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Vanuatu Online Gaming

The Vanuatu government approved online gaming in 1999. The Vanuatu Interactive Gaming Act was passed by Parliament in March 2000 and officially published on 31 May 2000. The licensing process is regulated by the Finance Ministry and the Department of Customs & Inland Revenue.

The approval process for businesses seeking licensure is stringent but kept confidential. The government requires background checks on applicants, their close associates and significant suppliers; the company’s gaming systems; financial security; corporate competency; and its business plan. Licensees are required to provide monthly reports showing players’ funds are managed appropriately and the business finances are in order.

On 17 March 2003, the Vanuatu government amended its Interactive Gaming legislation to offer online gaming licenses to sportsbooks and betting exchanges. Asia Pacific Totalisators Ltd. received the first Limited (Sports Book) Interactive Gaming License on the same day for a period of 15 years.

License fees for sportsbook operators require a USD 35,000 application fee plus USD 30,000 annually. An interactive gaming license for all other gaming requires a license fee of USD 75,000 with an annual fee of USD 50,000. The license term is 10 years. Once approved, operators must pay an interactive gaming tax of 2.5% on gross monthly earnings and a 0.1% turnover tax on fixed-odds betting. No other taxes or charges are levied on licensees or licensee companies. VAT is not payable on interactive gaming revenues regardless if onshore or offshore. VAT paid on business inputs by licensees is refundable. There are no company or personal income taxes in Vanuatu.
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