Compliable: How to prepare for sportsbook license applications

Compliable licensing checklist
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Justin Stempeck

PASPA was repealed five years ago and over 30 states have now legalized sports betting since the landmark decision. Entering new states, with no federal uniformity, can be complicated for operators, suppliers, and affiliates with all regulators having different requirements.

Ahead of Compliable’s participation in next week’s SBC Summit North America, its Chief Regulatory Officer Justin Stempeck provides a checklist of general guidelines for stakeholders to be in the best position to enter new jurisdictions in the US. 

Determine what type of license you need

This might sound like a no-brainer, but many states have different definitions of who qualifies as a vendor for example, with some states requiring affiliates to get licensed while others don’t. Thoroughly review the regulations for clarity and contact the regulator to make sure you require a license and, if so, the type of license you need. A number of states have licensing determination applications which provide the regulator with sufficient information for them to instruct you on what type of license you should apply for.

Key licensing is a significant effort

If you speak to a regulator and determine that you or other members of your executive or ownership team need to be licensed as ‘Key’ people, start that process immediately.  Key licensing is a significant investment of time and effort both by applicants and regulators, and generally requires the completion of the lengthy Multi-Jurisdictional Personal History Disclosure Form as well as a specific state addendum for each state in which you are applying. Applicants need to be comfortable disclosing extensive details about their finances, families, and personal history.   

Register your business

Once you know what application will be required, review it to determine if you need to register your business with the Secretary of State’s office. This registration alerts the state authorities to the fact that you are transacting business in the state and is a prerequisite to obtaining a license. Notably, this is a separate filing outside of the agency that regulates gaming, so not having this in place can ultimately delay obtaining the license required to start operating. 

Make sure you have an active contract with an operator in that state

Several states will not engage in a licensing review unless you can confirm you are actively working with or will be working with an operator. This can include providing a copy of your contract or a letter of intent to the regulator. Having an established partnership will prove that you are serious about your commitment to the state. 

Employee, executive or investor licenses?   

Review the regulations and/or speak to the regulator if you have questions about the scope of the licensing requirements for the management team and other employees. It is important that you know the full extent of your licensing obligations before you start the process so you can submit everything together. If regulators don’t have everything they need when they begin the review it will delay the approval process. 

Things to look out for include whether fingerprints are necessary for any of the people filing. If so, do they have a current set of fingerprints or do they know how to get them and the type of fingerprints that the regulator accepts?

Identify one person to be the main contact with the regulators 

For efficiency and ease of communication, this is the best approach and will significantly streamline the process. Having a dedicated employee managing from start to finish will keep submissions organized and can serve as the official point of communication with the regulator so there is no risk of inquiries being overlooked.

Promptly respond to any regulator questions

Any delay here will hold up the approval of your license. If you are committed to entering the market, you must be prepared to cooperate with any request from the relevant authorities and swiftly submit the information required.

Check expiration dates

After your license is issued, make sure you know its term and when you will need to renew. Also be sure to understand your notification obligations with the regulator as they will want to be updated when information in your application(s) changes. 

Utilize reg tech providers

Partnering with providers of regulatory solutions can be a very helpful tool for stakeholders looking to streamline their licensing process across states. Compliable’s platform, for example, can support operators, suppliers, affiliates, and vendors with managing all the required key and employee licenses needed to operate in the US. 

Our expertise helps guide new stakeholders to these emerging markets as confusion tends to surround the launch of any new state regarding who needs licensing, what type of licensing is necessary, and the multiple details involved in the submission of licensing forms and associated paperwork. Our platform allows applicants to quickly answer only relevant questions and dramatically reduces the time to complete multiple state applications simultaneously. 


The SBC Summit North America conference and tradeshow takes place at the Meadowlands Exposition Center, New Jersey on May 9-11, 2023, and features a speaker lineup comprising 300 renowned sports betting and iGaming industry experts. Click here to book your event pass