How to obtain a Kahnawake gaming license?


Kahnawake Territory is a reservationIndianslocated in Quebec, Canada. This is one of the first jurisdictions in the world that saw the potential of the online gambling sector and decided to introduce its own regulation of the online gambling business.

The first gambling rules were adopted in 1999 by the official licensing and regulation of gambling activities in the territory Kahnawake – Gaming Commission (“Commission”). Since then, the Commission has ensured that online gaming is conducted responsibly, fairly, and legally.

Types of licenses issued

The Commission issues the following types of licenses and permits:

  • Interactive Games License (IGL);

Is an analogy of the Curacao Master License, however, unlike the latter, where 4 subjects own the Master license, in Kahnawake it is only one –Mohawk Internet Technologies. The license gives the right to provide hosting services-provider for those who want to get a CPA license.

  • Client’s Provider Authorisation (CPA)

CPA, in turn, is an analog of a sub-license in Curacao. There is no limit to the number of CPAs that can be issued by the Commission. CPA must be placed in a hosting center that owns IGL and has the right to offer any kind of interactive games: gambling, poker, and betting.

  • Software vendor license

With this license, you, as a software provider, have the right to legally provide licensed gaming software to third-party operators, but it is prohibited to operate independently under this license.

  • Licenses for key persons of the company.

“The key person of the company” is a mandatory requirement of the Kahnawake license. Within the structure of the operator’s company, although one key person.

Benefits of Kahnawake gambling license

The Kahnawake gambling license has many advantages over many competing licenses. These benefits will be discussed below. This license allows the owner to legally conduct a gambling business in many jurisdictions and cooperate with game providers and payment systems providers that are popular in the industry. 

In addition, the license itself is issued for a period of five years and, no less important, according to the terms of the license itself, the only closed market for the United States. However, operators should be aware that their activity must comply with the laws of the selected target market, including advertising rules.

When it comes to taxation, Kahnawake looks like the perfect place to license gambling. Operators with a Kahnawake gambling license enjoy a 0% tax rate on all GGRs. In this regard, Kahnawake is one of the most attractive jurisdictions for casino licensing in the long term.

In addition, the following will be an advantage:

  • High player acceptance

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is known for its respectability, and this jurisdiction is considered to be reliable. Having a Kahnawake gambling license implies responsible and fair gaming practices, as well as the fact that this organization is not a fraud.

  • Safety 

Having a license protects operators from legal problems. Working without a license can result in heavy fines or jail time.

  • Partnership 

B2B software vendors are more willing to partner with licensed operators. This has a number of advantages, such as help with game content and difficulties with transactions, which is not guaranteed to unlicensed operators, as well as the possibility of cooperation with internationally recognized brands.

How to get a Kahnawake gambling license?

The process of obtaining a gambling license in Kahnawake may seem longer than in other gambling jurisdictions. Here are the basic steps to get a Kahnawake license:

If all documents are approved and the application is granted, the license will be issued for only six months. Thereafter, at least thirty days prior to the expiration of the initial six-month period, the Commission will review the operator’s performance and consider whether the operator has satisfactorily completed the relevant compliance program. The Commission will investigate if there have been a large number of complaints from players or other third parties, as well as if the operator has violated any laws, or has committed any other actions that negatively affected the credibility or reputation of the Commission.

Based on this assessment, the Commission will decide whether to renew the license for a period of five years, refuse to renew the license, or extend the period of validity of the authorization to provide client services for an additional three months.

Application process takes four to eight weeks.

What do I need to apply for a Kahnawake gambling license in 2023?

In order to successfully obtain a Kahnawake gambling license, operators must first collect all the necessary documents. If all the necessary paperwork is collected in a timely manner, the operator will save time, since the risk that the application will be returned with a request for additional information will be minimized.

The list of required documents for obtaining a license is as follows:

  • Application for a license
  • Legal Entity Information Form
  • Personal Information Form to be completed by each of the following individuals:

– Each director of the applicant corporation (only for private corporations)

– Each shareholder holding ten (10%) or more percent of the ownership or controlling interest of the applicant corporation

– Each person applying for a Key Person License.

  • Representation of the control system

– A letter from the holder of a valid interactive gambling license stating that he is aware of and agrees that the permission of the applicant’s customers’ secondary supplier if granted, be attached to the interactive gambling license.

– List of all directors with the curriculum vitae of each director (for public companies)

  • In addition, since the operator will need to obtain permission to work with key persons, the following documents will also be required:

– Application form for a permit to work with key persons. This form must be completed by each of the key persons of the applicant. Each applicant must nominate at least one person to perform key management functions.

– Personal information in the approved form for each of the proposed key persons.

– A letter from the proposed license holder or authorized customer service provider addressed to the Commission confirming the existence of a key relationship, the type of key function that the proposed key person will perform, and a detailed description of the duties and functions that the proposed key person will perform, as well as the type of training passed by the proposed key person to qualify him or her for the proposed key person function.

In addition, as in all other jurisdictions, the following basic documents are required from each authorized person, officer, director, shareholder, beneficial owner, and ultimate beneficial owner in Kahnawake:

  • Original certificate of no criminal record from the owners of the company;
  • Certified copy(s) of passport(s);
  • Birth certificate;
  • Original bank statements of the owners;
  • Personal financial statements for directors, shareholders, and UBOs;
  • Originals or certified copies of utility bills;
  • Description and details of the games offered and the gaming software used.

Disadvantages of Obtaining a License in Kahnawake

The prospect of obtaining a license from KGC may seem daunting to some operators due to the six-month waiting period for final approval. Some operators do not feel completely safe while waiting because they know that there is a possibility that they will not receive a full license. However, this does not distinguish Kahnawake from other countries, as other jurisdictions can also suspend a license at any time if operators do not comply with compliance requirements or violate other rules. If operators conduct their gambling business responsibly, there is nothing to worry about in any jurisdiction.

As a separate drawback, it is important to note the ability of the regulator to simply refuse to issue you a licensing certificate even after payment has been made, as well as a trial period of 6 months, after which licenses can also be decided.

Kahnawake License cost

In addition to the cost of filing the application itself and the license, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission also imposes a mandatory annual fee from each license holder.

  • Gambling License Annual Fee – $10,000
  • Software Provider License Annual Fee – $10,000
  • The annual fee for key persons of the company – $ 1,000


The Kahnawake gambling license is a good alternative to the Curacao license. It will be of interest to those projects that do not want to limit themselves by the list of countries for operation and will be suitable for start-up projects. We expect the popularity of this license to increase after the new regulatory regime in Curacao.

Are you interested in obtaining a gambling license? Submit your request – we will be happy to find the right license for your project.


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