Vanuatu is a tropical island in the South Pacific, and this island paradise is a popular hub for some of the smaller online gambling companies due to its low taxation rates, and the ease of acquiring a license.
The governmental body responsible for regulating online gambling is the Vanuatu Customers and Inland Revenue, and in this post, we’re going to take a look at how the regulator works.
We’ll look at a brief history, as well as licensing requirements – and we’ll finish by taking a look at the complaints procedure.
About The Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue
The Vanuatu Customers and Inland Revenue is the government department responsible for regulating gambling, and distributing licenses to operators. The Finance Ministry established the Customs and Inland Revenue department, and Interactive Gaming Consultants help shape the way in which regulation is maintained.
The regulator was created in 1999, and it follows the Interactive Gaming Act of 2000. This Act provides the framework for regulating all forms of online gambling in Vanuatu, and it covers casino games, fixed-odds wagering, and pari-mutuel games which are carried out from Vanuatu.
A license issued by Vanuatu Customers and Inland Revenue costs $75,000 to apply for. If a license is awarded, operators must pay an annual fee of $50,000. A license is valid for one year, and – provided the operator hasn’t broken any license conditions – it’s automatically renewed for the following year.
2003 saw Vanuatu Customers and Inland Revenue begin to issue licenses for online sports books as well, and this has allowed operators to widen their online gambling offerings.
There are two types of license issued; Private, and Public.
Acquiring a license from Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue is relatively straightforward (provided an operator passes the criteria), and applicants must first submit an application and project proposal to the Minister of Finance. The Minister of Finance will then consult with the Minister of Internal affairs, and if both parties are happy, the application is forwarded to the Council of Ministers. The Council will either approve or reject the application.
In order to receive a license, operators must submit monthly reports to Customs and Inland Revenue. This report must include details of how the operator is managing player’s funds, and it also shows the regulator that the operator’s finances are in order.
Operators must also be independently audited by an approved 3rd party, and all games must be licensed by a testing house before being offered to players. If an operator offers games that aren’t licensed (or before they’re approved), they will face a non-negotiable fine of $350,000.
Customers and Inland Revenue also carry out random monthly checks to ensure that operator’s games are fair, and are the same versions that were approved by the testing houses.
Top Vanuatu-Licensed Casinos
You won’t find too many online casinos licensed by Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue, but some of the top ones that are, are shown below:
How To Check If a License is Valid
Unfortunately, there aren’t any clear guidelines as to how players can go about checking whether or not an online gambling website is gambling under a valid license from Vanuatu Customers and Inland Revenue. For this reason, we recommend you carry out extreme due diligence before playing.
The regulator don’t, unfortunately provide any guidance when it comes to complaints – but we recommend you always raise a complaint directly with the operator, in the first instance.
If your complaint isn’t revolved, you are welcome to contact Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue directly, but just be aware that there’s no guarantee you’ll receive a response.
Contact Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue
Address: Manager, Licensing Review and Audit, PO Box 124, Port Vila, Vanuatu
Email: [email protected]