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Vanuatu: Offshore Business Sectors

Electronic Gaming

In 1999, the Government of Vanuatu completed a research and analysis project into internet gaming. The Government then determined that internet gaming, if managed responsibly and appropriately, may be offered from within Vanuatu with significant advantage to operators, players and the people of Vanuatu represented by the Government.

Vanuatu says it aims to attract strong and well positioned internet gaming operators who can, together with the Government, be a driving force to the sensible legitimization of internet gaming worldwide.

Vanuatu has enacted a comprehensive legislative framework that provides for the following:

  • Probity checking of license applicants, their close associates and significant suppliers - to ensure that the people conducting internet gaming from Vanuatu are fit to do so;
  • Competency checking – to assure that licensees have the necessary skills and experience to successfully operate an internet gaming business;
  • Financial checking of operators – to assure licensees have the financial resources necessary to be successful;
  • Gaming system checking – to assure that the gaming systems are secure, fair, robust and well managed;

On March 17, 2003, the Government of Vanuatu announced amendments to its Interactive Gaming legislation, to offer a more competitive licensing regime for online sportsbooks and betting exchanges.

Effective on that date, Asia Pacific Totalisators Ltd. received the first Limited (Sports Book) Interactive Gaming License, for a period of 15 years. The amendments gave effect to the introduction of a new licensing fee structure for firms restricting the scope of their operations to Event Wagering - Fixed odds, and/or P2P (Betting Exchange), and/or Parimutuel.

Internet gambling sites that offer events wagering pay a once only application fee of USD35,000 and an annual payment of USD30,000. In addition, operators of fixed odds event wagering pay 0.1% turnover tax, while all other forms of gaming and wagering are taxed at 2.5% of net gaming revenue.



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