Kahnawake Gaming Commission

A regulatory license from recognized bodies in the iGaming industry is something that every legitimate online casino must have. Several authorities oversee online gambling services, including the Kahnawake Gaming Commission. Over 50 online casino operators hold gambling licenses from this commission.

Kahnawake came into existence in 1996 and started by licensing land-based casinos in the Mohawk Territory. However, in July 1999, the commission ventured into online gambling and became one of the first regulatory authorities in the iGaming world.

Although it operates out of Canada, several online gambling operators, including sports betting sites and poker rooms, trust the commission to regulate their affairs. The Kahnawake Commission itself is fully legal in Canada and other jurisdictions.

In South Africa, however, the stringent laws guiding online gambling make it illegal for both operators and players to carry out online gambling in the country. As a result, most casino lovers turn to offshore operators and licensing. Whether or not you can trust the Kahnawake License, how it operates, and the advantages of owning one, read on to find out in our detailed article.

By Adiela de Bruyn - Last modified 2024/02/08 - Estimated reading time: 10 minutes.

Table of contents

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Choose casino

Best Kahnawake licensed online casinos

  1. 1
    Silversands casino
    Silversands casino Since 1999
    Casino Games
    InfoAmount of casino games offered
    Jackpot Pokies
    InfoAmount of slots with jackpot option
How icon

How does the Kahnawake Gaming Commission work?

The first thing you should know about licenses from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is that they come in different tiers. Generally, each of these licenses comes with a unique set of rules you and the operators must abide by. The process of acquiring them, while slightly different, usually requires you to present certain necessary documents, including financial and technical audits.

Lots of small gaming businesses and startups agree that a Kahnawake license is one of the best to have for certain reasons. One of the top reasons is the relatively short application processing, which makes it one of the quickest iGaming licenses to obtain in the industry. Let's quickly look at the different kinds of licenses in Kahnawake.

different icon

Understanding the different types of Kahnawake Gambling License

Depending on the kind of gaming activity you want to carry out in your establishment, there are five major Kahnawake licenses to choose from. We've taken time to break down what each of these licenses does and which one you can acquire to suit your business needs.

Client Provider Authorisation

This Kahnawake Gaming License is also referred to as the CPA License, and it's one of the most popular. As an online casino operator, this is the primary license that you need to obtain from the commission.

It covers everything from sportsbooks to poker rooms, online casinos, bingo, and the lottery. Like the rest of the licenses offered by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, it comes with an annual license fee renewal fee, which is steeper than some of the others. But it covers online games, which is why the CPA license remains a favorite of iGaming operators.

Key Person License

If you're an individual holding a key position in a company operating with a Kahnawake gambling license, then you need to get a second license. This rule only applies to holders of the Interactive Gaming License and the CPA License.

The key person license is only available to key individuals who've undergone thorough background checks and training from the KGC. This license shows that such individuals meet the commission's standard to fill such a position.

Individuals who are eligible for this license are:

  • CEOs
  • COOs
  • CFOs
  • Compliance Officers
  • Money-Laundering Reporting Officer
  • Game Operations Manager
  • Risk Management Officer

Interactive Gaming License

In addition to covering all the services that the CPA license covers, the IGL offers you the opportunity to operate a casino facility that is located within Kahnawake territory. It also allows you to carry out other online operational functions, like processing your own payment system and developing your gaming software by yourself.

While this license is more flexible and provides you with access to a wider range of services than the first, it's pricier and requires you to operate physically from the issuing territory, which might not be ideal, especially if you're not already operating out of Canada. But then again, it may help you save money on other operational costs. So it's really about what your organization needs.

Service Provider License

As its name implies, this license caters to companies that provide certain services to licensed iGaming operators. It's the direct opposite of the Client Provider Authorisation. But it's not a one-size-fits-all kind of license; you'll only be issued a license for the specific services you provide.

The major provider licenses in the Kahnawake Gaming Commission are those for payment processing, software development, affiliate marketing, and risk management. So this means that if you want to offer multiple services, you'll need multiple licenses in this category.

Something important you need to know, though, is that you have to use this license in Kahnawake territory. Another thing is that your service must be offered to a licensed provider and never directly to a player.

Live Dealer Studio License

Operators who use a Kahnawake Gaming License and wish to add live dealer games to their online casino need to acquire two licenses from the commission. However, this is another license that operates directly out of Kahnawake.

The conditions attached to this license require you to open and operate a live studio in Kahnawake. You'll also need to employ live dealers and then steam your games live from the studio. Live dealer studio authorizations come with stricter guidelines and are very difficult to obtain. It's only advisable to get it if you're already a well-established casino in the industry.

Get icon

How to Get a Kahnawake Online Gambling License

Obtaining a gambling license in Kahnawake or anywhere else can be a very strenuous process because of the many requirements and documents needed for the licensing process. Thankfully, we have carefully gone over the processes involved in getting a Kahnawake gambling license, and we'll present you with a simplified version below.

Documents Required for the License

The first thing you need to do is ensure that you have the accurate and necessary documents. Here's a list of documents the Kahnawake Gaming Commission requests:

  • A business development plan
  • An RNG certificate
  • Responsible gaming policy
  • Anti-money laundering policy

For the key person permit, you have to present documents showing your criminal records, your utility bills, and your bank statement.

