Despite popular beliefs, the online casino industry is one of the most-regulated entertainment businesses around. While many people think online casinos are some sort of “no man’s land” where there are no rules or clear laws to be followed, the reality is 180-degree different and, most of the time, there are several sets of laws that online casinos need to obey at the same time in order to function. In this article, we’re going to take a closer look at the legal side of online casinos and just how strict some of the jurisdictions are. So, no matter if you’re an online casino player yourself or you’re just curious to learn how these entities are organized from a legal point of view, we invite you to keep reading.
Casino License – the Cornerstone of Every Online Casino
The first requirement for a casino to function from a legal standpoint is the license it needs to receive from one of the regulatory bodies in the world. Not only that this license is mandatory for the online casino to exist, but it also binds that operator to a series of rules and legal conditions. For example, when a casino applies for a license, the regulatory authority that analyses the case needs to perform a thorough background check on the assets of the applicant. Furthermore, the management is also being reviewed to make sure the business is 100% legit and everything is in good order. Another aspect that is analyzed in the process of obtaining a casino license is the money reserve of the casino. Depending on the licensing authority, the amount of this reserve can vary from €500,000 and all the way to €2,000,000.
Among other criteria, when applying and getting a license, the online casino passes multiple checks to ensure that full compliance has been reached before the activity starts. This means that the local authority that issues the license checks the internal processes and procedures so that they match with the current legislation regarding online casino activities. In other words, an online casino licensed by a trustworthy licensing authority is always going to provide fair and legal services to their players because that’s one of the conditions in getting their license in the first place.
Top Licensing Authorities in the World
Now that you’ve seen how a licensing authority checks the casino and betting operators when it comes to issuing a license, it’s time to go a bit further into the subject and look at the most reputable such authorities. Before we start, you should know that there are several types of licenses, depending on the authority that issues them and the activity of the applicant. However, we’re not going into such details because it could be confusing for readers with no casino experience. Instead, we are going to separate the licenses into the country-specific ones – that only allow a casino or sportsbook to operate in one country – and the ones that have a broader range – allowing the licensee to offer casino and betting services in multiple territories.
Malta Gaming Authority
The MGA as it’s often abbreviated is the first casino regulatory authority in the world. This small island-nation serves as the headquarters for many world-class online casinos. No matter if you prefer a venue with standard currencies or a Bitcoin casino, the Maltese Gaming Authority licensed over 500 online casinos until March 2020 and there’s no sign of slowing down. Besides being the first nation to have regulatory authority for online casino and online betting services, Malta also has the advantage of offering their licensees the possibility to offer their services all across Europe – except the nations that voted their own gambling laws and established local licensing authorities.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The UKGC is an example of strictness and precision when it comes to regulating the online casino and betting industry. Known as one of the toughest licenses to obtain due to a series of rules protecting the players and making sure everything is fair and transparent, the UKGC seal of approval is the highest standard of fairness a casino or sportsbook can display. There’s no surprise that only the big names have succeeded in getting a license from the United Kingdom Gambling Commission. Besides the endless list of checks, the operators need to pass to get this license, maintaining one is just as difficult. Asking players for proof of income to make sure they don’t overspend or gamble borrowed money, securing complete protection for players with gambling issues, and keeping a very strict bonus behavior are just a few of the rigors imposed by the UKGC.