Online casino licences
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Online casino licences

Do the licences indicate whether the casino is secure?

Online casinos, like many other industries, need to obtain a gaming licence to be legitimate with the players and also with the authorities.

Thus, for several years now, numerous licences have been issued throughout the world. These licences, which are issued by an authority that regulates online gambling, mean that the casino you are playing at complies with stringent rules, particularly in terms of the security of your information and means of payment. Of course, this licence does not guarantee 100% security. On the Internet, it is impossible to be 100% sure, no matter which site you are on.

Depending on the license that is displayed on the casino and the country issuing the license, the conditions for obtaining it are not the same.

How do I get an online casino license?

In order to obtain a licence, the online casino must meet a wide range of criteria. However, depending on the licence they wish to display on their site, the conditions for obtaining it will be different. Indeed, some licences are easier to obtain than others, which are more selective and conscious of player safety.

Therefore, just because a license is displayed on a casino does not mean that it is secure. As a player, you should always check what license is displayed at a casino. For example, some certifications will be very strict regarding player security, which will not be the case for another license.

What are licences for?

Casino licenses are used to show that the site you are playing on meets specific rules regarding the security of your personal information or means of payment. Be careful however, each licence has its own rules and therefore not all licences ensure the player in the same way.

For example, some licences will put the emphasis on player security while others will be stricter on other points. It is up to you to check whether the casino you are playing at has a licence that you consider "good" or not.

The different online casino licences

Just like bars or restaurants, online casinos have several licences at their disposal. However, depending on the territory where you are, some licences, recognised as legitimate by countries or institutions, may not be legitimate in another territory.

Antigua

The Antigua license is one of the best known in the world. In order to obtain it, casinos have to comply with strict rules: account control, anti-money laundering policy, control of the age of the players and also the provision of help for those players who need it.

Antigua and Barbuda's licence is not in doubt. In 2008, for example, this licence was considered fully legitimate by the UK government.

A year earlier, the WTO had ruled in favour of Antigua and Barbuda in a case against the United States. The World Trade Organisation had ruled that the United States was not complying with certain rules that prevented this small state from selling its licence to certain American casinos, for example.

To obtain this famous licence, casinos must spend $70,000 and pay 3% tax.

Kahnawake

The Kahnawake licence has been in operation since 1996. It is a licence distributed by the Kahnawake Gaming Commission which is located on the Kahnawake Indian Reserve in Canada. In order to obtain this licence, casinos must meet a number of requirements:

  • prompt payment of players,

  • prohibition of underage players,

  • ensure the security and confidentiality of the players,

  • fight against money laundering,

  • Implementation of self-exclusion procedures and betting limits for players who need them,

  • Operators must keep all their transactions and data on a server for verification,

  • it can handle conflicts between players and an online casino in the event of a dispute.

To obtain this licence, the casino must pay 3 taxes: a first one of $5,000, a second one of $15,000 and a last one of $10,000. This licence is mainly present on the North American market.

Be careful, this certification tends to be questioned. Indeed, nearly 500 casinos are said to have this licence at present. For some observers, this very significant figure shows that the licence is distributed to a very large number of casinos that do not have the legitimacy to hold it and not to the best casinos.

Curaçao

The Curaçao licence is the most widespread licence in the French-speaking online casino world. Issued by the small island of Curaçao, which belongs to the Kingdom of the Netherlands, this licence is one of the most present on the online casino market in Europe. Since 1996, it has been distributing, on the online casino market, a certification approving the legality and security of the casinos that hold it.

As with the two licences previously seen, the casino that wishes to obtain it must show its white feet and comply with strict security and confidentiality rules.

To acquire this licence, it takes place in two parts. Firstly, the casino wishing to obtain this approval must apply to Curaçao eGaming. Once the first part has been approved, a big survey is carried out. Account verification, compliance with the rules, etc. A lot of information is researched, collated and analysed in order to approve or disapprove an online casino.

This licence is also one of the most advantageous on the market for online casinos. In fact, to acquire it, online casinos must pay $11,000 and an annual tax of only 2%.

The United Kingdom

The UKGC is the commission responsible for distributing a licence to the most reliable online casinos to enable them to offer their services. Created in 2014, in just a few years the UKGC has become the reference in the market for online casino certifications. Indeed, to obtain it, online casinos must meet drastic criteria:

  • they must have sufficient funds to pay their players. They must separate their accounts into two parts: one part that will pay the players and another part that will be used to pay the farm. In case of bankruptcy, the casino must always pay the players,

  • be competent and have no criminal record when opening the online casino,

  • protect players' financial and personal data. The casino must protect itself from cyber attacks that may steal player data. If the casino does not show any sign of protection of their site during the investigation, then the license will be denied,

  • The UKGC is very strict in its rules: if a casino does not meet any criteria or if a casino changes its policy and no longer complies with the UKGC rules, then their license is cancelled,

  • In the event of a dispute, the UKGC can assist players who have problems with certain online casinos.

