Pursuant to the Gaming Act, 2006 (Act 721), gambling operators who wish to operate a casino business in Ghana must obtain a license with the Gaming Commission of Ghana. The Commission is the sole body mandated under the Gaming Act to grant licenses/rights to operators who wish to operate casinos in Ghana.
The company must undertake the following practical steps to qualify for a casino license in Ghana. It must be emphasised that the steps listed, though briefly stated, are non-negotiable and must be complied with at all costs in compliance with the Gaming Act.
It includes the following:
- The company must be an established company registered under the Companies Act, 2019 (Act 992).
- The company must be registered with a minimum capital of US$ 2,500,000.00 and must agree to maintain an amount of cash or cash equivalent determined by the Gaming Commission of Ghana.
- The company must register with the Ghana Revenue Authority (GRA) and obtain a tax clearance certificate. The tax clearance certificate is a must do requirement of the application process.
- The company must register with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT) and obtain a SSNIT clearance certificate. The SSNIT clearance certificate is a mandatory requirement of the application process.
- The company must have an identifiable office.
- The company must have a service mark logo registered with the Registrar of Companies in Ghana.
- The entity shall be partly or wholly Ghanaian owned. Section 14 of the Gaming Act, 2006 (Act 721) makes it mandatory for the company to be partly or wholly Ghanaian owned.
- The directors of the company shall be submitted to criminal background checks by the Criminal Investigation Department (CID) of the Ghana Police Service.
Further, as part of the application process, the entity is expected to provide the following additional documents:
- Shareholders agreement.
- Financial and marketing plan that details the following.
- Evidence of financial capability to generate the business.
- Capital budgets.
- 5-year financial projection and the assumptions made in considering the figures.
- Marketing and financial plan.
- The Directors shall submit a Personality Note (PN) and Anti-Money Laundering (AML) policy document.
Based on the satisfactory reports received from the Security Agencies and the documents submitted, and the Commission having satisfied itself with the fit and proper test, a Gaming license for operating a casino shall be issued to the company or entity.
Non-transferability of license
Pursuance to Section 19 of the Gaming Act, an entity granted with a license shall not transfer the license to another entity. It is therefore a non-negotiable condition in the grant of the license.
Duration of license
A license granted under Section 43 of the of the Gaming Act is valid for twelve months from the date of issue; that been the case, a license to operate casino is renewable annually.
Local Legal Representatives (LLR)
It is advisable for an entity, be it an individual or corporate body seeking to set up an entity to operate gaming, to submit to the industry’s regulatory regime. As such, it is expedient for a company in Ghana to have access to legal representation for timely legal advice. The legal representative must be a lawyer with in-depth knowledge and workings of gaming law.
The contents of this publication, current at the date of publication set out above, are for reference purposes only. They do not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Specific legal advice about your particular circumstances should always be sought separately before taking any action based on this publication.
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