Those who wager real money at online betting sites should only do so if the operator is properly licensed. It doesn’t matter if it’s an online sportsbook, casino, poker room, bingo hall, or lottery site, a license from a respected authority means your personal details, financial data, and the money in your betting account is always safe and secure. It also means you will be treated fairly and paid promptly. So, if you happen to come across some RocketPlay Casino promo codes and you wish to use them, you can do so with confidence after you see that the site is licensed and regulated in Curacao.
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With that said, some regulatory entities are held in much higher regard than others. Some jurisdictions make it so cheap and easy to obtain an operator’s permit that it allows fly-by-night operators to proliferate. While things have improved, Costa Rica has long been associated with rogue sites. Ultra-low fees and lax oversight enable scammers to easily ply their trade with near impunity. Of course, many highly rated betting sites operate with a Costa Rican license and they do it with the highest levels of integrity and honesty.
It’s important to understand that there are dozens of gambling regulators around the world. In the United States, each state that offers legalized gambling has its own regulator. It’s the same with Canadian provinces, Indian states, and Australian states among others. Online gamblers who reside in one of these locally regulated jurisdictions are afforded the highest levels of player protection.
If you live in, say, Finland and play at an online casino that is licensed in Alderney, you have very little recourse available if you encounter a problem. Fortunately, Alderney is a respected authority that you can at least call on for assistance in resolving the dispute. A Finnish punter who feels slighted or mistreated by a Finnish operator will have a much easier time having the situation mediated when they turn to the local regulator.
This guide will now introduce you to five of the most trusted regulatory entities on the planet. Bear in mind that this is merely a few of them. There are certainly many other highly respected regulators that keep the international online gambling environment as safe as it can be.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission
The United Kingdom was one of the first countries to realize that it was better off licensing and regulating online gambling as opposed to making it illegal. In 2007, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission was created in accordance with the Gambling Act of 2005. It assumed control of almost all forms of gambling in the country including online casinos and bookmakers.
If you want to launch an online casino in the United Kingdom, you must go through the UKGC. This is neither cheap nor easy which is beneficial to the end user because it creates an environment that a rogue site cannot survive in. A costly and involved application process involves such things as drafting and providing a strong business plan as well as proving that you have the financial capacity to operate an online casino.
Once an operator has been granted a license, they must comply with a long list of stringent regulatory requirements. If the online casino fails to comply with any requirement, the UKGC will not hesitate to suspend or even revoke the license. Some of the reporting requirements include:
- Proper and transparent handling of complaints and disputes.
- Anti-money laundering.
- Any changes to the operator’s corporate structure or control.
- Notification of any security breaches.
- Protection of player funds.
The UKGC is perhaps the most respected authority on the planet. You can trust sites that display a UKGC license.
Malta Gaming Authority
Malta might be a tiny island in the Mediterranean Sea, but it is a big player on the online gambling scene. Online gambling plays a huge role in the region’s economy and the Malta Gaming Authority ensures that online gambling sites operate to the highest standards.
As with the UKGC, the MGA has a very strict and costly application process that includes a thorough analysis of the business plan and everyone involved in the venture. Of course, they must also demonstrate that they have the financial resources to pull it off.
As you would expect, the MGA keeps close tabs on all facets of an online casino’s operations once it’s up and running. Online casinos that receive licenses from the MGA have the added benefit of appearing on the UKGC’s white list. This gives sites with an MGA license the ability to accept British customers.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is somewhat of a pioneer. Established in 1996, it was one of the first jurisdictions to provide licenses to online operators. This regulator’s main objectives are:
- Providing a lawful means of controlling and regulating online gambling.
- Enforcing responsible, transparent, and honest operator conduct.
- Keeping crime out of online gambling.
- Preventing underage and problem gambling.
- Making sure customers are treated fairly.
The KGC is also known for working with other regulatory entities and operators. For instance, they have collaborated with Antigua’s Financial Services Regulatory Commission and, in 2006, they created an agreement with Malta’s Lotteries and Gaming Authority.
Isle of Man
Located in the Irish Sea, the Isle of Man has become a major center for online gambling operations. Like the other agencies on this list, the Gambling Supervision Commission puts potential operators through the wringer before they issue a license. They scrutinize all aspects of an applicant’s operation through the planning stages and continue to closely monitor them after they have secured their license. This includes having one of 13 certified testing agencies auditing the site’s RNG and games to ensure they are always fair, random, and can’t be manipulated.
The Isle of Man is very well-known for its effective handling of disputes. Their Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Code stipulates that every license holder must be subjected to a risk assessment with the aim of eliminating money laundering and financing unsavory groups.
Gibraltar has become a hotbed for online gambling operators in recent years. While the application process and other ongoing fees are similar to what they are in other major jurisdictions, a 1% tax rate makes it a popular destination for would-be operators.
The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association, or GBGA abide by the laws of the 2005 Gambling Act. The agency works closely with other regulators, legislators, and stakeholders to ensure the highest levels of integrity within the online gambling industry. They focus a lot of their attention on player protection and promoting responsible gambling practices.
Applicants must convince the GBGA that they are financially solvent and that their business plan is solid. They must also demonstrate that they are already prepared to perform financial transactions and that the operator’s games and RNG are fair. Naturally, all facets of a license holder’s operations are regularly audited to ensure ongoing compliance.
As we already mentioned, there are several other licensing jurisdictions such as Alderney, Curacao, and Antigua and Barbuda that are held in high regard. Many of these regulators work together so that they can stay ahead of the curve and enforce high universal standards.
For instance, almost all reputable licensing bodies require operators to verify the age and identity of every customer. This reduces such things as underage gambling, identity theft, money laundering, and other fraudulent activity. They also require gambling sites to keep player funds separate from operational funds. This ensures that customers can always withdraw their money in full at any given time.
It’s easy to see the benefits of playing at an online casino that is licensed and regulated by one of the authorities listed here. Playing at a site that is unlicensed or licensed in a jurisdiction with lax oversight is begging for trouble.