5 Top Online Gambling Regulators and Casino Licensing Bodies

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Having an official license from a top online gambling regulator indicates that a casino adheres to the strictest criteria when it comes to honesty, fair play and cash transactions.

For gambling to function properly, there has to be a high level of trust between a player and a casino.  When it comes to internet gambling, it’s even more crucial to establish a level of trust, since there’s no physical interaction and the entire service offering comes via the website.

This is why regulated and licensed online gambling sites are so important.  Expectedly, very few online casinos will dare operate without a license, and those that do are shunned upon and are labelled as untrustworthy by the online gambling community.  The primary reason why players should only gamble at registered online casinos is that these casinos offer protection from any underhanded actions, and ensure random, safe and fair gameplay, as well as secure money transactions.  

What’s the Role of Online Casino Licensing Bodies?

Online gambling operators are expected to obtain a license from a recognised licensor before they launch their operations.  These licenses are only given to casinos that meet the highest levels of fairness, security, safety, confidentiality and reliability.  All reputable casino regulators require the following:

  • RTP reports of all the games on offer readily available
  • Record of restricted and permitted clients
  • “Fit and proper person” test done with all senior managers
  • Set deposit limits
  • A “time spent” counter integrated into each game
  • Player support via live chat, telephone or email
  • Regular software testing and validation
  • Delay-free response to customer questions
  • Create and check the waiting periods on limit increases

5 Top Online Gambling Operators

The below top online gambling regulators cover two-thirds of the entire online gambling industry:

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

MGA was established in 2001 and was initially called the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, having changed to the current name in 2015.  MGA is one of the most reputable online casino licensing regulators in the world, controlling different segments of the industry to ensure fairness and transparency.  Currently, it oversees the licensing of over 500 online gambling websites and provides four types of permits: slots machines, table games, lotteries and skills games.  Each license costs about CA$40,000.  

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC)

Following the passing of the Gambling Act in 2005, the UK Gambling Commission was set up to oversee commercial gambling in the UK through partnership with licensing authorities.  The primary purpose of this body is to facilitate crimefree and fair gaming.  Several remote casino licenses can be obtained from UKGC, and they range in price from about CA$4,500 to CA$875,000. 

Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA)

The Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association represents online casinos that have offshore gambling licenses issued in Gibraltar.  The association began working in 2005 and receives all of its funding from its member base.  GBGA promotes a regulated environment through which Gibraltar-based offshore online casinos can operate fairly, and its central tenets are responsible gambling and player protection.

The Isle of Man Gaming Commission (IMGC)

The Isle of Man Gaming Commission opened its doors in 2001 and offers four types of licenses: online gambling, gaming machines, land-based casinos and betting offices.  The permits are issued for a renewable period of one year and range in price from about CA$8,500 to CA$60,000.  Casinos seeking accreditation need to submit their software and business plans for evaluation.  

Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) was set up in May 2000 and quickly became a trusted license provider for online casinos.  AGCC offers licenses to both business-to-business and business-to-customer operators.  To obtain a permit from AGCC, the gambling operator needs to meet all the set rules and standards, as well as submit their software for regular testing.  The initial licensing fees vary from CA$30,000 to CA$60,000, with the annual renewal costing as much as CA$685,000.  

As a player, always be on the lookout for the online casino licensing info.  This certificate is usually found somewhere in the footer of the online casino website.  By displaying a valid license, the online casino guarantees you fair, safe and random gameplay each time that you deposit your money.

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