Gambling Licences & Jurisdictions
The online casino industry is filled to the brim with casinos vying for your attention. A new online casino seems to pop up every day, offering great bonus rewards, lucrative promotions, and a fun playing experience.
For those who are new to the casino scene, it can be nothing short of overwhelming. Where should you begin? How do you possibly decide where to start playing? Will you be safe?
These are all standard questions. And while there are many factors to choosing a safe and worthy online casino, one of the most important factors is whether or not an online casino has a valid gambling licence.
If you never considered the licence held by any particular online casino you've visited, you aren't alone. Many players are unsure what they're looking for and what the difference is between different regulators. Here are some licenses we've reviewed.
Casinos & the Need of a License
Keep reading and we’ll let you in on everything you need to know about this very important online casino feature. We’ll also answer questions you may have about gambling licences, regulators, and jurisdictions.
Without a doubt, we can answer this question with a resounding yes! Online gambling licences at casinos are so very important. More than just a tick box that needs to be fulfilled before they’re legal, having a licence generally means that you can trust the quality online casino you’re frequenting.
Without a gambling license, an online casino cannot be legal. It’s that simple. If you’re playing at an online casino that doesn’t display its licence in plain view, you could be playing illegally and, therefore, dangerously.
You may be wondering what makes an unlicensed casino so dangerous? If an online casino has no licence, they’re essentially lawless. Pirates out at sea with no one to answer to! And that means they can do as they please with your personal information and the money you deposit into your account without being accountable by any higher powers.
Another reason online gambling licences are so important is due to the fact that you cannot work with a bank, or create a merchant account, without one. Banks know that online casinos can be risky business but having a licence in hand means there’s automatically a level of trust that wasn’t there before.
Rules Licensed Casinos Have to Follow
More than just a piece of paper or a licence fee that has to be paid, there are certain requirements that must be met for an online casino to be legal. These requirements mean you can play with peace of mind!
- The owners and managers of the casinos must undergo a fit and proper person test.
- The casino stick to a list of customers that are permitted and take note of those who are prohibited from gambling.
- Regular testing of the random number generator used to keep casino games fair must be done.
- Updated data on the RTP rate for each casino game must be recorded and be available.
- Casinos must provide a telephone number, and email address, and/or offer online support for all customers.
- It must be visible how long customers have been playing a particular casino game.
- Players must have the ability to set deposit limits on their accounts.
- There must be waiting periods on any limit increases.
- All complaints about the casino should be handled quickly and fairly.
Making Sure a Casino is Licensed
You’ve just discovered an online casino that you think may suit your playing needs perfectly, but how can you be sure that it's licensed? There are a few simple ways to discover whether or not the online casino you have your eye on is legal.
- Look for the badge: Any licensed online casino will proudly display their licence badges. Visit the website and scroll to the bottom of the homepage. Most online casinos feature their licence badges in the footer of the site. Other safety seals such as the eCOGRA seal of approval should also be visible.
- Ask customer support: A fully licensed and legal casino will never hide its status. Ask the customer support staff members via live chat or email about the licences they hold, and you should receive a clear and straightforward answer.
- Take a look at the available software: Reputable and well-known software providers such as NetEnt, Microgaming, Evolution Gaming, and Playtech will only team up with licensed online casinos. If you find their casino games available, there’s a good chance the casino you’re interested in is licensed.
- Read reviews: Visiting forums and reading trustworthy casino reviews are a good way to discover everything you need to know about an online casino – including its licencing status. If there’s no licence mentioned, it may be safer to try your luck at a legal online casino instead.
Jurisdictions VS Gambling Regulators
When dealing with the best online casinos and the industry as a whole, there are many different terms floating around for you to understand. Jurisdictions and regulators maybe a couple of these that aren’t quite clear.
Gambling jurisdictions refer to the parts of the world where gambling is either regulated or has specific laws in place to allow licencing and regulating of gambling in its many different forms.
Gambling regulators are the organisations that have been established within these jurisdictions to enforce the laws that exist there. These regulators are the authorities on gambling within their jurisdictions and help protect you as you play.
It must be noted that certain gambling regulators are more trustworthy than others. While all regulators have a hand in making sure casinos in their area are legal, some choose to steer clear of keeping a firm hand on the industry, while others choose to side with casinos rather than players.
Jurisdictions & Regulators List 2022
Take a look at the jurisdictions you need to know about and the regulators you’ll find there.
