Gambling authorities exist to protect players from scams and to intervene where necessary in assisting vulnerable players. They also provide many services to the casinos themselves. The authorities (or commissions) regulate casinos based on their own codes of acceptable practice. A license from such an authority means the casino must adhere to a set of standards. Regulators can and do revoke licenses for various reasons, including non-payment to players.
From a player's perspective, the idea of checking the casino’s gambling license may seem dull, but not all online casinos play fairly. Rogue casinos exist in abundance and, of course, their specialty is making it easy for players to lose money and hard or impossible to withdraw it.
Their customer service will be unresponsive. It's better to check a casino's credentials before depositing funds into one's account.
Players should check the gaming license of any casino website by scrolling down the home page for details. Once a player has noted which authority the license is with, it's wise to double check it by going to that authority's website and looking for the casino on the approved list. This is best done independently rather than clicking on a logo, which could lead to a fake web page.
Of course, players who stick to big-name, mainstream casinos can forego investigating them for licenses, since no reputable casino operates without one. It's players who like to hedge bets and discover exciting new places to play that need to exercise a little more caution.
There are many gambling authorities across different continents, and some are more commonly encountered than others. From a player's perspective, it's worth noting that authorities vary in the level of protection they offer.
It's always a good idea to check peer reviews and trust sites before opening a casino account. As with insurance companies, though, peer reviews of casinos and regulators tend to be skewed towards the unfavorable, so independent review sites are useful.
Below is a brief list of some of the most common gambling licenses behind online casinos based on location.
Curacao eGaming: One of the easiest licenses for online casinos to acquire. The license is perfectly legal and respectable, coming as it does from one of the industry's oldest regulators, but the fact it's cheap and fast to obtain means it's susceptible to use by rogue operators. Players should seek extra assurance about casino trustworthiness. Curacao eGaming does not mediate in casino-player disputes.
Gibraltar Gaming Commission: Has a reputation as one of the most respected regulators, setting and enforcing gambling rules within the EU and protecting players. This regulator is an industry leader in preventing underage gambling.
Kahnawake Gaming Commission: Based in Quebec, this commission is the largest authority in the US online casino industry. It also regulates over 250 sites in Canada. The KGC actively protects players and welcomes complaints from them.
Malta Gaming Authority: This regulator offers robust player protection and safeguards against criminal activity. Many big-name casinos have an MGA gaming license, including Bet365 and Unibet.
United Kingdom Gambling Commission: The UKGC regulates gambling in Great Britain, including the National Lottery. It offers strong protection against unfair practices and has an easy-to-use complaint system. The commission actively helps vulnerable players with gambling problems.
Swedish Gambling Authority: Tasked by the Swedish government to ensure the legality of gambling, Swedish Gambling Authority aim to provide a fair and transparent gambling market.
Danish Gambling Authority: This governmental department works towards minimising gambling addiction and keeping casinos responsible. Danish Gambling Authority ensures that the market is kept legal and to the players penefit. They have plenty of support for people trapped in a gambling addiction.
The choice of casino license is not only critical to potential new businesses in the industry but also to players looking for creative new places to play. Thus, checking the authenticity of a license is paramount.