As an online gambler, it’s of utmost importance to ensure the safety of your money. The only way to do this is by making sure any website you choose to play on is regulated by one of the following organisations (although there are others that are not on this list).
Regulated sites will usually display a logo from each of their licenses at the bottom of their page, so it’s a good idea to get to know the most popular organisations and their logos. You can also contact the regulatory bodies directly and ask them to verify whether the website is a license holder.
These are 4 of the biggest online regulators at the moment:
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
Established in 2005 by the UK Gambling act, the UKGC is the main regulatory body in the UK. Except for sports betting, they regulate most types of legal betting in the UK.
Following the passing of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill, any firm that wishes to offer betting services to UK citizens must hold a UKGC license. The bill met with some controversy, and some companies have stopped offering their games in the UK altogether in rebellion of the new legislation. This is likely because they would have to abandon their grey market operations in order to obtain a licence.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
The MGA is one of the premiere gaming regulators in Europe for websites that aim to service a global market. They were one of the first regulators to cover online gambling and continue to oversee the activity of many firms across a multitude of countries.
The MGA was originally formed in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) and changed names in 2015 following some controversy regarding the way they had dealt with some problems on casino websites. In the years since, Malta authorities have endeavoured to win back the lost trust of players and are now recognised as an important regulator in the global industry.
The Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC)
The KGC was founded in 1996, and found its place as one of the most widely recognised names in online regulation in 1999. They oversee the licensing and regulation of all gaming in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec. They have been a popular option for gambling companies thanks to their low taxes and fees, and are known to take player complaints very seriously, which promotes immense confidence in their licensed operators.
The Curacao internet Gambling Association (CIGA)
The CIGA was created in 2002 purely to oversee the online sector of the gambling industry there, which had been alive and well since 1993. Initially, they offered “master licenses” to companies that wanted to host iGaming websites from the island. These days, new firms can obtain a sub-license from the various master license holders.
Operators in Curacao enjoy very low corporate taxes of around 2%, and there are no additional taxes on gambling itself, although master license holders do charge fees to the firms beneath them. There are also very few restrictions as to which countries license holders can operate in, though they are limited from offering their games in the Netherlands.