Belize job

Belize City, Belize: Every city and country that I visit provides me an insight into something new about the people and culture of the country, but today was much more than that. I saw the brimming potential of a country to develop as a global financial services destination. Although famous for its crystal clear beaches, jungles and scuba diving, Belize has the potential to be much more. It is a country that is located so centrally located from the major economies in the Americas with such a vibrant tourism industry and stable Government that can be the next major business hub on the lines of Singapore or Dubai.

The Government of Belize has tried to tap this potential and promote the services industry as a means to diversify from its traditional Petroleum and agriculture-based industries. Membership of major international organizations such as CARICOM has aided this process. It has also tried to imbibe the globally successful models such as Free Trade Zones for the promotion of industries.

Due to a large number of tourist inflows into the country, promotion of the Gambling industry was an expected decision on part of the Government and it introduced the Gaming Control Act, 2000 as primary legislation. The next major development was the introduction of the Gaming Control (Online Gambling) Regulations, 2004. Belize was one of the first destinations in the Americas to promote regulated Online Gambling and the Gaming Control Board of Belize was entrusted to regulate the functioning of the industries.

Gaming Licenses in Belize:

There are three main types of gaming licenses issues in Belize-

  • Gaming Licenses for Land-Based Casinos
  • Gaming Machine License for land-based gaming machines such as poker machine, slot machine or any other electromagnetic machines.
  • Online Gaming License which is also called the Belize Online Casino License.

The Online Gaming License allows the operation of all forms of games including:

  1. live dealers entertainment,
  2. sports betting,
  3. lottery,
  4. Slot machines or other gaming programs.

Details about the licenses are available at

Determining Eligibility for a Belize Online Casino License

Belize is a preferred destination for all investors in the Online Casino Industry and there are good reasons for it. The investor-friendly legislation and business process make it an ideal licensing destination. The process of licensing however is divided into three major stages. And we will cover that later in this blog.

To start off with, the first requirement for a license is the registration as a local company in Belize and acquiring personal information of all key individuals involved in the functioning of the company.

It must be kept in mind that there are a few prescribed disqualifications for people seeking to apply for licenses and most of them relate to a conviction for crimes. A detailed list of the disqualifications is available on the Empire website.

Now, let us move into the different stages of licensing.


First Step

The applicant at the beginning has to submit an application to Empire stating that he wishes to apply for a Belize Online Gaming License. Empire would immediately get in touch with him for an appointment and provide him with a guidebook on payment of a small fee. The application guidebook contains The Belize IBC Application (Domestic Belize Corporation), Belize Gaming Trade Association & Club Dues and an online gaming license application form.

The applicant will be informed about the supporting documents for the application form. Among the important documents which are required are:

  • Complete Company Probity Form
  • Complete Personal Probity Form: about the applicant
  • Payment vouchers for prescribed fees
  • Business Plan
  • Passport or Visa copies (including current and previous passports)
  • Citizenship Certificate
  • Certificate of Non-criminal Record

Now, the filled in application form has to be submitted to Empire PLLC. On receipt of the application form, Empire will evaluate the form and ensure that all questions are answered, all supporting documents are enclosed and all requisite fee amounts have been paid.

Second Step

In this stage, the application form is first screened by the Government in a process called the “Administrative Completeness Check” and is normally completed within 8-16 weeks. Empire also provides an option for expedited check where the decision is normally taken within 4-6 weeks on payment of a small additional fee.

The second part of the Government evaluation process is the ‘Initial Evaluation Process’ by the Gaming Board and the parallel Background Check on the applicants. In case, the applicant does not fulfill certain conditions of application, it will be conveyed to the applicant. The applicant can then submit the additional documents and call for an extended evaluation.

In case, the applicant does not request for extended evaluation or fails in the extended evaluation, then the application is rejected. In case, it fulfills the initial or extended evaluation, it moves on to the final stage.

Third step

The last stage of the process is final approval of the application by the Gaming License Review Committee on the basis of the evaluations. The decision of the committee is then informed to Empire who then conveys it to the applicants.

The process of license issuance is normally completed within 4-5 months. More details about the entire process can be obtained from

Fee for a Belize Online Casino License

The cost of the Belize Online Gaming License involves a number of components and the costs can vary according to the type of license.

The first part of Fees is the “One Time Fees” which are as follows:

One Time Fees

Sl. No. Type of Fee Details about the Fee Fee amount

(in USD)

  1. 1
Guidebook Application Fee Fee for an application form and Guidebook to submit the application 500
  1. 2
Offshore Company Application Fees The fee to apply for a Belize IBC 2000
  1. 3
Belize Gaming Trade Association & Organisational Dues Special Fee to be paid for operations 5000
  1. 4
Gaming License Application and Admission Fees and Legal Advisory Fees Fee for application and services On Request

The second part of the Fees is the Annual Fees and they have to be paid every year. The Annual Fees are as follows:

Annual Fee

Type of License Amount in USD Details about the Fee
Offshore Company Renewal Fee (Annual) 500 Fee for renewal of the Belize IBC initially formed
Belize Gaming Trade Association & Organisational Renewal Fee 5000 Fee for Membership of the Organisations necessary for Gaming Licensees
Online Gaming License Renew Fee (Annual) 15000 Annual Fee to be paid for the Online Gaming License charged by Govt.

