The Best Markets for Implementing a Successful iGaming Start-Up in 2023

17 march 2023

The Data Bridge research centre predicts that the volume of online gambling revenue will reach $144.74 billion by 2028, taking into account the annual growth rate (CAGR) of 13.7%. The capitalisation of the industry is influenced by many factors, including the rapid enhancement of the gambling sector in local markets.

The best markets for iGaming start-ups in 2023

CASEXE describes the benefits of launching a Gaming start-up in key regions. The experts also show how each specific market will affect the growth of gambling on a global scale.


Europe’s Major Changes in Legislation

The EU remains the most developed and promising region in terms of investment. The benefits lie in the fact that all types of gaming are allowed here. The market exhibits a stable socio-economic and political situation, as well as a high level of income among the population.

The European region is diverse. In some countries, all types of gambling are available (for example, Malta or Lithuania). While other states allow only land-based halls (for instance, Poland).

Some jurisdictions have introduced a monopoly on a particular type of gambling. This approach, for example, is observed in Romania. The right to organise lotteries has been given to the state company Loteria Romana.

In 2023, the governments of many countries announced innovations in legislation. Bets were allowed in Internet casinos and bookmakers in Germany. Although only a few gambling halls in one federal state worked in the country until recently.

The course towards the legalisation of the gambling market can be explained by several reasons:

  • the growth of deductions to the budget due to licence fees, as well as taxes on GGR (gross gambling revenue);
  • combating the grey market;
  • the attraction of large investments in the economy;
  • support for fair play;
  • informing the public about the risks of ludomania.

The EU wants to protect the population from the negative effects of gambling. This is achieved through the legalisation of the field and the implementation of fair and transparent business conditions. Traffic to illegal Internet resources is instantly blocked by local regulators. While the work of lawful companies is supported and stimulated in every possible way.

In the last few years, a tightening of policies regarding entertainment product marketing has been observed in Europe.

The authorities of Great Britain, France, and Ireland have already banned advertising in the daytime. Belgium will introduce a prohibition on gambling ads in the media and public places as part of an updated sports sponsorship regulation from July 1, 2023.

Why is it Worth Launching an iGaming Project in Europe?

The main advantages of the solution are:

  1. High income of the population. The locals make good money and, as a result, spend a lot on gambling. For them, betting in a casino or sportsbook is a way to have fun and have fun, not to earn money. In France, poker tournaments are the most popular. In Scandinavia, the leadership is held by digital casinos. In the UK and Ireland, bets in bookmaker’s offices and on racetracks, as well as online sweepstakes, are demanded.
  2. The use of IT innovations. Blockchain, artificial intelligence, virtual, and augmented reality make iGaming projects better, more interesting and more favourable for investors. The use of cryptocurrency is allowed in many European states — Malta, the UK, and Lithuania. The only nuance lies in the fact that the operator is obliged to declare income and pay taxes when converting digital units into fiat ones.
  3. Stable economic growth. Europe is the world's financial, cultural, political, and tourist centre. All sectors are well-developed here. This affects the capitalisation of the gambling segment. Investors earn a lot of money. They are glad to fund the implementation of start-ups.
  4. The availability of offshore zones. Malta and Gibraltar are located in Europe. These jurisdictions are characterised by simplified business registration, low taxes, and good opportunities for scaling gambling projects.

Consider promising countries for launching an iGaming start-up:


The jurisdiction occupies a leading position in the European entertainment market. Over 450 companies that are somehow connected with gambling are registered here. Well-known software manufacturers are based in Malta: iSoftBet, Booming Games, Relax Gaming, Pragmatic Play, Wazdan, and many others.

Malta hosts the annual SiGMA exhibition. It brings together investors, developers, and gambling operators. Providers showcase technical innovations and the country's regulator MGA announces major changes at SiGMA.

The gambling industry generates 13% of the island's gross domestic income. Therefore, it is logical that the local government supports and stimulates the sector in every possible way.

The benefits of creating an online casino in Malta are:

  • minimum tax burden;
  • all types of gambling are allowed;
  • access to advanced IT tools and highly skilled personnel;
  • long validity of the licence — 10 years.

