Belize’s Computer Wagering Licensing Act, 1995, which came into force in May 1996, provides for the proper conduct and regulation of gambling via the Internet. The Act also provides for the licensing of computer services operators who provide computer Internet users with the facility to wager against each other on sporting events or other games of chance. The Belize Computer Wagering Licensing Board is responsible for all applications for licenses to provide computer wagering services and has the authority to grant exclusive licenses. They also control and regulate all persons who provide computer wagering services.
In 2004, the Prime Minister signed a Statutory Instrument adjusting the Online Gaming Regime to make processing and monitoring more efficient and to reduce licensing fees from USD 50,000 to USD 15,000 for a non-exclusive license. Under the original legislation, licensees were required to make a cash deposit of USD 500,000 as security for the performance of obligations. This requirement has since been modified significantly. A license is required to conduct gaming from within Belize and gaming business (wagering) cannot be conducted with Belize residents. The new rules state only one license can be held at any one time and only persons with integrity, competence, and adequate financial means would be considered. Licensees are required to maintain a separate bank account for processing wagers and may charge a processing fee up to 5 percent of each transaction or the sum of USD 20, whichever is greater. A 15 percent withholding tax on payments of prizes is implemented by holders of wagering licenses. Annual Licenses expire on March 31 regardless of the issuance date.
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Belize Jurisdiction News
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