The Third Part of the Fee is for running the operations in the Free Trade and Free Development Zone. They are as follows:

Free Trade Zone Fee

Turnover of the Licensee (in USD) Amount of Fee (in USD)
0-15  Million 0.07% of Turnover
15-50 Million 0.06% of Turnover
Above 50 Million 0.05%
Annual Renewal Fee in Total 30,500 + Development & Construction Fees

The Fastest Way to your License

By now you should be convinced that Belize is the ideal destination for licensing your online casino. But for the cautious investor in you- Any further queries?  The Empire team has the requisite on-the-ground experience and knowledge to cover all your doubts about the process. The team of Gaming experts at Empire will guide you through the entire process of applying to ensure that your licenses are expedited. The gaming law experts at Empire can be reached through their website or by email at

For more information please visit:

Empire: Belize Online Casino License Page:


Official page of Beltraide:

To know more about the country, please visit:

You can also visit  to know more about Belize.


serbia travel

Serbia’s a shining world class gaming destination operating amazingly under the rader

Belgrade, Serbia: On a sunny spring evening while I sip a cup of Coffee in the “White City” Belgrade, I recall the sights and sounds of the day which make Serbia one of top 10 countries to visit in the world. Situated in the banks of the confluence of Sava and Danube rivers, Belgrade is a unique city storing in itself the history of long medieval era battles and the promise to emerge as the next business hub in Central Europe.

Online gambling license in serbia

The Government of Serbia has tried to promote the growth of businesses in the country and also promote foreign investment and entrepreneurship. The forward thinking attitude of the Government can be realised from the fact that it saw a potential for online gambling way back in 2004 when the industry had not even been properly established.

As a prominent tourism and entertainment hub, Belgrade and Serbia as a whole had immense potential even for gambling sector and for operating casinos. To regulate the industry, the Government promulgated the Games of Chance Act, 2004 which was a comprehensive piece of legislation covering even nascent industries like online gaming. The Act also established a regulator called “The Games of Chance Board” to regulate the sector and provided the types of games which can be considered as games of chance as:

  • Classic games of chance (lottery, sports betting, lotto, keno, tombola, fonto);
  • Special games of chance;
  • Prize-winning competitions in which prizes are awarded in goods and services.

Laws and regulators in the Jurisdiction:

The licensing of Casinos and online gaming websites in Serbia is now regulated by the Administration for games of chance of Republic of Serbia  and the Games of Chance Board, both of which function under the Ministry of Finance.

The Serbia Online Gaming licenses are now governed by Acts on Games of Chance, 2011, Rules on types of Games of Chance, 2013 and Rules on the characteristics of IT equipment for games of chance via means of electronic communication, meeting the conditions and manner of their analysis, 2013. The entire licensing and application process for an online casino in Serbia is covered by the Rules on the method of determining the conditions for obtaining approval to organize games of chance via means of electronic communication, 2013.

How do I get a Serbian Online Gaming License

Serbia provides an unique challenge for any entrepreneur willing to obtain a license in the jurisdiction owing to language issues and lack of actual on ground information. However, Empire can assist you in your application. Exactly how!! We cover that later.

It is first essential to know that to apply for a Serbian online gaming license; you have to be a company based in Serbia and fulfil the following preliminary conditions:

  • A minimum capital of € 250,000.
  • A Bank Guarantee Deposit of € 150,000 kept in a bank in Serbia.
  • A risk deposit of € 10,000 maintained by the company.

In case, you fulfil these conditions you can then submit your application to the Games of Chance Board, Ministry of Finance with the following information/ documents:

  • Name and seat of the applicant;
  • Player registration and identification methods;
  • Demonstration of the disaster recovery procedure,
  • Description of the backup storage system;
  • A study on the prevention of the harmful effects of online gambling,
  • Proof of ownership or right to use the appropriate premises;
  • Evidence of compliance with the requirements set out in Act (mentioned above);
  • Rules of the game or the games of chance that will be organised.

After, you acquire the initial permission; you have to take approval from the Military and Technical Institute in Belgrade for the equipment which will be used for the online gaming operations.

It is also essential that you are aware of the fee requirements and the tax payments to be made. For obtaining a Serbian Online gaming license which covers all E-games of chance, a fee of EUR 2,500 per month has to be paid per month.

A tax of 15% on the Gross Gaming Revenue (Difference between amount collected and payout) has to be paid for online betting and 5% for other games. The total amount of tax cannot be lower than EUR 7,500 per month

The process of license issuance is normally completed within 3-4 months.

The Fastest Way to your License

So, you are excited that Serbia can be the ideal destination for your online casino, but slightly concerned about the detailed application process. As I told before! Fear not, for you are at the right place. The Empire team has the requisite on ground experience and knowledge to cover all your doubts about the process. The team at Empire will guide you through the entire process of application to certifying your machines and software for starting your website. The gaming law experts at Empire can be reached through their website or by email at

For more information please visit:

Administration for games of chance of Republic of Serbia
To know more about the country, please visit:
You can also visit to know more about Serbia.

For more information on the legislations behind the program, please visit:
The Laws section of the Games of Chance Administration: ( )

gaming licenses

Waffles, beer, and gaming licenses

Brussels, Belgium: A land famous for its waffles and beer and of course its long history of sea farers and diamond trading, Belgium now is also home to the headquarters of the European Commission. A country with an extremely rich cultural heritage, Belgium is roughly divided into parts, the French speaking part called the Flanders and the Dutch speaking part called Wallonia. No wonder that, no matter whichever building or alley I see, every signpost is written in two languages which is rare for any European country and presents a slight insight into the desire of the Belgians to stay united even with the wide diversity.

As a member of the European Union, Belgium is a part of the common market and enjoys the four freedoms. The Government of Belgium realised that this could be used to promote Belgium as a gaming destination in Central Europe. Gaming was a natural progression since Belgium already saw a large number of High Net-worth individuals visiting the country for business. As a well recognised and secure online gaming destination Belgian online gaming licenses are sought after by entrepreneurs.

