Online Gambling Regulators and Licensing Agencies
Online gambling has been around for quite some time now and has managed to entice millions of fanatics from around the world. Understandably, while choosing an online casino, punters tend to focus more on bonus offers, and games selection, completely failing to pay attention to key aspects such as licensing and regulation.
Before registering with any specific casino site, it’s utterly important to view its regulation and legitimacy statues. This is to ensure that the said casino meets the standards related to issues such as fairness, safety, security, and even quality of service.
Although the web has a global audience, there is no single jurisdiction that covers the legality and legitimacy of internet gambling globally. Instead, most countries have their own agencies that deal with regulating and licencing of online casinos.
This guide provides a sweeping look into various prominent jurisdictions that oversee regulation and licensing to web casinos in UK, across Europe, and beyond. It explains the role of each regulating or licensing body along with its licensing conditions, codes of practice, and region(s) where its principles are applicable.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
The Alderney Gambling Commission (AGCC) is a non-political independent body that regulates iGambling on behalf of the state of Alderney. This commission was established in May 2000 and remains one of the longest-standing licensing and regulating body in online gambling.
As stated by the AGCC, the state of “Alderney transmits more internet gambling traffic than any other state in the world.” In fact, the island is home to more online betting activities than three other European offshore rivals—Malta, the Isle of Man, and Gibraltar.
Thus, AGCC has an obligation to ensure that all the gaming activities within the Island are regulated for player safety and security. The commission offers only two types of iGambling licences, which can be viewed as two parts of a whole: Category 1 and Category 2.
A Category 1 Licence approves the registration and verification of players, the relationship between players and operators, and the management of player’s funds. On the other hand, A Category 2 License oversees online gambling transactions as well as management of a gaming platform.
Holders of any of these licenses must submit their software for regular testing and provide accurate reports on every games RTP (Return to Player) figures. They must also instigate strict financial limits for how much punters can deposit and notify the agency within seven days when these limits are adjusted.
The online casinos with these licenses must also include a clock on their websites to help punters manage their gambling time. All persons under the age of 18 are strictly prohibited and protected from participating in any online betting activities by the AGCC.
UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
The UK Gambling Commission is a supervisory, non-political body in charge of regulating gambling and overseeing gaming laws in the United Kingdom. This body was established and empowered under the UK’s Gambling Act of 2005 taking the form of what was initially known as the Gaming Board for Great Britain.
It regulates most forms of online gambling in the UK, with the exception of sports betting, which is licensed and regulated separately. As part of its responsibilities, the commission superintends remote betting which includes the licensing of online casino sites.
Its remit covers lotteries, slot machines, casinos, bingo, betting, and arcade, excluding spread betting with aims of keeping out crime and protecting the vulnerable. In this regard, the UKGC strictly ensures that no persons under the age of 18 are protected from participating in any form of online betting.
To obtain this license, online casino operators in the UK must meet several suitability standards as set out by the commission. First, a casino operator must provide a confirmation of the person or company applying for the license for liability and accountability reasons.
Second, there should be a proof honesty and dependability from the person or company applying for the license to the UKGC. This may include evidence of clear criminal record as well as certification or sign of credibility in running an honest gambling business.
Third, the person or company applying for the UKGC authorisation must provide evidence of enough capital to run a casino site. The invested capital must be sufficient enough to guarantee pay-out capabilities even in situations where punters amass a series of huge winnings.
Upon certification, the UKGC will constantly monitor the operations of the operator to ensure everything is run in accordance to its specifications. If the commission finds flaws such as unfairness of games, under-age participation, or pay-out failures, it can impose fines, revoke the licensing, or both.
Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC)
Since 1962, the Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC) has been an independent statutory board that take charge of land-based and online gambling in the Isle of Man. As one of the longest-standing regulatory body, GSC keeps gambling crime out of the region while also ensuring the underage and those vulnerable are protected.
GSC also ensures that the services offered by gambling operators with the license are fair and punters receive their true winnings. In case of any complaints from bettors, the commission will investigate the matter and act accordingly; it also approved independent testing of operators’ software.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) was formulated under Gibraltar’s Regulatory Act in October 2000 as a statutory body responsible for regulating all electronic communications. This is a convergent authority with competencies over radio communications, satellite coordination, data protection, broadcasting, networks, services, as well as postal services.
While Gibraltar depends largely on British government on matters foreign policy, it gets to formulate and enforce most of its laws including those of gambling. As such, GRA is responsible for providing licenses and regulating numerous betting platforms that meet its pre-set standards, regulations, and expectations.
This includes protection of punters sensitive data, adherence of fairness and trustworthiness, and protection of vulnerable population including the underage. The authority has a long history of strictness and consistent observance of the gambling laws outlined by the European Union.
Among other things, Malta is known as a hub for online casinos and for this reason, MGA has a sole duty of overseeing operations conducted by these operators. The authority works diligently to ensures that those under its licensing maintain fair and dependable standards in their activities.
Part of its main functions include protecting minors and vulnerable persons, while also promoting an environment of safe and responsible gambling. It is also in charge of protecting players funds, ensuring all transactions are secure and winnings are paid out as required.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Kahnawake Gaming Commission was initially founded in 1996 pursuant to the gaming laws of Kahnawake enacted by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake. The commission is a regulatory body in charge of licensing and regulating a considerable number of online casinos in situated with the Mohawk territory Kahnawake.
At one point, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission was the largest licensing body across the world owing to its firm instance of punter protection, fairness, and security. The commission also has a reputation for taking player complaints and disputes with utmost seriousness and taking very little in terms of taxes and fees.
As aforementioned, the world of internet gambling is very expansive, and no single gambling authority oversees its legality across the entire world. There are other prominent gambling commissions situated in various countries known for gambling commissions that you might want to check.
In Belgium, there is the ever-stringent agency called the Belgian Gambling Commission; in Italy, betting activities are regulated by the AAMS, and in France, it’s done by ARJEL. In most cases, the casino will list the regulatory commissions at the bottom section of its homepage, always check to get a sense of any casino’s performance!