Your Rights as a Player
Since the first online casino was inaugurated in 1994, the industry has seen an astronomical rise now projected to be worth $107.30 billion by year-end in 2024. There are many reasons for this growth not least the sheer convenience of online gambling in comparison to its in-person counterpart.
However, as gambling is associated with many addictive features and behaviours which have further been amplified by this very convenience, many jurisdictions have felt the need to introduce various regulatory structures to protect the numerous stakeholders within the industry.
An integral part of these regulations is the rights afforded to online casino players which are intended to protect individuals from any issues incurred as a result of the operator they choose to gamble with. Unfortunately, far too not many players are not aware of their rights.
Knowing Your Rights
On this page, you will find all you need to know as we have broken down specific information relating to the most significant gambling jurisdictions, their regulators and the laws in place for each area.
Provably Fair Games and Results
All licensed, online casinos are required to ensure that the games they host are powered by RNGs (Random Number Generators). This ensures that all results are completely random with no outside influence or interference.
The gambling authorities test these RNGs as part of their audit checks. This reassures players that the games meet the RTP percentages outlined by the industry’s regulators.
Some gambling regulators set a minimum security requirement when it comes to certain licenses. This most notably includes a now industry standard known as Secure Sockets Layer encryption (SSL).
Other procedures related to financial security on both the operator and customer sides are “Know Your Customer” (KYC) and “Anti Money Laundering” (AML) which together, holistically analyses any risk of possible fraud or charge backs along with guaranteeing and protecting customer funds.
Many gambling regulators require online casinos to store player funds separately from their day-to-day accounts. It might seem unusual but there's a good reason for this as, should a casino go bust, it is of the greatest importance that it may still be able to return unused deposits and withdrawals to players.
This separation is achieved through various methods of storage of player funds with many operators initially holding these funds in a unique, ring-fenced player account.
Despite this standard being common practice in iGaming for a significant period, there has been a shift in recent years towards the use of fiduciary trusts, whereby these funds in one form or another are held by a reliable third party known as a trustee.
This shift has come for 2 main reasons. The first is that the banks are becoming less amenable to the idea of holding money for an operator on behalf of its customers due to the previously mentioned KYC and AML procedures. However, a trust of this nature as outlined in this context by both the Maltese (MGA) and United Kingdom (UKGC) gambling authorities is a more secure method which provides heftier protection for iGaming customers.
This essentially means a separate business entity with a separately secured bank account is responsible for the various forms of player funds. Should an operator go bust in this situation, the customer’s funds are secured by an entity which has not only maintained these funds in their entirety but also remained a viable entity in and of itself.
It's important to know your rights as a casino player because they protect your interests and ensure that you are being treated fairly by the casino. Knowing your rights could also help you avoid disputes and misunderstandings with the casino, making a positive gaming experience far more likely. Casino players' rights provide financial protection as they allow players to understand the bonus terms and make them aware of payment restrictions as well as their requirements.
It should be stressed that it is of the utmost importance to enjoy your gambling at only licenced casinos. Should you choose to play at casinos that have not fulfilled the requirements and been awarded these certifications, none of these rights will be applicable.
Jurisdiction Specific Laws
Gambling regulators will ensure the basic principles of fair gaming and ethical treatment of players. However, some authorities afford their players either a wider range or more powerful rights than others making it important to know how these can benefit you.
The United Kingdom's Player Rights
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) observes the Consumer Rights Act, which affords players based in the UK an extra level of protection. This ensures that the contract between the player and the online casino is undoubtedly fair and clear. Online gambling advertisement in the UK is governed by strict controls set out by the UKGC’s Licence Conditions and Codes of Practice (LCCP). This also includes the terms and conditions of bonus offers.
UKGC casino players must have access to a multitude of responsible gambling tools. The organisation is also now implementing automatic deposit limits on all player's accounts.
Casino Enforcement in Malta
The rights in Malta are very similar to those set out by the UKGC. Players should not be subjected to misleading advertisements or promotional terms. In the event of an issue which cannot be resolved by the online casino, then MGA players can seek the help of the authority itself, which can act as an adjudicator.
The MGA also enforces that player funds must be kept separate from online casino business accounts.
Sweden's Player Rights
The Swedish Gambling Authority, known as Spelinspektionen, is a relatively new regulator which has made waves concerning player protection. These rights emphasised the importance of responsible gambling.
The authority also currently imposes a 5,000 SEK deposit limit on all players as well as a 3-second pause between slot spins.
All Spelinspekitonen casinos are registered with Spelpaus, a government self-inclusion organisation. Players may add themselves to this and have the right to be guaranteed an instant inclusion from all casinos they are registered with.
Finnish Player Protections
Finland is currently undergoing a great upturn that is aimed at decentralising the previously monopolistic system overseen by the nation’s gambling authority, Veikkaus. This decentralisation will bring the implementation of a brand new, nationally unified licencing system to replace the fragmented system in place previously, whereby various government entities ran separate areas of the industry.
This new system also brings with it the necessity of new player protections and rights. In order to secure Finnish players, stricter responsible gambling measures will be implemented to combat problem gambling. This will require operators to invest more in player safety by monitoring player behaviour for signs of addiction and providing resources for those in need of assistance.
As is a growing trend, Finland will inaugurate a national exclusion register which will comprehensively allow players to excuse themselves from gambling activities across the nation in the hopes of allowing players to decisively manage their habits.
By 2026, Finland will have fully installed its licencing system effectively ending Veikkaus' monopoly. The details of this system is not know as of yet. What is certain that players' rights and requirements will be altered considerably.
Player Rights in The Netherlands
Casino operators who wish to accept players from the Dutch market must acquire a licence from the Nederlandse Kansspelautoriteit (KSA), an authority well known for their stringent regulations and strong player protections.
