Gamblers Connect presents you with a complete guide of the biggest and most known online gambling regulators and licensing bodies in the world of real money online gaming.
Gamblers Connect presents you with a complete guide of the biggest and most known online gambling regulators and licensing bodies in the world of real money online gaming.
Considering that there is an entire ocean of online casinos, gaming at a regulated and licensed online casino authority should be the number one concern for all online casino players. In fact, we cannot stress enough the importance of playing solely at legal casinos that have a proper licensing badge. Especially since it can be very easy for anyone to mistake an unlicensed online casino for a regulated and legitimate operator.
That is why it is always recommended to check the footer of the website and look for any kind of licensing badge. The difference between the two can be definitely life-changing if you are not careful enough.
Playing online operators is imperative in order to have a safe and transparent gaming experience. For example, if you feel mistreated by a certain operator, you should simply click on the license badge, and you will be immediately re-directed to the official regulator website. With unlicensed casinos, on the other hand, you don’t get any protection whatsoever. And as a result, many players face problems when trying to establish any kind of communication with the casino.
Being able to immediately recognize whether a casino is regulated or not, is one of the most important things you can do before spending your money. But knowing all of the major regulating bodies and their reputation in the world of gaming is crucial in order to recognize what type of casino you are about to play in.
And being that there are quite a few license regulators out there, you should at least be familiar with the most respected ones. Consequently, being able to recognize the badge and the magnitude of the gaming authority online, is one of the most useful tools you can acquire
Since there is a plethora of online casinos, from different parts of the world, there is also a list of regulators to match the demand. That is due to the different financial regulations in each country, making it impossible for one regulator to monitor every online operator out there. For that matter, there are different jurisdictions, and consequently different regulating bodies for pretty much each part of the world.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
Product of the Gambling Act of 2005, the UK Gambling Commission is the number one regulator for all online gambling activity in the United Kingdom. In addition to issuing licenses to gambling operators, this online gaming authority also supervises all forms of betting in the UK as well. Everything from bingo to online slots. We also must mention that the UK Gambling Commission is definitely the most strict when it comes to following rules and regulations. That is because this regulator is known to impose frequent audits and strict rules for all online operators under its jurisdiction. And believe us, they are probably number one in the business when it comes to that. As a result, players tend to naturally gravitate towards casinos that bear the UK Commission badge.
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission is the main regulatory body for all gaming activity in the Isle of Man territory. In the past, it operated as the Gambling Control Commission and gained popularity very quickly for having some of the lowest taxes among all regulators. Specifically, the corporation tax rate at the Isle of Man is 0%, while the gambling duty is between 0.1% and 1.5%, depending on the income. This results in the Isle of Man attracting a list of leading operators, eventually turning the island into an online gambling haven. Some of the main services of this online gaming authority include issuing licenses, providing regulations and guidance, and creating an environment for external testing of online casino games.
Alderney Gambling Control Commission
Operating since May 2000, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission serves as the main regulator for all online gambling in the State of Alderney. Though the least known out of the three, this regulator is famous for having some of the highest gaming standards among all operators worldwide. With no administration taxes, VAT or gaming duty, it managed to attract more than 2000 online gaming sites, and more than 350 companies. In order to achieve that, the regulator uses professional supervisory techniques and a modern regulatory approach. Consequently, making for the biggest traffic in the online casino sector by a margin. In fact, even if you combine the traffic from Malta, Isle of Man and Gibraltar, it still wouldn’t be enough to surpass Alderney.
Probably the gold standard of online gambling licensing, Malta Gaming Authority operates for exactly 20 years. With that in mind, it is no wonder that is one of the first-ever to regulate online gambling activity. As a result, it is no wonder that there is a plethora of countries that employ a Malta license. That is due to the reputation of the regulator, the convenience of being in the EU, and very low taxes (5%). In addition, The Malta license also enables one to easily conduct bank and other payment method transactions. The main drawback is definitely the price, being one of the more expensive in the world. Also, there is a painstaking 5 stage procedure that includes multiple compliance audits. It issues licenses, ensures transaction transparency, provides supervisory and regulatory services and ensures the protection of minors.
Originating in 2000, one of the unique things about this regulator is that it operates under the Danish Ministry of Taxation. The reason for this co-dependence is in order for the regulator to guarantee the utmost transparency of the Danish gambling scene. Consequently, this relationship is what also makes Spillemyndigheden one of the more respected gambling regulators in the world. Especially considering its strict policies. As such, the Spillemyndigheden makes player protection the number one priority. It issues licenses, regulates online gambling providers and supervises all gaming activity. In other words, the only way you can legally operate in Denmark is with a license from this regulator.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority is also one of the more respected regulators in Europe. Established in October of 2000, the reason for the creation is due to the Gibraltar Regulatory Act of the same year. On top of the reputation, another major benefit of this regulator is the taxes. With a fixed tax rate of 1%, the tax amount can be between 85.000 and 425.000, depending on the income. As a result, you quickly realize why so many big gaming brands are under the regulation of Gibraltar’s authority. Consequently, this authority regulates anything that falls under the category of online gaming, including sports betting and bingo. Moreover, it is also a fierce advocate for player protection and all of their personal information.