Expansion into the online gaming sector was a natural progression for Belgium keeping in view the spread of the Internet and online gaming in Europe.  The gambling sector in Belgium, both onshore gambling and offshore gaming is regulated through the Gaming Act of 1999. The Legislation is continually updated keeping in view the changing scenarios. On the other hand, the responsibility for regulating online gambling in Belgium lies with the Gaming Commission which is sole authority entrusted with issuing licenses and enforcing laws.

Types of Belgium Gambling Licenses:

Belgium Gambling Licenses are divided into distinct Online and Offline gaming licenses. The main forms of Belgian casino licenses are:

  • A Type License: To open a land based casino.

A+ License: For holder of an A-type license holder to operate an online casino

  • B Type License: To open a land based slot machine arcade

B+ License: For holder of a B-Type License to operate slot machines online

  • F1 License: For organizing Wagers on Sports and Horse Racing

F2 License: For accepting bets on sports events at common areas

F1+ License: For organizing online wagering

Details about the licenses are available at

How do I get a Belgium Gaming License

The varied types of licenses makes obtaining a Belgian online gaming license a herculean task at first sight. But, thankfully Empire can assist you to simplify the process. For beginners, it is necessary in Belgium that an offline license of the same type is held to apply for an online license. For instance, an ‘A+ (online license)’ can only be applied for by a holder of an ‘A- type license’. The application needs to be made in the required format to the Gaming Commission.

In brief the following conditions needs to be fulfilled for all types of Belgian Licenses:

  • Extract from the judicial record (no older than three months);
  • Certificate of good conduct demonstrating that you hold full civil and political rights;
  • Copies of your last three personal income tax returns and tax assessment notices;
  • Copies of tax returns for the company together with the relevant records, supporting documents, statements and details supplied for the last three assessment years;
  • Documents stating identity of all shareholders including names, first names and national numbers (for Belgian shareholders) OR the full identity (for foreign shareholders);
  • The number of shares per shareholder;
  • Copy of the Agreement concluded between the operator and the municipality where the gaming establishment is to have its place of business;

Additionally for the online license, the following details need to be submitted:

  • a list of the type or variety of games of chance offered;
  • Proof of financial resources and the capacity to pay the security deposit for the license type which is sought (€ 250,000 for A+, € 75,000 for B+ & € 10,000 for F+ licenses).
  • The rules of the games of chance to be played
  • The Location of the server and the identification of the server along with the name of the website.

The process of license issuance is normally completed within 3-4 months. More details about the entire process can be obtained from

Empire as your preferred partner for a Belgian Gaming License

A Belgian Gaming License is your gateway to a large and affluent market with immense revenue potential. Let the gaming Professional Services & Advisory Firm at Empire Professional Services & Advisory Firm take care of the licensing process while you focus on your business. The team at Empire will guide you through the entire process of application to certifying your machines and software for starting your website and will be available to answer your queries. The gaming Professional Services & Advisory Firm at Empire can be reached through their website or by email at

For more information please visit:

Empire: Belgian Gaming License Page:


Gaming Commission (

To know more about the country, please visit:

You can also visit to know more about Belgium.

For more information on the legislation behind the program, please visit:

The Gaming Act: (

Today Stream.ME and Mockit League announce an exclusive partnership.
The social video platform, Stream.ME, will be hosting the Mockit League Rocket League Championship series. The three day event begins today, April 19 and will run through April 21 and will include content including live Rocket League events, as well as hosting Granny Nominated EDM artist, deadmau5.

In a statement, Managing Partner for Mockit League said,

We knew deadmau5 was a fan of Rocket League, so we reached out to him Gamer to Gamer, to see if we could make this thing work, in every possible way, while keeping things Fun and Free for the fans. This is a labor of love, friendship, and overall just having fun with our downtime.

Lionel Iruk, General Counsel and Head of International Business Development added,

We knew live streaming would be a key part of our success story when we launched Mockit eSports, and so far we have grown faster than anyone had ever imagined. With tens of thousands of monthly viewers for our matches, we couldn’t be happier to be working with a team like Stream.Me, to really expand Rocket League further into the mainstream. We know the fans are the essence of esports.

Mockit League’s Rocket League Championship series includes year-round tournaments and events, Celebrity Underground Live Streaming, and an upcoming free play casino tournament. Kyle Moss, Executive Director of eSports Operations at Mockit said, We just hear what the fans say and react. We’re just players and gamers like everyone else, and we just want this thing to bring people together. The incredible engagement Mockit League has garnered on with the Rocket League subspace, both by businesses, artists, and fans alike is a testament that our League fills a much-needed space within eSports.

Fans can tune into Stream.ME to catch all the action.

THE PANAMA PAPERS_What the Panama Papers Leak May Mean for the Gaming Industry

What the Largest Data Leak In History May Mean for the Gaming Industry

How Gaming’s Insiders Can Learn From Asset Protection’s “Mea Culpa” Moment.
By Lion Iruk,Esq. Contributing Writer
Follow Us On Twitter @RealEmpire
Managing Partner, International Asset Management &Gaming,

In this Story:

* Documents reveal the offshore holdings of hundreds of politicians and public officials worldwide
*The data includes prime ministers of Iceland and Pakistan, with more to be disclosed.
* Additionally more than 200,000 offshore entities appear in the leak, connected to people in more than 200 countries and territories around the world.
* It is expected that major figures across a wide variety of industries are going to be greatly affected by this leak, including the gaming industry.
* How diversification, data encryption, stronger compliance, and specialized attorney management (SAM) Services could have been employed as an insurance against the mistakes of mega-firms or service providers.


Over a year ago, in the dark recesses of the internet, an undisclosed source contacted the German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) and submitted over 11 million encrypted internal documents from Mossack Fonseca.  Being one of the largest Panamanian Professional Services & Advisory Firm that sells and establishes offshore companies and wealth management structures, Mossack Fonsecagenerally operates in tax-friendly regions such as Switzerland, the British Virgin Islands, and Gaming industry hubs such as Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man.

