Timor-Leste: New Destination for iGaming Regulation

Timor-Leste is making significant strides to establish itself as a notable jurisdiction for online gambling, positioning itself alongside established regulatory environments such as Malta and the Isle of Man. This development is a testament to the Southeast Asian nation’s commitment to democracy and its ambitions to diversify its economy, including a focus on the digital and IT sectors.

The Virtual Gaming Association of Timor-Leste (VGA) recently organized a key industry event, shedding light on the country’s proposed regulatory framework for the iGaming sector. At this event, it was announced that Timor-Leste intends to issue both B2C and B2B licenses, with regulations inspired by the successful models of Malta and the Isle of Man. The issuance of these licenses is anticipated to commence in the second or third quarter of the current year. Additionally, the VGA plans to engage with industry stakeholders through a consultation process, aiming to refine and optimize the regulatory approach.

The President of Timor-Leste, Jose Ramos-Horta, highlighted the economic potential of his country during an official visit to London. He pointed out that Timor-Leste is on track to join the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) by 2025 and is actively seeking to attract global investment to diversify its economy further.

A significant milestone was reached in London where SOFTSWISS and Vittoria Services entered into agreements with Capital Group Timor-Leste. These agreements mark the initiation of a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) project in Dili, promising the creation of 120 new jobs. This project encompasses customer care services and is slated to commence operations in the coming months. The BPO facility, located in the newly constructed ETO Tower in Dili, will feature a training center capable of educating up to 100 operators and supervisors before their employment begins.

Timor-Leste’s emergence as a safe and secure online gambling jurisdiction represents a new frontier in the iGaming industry. By adopting a regulatory framework modeled after those of Malta and the Isle of Man, Timor-Leste is poised to attract international operators and service providers, contributing to the nation’s economic diversification and highlighting its potential as a vibrant investment destination in the digital and IT sectors.

“It was a great honour to host an event in London representing Timor-Leste and welcoming President Ramos-Horta as speaker. Our focus at the VGA is support Timor-Leste as jurisdiction that meets, and exceeds, best practices in online gambling regulation and licensing. Moreover, we look forward to speaking with responsible operators and suppliers looking for a serious, safe and secure jurisdiction for their business” said Richard Leather, Chairman of the VGA.

“This project is particularly important for Timor-Leste, a country in need of more job opportunities for young people, and where around 70% of the total population is under 30 years old. It represents a significant investment by Capital Group and also showcases the importance of private sector initiatives towards economic development”, said Antonio Sampaio, Chief Operations Officer of Capital Ventures Timor-Leste.

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