Sweden’s official gaming regulator, the Spelinspektionen, serves as the official authority for all gambling activity in the country. Known as having one of the most strict verification procedures, the Swedish Gambling Authority prohibits all online gaming activity that is not backed by a license. In fact, this regulator is known to fine operators with million-dollar fines if there is a clear violation of certain rules and guidelines. As such, the Swedish regulator issues licenses and provides supervision and monitoring. In addition, its main focus is player protection and any potential AML (anti-money laundering) activity.
Inspectorate General on Gaming
Considering that in Portugal gambling has a special activity status, the Inspectorate General on Gaming runs a tight ship when it comes to AML activities. As such, it keeps a close eye on all online operators, such as casinos and sportsbook providers. That is for both land and online operators. Moreover, it issues licenses, protects players’ transparency and makes sure that operators oblige with the strict money-laundering regulations.
In Hungary, operators can obtain licenses from a couple of regulators. That is because the Gaming Board of Hungary employs several state authorities for better market regulations. Specifically, the National Tax and Customs and Customs Administration of Hungary. In order to receive the approval, operators must provide a guarantee of gambling money, all from within Hungary. Consequently, the regulator covers casino gaming, sports betting, poker gaming and more. In addition, it also is known for issuing bans for any operators that fail to comply with the rules.
Office for Gaming Supervision – Ministry of Finance
Slovenia turns to the offices of the Gaming Supervision in order to regulate its gaming activity. A product of the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Act, the regulator is known for having a high regulating standard. Moreover, it is also rather similar to the rest of the European regulators, only this one is part of the country’s Ministry of Finance. As a result, it is no wonder that the Slovenian gaming scene is one of the safer out there.
One interesting fact about this regulator is that is established with the purpose of protecting aboriginal rights that this jurisdiction has when it comes to online gaming. Operating since 1996 as the biggest gaming authority in Canada, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission is responsible for monitoring more than 50 operators. Moreover, these operators together have more than 250 gambling websites. As such, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission serves as the biggest authority in entire North America when it comes to online casinos, online betting and online poker.
British Columbia Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch
The BC Gaming Policy is the main regulator for all forms of gambling in the state. The purpose of that is to provide one authority to monitor all activity, in order to transparently guarantee player protection and follow AML guidelines. Some of the tasks of this regulator are issuing licenses, monitoring and supervising, and providing guidance. As a result, the BC Gaming Policy and Enforcement Branch are responsible for all casino games, slots, lotteries, horse racing and charity/fundraiser events.
Nova Scotia Alcohol and Gaming Authority
The Alcohol and Gaming Authority operates under the jurisdiction of the government of Nova Scotia. Previously known as the Nova Scotia Gaming Control Commission, this online gaming authority exists since 1995. Its main obligations are regulating all gambling activity in Nova Scotia, as well as all alcoholic beverages. It exists after three separate gaming authorities merged into one, for the purpose of more transparent market regulation. It also issues gambling licenses and makes sure that there is utmost player protection. Consequently, making for one of the ultimate goals of this operator.
Established in 1993, the Québec Régie des Alcools des Courses et des Jeux main purpose is to provide regulation for all gaming activity, alcohol and horse racing. This government-established authority monitors several gaming sectors of the Canadian gaming market, in order to ensure player protection. It issues licenses for any kind of gaming such as slots, video machines, raffles, bingo, poker, casino games and more.
Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario
Ontario relies on the AGCO in order to provide a regulated environment for all gaming, alcohol and horse racing activities. Some of the main rules of conduct of the AGCO are thanks to the creation of several laws and acts. Such are the Gaming Control Act of 1992, the Liquor Act and the Horse Racing Act. Consequently, it is clear that the main goal of this authority is to provide protection for consumers from all forms of gambling and alcohol.
Curacao is known in the gambling world as providing one of the more affordable, fastest and easiest to obtain licenses in the world. With 0% VAT and 0% tax revenue on all income, it is why the go-to jurisdiction whenever a new online casino emerges. The cheap license and fees mean that the operator can relocate his resources into building the online casino. Operating as one of the first-ever gambling authorities, the Curacao Gaming board issues licenses, ensures player protection, and provides supervisory and regulating services for everyone under their jurisdiction.
The Panama Gaming Control Board is a product of the ‘Online Gaming Act’, after the government of Panama requested a clear distinction and supervision of the country’s gaming activity. Being that it operates with USD, Panama is a frequent target for a vast number of US players. In addition, it provides a surprisingly modern gambling ‘infrastructure’, that consequently is very similar to the United States. Everything from cutting-edge gaming and safety features, to lightning-fast internet service and no taxes whatsoever.