What are the Panama Papers?

The files also are known as the Panama Papers’stem from a security breach, which has provided journalist sensitive data on some 214,000 companies, covering a period spanning from the 1970s to the spring of 2016. In the wake of the data breach,  investigators have searched the homes and offices of about 100 people and commercial enterprises related to the leak. This includes Germany’s Commerzbank, HSH Nordbank, and Hypovereinsbank who have all agreed to pay fines of around 20 million euros, respectively. Since then the United States, UK, and Iceland amongst others have also acquired this leaked data.

The documents show a dozen or more former heads of state, and several people linked to world leaders have utilized the Panamanian Professional Services & Advisory Firm for offshore services. They included the Icelandic Prime Minister, Sigmundur Gunnlaugson, who had an undeclared financial interest tied to his wife’s wealthy estate. Minister Gunnlaugson, is now fighting off calls for his resignation. Moreover, Azerbaijan’s president, Ilham Aliyev, has been alleged to have used companies and funds in Panama to hold onto gold mine stocks and real estate. In total, the probe identified relationships with 58 relatives and friends of prime ministers, presidents or kings.

The Problem with Mossack Fonseca & The Irony of Over-Reliance

Notwithstanding the larger issues associated with the privacy breach; the data leak provides rare insight behind the french manicured paywall that is Global Asset Management & Legal Services. Similar to the banking industry where centralization and over-reliance on “no-holds” barred rule making allowed a few companies to so dominate the market, the Offshore Services industry has over-relied on the same few firms, same few banks, and same few “experts” time and time again, creating the perfect storm in Panama.

The story not being told is that the vast majority of Professional Services & Advisory Firm in this space are extraordinarily compliance-driven.  Moreover, the vast majority of the offshore structures and transactions within the Panama papers leak, while politically “improper” is legally compliant in most cases.  However, as can be expected the media is in full-on rabies induced frenzy, proclaiming with its usual verve that high powered Professional Services & Advisory Firm, have conspired to protect the estates of the world’s rich and famous, and are the sole cause for billion-dollar money laundering schemes, the 2008 Financial crisis, ISIS, and everything in between.  That may be a stretch, but…

We get the message:

“Professional Services & Advisory Firm are evil and are bent on wrecking society down to its core.
Kill Them With Fire.”
– Sincerely Yours,
cThe Media.
Yet, the media fails to mention, that these same firms only use the same set of laws and rules made available to every man, woman, and child in their jurisdiction.  This does not excuse or condone criminal behavior, in any way, shape or form, but it does bring some varied context to the larger story.

The offshore services legal industry, just like another has its growing pains, based on a tradition of over-reliance on larger providers like Mossack Fonseca to do the “heavy lifting” , without putting the proper protocols in place to protect their clients’ interests.

A blatant example of this is that in most cases Mossack Fonseca did not know its clients, basically forgoing the most basic Due Diligence and KYC standards required in representation.  An internal examination conducted in 2015 indicated the firm was privy to the owner identities (UBO Information – “Ultimate Beneficial Owner”) of 204 out of 14,086 companies it has registered in Seychelles.

This is particularly troubling, since failure to disclose UBO information, is the primary way to have a client’s assets seized, and potentially blacklisted from that institution. Especially if the bank or trust institution becomes aware of such a revelation in an extremely damaging way, (say via the Guardian,, or the IRS).  It has been alleged that Mossack Fonseca provided sham directors and, if desired, concealed the company’s true shareholders. The result was an offshore company whose true ownership structure was indecipherable from the outside, in some cases even to Mossack Fonseca itself. When asked about this,

 Mossack Fonseca candidly replied that:

 “An internal examination carried out by a legal company concluded that our formula for risk assessment is significantly defective.” 

Too Big For Common Sense?

Ironically, major asset offshore protection firms like Mossack Fonseca are not alone, they have relied on being well-connected and very well paid to do the tasks they were retained. That primary task was to preserve and secure their client’s assets, which they did successfully. However, the unwritten purpose of asset protection is to preserve your client’s structural privacy and keep their principal’s assets from becoming a public spectacle. They failed at this.

Mossack Fonseca should have applied common sense data protections to keep their client’s information safe, not only from nefarious actors on the outside but safeguards should have been placed on the insides of Mossack Fonseca’s data integrity department to minimize the chances of things like this taking place in such spectacular fashion.

When you are representing the “Who’s Who” of global leadership, one would assume that affords you military-grade decentralization, encryption, and data management services. There is no Panama Papers leak, with proper data management controls in place.  Additionally, the firm should have placed a greater emphasis on risk management and compliance. It should have employed the most basic internal and external KYC policies, in order to preserve its standing and keep its clients out of prison.

As lawyers, we all understand riding the edges of the law – that is why we are hired. We also understand, riding your client’s over that edge, will get you fired and possibly disbarred.  Mossack Fonseca’s willingness throw caution to wind and “hope for the best” seems to have caught every reasonably minded asset protection strategist off guard.

How it May Affect The Gaming Industry’s Insiders: Looking for a bogeyman

It is no secret that the gambling industry strongly relies on a diverse array of asset protection solutions to make sure operations run smoothly. We place assets in a wide variety of legal onshore and offshore solutions to defend them from a wide range of actors, whether state-sponsored, criminal, or otherwise.

We tend to have risk-averse policies when it comes to ensuring that we keep our doors open in the long run. Most importantly, using offshore structures is entirely legal in every context; and essential to protecting client’s funds from being caught up in the excessively ambiguous relationship forged between casinos, payment processors, and banking institutions.