The country issues four types of B2C permits: for Web casinos, Internet bookmakers, poker sites, and fantasy sports betting projects. In addition, entrepreneurs can apply for B2B licences if they plan to produce gambling software or payment systems.

The annual fee is €25,000. Additional costs depend on the type of permit.


The country was one of the first in Eastern Europe to legalise gambling. This had a positive economic effect. Investments flowed into Romania from all over the world. The treasury increased thanks to taxes or fees.

At the beginning of 2023, all types of gaming are allowed here, including online and offline areas. An exception is the holding of lottery draws. The state monopoly Loteria Romana operates on the market.

Permits are issued by the Romanian National Gambling Office (ONJN). The body also monitors the fulfilment of obligations by licensees and resolves disputes between gamers and operators.

Two types of licences are available to entrepreneurs: B2C and B2B. The first one allows operators to manage Internet casinos and bookmakers. The annual fee depends on the revenue for the reporting period. With a turnover of less than €500 thousand, businessmen pay €15.6 thousand.

Consider the benefits of launching an online casino in Romania:

  • favourable geographical position (the entertainment field in most neighbouring countries is only at the stage of formation);
  • fast issuance of permits;
  • accessible advertising of gaming services (the main thing is that marketing programs should not be directed at minors).


The Baltic states are marked by their loyal attitude to gambling, well-developed IT environment, and moderate taxes compared to European standards. Estonia occupies the leading position in the region.

The industry is regulated by the Gambling Act, which was passed in 2008. The management of Web casinos and sportsbooks is given to private investors. However, lottery draws are held by the state company Eesti Loto.

Two types of permits are available to entrepreneurs: for bookmakers and digital casinos. The cost of licences is €35.2 thousand and €51.2 thousand. Documents are valid for 5 years.

Gambling advertising is restricted. It is allowed only at night, away from public places and social infrastructure (kindergartens, schools, hospitals, etc.).

Why is it worth opening an online casino in Estonia:

  • low taxes (owners of online gambling sites pay 5% of GGR);
  • modern infrastructure (large data centres, 4G and 5G towers are located in the country);
  • huge potential for business growth and scaling.

Latin America: Waiting for an Economic Miracle

Favourable gambling markets: Latin America

The LatAm market is rather diverse. While gambling flourishes in some countries (for example, Colombia), it is completely prohibited in others (such as Ecuador).

A separate category is made up of jurisdictions that are on the verge of large-scale changes. Investors expect the opening of the gaming market in Brazil and Chile, given the enormous economic, technical, and labour potential of these countries.

Leadership in terms of GGR is held by betting. The priority is team sports: football, volleyball, rugby, and basketball. The second place in terms of profitability is occupied by online casinos. Punters prefer comfort. Therefore, they often play from home.

Why Should You Open an iGaming Start-Up in Latin America?

The main advantages of the solution are:

  1. The popularity of gambling. LatAm is a densely inhabited region where people enjoy betting. The telecommunications network is well-developed here. Each gamer has one or more gadgets. The launch of a mobile casino or a bookmaker site is promising from the point of view of earnings.
  2. Low competition. The online gambling niche is still low-filled due to the lack of clear regulation in some countries. In Brazil, the government is actively fighting the grey market and is working on the full legalisation of the industry. Entrepreneurs have a chance to launch an iGaming start-up in a low-competitive region quickly.
  3. Active digitalisation of the economy. Entrepreneurs have access to Bitcoin casinos, platforms with VR slots, and AR content. Latin America is open to innovation and IT solutions that make the business profitable and attractive for investment.

Where to Open a Successful Online Casino?

The overview of LatAm countries with the legal gambling field:


The jurisdiction occupies a leading position in the region in terms of GGR. The gambling industry generates 1.5% of Colombia's GDP. All types of gambling are allowed here. However, sports betting, bingo, and online casinos are especially popular.

The first licence to manage an iGaming site was issued in 2007. Now, over 20 legal operators work in the country. Therefore, the market remains low-competitive.

Licensing rules are similar to European ones. One document allows the businessman to manage several gambling sites or land-based betting shops at once


The region's second economy allowed gaming in 2015.

The country is divided into provinces. Each of them has its gambling regulations. 3 territories show the highest profitability — Buenos Aires, Mendoza, and Cordoba. They account for 70% of the state's gross gambling revenue.

