Online Gambling Licensing and Regulation
This page provides information on how online casinos are regulated. You will learn how to distinguish a licensed website from an operator that works without such a document. We will also talk about the main regulators in the industry who control the fulfillment of casino obligations to their customers.
What are Gambling Licenses?
Online gambling licenses are documents confirming the casino’s intentions to work in a legal field. According to established industry standards, information about the availability of the relevant document is presented in the footer of the site in text format. You can also find the logo there. By clicking on it, the player will be redirected to a separate page where it will be possible to study in detail the information about the document and the regulator that issued it. The contacts of the regulator are usually presented there. You can contact this licensing body directly and complain about the online casino in cases where you have not been able to resolve your disputes with its employees.
After the gambling operator receives a license, the regulator hires independent auditors who conduct inspections of the casino’s activities. Based on the results of inspections, the document may be extended or terminated. The second option is related to violations committed by the gambling operator. For example, it could not fulfill its obligations to customers.
Here are examples of independent auditors who are engaged in testing the services of gambling operators (in particular, they check the fairness and transparency of amusements gaming outcomes on their websites):
- Gaming Labs International (GLI);
- eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance (eCOGRA);
- iTech Labs, etc.
Each of these testing agencies has a good reputation and great authority in the online gambling industry.
Most Popular and Authoritative Regulators
Now that you know why online casinos get licenses, it’s time to give samples of the most famous and reputable regulators issuing such documents:
Malta Gaming Authority
It is the most authoritative regulator in the online gambling industry, operating since 2001. The presence of its license at the casino confirms the desire of the latter not only to comply with international standards, but also to build trusting relationships with customers. It is usually more difficult to obtain an MGA license than similar documents from other regulators. Additionally to its direct functions, Malta Gaming Authority promotes the protection of underage punters, ensures the security of user funds and confirms the fairness of gaming options on websites;
UK Gambling Commission
It is the most important regulatory body in the online gambling industry in the UK. It is considered one of the most reputable licensing bodies in Europe. It cooperates with other regulators, and in addition to online casinos, it issues licenses to suppliers of iGaming content. Also, the UKGC contributes to the prevention or elimination of illegal activities or inappropriate behavior. The authority monitors the transparency of gambling companies, and also provides assistance to people who are susceptible to gambling abuse;
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
Another reliable European regulator with numerous years of experience in the industry and an excellent reputation. It started working in 2000, and one of the most important areas of its activity is the regulation of online gambling. GRA ensures that the rights and personal data of punters from the European Union are protected during their use of online casino services;
Curacao Gaming Control Board
This regulatory body is based on the territory of Curacao and issues four types of licenses. It is believed that its documents are the easiest to obtain, so the number of online casinos that meet the relevant requirements for this is growing every year. But, simpler rules for obtaining a license in comparison with, say, Malta Gaming Authority, does not mean that it is unsafe to play on its sites. Additionally, taxes for companies operating under this license are extremely low;
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
This is a renowned regulator from Canada. It is the largest licensing body in North America, which regulates the activities of online casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms. The basic requirements for betting and gambling operators are a guarantee of fair play and uninterrupted payout of winnings.
There are many more regulators, and most of them work only in local markets. This means that if an online casino provides its services on the territory of different countries, then it must have not only an international license. The operator must comply with local legislation, and the Terms and Conditions of his site must be agreed with the authorized authorities of the location.
Requirements for Obtaining a License
We have already mentioned above that in order to obtain a license from international regulators, an online casino must meet certain requirements. The set of conditions is partially identical for all licensing bodies, however, some of them (for example, Malta Gaming Authority) have additional wishes.
Here are examples of the conditions required to be met in order to obtain a license:
- Management of a company that is registered in the territory of the regulator;
- Consent to conduct a thorough check of all owners of the firm;
- Provision of data confirming the technical and financial capabilities of the company;
- Provision of information confirming the solvency of the operator;
- The operator must strictly comply with the requirements for the verification of the identity of the players in order to prevent minors from online gambling, etc.
To obtain a license, the owner of an online casino must perform these actions:
- Register a company together with a domain in the country of operation of the regulator;
- Provide the regulator with the required documents and certificates (which ones, we explained above);
- Pay the application fee and related expenses;
- Apply for a license;
- Wait for a decision on the application. It is usually taken out within a few weeks.
If everything is in order, then the gambling operator can start working.