With that said, the strategies employed by various Professional Services & Advisory Firm and accountants throughout the Asset Protection industry may be called into question as a result of the Panama Papers leak, especially as more names closely related to the Gaming industry begin to pop up in every 10 cent tabloid on the internet. Undoubtedly, if and when this happens the Media may unsurprisingly shift its focus from the untouchable politicians to the very touchable members of the Gaming industry, who may have been unwittingly ensnared in this data breach, no matter their innocence or guilt, or knowledge of the structures used for their benefit.

What We Can Learn from the Panama Papers Debacle?

1. Diversify Your Legal Representation

 “Bigger isn’t Always Better.” Similar to your stock portfolio, Professional Services & Advisory Firm diversification can help manage risk and reduce the volatility of an unscrupulous or mismanaged firm. While Big Firms, almost always get a pass that they are doing everything correctly, you should always hedge your bet in case they are not. We advise clients to not solely rely on the biggest or most well-known firm in a particular jurisdiction but instead choose the best fit, which may be a small or mid-size operation in which you can have more intimate access. Remember, that no matter how diversified your asset or legal portfolio is, risk can never be eliminated completely. However, you can reduce the risk associated with individual offshore structural setups, by diversifying the strategists in your legal portfolio.  The key is to find a medium between reliability, security, competence, and price. This ensures that you achieve your goals while still maintaining a piece of mind.

2. Optimize your Risk Management Strategies

Sounds obvious. Want to stay out of the news, due to the insanity of a rogue actor? Do more legal work in-house, and free up your legal spend for highly specialized legal matters. Routine structures and non-complex setups may not require an outsourced firm, no matter how convenient it may be to get on the phone with an offshore structural operation. However, if you must outsource the work, you would be best served by employing a Specialized Attorney Manager (SAM) to manage your legal process outsourcing duties to firms like Mossack Fonseca.

3. HireSpecialized Attorney Management Services- (SAMs):

Specialized Attorney Management (SAM) Services are a unique niche within legal process outsourcing, in which in-house legal departments, individual clients, or organizations outsource legal work from areas in a cost-effective manner to firms that can perform tasks at significantly decreased cost. There are several Professional Services & Advisory Firm, including our own who offer SAM Services, by which an outside firm or a particular lawyer acts as your intermediary in a particular specialty (offshore banking, licensing, etc). A legal sherpa of sorts.

Their function is to hire other attorneys, translate “legal lingo” into your preferred method of communication and comprehension, and protect your interest above all else. SAMs are more than just introductory firms, they usually have input or develop your asset strategy, find and secure the best attorneys for that particular job, negotiate price points and positions, and keep things within a proposed budget.

Additionally, they Provide compliance, data security, encryption guidelines, and risk management services, and continuous assess legal operations and propose and implement solutions in a wide variety of disciplines.

4. Understand the Law

Many countries require specific security measures for personal information, and attorneys are not exempt from securing your data. Make sure that your firm has implemented basic level requirement such as Encryption of all transmitted records and files containing personal information that will travel across public networks, and encryption of all data containing personal information to be transmitted wirelessly and encryption of all personal information stored on laptops or other portable electronic devices.

Additionally, most firms must retain client records for a period of 2 to 5 years, however after this period has expired,  you (or your SAM) should send a written request for return of document and/or destruction of all electronic records. If possible request an itemized printout of all documents returned and destroyed.

Additionally, request your firm encrypt all conversations and chat logs since clients are fully in control of how they exercise their portion of “attorney-client- privileged information”. We have had many clients request to speak on private services logs such as Telegram, Silent Circle, Signal, or request PGP encrypted emails in lieu of a standard Yahoo, Gmail, or Non-encrypted method of communication.

Mossack Fonseca’s ‘Panama Papers’Are A Call To Action

As a matter of best practice, there is little reason for a ‘Mossack Fonseca’ to exist in today’s highly advanced technological environment. With the vast amount of available options on the internet, service providers, small/midsize Professional Services & Advisory Firm willing to employ amazing structural strategies,  clients should refrain from over-reliance on major firms who are might be riding on the coats of their reputations but have not shown a willingness to evolve beyond their comfort zone (such as implementing effective encryption, following KYC guidelines, informing clients of political and legal risk if their strategies fail).

The Panama Papers reads like a novel written in the 1970s, where salacious details about the intricate works of the elite are being called into question. However in 2016, given the relatively low cost of solutions, and the sheer quality of service professionals in the offshore asset management field, there are no longer any acceptable excuses for not deploying such solutions. We should heed this as a call to action….well unless you want to make the news.

Lionel Iruk, Esq.- is currently a Managing Partner at Empire, PLLC whose practice focuses on Gaming, Citizenship by Investment & Residency Planning and Asset Protection Services for Empire.   He also counsels founders and key managers inside and outside of the Gaming Industry, and implement tactical strategies related to forming their companies, risk and data management, acquiring licensing, setting up equity and banking structures, negotiating with investors, and dealing with a wide variety of complex and simple asset and cash management solutions, for high net worth individuals and their families. Lionel is the host of the 1000 Ways to Do Business Offshore Podcast, Conference Speaker,  and contributing writer on He can be reached at, or via the web at

Montenegro empire legal

Gambling licenses By Lionel Iruke, Esq. Managing Attorney EmpireFollow on Twitter @RealEmpireLegal

Podgorica, Montenegro, March 29th, 2016E-GAMBLING MONTENEGRO two words when fused together, brings up visions of James Bond, fast cars, beautiful women, and amazing gadgets. In 2016, obtaining an online gaming license in Montenegro has made that Bond-Esque vision not too far off from reality.  The rapidly growing Balkan nation of Montenegro has carved a niche for itself as one of the most stable economies of the region which has made it a preferred investment destination for investors from across the globe.

