensed gambling companies and casino centers.
Also, FSA has complete authority to take action against illicit gaming services and casinos that operate without obtaining a gambling license. The legal measures adopted by the authority may vary depending on the nature of the offense committed. This may involve various types of penalties and punishments including imprisonment.
FSA also reserves the right to inform the public about any kind of illegal gambling services or activities. For instance, FSA can issue a public notice against casino sites that do not have a valid gambling license required to function in Seychelles but still accepts players residing in Seychelles.
At present, all the gambling licenses are issued as per the new gambling law adopted by FSA in 2014. This new act altered the requirements and nature of different gambling licenses. Accordingly, 3 different types of licenses are issued based on the nature of the gambling service provided.
License for Installing Slot Machines
This license allows the operator to install a fixed number of slot machines. The cost depends on the number of slot machines installed and has to be paid in the form of an annual license fee.
License for Land Casinos
The license allows the licensee to offer different types of table games and slot machines. The license fee depends on the extent of games and slot machines involved. Also, separate fees are charged for appointing employees.
License for Online Casinos
A license for online casinos or interactive gambling is required for conducting online gambling operations. The licensee has to pay a fixed sum of money and in return, the gaming site can offer unlimited slots and games such as poker, baccarat, roulette, and blackjack.
Online Casinos in Seychelles
Many online casinos accept players from Seychelles. However, not all of these casinos are reliable. As noted above, these casinos do not hold a Seychelles gambling license. But these casinos are monitored by the FSA for their fair gaming practices. However, since licensing is not available, it is the responsibility of the player to verify the authenticity of a casino before betting with real money.
Listed below are some of the reputed casinos that function in Seychelles. These casinos are certified and they hold gambling licenses issued by other countries. However, FSA is not responsible if the players encounter any unfair practices. Since the sites lack an FSA certification, the authority is not responsible if the players do not receive their payouts.
● JackpotCity Casino
JackpotCity is a legitimate casino that operates in more than 35 countries. The site is certified by Malta Gaming Authority and offers more than 500 games. As the name suggests the site is popular for rewarding extraordinary jackpots and this has been attracting thousands of players daily. Besides slots, the site offers Live Casino and table games. Even though it doesn’t hold a Seychelles gambling license the site accepts players from Seychelles.
● Gaming Club Casino
If you are looking for a reliable online casino that operates in Seychelles, you can count on Gaming Club Casino. The site offers very good payouts and a double deposit bonus. The site is certified by Malta Gaming Authority and eCOGRA. Besides offering prompt payouts, the site has some of the best gambling games available in the market. This includes a wide range of slots, card games, and table games. The players can also enjoy additional privileges such as loyalty rewards and VIP rewards. The only shortcoming is that there is no Live Casino section available.
● Spin Casino
Spin Casino is a well-known gambling site licensed by Malta Gaming Authority and endorsed by eCOGRA. The site offers some of the top jackpot games like Wheel of Wishes, Mega Moolah, and Major Millions 5 Reel. The casino offers a massive deposit bonus for new players which allows them to place bets on high-paying slots. The site has a special casino app and mobile casino which is quite popular among its players.
● Miami Club Casino
Miami Club Casino is a top gaming site that has obtained an RTP certification and a Certificate of Fair Gambling. All the table games, poker, and slots are regularly audited for their randomness and fairness. The gaming site is popular for its collection of the latest slots like The Book of the Earth, Zombie Invasion, and Naughty Ninjas.
● Mr. Bit Casino
Mr. Bit is a Curacao-based online casino licensed by the Government of Curacao. The site offers a 100% welcome bonus and multiple promotional deals like cashback, free bets, and a 90% bonus. The unique feature of the site is its massive collection of games that includes 5195 slot machines, 150 table games, 41 video poker games, and 232 Live Casino games.
● Fair Go Casino
If you are looking for a trustable casino with lots of fun games and bonus deals, Fair Go casino is a good choice. The site offers daily promotional deals and discount coupons on top games. It has a special section for progressive slots and jackpot games. The site offers all kinds of gambling games such as Board Games, Shooting, Keno, Bingo, Table Games, and Scratch Cards. It has a separate page that lists the hottest slot games with big payouts. Cash Bandits 3, Storm Lords, Wild Fire 7s, and Epic Holiday Party are some of the top games in this section.
● 888 Casino
888 Casino is yet another popular online gaming site with impressive site ratings. The gaming portal holds a Gambling Commission license. At present, the casino offers more than 2000 games and 135 Live Casino games. The site has won back-to-back awards for its performance and user experience. It has secured EGR Awards for the years 2019 and 2021. Also, the site received the 2020 Gaming Intelligence Award. The casino site guarantees secure banking, player protection, and some of the best slots with high RTP. The site also has an 888 Exclusive gaming section where you can play exclusive instant win games, keno, roulette, baccarat, and blackjack.
Besides the casinos mentioned above, there are many more big and small online gambling sites and mobile casinos that allow players from Seychelles to place bets on their gaming platforms. However, not all of them are safe or dependable as the ones mentioned above.
Seychelles is a small country inhabited by a population of 98,462. It is an archipelago of 115 small islands popular for its scenic beauty. The growth in the tourism sector gave rise to numerous casino resorts and gambling centers in the country. Online gambling was considered illegal in Seychelles until the Interactive Gambling Act was passed in 2003. However, no licenses were registered under this act and after 11 years, the FSA Act was adopted on 1st March 2014.
Even though FSA is a licensing authority, the online casinos operating in Seychelles have never attempted to secure a valid Seychelles gambling license. In other words, the interactive gambling sites functioning in Seychelles are not FSA certified even though they are fully certified by other gambling authorities like MGA.
Seychelles Licensed Online Casinos FAQ
The Financial Services Authority was formed in the year 2013.
The 3 types of gambling licenses issued by FSA are the Seychelles casino license, the slot machine license, and the interactive gambling license.
Yes, online gambling is legal in Seychelles but the online casinos do not hold a valid Seychelles Gambling License.
The annual license fee for an online casino in Seychelles is SCR300, 000.
FSA effectively controls the land-based casinos and there are many casinos and gambling centres in the country that hold a valid gambling license. However, in the case of interactive gambling, FSA couldn’t enforce licensing but takes certain regulatory action against illicit online gambling activities in the form of penalties and fines.