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Casino Licenses Guide

Nowadays, the Internet is a wonderful tool to connect, play, socialize, and to have fun. But, just like in the real world, there are also many dangers online. Words like fraud, data theft, hacking, skimming, phishing, fake sites and scammers might come to mind and get bandied around a lot online.

Luckily, just like in the world of terrestrial casinos, there are checks and processes in place to safeguard online customers like you. Fantastic, safe payment methods, encryption, passwords, OTP’s, and online casino gambling licenses are just a few such measures.

If you want to understand more about casino gaming licenses and online gambling safety, then you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll cover what a casino gaming license is, why online casinos should be licensed, who regulates online casinos and other similar topics.

Page contents

WHAT IS A CASINO LICENSE?

casino license descriptionAn online casino gambling license is a certification that an online casino earns once they apply for, and are deemed worthy of obtaining, one by a gaming authority. Online gaming sites can get licenses from more than one authority.

You can easily find out which casino licenses, if any, an online gambling site holds by scrolling down to the bottom of the page and by reading the micro-text. In some instances, you can also see the crest of the authority clearly displayed prominently. And, if you can’t find any mentioned, you should walk the other way.

What Are The Requirements To Get A Casino License?

The requirements that an establishment or company needs to meet to get a license vary according to the authority’s criteria. Here are a few of the general conditions that online gambling sites need to meet to get a license:

  • Confirm the identity of the parent company and owners - this ensures that those applying for an online casino gambling license can be held legally accountable.
  • A clear criminal record - this ensures that criminals or those who have owned an online casino and have previously been charged for offences are unable to open a new casino site.
  • Proof of experience and qualifications - this ensures that only qualified and experienced owners are able to open and run online gaming establishments.
  • Proof of funds - this ensures that the owners and parent company in question are able to pay out their customers in the event of a big win.

Why Should Casino Sites Be Licensed

Why Should Casino Sites Be LicensedNow that we’ve answered your initial question: “what is a gaming license for a casino?”, it is much more evident why an online casino must have an online casino gambling license. Having a license means opting to be responsible for, and honest with, your customers.

Here are some other reasons that it’s essential to support and play only on licensed gambling and gaming sites:

  • To ensure that the games you play are fair and trustworthy;
  • To ensure that your financial and personal data remains safe;
  • To make sure that your money isn’t being paid into the accounts of criminals;
  • So that you can hold the individuals or company that owns the site and operates under the casino license accountable for any unlawful or violating activity;
  • To ensure that those who have a gambling problem or are vulnerable are unable to self-moderate or to get access to help, if necessary;
  • To safeguard underage players from accessing gambling activities illegally.

Who Regulates the Gambling Industry?

There are various authorities that award casino gaming licenses to online casinos and that regulate them. These authorities are located in different areas of the world and have different titles ending in words like gaming authority, gambling commission, regulatory authority and others.

Some casino licenses are more trustworthy than others; for example, licenses from the UK Gambling Commission, Alderney Gambling Control Commission, or the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission are superior to that of a Curacao license.

This is because different territories have their own ways of regulating and awarding online casino gambling licenses. Some may be more stringent in granting licenses and regulations of the sites, whereas others may take a more relaxed approach to doling out licenses and regulating casinos.

Here are just a few of the authorities that regulate online casinos and award them casino gaming licenses and some more information about each of them.

UK Gambling Commission

UK Gambling Commission One of the most esteemed casino gaming licenses is a UKGC license. This authority handles online betting and gaming. It came into being two years after the Gambling Act of 2005 came into play, taking over operations from the Gaming Board for Great Britain.

Curacao Government

Curacao Government In the case of the Curacao license, the lines between what is and isn’t a casino gaming license become blurred. The Curacao license is offered via the government and isn’t regulated by a specific authority. These licenses are easily obtained, cheap, and are loosely regulated.

Gibraltar Regulatory Authority

Gibraltar Regulatory Authority Gibraltar is a foreign territory located near Spain that belongs to Great Britain. It falls under British rule and law, but this casino license authority and regulator operates separately from the UKGC. This authority was founded in 2000 by the Gibraltar Regulatory Act.

Malta Gaming Authority

Malta Gaming Authority Another popular online casino gambling license authority is the MGA. You will often come across online casinos that are licensed and regulated by this European authority. It took over from the ill-reputed Lotteries and Gaming Authority in 2015. Casinos that opt for a license with the MGA are privy to lower tax rates and worldwide clientele and reach.

Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Kahnawake Gaming Commission This North American authority is based in the mohawk territory of Kahnawake in Quebec and has regulated gambling in this area since 1999. It is well-known for keeping its licensees in check when it comes to disagreements and disputes.

Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau

Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau This Asian authority has been at the heart of gaming and gambling in Macau since 2003. It makes sure that each casino that holds a casino gaming license from it conforms to the current regulatory requirements.

The Swedish Gambling Authority

Swedish Gambling Authority

This Swedish authority handles all gambling and gaming within the country. It’s illegal for any operator to offer gambling services for real money without a license in Sweden.

This is just a short-list of the establishments offering casino licenses and regulating online casinos worldwide. There are plenty of others, though you may be unlikely to encounter many of these unless you game or gamble inside the territories in which they are located.

...and many others

Here’s a list of some of the other gaming and gambling authorities that you might encounter during your online casino game runs:

  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
  • British Columbia Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
  • Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation
  • Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore
  • Spillemyndigheden
  • Gaming Board of Hungary
  • Office for Gaming Supervision – (Ministry of Finance).

What Other Certifications Exist?

Online gaming and gambling has developed a lot since the first online casinos came online just over two decades ago. Online casino gaming licenses don’t only include those obtained from gaming and gambling commissions.

There are plenty of other certifications that online gaming establishments can get to prove their trustworthiness, accountability, safety, and reliability to customers like you. Some test the fairness of games, while others further regulate above and beyond their casino licenses.

eCOGRA

eCogra stands for eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. This regulatory authority is based in the UK, but operates independently of the country and the UKGC. This authority offers separate certification for self-regulation and for games testing.

GLI Europe BV

GLI stands for Gaming Laboratories International, and apart from offering casinos licenses for fair gaming, they also provide testing, forensics, responsible gaming initiatives, and many other services. The company has offices worldwide.

GLI UK Gaming Ltd

This company is the UK based office of GLI and offers the same services as those mentioned above. The main GLI office is located in Wales, and the company was founded in 1998.

iTech Labs

iTech is an Australian company established in the year 2000 that offers quality checking and online gaming testing and casino license certification.

Eclipse Compliance Testing

Eclipse offers compliance testing for online casinos and casino equipment at its US-based test facility.

Best Licensed Online Casinos in Canada

Conclusion

Playing with a site that holds one or more casino gaming licenses isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. When you play with a certified, licensed, and regulated casino, you know that your money and personal information are safe and you have the ability to seek legal recourse, if necessary.

Lucas Goldberg
Lucas, a seasoned site editor at CasinoCanada, boasts a decade-long journey in the gambling industry with a focus on providing players with meticulous reviews and insights of online games and casinos.
Site Editor
University of Toronto
Bachelor of Arts in Communications, Digital Media, and Journalism, PlayTech Analytics career, communication with users through high-quality gambling content.
Expert in:
  • iGaming Content
  • Bonus Incentives Theory
  • Trend Analysis
Reviewed by Head of Content:
Dmitry Rogalchuk
Last updated on: 20.02.2024

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