When it comes to where an online casino operation is based, this various throughout the world. Many locations around the globe strangely don’t allow for online casinos to be run within their territories. However, operators tend to favour well known gaming jurisdictions such as Alderney or Gibraltar for various reasons. Saying this, many operators have marketing departments in cities such as London because it’s easier to attract highly-skilled employees.
Handing out gaming licenses may seem easy but there’s much more to it – strict and comprehensive checks are required before licenses are handed out. Licenses are normally approved if operators cover 3 areas – there are the credentials of the operators, the fairness and security of the software and the procedures and policies they will undergo to pay their players out.
Looking at the first part, potential operators need to give over financial and personal documents which shows they operate in a legitimate and ethical manner. The information presented is looked at and audited by independent bodies (lawyers for example) to validate their authenticity. An important aspect to the investigation is the financial clout the potential operator has – this will ensure they have the funds to pay players! A license application will look at the software too – using a reputable provider such as Playtech or Microgaming will go a long way.
If you take Gibraltar, the Licensing Authority only looks to hand out licenses to blue chip companies. These companies must have a proven and stable track record in gaming (doesn’t have to be online necessarily). Different gaming jurisdictions have different requirements from applicants and some are much stricter than others. If you take Alderney, they are considered to be the strictest – this ensures a safer playing environment for the players who play at Alderney licensed online casinos. Gaining a license in Curacao for example is easier but offers less protection to players.
European gaming jurisdictions are the better ones – this is because requirements for a license are stricter generally. Furthermore, all policies and procedures are subject to the laws of the European Community (or European Union). Here is a little information on some of the major gaming jurisdictions you will find represented by the online casinos found on CasinoStatus.net:
Alderney is situated in the British Isles and is a channel island – it’s under British law. The body that control gaming licensed in The Gambling Control Commission (known as the AGCC) and was founded in 2000. It has 1 chairman and 3 members. They are completely independent and non political and operate a transparent operation. The Channel Islands provide a leading offshore financial centre location with superb infrastructure and services. Have an Alderney license is considered the best to have and the online casinos to have licenses there are Paddy Power Games and Virgin Casino (amongst others).
Gibraltar is situated on the southernmost tip of Spain and is a British colony. Known for its offshore banking credibility, Gibraltar has a great infrastructure for operating gaming operations. Victor Chandler was the first operator to move to Gibraltar with Ladbrokes following shortly afterwards. You now have reputable online casinos such as bet365 Casino and 32Red Casino operating there. Gibraltar started handing out gaming licenses back in 1998 with over 200 licenses now awarded.
Malta is situated in the Mediterranean and is a self-governed island. They started issuing licenses back in 2000 and Malta is considered a top online gaming jurisdiction. There are many types of licenses applicants can apply for but all are awarded based on a 5 year term. This ensures operators must act fairly and responsibly to have their license active in the long term. Online casinos such as Mr Green Casino and CasinoRoom have licenses from the LGA (the Maltese governing body).
Whilst licenses are distributed to various operators, having a license from these reputable gaming jurisdictions is a must. This ensures players will be treated fairly and will be paid out their winnings. The key, as with a lot of things, is to do your research and see the credentials of an online casino operator. If you have any doubts or questions, feel free to contact the gaming jurisdictions via their dedicated websites. Governing bodies also have procedures in place for players to complain if an online casino is not acting in an ethical manner.
If an online casino wants to offer their services in the United Kingdom, they need to be licensed. The Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Act came into effect from the 1st of November 2014 and meant that all remote gambling operators’ targetting British consumers are subject to consistent regulation. Furthermore, software suppliers have also been forced to be compliant to ensure they offer a fair and transparent service to the gaming operators.
Players have benefitted as their rights have been protected and operators are subject to stringent policies which ultimately protect the consumer. The act has also affect advertisers in the way they target the British players. All in all, operators are more closely monitored offering a fair and safe product to their users.
Operators can be based outside of the UK (most of them are) but pay a 15% licensing tax in order to be able to target the United Kingdom. As a result of the Gambling Act coming into effect, smaller and rogue operations have practically disappeared allowing for more professional and better operators to offer their services.