|Alderney Gambling Control Commission||AGCC||Alderney|
|Antigua & Barbuda Directorate of Offshore Gaming||Antigua Gaming||Antigua and Barbuda|
|Argentina Board of the Association of Casinos||ALEA||Argentina|
|Armenia Ministry of Finance||MinFin||Armenia|
|Aruba Department of Casino Affairs||DAC||Aruba|
|Austrian Ministry of Finance||BMF||Austria|
|Belarus Ministry of Taxes and Duties||NALOG||Belarus|
|Belgian Gaming Commission||Gaming Commission||Belgium|
|Bulgarian National Revenue Agency||NRA||Bulgaria|
|Kahnawake Gaming Commission||Gaming Commission||Canada|
|National Council of Games of Luck and Chance||CNJSA||Colombia|
|Croatia Ministry of Finance||MFIN||Croatia|
|Cyprus Gaming Supervision||CGC||Cyprus|
|Danish Gambling Authority||Spillemyndigheden||Denmark|
|Dominican Republic Casino Department||MinHaciendaRD||Dominican Republic|
|Estonian Tax and Customs Board||EMTA||Estonia|
|Finland Ministry of Interior||InterMin||Finland|
|France Gambling Authority||ANJ||France|
|Germany Minister of Interior, Building and Community||BMI||Germany|
|Gibraltar Regulatory Authority||GRA||Gibraltar|
|Hellenic Gaming Commission||HGC||Greece|
|Hungarian Gambling Supervisory Authority||GSA/SZF||Hungary|
|Irish Department of Justice||DOJ||Ireland|
|Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission||GSC||Isle of Man|
|Italy Administration of State Monopolies||ADM||Italy|
|Jersey Gambling Commission||JGC||Jersey|
|Latvia Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory||IAUI||Latvia|
|Lithuania Gaming Control Authority||LPT||Lithuania|
|Malta Gaming Authority||MGA||Malta|
|Mauritius Gambling Regulatory Authority||GRA||Mauritius|
|Moldova Public Service Agency||ASP||Moldova|
|Mexico Ministry for the Interior||SEGOB||Mexico|
|Netherlands Gaming Authority||Kansspelautoriteit||The Netherlands|
|New Zealand Gambling Commission||Gambling Commission||New Zealand|
|Nicaragua Board of Casino and Gaming Venues||MHCP||Nicaragua|
|Nigeria National Lottery Regulatory Commission||NLRC||Nigeria|
|Norwegian Gambling Authority||Lottstift||Norway|
|Panama Gaming Control Board||MEF||Panama|
|Papua New Guinea Gaming Control Board||NGCB||Papua New Guinea|
|Paraguay National Commission of Games of Chance||Commission||Paraguay|
|Cagayan Economic Zone Authority||CEZA||Phillippines|
|Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation||PAGCOR||Phillippines|
|Portugal Gambling Inspection and Regulation Service||SRIJ||Portugal|
|Romania National Gambling Office||ONJN||Romania|
|Rwanda Gaming Corporation||RRA||Rwanda|
|Serbia Ministry of Finance - Gaming Administration||UIS||Serbia|
|Singapore Casino Regulatory Authority||CRA||Singapore|
|South African Gaming Board||NGB||South Africa|
|Spanish Directorate-General for Regulation of Gambling||DGOJ||Spain|
|St. Kitts and Nevis Ministry of Finance||MOF||St. Kitts and Nevis|
|Swedish Gambling Authority||Spelinspektionen||Sweden|
|Tanzania Gaming Board||GBT||Tanzania|
|The Virgin Islands Casino Control Commission||CCC||The US Virgin Islands|
|Uganda National Gaming Board||NGB||Uganda|
|United Kingdom Gambling Commission||UKGC||United Kingdom|
|New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement||DGE||USA - New Jersey|
|Nevada Gaming Control Board||NGCB||USA - Nevada|
|Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board||PGCB||USA - Pennsylvania|
|Vanuatu Customs and Inland Revenue||CIR||Vanuatu|
|Venezuela National Commission of Casinos||CNC||Venezuela|
|Zimbabwe Lotteries and Gaming Board||LGB||Zimbabwe|
Are There Other Regulatory Bodies?
The regulators mentioned above are not the only way for online casinos to be held to a high standard. Independent bodies exist that work closely with regulators to ensure that players are protected in every way possible.
In order to ensure that games are fair and payout via a random number generator, eCOGRA was created. Any online casino worth its salt will regularly be tested by eCOGRA and will make adjustments to their library based on eCOGRA’s results.
If you’re a fan of sports betting, then you can rely on companies such as ESSA to make sure that you’re winning as you should! ESSA (or the European Sports Security Association) monitors betting patterns and behaviours to test for suspicious activity.
Above all else, responsible gambling is one of the biggest movements in recent years among the new online casinos and their regulators. Thanks to organisations such as GamCare and the popular GambeAware are expected to provide responsible gambling options for players. If these rules are ignored, serious consequences could take place.
Gambling Licences FAQs
How to get a casino license?
The process behind obtaining a casino licence is rather complex. First of all, it depends on the licence you want to apply for. The best solution is to head to the website of the license and follow the listed steps. The review process will take into consideration several factors, such as transparency, software provider and much more.
How much is a casino license?
The cost of a licence is very relative. They range from €217,080 for the Maltese licence to €6,827,150 for the Pennsylvania licence. For a single gambling license, you won't spend less than €48,000.
What is a gaming license for a casino?
The casino licence allows online casinos to operate in certain countries. Countries such as the UK, Spain and Italy have their own gaming licences, while others such as India, New Zealand and Ireland allow casinos with a general licence (Malta, Curacao) to operate.