Other Requirements and Conditions

After confirming that all your documents are intact, the next thing you need to do is ensure that you meet the remaining requirements, which we've listed below:

  • Your company registration is in the Kahnawake Mohawk Territory
  • You have software from certified providers
  • Have at least one shareholder who's going to physically represent you before the commission
  • Provide important information about your technical and security measures
  • Present detailed information about your responsible gaming practices and fair play policies
  • Be prepared to pay the fees attached

The Licensing Process in Detail

Once you meet all of these requirements, you can proceed to apply for the Kahnawake gaming license by doing the following:

  1. Send at least one person to the Kahnawake jurisdiction with the necessary documents
  2. Pay the application fee
  3. Wait for the decision of the commission

Typically, the process takes about five to eight weeks, making Kahnawake one of the fastest jurisdictions to issue licenses. In that time, your documents will be processed by the commission, and if everything checks out, you'll be licensed to carry out gaming operations.

The first license you'll receive when approved is valid for six months. If the commission is satisfied with your company's compliance level within that period, you'll be issued the Kahnawake gaming license, which is valid for five years.

Cost of getting a Kahnawake gambling license

How much you pay for an online gambling license in Kahnawake depends on whether you're getting an interactive gaming license, a client provider authorization, or a key person license.

The application fee starts at CA$5,000 for a key person license and ends at CA$40,000 for a client-provider authorization. The annual fee is capped at CA$20,000, while the renewal application fee is CA$5,000 for every tier.

These are just the primary costs; you'll also have to factor in other costs like legal fees, consultation fees, technical fees, and compliance expenses. Just ensure you're financially prepared before you start the process.

Key Considerations Before Getting the License

When obtaining an online gambling license in Kahnawake, there are certain things you need to consider before proceeding. Some of these things are:

  • Your company must be hosted by Mohawk Internet Technologies
  • A Kahnawake gambling license isn't recognized in certain places, unlike the Curacao eGaming license
  • Since the KGC operates under its jurisdiction, its regulations may not apply to other jurisdictions

We advise that you conduct thorough research before deciding to have the company's gambling activities regulated by the Kahnawake jurisdiction.

Benefits icon

Major Benefits of Having a Kahnawake Gambling License

For startups in the gambling industry, the pros of being issued a license in Kahnawake far outweigh the cons. For one, you won't have to pay gaming tax at all. Also, the processing cost of obtaining a Kahnawake gambling license is very low compared to other offshore authorities, which is great for cutting down on operational costs.

The costs aside, you'll be able to acquire your license in a jiffy. If your documents are in order and you submit them quickly, neither the application nor approval process will exceed three months. This is one of the quickest approval times you'll find in the industry.

Then, for South African operators who are looking to expand into the international online gaming market, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a good place to start.

use icon

Should you use Online Gambling Services that are licensed by Kahnawake Gambling?

One of the things most players look out for in an online casino is the variety of games offered, and when you play in a Kahnawake-licensed casino, you can rest assured that you'll get the full interactive gaming experience. The CPA license covers everything from interactive games to digital slot machines to poker.

Also, the laws guiding online gaming vary from commission to commission, but the KGC is quite firm regarding player protection and fair gaming policies. Playing games at online casinos licensed by them keeps you assured that the slot machines and all other games are thoroughly RNG tested to ensure fairness.

Additionally, they have a strict responsible gambling policy that licensed casinos must follow. So if you ever choose to play in a casino that has its license in Kahnawake, you'll be getting a great deal as a player in addition to the security of playing in a legit casino.

Conclusion icon

Overall Conclusion

The South African National Gambling Board continues to frown upon online gambling activities, which is a major drawback considering that the rest of the gambling world has gone digital. The National Gambling Act of 2004 hadn't been updated, and South African operators are seeking alternatives from offshore gambling authorities like the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.

It's a great deal since you don't have to pay corporate tax, and the application process doesn't require nearly as much documentation as with other gambling authorities.

Asked icon

Frequently Asked Questions About Kahnawake Gaming Commission

What is the Kahnawake gaming law?

This law is the foundation of all the gambling laws in the Mohawk territory. It was enforced in 1996 and regulates all online gambling activities in the region.

What kind of games can I play in Kahnawake-licensed casinos?

You can play all kinds of online casino games in a casino that's licensed by Kahnawake unless the casino opts not to offer certain games.

Is the Kahnawake gambling license recognized worldwide?

No, the Kahnawake license isn't recognized worldwide. Some countries don't allow any company holding a Kahnawake gaming license to operate in their jurisdiction.

Is the KGC legit, and is it safe?

Yes, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is legit in regions where it is recognized and accepted. The commission is also safe since they have strict laws guiding their operations and licensing.

Where is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission located?

The commission is located in Kahnawake, which is a First Nations reserve in Quebec, Canada. It's physical address is on Route 138, Kahnawake Mohawk Territory, Quebec, J0L 1B0, Canada.

Author: Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn

Adiela de Bruyn, our founder, launched this site in 2016. Since then, she's written over 100 pages filled with crucial info to enhance your gaming experience. Her goal? To provide you with the best, most reliable online casino knowledge.

contact Adiela