The fiscal burden on the business depends on the place of an operator’s registration. In Buenos Aires, the rate is 10%. Although in the capital province, the tax is higher — 25%. In addition, all entrepreneurs pay a federal gambling tax — 5% of net income for the reporting period.

One of the largest land-based casinos in the world, the Trilenium Casino de Tigre, is located in Argentina. The establishment includes over 1,800 slot machines, a lot of card tables, and roulette wheels


Launching an online casino in this region is a promising direction for investment. The population of the country is above 120 million. 60% of residents have access to high-speed mobile Internet.

Entrepreneurs should pay attention to the development of applications for gadgets. Mobile casinos are in great demand among gamers due to the fair and comfortable play at home.

In 2004, the government loosened gambling laws. To launch an iGaming start-up, businessmen do not need to obtain a special licence. It is enough to sign a partnership agreement with a land-based permit holder, as well as to be authorised by a local regulator

Costa Rica

The offshore zone does not issue gambling licences. However, it does not prohibit the work of operators in the country either. The main thing is that their actions should not be directed at the local population.

Over 400 iGaming companies are registered in the jurisdiction. Businesses are attracted by low taxes and a well-developed IT sector. The use of cryptocurrencies is allowed. This has a positive effect on the investment attractiveness of the island.

To launch an iGaming start-up, it is necessary to open a local company and obtain a data processing licence

The Dominican Republic

All types of gambling are allowed in the country, except for bets on virtual and fantasy sports. The cost of an online casino permit is $230,000. In addition, the entrepreneur needs to pay a registration fee of $23,000.

The attractiveness of the Dominican Republic caused due to low deductions. Operators pay only 10% of GGR. There are no taxes on dividends and withdrawn capital at all. Licenced companies can operate gambling sites with a .com domain address

Asia: The Introduction of Innovative Technologies

The best iGaming markets: Asia

This is the most desirable market for operators. The region is densely populated (almost 60% of the total number of people in the world). It is characterised by a developing economy. Businesses have room to grow. Entrepreneurs have a lot of investment opportunities to make good money.

The capitalisation of gambling in Asia depends on many factors. This is a tribute to centuries-old gaming traditions (dice and cards are a priority) and an active infusion of money from the state (Macau and Singapore).

The growth of the industry is also influenced by the introduction of information technologies:

  • blockchain;
  • artificial intelligence;
  • virtual and augmented reality.

Singapore, for example, plans to launch the first AI-based casino. The project is being developed by SenseTime, a Hong Kong-based Fintech company known for developing solutions based on machine learning algorithms.

An innovative hall with croupier robots will be opened based on the famous resort Resorts World Sentosa. AI-powered cameras that can track people's behaviour and identify intruders and gambling addicts will be installed in the casino.

The SenseTime system will analyse the actions of real dealers based on gesture recognition technology to prevent card fraud. All gambling props (chips, tokens, cards, etc.) will be equipped with high-precision RFID radio-frequency tags.

The capitalisation of the industry is influenced by the introduction of blockchain. At the beginning of 2023, several financial regulators from Asia at once announced an easing of their policy regarding the use of cryptocurrencies.

The Hong Kong Securities and Futures Commission (SFC), for example, announced large-scale changes in the blockchain market at the end of this year. The regulator plans to simplify the issuance of licences for crypto trading and allow the use of digital currency in online lotteries and sweepstakes.

Why is it Worth Opening a Web Casino in Asia?

The main advantages of the solution are:

  1. Good potential for growth. Asia is the only continent where the land-based gambling sector dominates. It brings 55% of the total income in the gaming industry. Analysts predict that by 2028 the share of the online segment will increase and reach 70%. Entrepreneurs have a great chance to launch a successful project in a low-competition market.
  2. The popularity of live games. Real dealer roulette, baccarat, blackjack, and Sic Bo are in great demand among the audience. Therefore, a profitable investment direction in Asia is the launch of a live casino. The advantages of the solution include a good response from users, support for the multiplayer mode, and a huge number of main and additional bets. These features increase the average player's check.
  3. The course towards the legalisation of gambling. Many countries in the region (Thailand, Vietnam, etc.) are working on the liberalisation of the gaming industry. The purpose of the changes is to streamline the regulatory framework, bring the market out of the shadows, and increase budget revenues.

