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The Value of Legal Opinion in iGaming Industry

21 Feb, 2023

A legal opinion (LO) is a written assessment of the legality and potential legal risks of a specific business project, such as in the iGaming industry. It may also be required for other industries, such as cryptocurrency exchanges, television marketing, and the electronic cigarette industry, to ensure compliance with relevant laws and regulations and minimize legal risks. A qualified lawyer or law firm with expertise in the relevant jurisdiction should compose the LO.

A Legal Opinion (LO) is crucial in the iGaming industry, as it provides a thorough evaluation of the legality of the project. LO is important for everyone involved in the iGaming project, including:

  • Business Owners;
  • Investors;
  • Gaming Operators;
  • Regulators;
  • Lawyers and Legal Teams.
Legal opinion in gambling

Based on the above, there are several more reasons why LO is important:

A legal opinion is a crucial document that provides guidance to business owners and investors in the iGaming industry. It enables them to make informed decisions by understanding the legal requirements and potential risks associated with the project. It also helps in facilitating the licensing process by providing a clear assessment of the project’s compliance with relevant laws and regulations, which is important as many iGaming projects require licenses from authorities like UKGC, Malta, Gibraltar, and others. In addition, obtaining a legal opinion helps protect the reputation of the project and business owners by demonstrating their commitment to compliance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Marketing plays a vital role in any project, including those in the iGaming industry. While gambling advertising is prohibited in many countries, there are some regions like Africa and South America where advertising may be subject to minor restrictions or not regulated at all. However, when it comes to payment systems, obtaining a legal opinion is crucial. For instance, if you intend to link a UK payment gateway to an online casino in Kenya, legal proof of the project’s legality is required. Without this, payment gateways may refuse to process transactions. Ultimately, multiple legal opinions may be necessary, including ones for obtaining a license, a payment system, and for each bank.

The process of obtaining

The process of obtaining a Legal Opinion for a gambling project is a crucial step. It is important to define the purpose of the legal opinion clearly, including the specific issues that need to be resolved. This will ensure that the LO provider has a proper understanding of the project and can give an accurate assessment. Select a LO provider who has experience in the iGaming industry and relevant laws and regulations. Look for a provider with a strong reputation, good references, and a proven track record. When choosing a provider, consider factors such as cost, timeline, and level of expertise. Provide the LO provider with all the relevant information about the project, including documents, contracts, and other materials. The provider will use this information to conduct an assessment. Carefully review the Legal Opinion, paying close attention to key areas such as compliance with relevant laws and regulations. After receiving and reviewing the LO, implement the recommendations provided for identifying potential legal risks and minimizing these risks.

The primary components of a Legal Opinion for an iGaming project typically consist of:

  1. Assessment of Compliance with Relevant Laws and Regulations: The lawyer will examine whether the project adheres to all applicable laws and regulations in the location where it will operate. This involves reviewing the legality of the gambling being offered, age restrictions for participants, and necessary licenses and permits. For example, in the US, a LO can provide information on the legality of the project in a specific state.
  2. Identification of Potential Legal Risks: The lawyer will identify potential legal risks linked with the project, such as regulatory, liability, or reputational risks. For example, a Legal Opinion in the UK can provide information on the potential risks associated with advertising iGaming products and the message that gambling is not a solution to financial problems.
  3. Recommendations for Risk Mitigation: The attorney will offer advice for mitigating the identified legal risks, such as obtaining necessary licenses and permits, implementing best practices, or taking out insurance. For example, a LO in Germany can provide recommendations for ensuring the project complies with strict regulations regarding player data and fund protection.

Law firms

A law firm is a group of experienced lawyers with expertise in the iGaming industry and relevant laws and regulations. They possess in-depth knowledge of the legal framework surrounding gambling activities and can provide a precise Legal Opinion that evaluates the project’s compliance with applicable laws. Law firms have the necessary resources to conduct a comprehensive assessment, including access to databases, research materials, and the ability to interview relevant parties. Moreover, law firms adhere to strict confidentiality requirements and act in the best interests of their clients, ensuring that the LO is unbiased and objective and not influenced by any conflicting interests.

How can laws and regulations affect the legal landscape related to iGaming?

The intricate legal landscape surrounding iGaming can have various impacts on the projects. Firstly, certain types of gambling may be prohibited or restricted in some jurisdictions, which can affect the project’s feasibility. Secondly, obtaining necessary licenses and permits can take longer in some jurisdictions than in others, thereby affecting the project timeline. Lastly, the project budget can also be impacted as obtaining a license or permit in a jurisdiction with stricter laws and regulations may be more costly compared to a jurisdiction with more lenient laws.

Noncompliance with applicable laws and regulations can lead to severe legal and financial repercussions, including fines, legal disputes, and even the complete shutdown of the project. Therefore, it is crucial for iGaming projects to obtain legal guidance and ensure compliance with all relevant laws and regulations to avoid potential legal and financial risks.

When seeking a legal opinion, it is important to carefully consider the expertise and experience of the provider. While an individual lawyer may offer their services, it may be more advantageous to work with a law firm. This is because law firms are typically more reliable and trustworthy, given their reputation to maintain and adherence to professional standards and ethics. This helps to ensure that the legal opinion provided is accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

Many questions may arise in the process, such as whether it is cheaper to hire a lawyer or a law firm, and whether it is possible to draft a legal opinion oneself, given that it is defined as a conclusion written by a lawyer.  Does someone have any reason to consider themselves a lawyer and give a legal opinion just because he or she has a law degree?  It is important to note that having a law degree does not automatically qualify one to give a legal opinion, as it requires specific expertise and experience in the relevant legal landscape.

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