Everything you need to know about Online Casino licences

How many online casinos exist?

Online gaming and gambling is becoming more and more popular in many countries across the globe. eSports is about to overtake traditional sports. And we can see a similar development in the gambling and casino world. The days where people were dressing up fancy and looking for a fun night out in a land-based casino have passed a long time ago. But one thing hasn’t changed, players are craving for new exciting slot machines and casino games. Actually, slots are popular as never before with countless new slot game releases every month by some of the top game providers.

According to a research paper from the International Center For Responsible Gaming (ICFRG) there are about 3,000 online websites which offer casino or betting games. To be honest, I think there must be even more! On Statista, they expect the size of the online gambling market to be valued at more than 92.9 billion U.S. dollars by 2023. And I believe we have reasons to believe that this trend will continue. More online casinos will start business in the future.

Is online gambling legal?

Firstly, let’s address the elephant in the room. Probably you are asking yourself whether it’s legal to gamble online or not. Most countries have some kind of rules when it comes to gambling.

Casinos which want to operate in a certain jurisdiction need a government-issued gaming licence. Many countries in the world restrict or ban online gambling for different reasons – in some countries it’s kind of a grey area. And I strongly advise you to check the rules and laws in your country to understand if playing online is legal or not.

Is online gambling illegal in the US?

Gambling itself is not illegal in the US. But there is the so-called The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 which addresses online gambling. In a nutshell, this law forbids payment processors in the US to transfer funds to “unlawful” online gambling websites abroad.
Due to this law most big casino websites have stopped their operations in the US.

What different types of online casinos exist?

Competition in the gambling industry is a good thing. Casinos need to continuously improve to keep players on their platform. However, players are faced with the difficult situation to pick the best casino among many. It can be tricky for new players to understand the differences between all these companies. When you look at casinos, you can check the following things to understand what they are all about.

Understanding casino licences

Every serious online gaming site nowadays needs a license before it can start to operate. When money is involved, banks or payment processors won’t accept gaming companies that do not have a proper license. Depending on where you live, the regulations and laws for online gambling might be very different.

Some countries prohibit online gambling services while others show great support in the gambling industry. The best online casinos and gaming sites are not based where you think they might be. In the USA or Australia for example, you will not be able to find a thriving online gambling industry.

Many of the best online casinos are licensed in quite remote locations like Malta, Curaçao or Isle of Man. For you as a player, it is very important to check if the casino is offering their services to players from your country. Otherwise, you might get into trouble when cashing out. Good casinos will have this type of information published on their website which brings us to the next important topic…

For casinos to operate in a certain jurisdiction, they need a licence from a government-recognized regulator. And there are some off-shore locations in the world who become quite accommodating for casinos. So there are a few locations where all these casinos are incorporated.

Most casinos which I am reviewing here on my website are regulated by one of the following bodies.

Malta Gaming Authority casinos

So a lot of casinos for European players are based in Malta. And these casinos obtain a licence by the Malta Gaming Authority. According to the MGA, in 2020 players visited MGA casinos 257,617 times. This type of information can be found easily on the MGA website along with other key figures such as the revenues of these casinos and much more.

This is just one example that shows how transparent the MGA is. That’s why the MGA licence is extremely popular amongst casinos and players. In fact, most casinos and betting companies which operate in Europe are licenced by the MGA, even the well-established brands like Bwin, Tipico or Unibet.

UK Gambling Commission casinos

Another really popular licence is the one issued by the UK Gambling Commission. The UKGC have three principles: 1) Preventing illegal activities, 2) Ensuring gambling is fair for the players and 3) Protecting children. And based on these three principles, there are several rules and requirements for casinos to operate in the UK and target British players.

Overall, the licence issued by the UKGC means high protection for players. Players can utilise various platforms such as www.resolver.co.uk in case there are any issues with a casino and the UKGC will follow up.

Curaçao casinos

Curaçao is a Caribbean island, formerly known as the Dutch Antilles, and famous for its incredible beaches and coral reefs. And for several online casinos which obtain a gaming licence from the Caribbean island. Curaçao was one of the first countries who created a framework for regulating online gambling. Since 1996 casinos can obtain a licence from the island state. Today, the ​​Curaçao Gaming Control Board (GCB) got the mandate to overlook the regulatory framework for online casinos. Licences itself are directly issued from the Minister of Finance.

There are a couple of reasons why this licence became so popular. The main reason I suspect is the simplicity of the licence. The e-Gaming license is covering all kinds of online gambling activities no matter if it’s sports betting, poker, casino games or even eSports.