A central European Nation on the shores of the Adriatic Sea, Montenegro is a must-visit destination for anyone looking for a slice of medieval charm and history. Few authors have called it a slice of Adriatic heaven and as I look through the new skyline of Podgorica, I see the desire of a country to create a balance between modern infrastructure and preserving its rich heritage.

Precisely, keeping this target in mind, this delightful country has looked for ways to modernize its economy and Montenegro has encouraged reforms at a rate much faster than the other Balkan countries. From a low-income tax rate of 9% to accept the Euro as the currency, the country has tried to make it as smooth as possible for businesses to flourish in the country.

No surprises then that Montenegro also saw an opportunity in developing it as an Online gaming hub.  It brought about the Decree on Promulgation of the Law on Games of Chance, 2007, one of the first legislations recognizing online gaming in the world. The industry in Montenegro, on the other hand, is regulated by the Games of Chance Administration (Gambling Authority). The Montenegrin License is highly prized as it allows conducting multiple games on a single license providing flexibility and value to its holder.

In 2011, online gambling was given full licensing power in order to operate, meaning financial hosting and services are all independently run by the companies running online casinos in Montenegro; ushering in one of the most progressive mindsets towards online gambling. Registration is usually a fast process, with licenses given out under 2-3 weeks time, at most. Moreover, taxes are low in order to drive revenue.

In 2015,, the became the world’s first legally licensed and regulated online Bitcoin-only casino gaming and sportsbook operator, and integrated the first-ever video themed slot designed for Bitcoin players and expanded its portfolio with the addition of a further 20 games for mobile and desktop. With the help of Empire, several other Bitcasino projects are in the works, utilizing Montenegro as a primary place to launch.

As an overview the main steps before applying for a license are:

  • Forming a Company in Montenegro
  • Registering with the Tax Authorities
  • Preparing books of accounts and opening bank accounts.
  • Designing a website and arrangement for payment processing.

Details about the license procedures are available at

How do I get a Montenegro Gaming License?

At first glance, most of the steps for application look intimidating. But fear not! Empire has started a special medium called the “The Integrated Package” which is now the preferred option for almost all license seekers as it makes the entire process hassle-free and simple by completing all necessary formalities from forming a company to payment processing. It also enables you to start your business within 4 months under most situations.

Keeping in mind the needs of the applicants, the integrated package starts with registering a company and tax registration. This is followed by an introduction with a bookkeeping firm in Montenegro that will assist you with your yearly account preparation. The package also takes care of banking and payment processing needs which are also essential to start with your business.

The package is designed to ensure that your business is ready to start and it is no surprise that it also includes an assistance option for the applicant enabling him to receive assistance as per requirement.

Trust Empire for your Montenegro Gaming License

Your business plans should not be delayed anymore. Empire ensures that you have a ready to operate the business and all ends of your licensing needs are covered. You are free to focus on your business and even in any remote circumstances that you have a hurdle; personal guidance is available for every question. The experts at Empire can be reached through their website or by email at

For more information please visit:

Empire: Montenegro Gaming License Page:

Sources: Gaming Authority Montenegro (

To know more about the country, please visit:

For more information on the legislation behind the program, please visit:

Decree on Promulgation of the Law on Games of Chance: on Games of Chance.pdf

Online gambling company

Gambling company

By Lionel Iruke, Esq.Managing Attorney Empire

SAN JOSE, COSTA RICA: It is the most visited country in Central America and is considered to be one of the greenest countries in the world. The country frequently leads in environmental sustainability indexes and has carved a niche for itself through ecotourism endeavors. The forests of Costa Rica provide relaxation for many tired American minds so much so that the tourism program of the country now reads “Costa Rican Animals for Overworked Americans!”

But beneath the ecotourism programs and tourism, the Government of Costa Rica has tried to promote businesses in the country both in the manufacturing and the services sector. And among the measures is the promotion of the online gaming business in the country. Since the early 2000’s due to the flexible policies of the Government and the large scale popularity of internet-based gaming, from 5DIMES to BODOG a large number of online Casinos have selected Costa Rica as a hub for their operations and there is no reason that it stop anytime soon.

Eligibility for acquiring a Costa Rica Gaming License

Notably, since there is not an official governmental framework governing online gambling, no “official” Costa Rican E-gaming License exists. However, there are official Costa Rican company structures that permit most online activity including E-Gaming. The first step for acquiring a license is the formation of a local Costa Rican company normally in the form of a “Corporation (Sociedad Anonima or “S.A.”)”. The process of registering a company normally involves a number of processes which include:

(a) Registering the name of the company
(b) Payment of registration Fee and depositing capital in bank
(c) Registration with taxation authorities

The next step is obtaining a Data Processing License for starting your business. This license is specifically issued for operating servers for the gaming business in Costa Rican territory.

For a detailed explanation of the registration requirements please visit:

Costa Rica License Technology Company

Advantages of a Costa Rica Gaming License

A Costa Rica Gaming License is highly preferred as there is no need for compliance with any second regulator specifically for the purposes of the gambling license and compliance with company laws is sufficient. The fact that there is no need to pay any taxes on the global income also makes it an attractive business destination.

The absence of a second regulator also means a large degree of freedom in operating a number of innovative forms of games and possibilities for the introduction of new games at a faster rate. This ultimately translates to greater satisfaction both for the customers and the business owners.

