19 Dec

Online Casino and Gambling – Licensing and Regulating Authorities

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There are different things to consider, when selecting an online casino to play at. To avoid playing at fraud or blacklisted casinos, you will have to consider the reputation of the casinos among the players, the various games selections, type of software used, banking and payment options, promotional offerings among many other things. The one thing which the players generally overlook is the Licensing Jurisdiction.

A seemingly small point, but it is one thing that will have a big impact when resolving player disputes. A common notion among the players is that, since a casino has a license, it must be a reputable one. They overlook the fact that not all the casino licensing authorities have the same power and regulations.

What is a Casino Jurisdiction?

In simple terms, it means the country or area where the online casino gambling is legally allowed and can operate from. The casino operates from this location and is governed by the rules and regulations of that region. It does not mean that the casino is physically located here. They will get the operating license from this region for a fee after submitting the requisite documents.

The governments of the countries or regions have set up regulatory bodies which will govern the licensing and operations of these online casino establishments. Any organization which wants to set up an online casino will have to apply for the license from these regulatory authorities which falls under their jurisdiction.

Before issuing the Casino Licenses

A thorough check by the regulating bodies is carried out before issuing the licenses. It includes, checking the fairness of the games, the background of the prospective promoters, mechanism of the payment method offered to the winners.

Checking the fairness of the games includes, checking the correct functioning of the random number generator, the reported casino payout ratios or house edges are accurate or not.

Background checks of the promoters or the applicant includes their financial status with present and past statements, references, overall reputation and information on their legal and social standings.

Check the mechanism and operation of the payment methods, which will be employed to disperse the player’s winnings. It is also the level of safety and security that is guaranteed by the applicant to the players.

The top tiered casino licensing and regulating authorities take strict measure to enforce these quality and security checks. But, there are some of dubious ones, who are satisfied with taking the licensing fees and looking the other way in case of any disputes, without conducting any substantial checks.

What it all means for the Players

From a player’s perspective, playing at an online casino having a valid and registered license from a reputable licensing authority, assures that they will be treated fairly. It guarantees that they will have fair treatment whenever a dispute occurs with the casinos. They will have the legal backing of the licensing commissions in their fight for justice.

The regulatory bodies have the power to cancel, revoke or limit the operations of the casinos if found guilty of any fraudulent activities.

Online Gambling Jurisdictions

As previously explained, all the casinos have to obtain their licenses from any of the jurisdictions to provide gambling services to the people. The gamblers should select the casinos that have registered and obtained their licenses from reputable regulating authorities. These governing bodies guarantee fairness and have a strict enforcing of the laws and rules to protect the interests of the players.

Top Tier Gambling Jurisdictions

Those that qualify for the above criteria are the ones which have a long standing gambling association and are reputed for their integrity, honesty and strength of character. The players can play at these casinos with the knowledge that their money is safe and get an unbiased fair trial, should any dispute occur.

  • United Kingdom – The UK Gambling Commission was established following the Gambling Act 2005 and is the regulating and licensing authority in the UK. The huge number of casinos that have obtained the licenses from this jurisdiction is due to the very active gambling community.
  • Gibraltar – A small British territory in Europe; it is a very active and reputed regulating body known for licensing only whitelisted casino brands. The top casinos are invariably licensed by this body.
  • Alderney – The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) was established in May 2000. The Commission is an independent and non political governing body and regulates eGambling on behalf of the States of Alderney. It provides the highest international standards regarding the eGambling on behalf of the State of Alderney.
  • Isle of Man – Founded in 1962, The Gambling Supervision Commission is an independent licensing authority committed to player protection.

Second Tier Gambling Jurisdictions

Coming up next in the list of popular, good and viable casino regulating authorities are the following. Although not up to the high international standards set by the top tier jurisdiction, you can be assured of honest operations from these organizations.

  • Antigua & Barbuda
  • Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles)
  • Kahnawake (Canada)
  • Malta

Rubber Stamp/Dubious Gambling Jurisdictions

While, a majority of the online casinos would like to align themselves with the above mentioned jurisdictions, there are some who fall under a different jurisdiction. They are typically those who just give a license and are not concerned with the player’s interest. San Jose, Costa Rica, Panama, Belize and Anjou an/Comoros are some of them. The players who play in the casinos licensed by these jurisdictions should exercise caution. They cannot expect any legal or financial help in case of any disputes with these casinos.

Not all the casinos operating out of these jurisdictions are rogue or bad. It is up to the players to verify and authenticate the facts before playing.

On a closing note, the growing popularity of the online casinos is the reason why a number of casino gambling jurisdictions are coming up in the future. Playing in a licensed and regulated online casino will ensure a stress free and fun gambling experience for the players. Do a thorough check on the casino before investing your money in them.

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Online Casino and Gambling - Licensing and Regulating Authorities
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Read this great blog on what licensing & Regulating Authorities are, their importance, the Gambling Jurisdictions of countries on gambling & online casino