Let us consider promising jurisdictions for investment:

The Philippines

The country occupies a leading position in the region in terms of GGR. Nevertheless, unlike China (Macau) or Singapore, all types of gambling are allowed and well-developed in the Philippines. Many European providers (for example, EveryMatrix and iSoftBet) have opened representative offices here, noting good prospects for starting and scaling a business.

Two regulators work in the Philippines:

Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR)

The authority is responsible for licensing bingo halls, bookmakers, as well as land-based and online casinos. The main condition is a ban on gambling for residents of the country. This means that all advertising activities must be aimed at tourists.

The Commission also issues permits for offshore operators (or POGO). Licenced companies can accept bets from gamers from all over the world, as long as such activity does not contradict the local laws in their countries

Cagayan Economic Zone Authority (CEZA) The Cagayan Special Economic Zone Authority issues permits for the operation of land-based casinos and bookmakers.Gambling establishments can be visited by residents who have reached the age of majority. The work of CEZA is characterised by a preferential taxation regime. The cost of the licence is calculated based on the planned GGR

Why you should open an online casino in the Philippines:

  • the minimal fiscal burden on businesses (entrepreneurs pay only 5% of turnover);
  • the acceptance of bets from non-residents through platforms with a .com or .pa domain address;
  • well-developed gambling community;
  • the demand for live games among residents.


The growth of the entertainment sector in the country is associated with investments in the tourism industry. Large hotels and entertainment complexes are being built on the Black Sea coast. Halls with card tables and slot machines are opening there. The online segment is also not far behind. Over the past 3 years, more than 50 new iGaming operators have been registered in Georgia.

To obtain a licence for an online casino, the entrepreneur must already have a permit to operate a land-based hall. It is possible to go an alternative way — sign an agreement on the partial or full use of a gambling facility to optimise the costs of launching an iGaming start-up.

To accept bets through different channels (via the Internet, mobile applications, or self-service terminals), the availability of one gambling licence is enough. Permit fees vary by region. The highest state rates are provided in the capital region.

Entrepreneurs pay:

  • income tax (15%);
  • property tax (1%);
  • charges for wages of hired personnel (20%).


The country is characterised by the ambiguous attitude of the government towards gambling. While in some states (Sikkim, Goa) all types of online and offline gaming are allowed, in others the launch of a casino and betting shop is prohibited. The Indian authorities are actively working on the liberalisation of the industry to bring the market out of the grey zone.

Floating casinos in the state of Goa are in demand in the country. This tourist attraction gives good returns to investors. Throughout India, skill-based are allowed, including poker (Texas Hold'em, Caribbean Stud, and other types).

People can participate in bingo draws, including scratch cards with instant results and lotteries.

The development of gambling in India is associated with the growth of the payment sector. The leading FinTech projects UPI and PayTM are designed to conduct instant Internet transactions. This is highly valued in the entertainment market.

The Main Things about Launching an iGaming Start-Up in 2023

Launching an iGaming start-up in 2023

The development of the world industry is influenced by the rapid growth of the field in 3 regions — Europe, Latin America, and Asia.

  • Europe remains the strongest investment market. All types of gambling are well-developed here. There is a stable economic and political situation. The authorities are working to improve the regulatory framework. It is possible to launch a successful iGaming start-up in Malta, Romania, Estonia, and other countries. The Scandinavian and Baltic markets remain up-and-coming.
  • Latin America has been called a sleeping economic giant. An ambiguous attitude towards gambling is observed in the region. In Colombia, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Argentina, online casinos are allowed. Entrepreneurs receive stable incomes. The governments of Brazil and Chile are working on opening the gambling market, waiting for additional revenues to the budget.
  • Asia is famous for technical innovations in the entertainment sector. It plans to open the first casino based on artificial intelligence. Promising gambling sites are already using cryptocurrency. The Philippines is the leader in the region. The land-based sector is developed in Singapore and China (Macau). Internet betting is in demand in India and Georgia.

You can order a profitable iGaming project from CASEXE. We provide assistance in licensing and promoting start-ups, creating a business plan, and developing HTML5 slots based on individual sketches.

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Author: Matt Grant
iGaming business expert
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