Let Empire guide you to a Costa Rica Gaming License

The fastest and most efficient way to a Costa Rican gaming company structure is with Empire and their team of Gaming experts. The experts at Empire reduce your hassles and take care of all the steps including company and tax registration. With less time required for the licensing process, you can focus on building your business and maximize your earnings through a unique product. All of this is possible due to the flexibilities provided by Costa Rica and the experts at Empire who can be contacted at

For more information, please visit:

Costa Rica License Technology Company


To know more about the country, please visit :

For more information on the regulators, please visit:

Costa Rica Commerce, Industry and Economy Ministry

New saint lucia citizenship

The new saint lucia citizenship by investment program is one of the best in the world

By Lionel Iruke, Esq.Managing Attorney Empire

CASTRIES, SAINT LUCIA, March 19th, 2016 –  St. Lucia’s official motto describes it the best, the land, the people, the light. A delightful destination in the Caribbean, with sun, sand and the Sea, Saint Lucia is the perfect holiday and citizenship destination. Yes, you heard it right! St. Lucia is now one of the newest countries to offer citizenship by investment and allows you to get one of the best citizenships in the world through a simplified process.

Gone are the days when the Visa Process would bind your travel plans, Saint Lucia Citizenship and by proxy a Saint Lucia passport will ensure that your dreams shape your destination. You can now acquire a St. Lucia passport through the Saint Lucia passport program which has been introduced as the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program in 2015.

Requirements for the Saint Lucia Passport Program

In order to apply the application must include, among other things, the following:

  • non-refundable processing fees;
  • a health certificate by a medical professional with respect to each applicant and dependant;
  • a police certificate from the applicant’s country of birth and any other country in which the applicant resided for more than one year during the last 10 years before submitting the application;
  • a banker’s reference letter;
  • a detailed proposal of your qualifying investment;
  • the applicant’s sworn affidavit and support documents declaring financial resources of at least three million USD ($3,000,000.00); and
  • sworn affidavit of support of each qualifying dependent (if applicable).

For a full list of requirements visit us at

Benefits of the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program

With visa-free access to more than 120 countries including the Schengen Zone, it is one of the best passports to have in the world, perfectly complementing your high flying lifestyle. Plus, the yearly cap of 500 applicants ensures that you retain an exclusive passport with unparalleled benefits.

What Can You Invest In for the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program?

With the simplified Citizenship by Investment Program, it is one of the least well-known programs countries to get citizenship and be we make the process simpler. The Citizenship by Investment Program has four investment options, keeping in mind the varied needs of applicants. You can choose either to invest in real estate, bonds, pre-approved enterprise projects and even make a single one-time contribution to your new country of citizenship. All the options and the charges for the program are highly reasonable and are among the best in the world. That’s not all; the program also provides options for including your family as well, so your family stays by your side ensuring complete peace of mind. The entire process is backed by the new Citizenship by Investment Act of 2015 ensuring a strong legal foundation for the program.

The program has been designed for the Globe trotter and the High Net worth individual in a manner that does not interfere with his lifestyle. The entire process is completed within three months and you acquire one of the best passports in the world. It also takes care of your tax planning needs and there is no taxation of your worldwide income. The fact that you need not need to travel to St. Lucia during the entire duration and there is no residence requirement is the cherry on the cake.

Empire: A Professional Services & Advisory Firm Dedicated to Help You Apply for you Saint Lucia Passport
So, what are you waiting for, you have already taken the first step to your dream of hassle-free travel and a secure lifestyle for your family. Let Empire, a Professional Services & Advisory Firm focused on the Saint Lucia Citizenship by Investment Program takes you closer to St. Lucia citizenship. With a dedicated team, Empire will guide you through every step. So, visit and acquire one of the best citizenships in the world today.

For more information please visit:

Empire St. Lucia Citizenship by Investment Compass

Government of Saint Lucia

To know more about the country, please visit:
Government of Saint Lucia

For more information on the legislation behind the program, please visit:
Citizenship by Investment Act No 14 of 2015
Citizenship by Investment Saint Lucia Regulations S.I. 89 of 2015
Citizenship by Investment Amendment Saint Lucia Regulations S.I. No. 3 of 2016

The independent state of samoa

The independent state of samoa

Is The Independent State of Samoa, one of the best destinations to protect your assets…Absolutely.

Ever heard of A “Chameleon Corporate Structure”?
By Lionel Iruke, Esq.

February,10th, 2016 – Can you imagine an entire day has to disappear from your calendar? Unthinkable is it? At an age where every second is precious, this seems impossible. But the impossible is what happened in the tiny Pacific Island of Samoa on Friday, 30 December 2011 when the country skipped that date.

But Samoa is unique for a number of other important reasons as well. It is one of the last remaining countries in the world which provides strong bank secrecy and also has a specialized international company structure for businesses. But before we go into the business-related details, let us know more about Samoa.

The Must Know’s

Samoa is one of the southernmost inhabited places on the planet and consists of two major islands – Upolu and Savai’i which are situated between New Zealand and Hawaii in the Southern Pacific Ocean. The islands are home to close to 200,000 persons. A large percentage of the population, however, resides overseas primarily in Australia and New Zealand. The main languages spoken in the country are Samoan and English. The islands have a long and checkered history which also involved colonization efforts by Germany and the USA and occupation by New Zealand. It is however now an independent nation and a favored tourist destination for tourists seeking offbeat places.

Let us get down to Business in Samoa

Samoa is more than just beaches and forests. It is also a favored business destination due to its business-friendly laws and a specialized offshore business structure which has been built keeping in mind the needs of international corporations.

The First step to know about Business in Samoa would be to know the Samoa International Financial Authority (SIFA) which has been designed as the single point contact authority to regulate all offshore business on the island.

The next step would be to know about the legal structures which can be formed in the country. We first start off by looking at the types of companies and the unique features of the company structures.

The most renowned among the company structures is a Samoa International Company (IC) enviously dubbed “a Chameleon Corporation” formed under the International Companies Act, 1987. Distinctive and highly specialized asset protection minded corporate structure fairly unique in the legal world.