Operating as part of the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Panama, the regulator is known for its absolutely merciless approach to any money-laundering activity. It issues licenses to operators, and shares tax information with the USA thanks to the Tax Information Exchange Agreement.
The Columbian gaming authority, Coljuegos, exits as a result of the disbandment of its predecessor, the controversial and corrupt ETESA. After a list of money-laundering accusations and scandals in 2012, the government of Columbia decided to create a new and more transparent gaming authority, the Coljuegos. The Columbian authority is responsible for more than 380 operators, which consequently answers for 83.558 slot machines. In other words, the Coljuegos is responsible for more than 3.200 gaming facilities in total. One interesting fact about the slots under Coljuegos is that each machine must be connected to a government server. That is in order to guarantee player safety and transparency.
Queensland Commission / Queensland Office of Gaming Regulation
The Queensland Commission is the authority that is responsible for supervising and regulating all money-related gambling activity under its jurisdiction. Some of the main responsibilities are issuing licenses and providing solutions for all money-related gaming such as poker, betting, slot games, bingo, keno and more. One of the trademarks of the Queensland Commission is performing frequent audits and verifications, in order to ensure that all rules and regulations are followed by the operators.
Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation
Established in February 2012, the Victorian Commission is the main authority when it comes to regulating alcoholic beverages and gambling activity in Victoria, Australia. One of the most respected Australian authorities, this regulator is responsible for maintaining several key components of the gaming market. Some of these are issuing licenses to operators, and frequently checking if they are compliant with the laws. Additionally, it serves as an educator for all operators which this authority deems not fit to provide services. The main goal of the VCGLR is to provide the utmost safe and secure gambling environment for the players, i.e. community.
The Liquor & Gaming NSW is the main gaming regulator in the territory of New South Wales. It operates as part of the Department of Industry of New South Wales, with an emphasis on gambling and alcoholic beverages regulations in that part of the country. Established and operating since February 2016, this regulatory body has a list of obligations. Some of them are providing licenses, advisory and educational guidelines, review of administrative issues, evaluation, supervisory services and many more. Consequently, making the main purpose of this authority is to maintain and provide a secure gambling environment, and clear liquor regulations in favour of the people.
South Australia Independent Gambling Authority
The SAIGA, or Sout Australia Independent Gambling Authority, is the main authority for issuing licenses to all real money gaming operators in South Australia. Established and operating since December 1st of 2018, in addition to licenses, this authority is also responsible for all sports betting and racing activity in Southern Australia. In addition, it is also in charge of regulating the alcoholic beverages industry, with an emphasis on consumer safety. In order to achieve that, the SAIGA is tasked with minimizing all negative effects that liquor has on the citizens/consumers.
Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau
The Macao Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau was established back in September 2003. Acting as the sole gaming authority in Macau, it offers a list of services and guidelines for all gambling operators under its jurisdiction. Some of these services include issuing licenses for local and international operators and offering guidance and assistance for the said operators. Additionally, it acts as a supervisor to all companies, regardless of background, in order to make sure each one complies with state regulations.
Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore
The Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore acts as the main gambling authority in the country of Singapore. Established in April 2008, this regulator’s main focus is to enforce the gaming laws and regulations, prevent money laundering, and any extortion and exploitation, protect minors, issue licenses and provide regulatory guidance. The CRAS is also authorized to issue fines and penalties to all providers that won’t successfully comply with the laws. As a result of the activity of the authority, today Singapore can brag with one of the safer and more transparent gambling markets in all of Asia.
Pondering whether playing at a regulated casino is a good decision should not even be a concern. Given that the licensing badge is the first indicator of what type of casino you are currently in. That is because usually, every online gaming authority requires gambling operators to undergo a strict procedure, in order to ensure that the ownership is legitimate. In order to achieve this, gambling authorities have a list of guidelines that each applicant must follow in order to be considered eligible for a gaming license. That is in addition to providing all the necessary data for evaluation.
Some of these may include the objectives of the company, the business model, the software, the sales and marketing plan, funding information, as well a blueprint of how the company will distribute funds to potential shareholders. In some instances, a regulator can even request the fingerprints of the founders, in order to determine the background. That usually depends on the online gaming authority in question, being that not all impose such strict conditions.
That is why it is always best to place your trust in a licensed and regulated casino operator. You can easily ask for assistance in case something goes wrong. By simply clicking on the license badge, you are instantly transferred to the casino’s official regulator page. Afterwards, you must contact the authorities and let them do the job for you. Something that is impossible with online casinos without a license. Especially those that do not employ a 24 customer service.
Whatever your preferences when it comes to gaming, we are all the same when it comes to the safety of our money, and the quality of our experience. And that is why every player deserves to play in nothing but the utmost secure and convenient gaming environment.