However, if many casinos do not have this licence, it is because it is reserved for an elite. Indeed, this certification is very expensive. Each casino that obtains it has to pay an annual fee of 15%, making it the most expensive licence on the market.

The Isle of Man

Situated between England and Ireland, this small island has become, thanks to its licence, one of the references in the world of online casinos. Like the vast majority of licences, all the actions of casinos wishing to obtain this licence are checked. For example, obtaining the licence is a two-part process. First, you must apply to the authority to be considered. Once your application has been made, the analysis process takes 8 to 12 weeks.

Accounts, security or any other elements will be analysed by experts. If the casino meets all expectations, then the license is issued. In addition to meeting stringent standards, the casino will have to pay £35,000 and pay a 1.5% tax.

Gibraltar

A small British territory located in the very south of Spain, this small piece of land has become known throughout the world for its strategic position. In addition to being recognised as an important place, it has also made a name for itself in the online casino world. Indeed, if a casino is licensed by the GRA (Gibraltar Regulatory Authority), it means that you can be sure of the casino you are playing at. Indeed, in order to obtain this certification, the casino has to meet a very important set of regulations.

  • copy of the gaming licence and financial reports,

  • confirmation of financial solvency (both founders and beneficiaries),

  • identification documents (passport, data from the tax authorities) as well as verification of the addresses of the owners, founders, directors and all persons working for the casino,

  • confirmation of the authenticity of all these persons (letter of recommendation from financial or banking institutions),

  • prove that the casino has the funds to pay all players in the event of a win. Regardless of the amount, the casino must be able to pay the players.

If the casino does not meet all the conditions, then the GRA will not issue the license.

In addition, obtaining this certification comes at a price: 35,000 pounds (€39,000) a year. However, this licence offers a very low taxation: 0.15%.

Malta

Since joining the European Union in 2004, the small island of Malta has made a name for itself in the world of online casino gambling. Considered one of the best known licences in the world, the latter is difficult to obtain :

  • financial resources of the casino,

  • transparent structure with a minimum of 2 shareholders,

  • evidence that the owners of the casino have no criminal record or connection to the criminal world,

  • the casino must present a financial strategy,all games must have a description as well as show how each game/machine has a slot.

This licence is obtained in two parts. Firstly, the casino must pay €2,330 to apply for this licence. The casino will have to pay an additional €2,500 for the audit fee. If the casino is approved by the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority), it will be granted a 6 month licence. During these 6 months, the MGA will scrupulously analyse whether the casino complies with all the rules. If this is the case, then the Maltese authority will issue a licence valid for the next 5 years.

For its part, the casino, which will have to pay €8,500 a year to keep this licence, will have to continue to comply with the MGA conditions. If a licensed casino no longer complies with the rules, then the licence is cancelled and the casino loses its legitimacy.

Alderney

Alderney is a small British island located near the French coast. This small piece of land is one of the most important places in the world of online casino. Indeed, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) is one of the safest institutions in the field of online casino licensing.

  • testing of the slot machines as well as a description of the process used,

  • show all certifications obtained by the casino,

  • agreement with the AGCC, which can monitor or intervene at any time if this authority deems that there is a dispute or that the casino is no longer complying with the rules,

  • detailed plan, signed by the owner, of all the people who work in the company and their role,

  • proof of the criminal record of the owner(s). The latter must be empty in order to comply with the rules of the AGCC,

  • a copy of the casino's financial report and a thorough audit of the accounts are carried out. The casino, even in case of bankruptcy, is obliged to pay out the players' winnings.

As well as having to comply with very strict rules, the AGCC requires casinos to pay £70,000 a year to obtain this licence. If the casino no longer meets certain rules, the AGCC can impose heavy fines until the casino meets the criteria. If it does not, then the licence is cancelled.

Can an unreliable casino lose its license?

Yes, a non-reliable online casino can lose its licence. Indeed, every licensing authority puts its reliability at stake. Thus, an authority has no interest in issuing a licence to a casino it does not consider legitimate. Moreover, the protection of players is the watchword of all authorities that regulate gambling.

Thus, it is not uncommon for a casino that no longer complies with the rules of the authority that issued its licence to be deprived of that licence. In this way, casinos are gambling their reputation as well. If they obtain one of these licences, it means that they are aware that they have no right to make mistakes.

Casinos and licences need each other and therefore work very closely together. However, as stated above, if a casino no longer plays the game and does not comply with the rules, then it loses its licence as well as its reputation and reliability.

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