A Samoa IC provides a number of inherent benefits including:

  • The requirement of only one director and shareholder whose names are not available in Public Records.
  • No requirement of filing of accounts or submitting annual returns.
  • An international company may acquire, hold, dispose or deal with the whole of any part of the undertaking of any other company association or business.
  • No taxation of International Companies in Samoa.
  • Meetings across the globe.


The most important factor which differentiates a Samoa International Company is the unique asset protection mechanism provides under the Act. The Act through Section 228(B) correctly titled “Asset protection” allows for the vesting of the assets of the company with another natural or legal person on the happening of any specific activity like an expropriation or court order. This feature ensures safeguarding of the company assets under unforeseen circumstances and is unique among major jurisdictions.

Let us try to understand this situation from a practical perspective. The first step here is the incorporation of a Samoan International Company (Let us call it Company ABC) with a clause in the articles stating that the assets held by a particular person in the form of shares or any other interest in the company can be transferred on the happening of any particular event to any other person or persons (Legal or natural). The next step is the designation of the event and the person(s) to whom it has to be transferred on the occurrence of that event. The person(s) can be changed as and when required and need not be fixed.

Now, let us see how it will work in practice. Let us consider Mr. A is a shareholder and member of Company ABC that we just incorporated. Keeping in mind the Asset Protection clause, he has informed the company that his interests should be transferred to two natural persons- Mr. B and Mr. C on the happening of an event which he specifies as any – “order by any court across the world for the seizure of his assets.”

Unfortunately, two years later such an order is passed. Now, automatically on the passing of the order, the assets of Mr. A stand transferred to Mr. B and Mr. C as per the clause and the court can no longer seize the assets as belonging to Mr. A. The Act also clearly provides that Mr. A or anyone else shall no longer hold any further rights on the assets which were automatically transferred due to the court order thereby negating any possibility for controversies. A stroke of genius indeed!

An LLC to limits your tax liabilities

Samoa through an amendment in the International Companies Act in 1996 created a Samoa Limited Life Company (LLC) structure based on the Wyoming Legislation (USA) primarily for compliance with IRS requirements and to make it a Tax Transparent structure. An LLC is for a period of 50 years unless specified otherwise.

Segregated Fund International Company

The third major form of Company in Samoa is the Segregated Fund International Company (SFIC) formed under the Segregated Fund International Companies (SFIC) Act. This company form allows for the creation of separate structures in a single company for undertaking different businesses without sharing the risks of the businesses. Inherent benefits of an International company like no taxation remain both with an SFIC and an LLC.

Let us understand the practical benefit behind such a company. Let us consider that you have to manage the assets of a family with multiple family members. The wealth of each member comes from a single pool but the members wish to invest their assets differently.

In such a scenario a Segregated Fund International Company is an ideal structure because although there is one company for managing the assets, they can be divided into a number of completely separate individual funds and each family member can be given his share of the asset through a segregated. In the future, if any liabilities arising out of the investment of transactions of any of the funds, they can be limited to that particular fund only.

So, supposedly if a family member Mr. A with a segregated Fund of 1 million incurs a liability with any creditor, the creditor will have access to the funds of Mr. A only and not the entire family or the company.


Samoa has something for Special Purposes too

Among the latest innovations in the field is a Special Purpose International Company (SPIC) formed under the Special Purpose International Companies Act (SPIC), 2012. The SPIC is unique and can be described as a hybrid between a company and a foundation because it has directors but no shareholders. This, in turn, means that there is no legal ownership of a SPIC. SPIC’s can be used as Asset Protection Structures and they can be also used to hold assets in other companies while ensuring complete protection from being held liable as owners. A SPIC also has no taxation liabilities.

A few of us would have our heads scratching here as to what would be the purpose of such a company when a trust or foundation could do. The answer is in reality, many Civil Law Jurisdictions refuse to recognize trusts while on the other hand, many common law jurisdictions do not recognize Foundations. (For all who are thinking why trusts are so useful click here).

So, a SPIC can, on one hand, enable management of assets with Founder’s rights like a Foundation and on the other hand allow management of assets by directors like a company. It would thus enable the founder and directors to manage assets without giving rise to any taxation liabilities. It can also act as an intermediary for the distribution of assets.

I do not want to form a Company. What can I do?

Even with the varied structures available, some of us might want a traditional Trust for the protection of assets. Not surprisingly, Samoa fulfills this need as well.

Samoa allows for the formation of International Trusts under the International Trusts Act. A Trust under this act is a highly secure entity with no disclosure of any information about the structure. The trusts are also exempt from the payment of any taxes. The Trusts can exist for perpetuity or even for a fixed duration and the duration can be modified.

Lastly, Samoa even allows for the formation of an offshore Partnership called a Samoan International Partnership (IP). Here one partner must be a licensed trustee, international company (IC), or a foreign company and the partnership agreement need not be lodged. Even the partnership is free for any taxation requirements.

Now how do I jump into the party?

So you are ready to take the plunge with a business venture in Samoa. But how would you do it?

Fortunately, you are the right place!! In fact probably at the best place! because we at Empire provide you a complete range of corporate, banking and asset management services. Whether it is for your company or for your family, we have a solution that will ensure the protection of your assets and minimize your liabilities. We can also help you move to a new destination if you consider it favorable for your business.

The tiny island of Samoa has something to fit every business need and we are here to ensure that you take full benefit of the opportunity. So, why wait any longer, take the first step to form a Samoan legal entity by getting in touch with our experts. We will surely create something best suited to your needs.

Lionel Iruke, Esq.

Lionel Iruke, is a managing attorney with a practice focused on International Business, Citizenship Planning, Wealth Planning, Media/Entertainment, and Business Support Services for Empire. He is also the Host of the 1000 Ways to Do Business Podcast which can be found on iTunes and Stitcher. He can be reached at for legal questions or other inquiries. Follow him on the web at @RealEmpireLegal