Among the wide range of regulations enforced by KSA include prohibiting operators from gaining an unfair or excessive advantage by wording their general terms and conditions strangely or confusingly. Dutch players are not obligated to pay tax on any winnings, this is actually the responsibility of the operator itself.
KSA also stipulates that casinos are required to ensure a holistically safe web environment which encompasses encrypted transactions along with the obligation to provide as large an abundance of responsible gambling information as possible. Providers of high-risk gambling specifically are obliged to keep track of players who gamble and bet frequently. Excessive activities must be pointed out to the players in question with actions from speaking to the player to imposing a gambling stop available to the operator.
Advertising is also a point of consideration with KSA prohibiting the targeting of young people, younger than and including 18-year-olds, which extends to those aged 24 and younger for risky games of chance, those with psychological difficulties and people with gambling problems.
Differences in Curaçao
Despite being a constituent of the Kingdom of The Netherlands, Curaçao, has a distinct and globally recognised gambling legislation with its current licencing system being one of the world’s most powerful.
Now in the process of modernisation, the governing bodies for gaming activities are the Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB), Curaçao Gaming Authority (CGA), Curacao E-Gaming and Antillephone N.V., which are all independent body for the licensing and supervision of all games of chance in various denominations of capacity.
Under the GCB players must pay taxes on their winnings, a direct contrast to the laws within the Netherlands. Along with this, the operator is obliged to pay a cash-out fee consisting of a percentage of the amounts cashed out at the casino, this cash-out fee is to be transferred to the GCB on a monthly basis. The legal age to gamble is 18 years old, however, unlike Dutch law, this is not widely enforced.
The Philippines' New Measures
Boasting a well-regulated and internationally recognised online gambling market, the Philippines’ gambling industry is regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR).
This authority, which controls the licencing system that allows offshore operators known as POGOs to supply a myriad of games to the nation's sizeable market has made great strides as of late in implementing multiple player protection measures.
PAGCOR is primarily concerned with limiting gambling accessibility to what it has identified as vulnerable groups. This demographic includes young adults, low-income groups, and Overseas Filipino Workers who are to be protected by a Code of Practice which outlines how PAGCOR operators should behave.
Measures such as self-exclusion programmes have been introduced in order to allow individuals to gain more control over their gambling habits. Local NGOs such as DARE Philippines are also playing a significant role by providing counselling and education to those at risk of problem gambling.
Player Rights and Protections in the United States of America
Rights for Players in New Jersey
The NJDGE enforces many rights which revolve around its basic principles of fairness along with ensuring that each of its casinos adheres to the local Statewide laws relating to gambling too. Players can enjoy online casino games safely knowing that each has been rigorously tested for fairness.
Regarding responsible gambling, players in NJDGE casinos must have access to various tools. Players who have gambling problems are also added to a State register which closes all accounts at both online and land-based casinos.
Michigan's Industry Approach
Gambling in the state is regulated by The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), which as of 2022 has been working with the statewide industry to improve the player protections offered. This is converse to the adversarial approach taken in places such as The Netherlands.
Safer gambling steps enforced since this approach was begun include, that responsible gambling tips and resources should be easily accessible on all operator websites along every step of the betting process, which extends to the MGCB’s correct contact information such as their Gambling Disorder Helpline in Michigan.
Clarity for players regarding self-exclusion is also of importance to the MGCB which specifies that it should be expressed that such tools are available to both in-person and online players. These registers enforce a range of options to curb problem gambling which extend beyond a hard ban to self-imposed limits on deposits and wagers as well as time-based options that can only be changed with 24 hours’ notice.
Player Rights in Pennsylvania
The gaming industry in the Keystone State is governed by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board (PGCB) which is responsible for state licencing and the regulation of responsible gambling through the Office of Compulsive and Problem Gambling.
Under the PGCB, gambling licencees must recieve approval for a compulsive-and-problem-gambling plan before commencing their operations. This type of plan must include items such as employee training when dealing with compulsive gamblers, self-exclusion options as well as an understanding of how to handle people who wish to be added to the state’s self-exclusion list.
These plans also hold operators responsible for patrons in respect to respsonible gambling principles. Procedures must also be in place to prevent intoxicated or under age gambling whether in-person or indeed online.
Protection for Players in West Virginia
The West Virginia Gaming Commission, Racing Commission and Lottery Commission all have a part in overseeing the gaming industry in the Mountain state.
Under the various regulatory bodies and wider legislation in West Virginia a great emphasis has been place on responsible gambling measures with 5 treatment programmes being made available by the state. Problem gambling helplines are also available along with a strong self-exclusion register.
There are many measures in place to protect players as well, which include strict age verification measures, the imposition of responsible advertising practices along with safeguards to ensure fair and transparent gambling practices.
Want to Know More About Your Player Rights?
How can I raise a complaint with an online casino?
You should first approach the casino’s customer support team with your issue.
How do I check if an online casino is licensed?
A casino's licensing information must always be displayed at the bottom of the homepage. You can also check your license status via the gambling regulator's website.
In case of disputes, what alternative resolution mechanisms do platforms offer?
Reliable platforms often provide access to independent mediation services or arbitration to resolve disputes. When making use of such services one should take care to ensure the dispute resolution process is fair and impartial.
Are my winnings taxable, and if so, how do I report them?
Tax regulations vary by jurisdiction. It's crucial to understand your local tax laws regarding online gambling winnings and report them accordingly.
How can I file a complaint if I feel my rights as a player have been violated?
Follow the platform's complaint resolution process. If necessary, escalate the issue to the relevant regulatory authority overseeing iGaming in your jurisdiction.