Online gaming regulation and licensing bodies

What is a gambling license?

Gambling is inextricably linked with the risk of losing. And if you turn reels of slot machines in gambling establishments that do not have a license, these risks will increase several times. Playing on such sites, you, at best, will end the game with a spoiled mood and without a sense of satisfaction from the process, and at worst – you are chasing your own money and/or winning. That is why it is necessary to choose 100% worthy seductions with high-quality entertainment, generous promotions, competent support service, and most importantly – with a semblance of a license.

A license is a document that is issued by the Gambling Commission of a particular state and allows an online casino to conduct legal activities in its jurisdiction. It is issued after certain conditions are met, such as payment of a commission, ensuring transparent and fair play, the availability of original software, and more.

Licensed casinos are virtual operators of online gambling, the operation of which is regulated by the gambling commission of one of the countries.

In simple terms, they are checked by the state serf regulatory authorities, pay orders and, most importantly, work based on the laws of the countries that issued them a license. The strictness of the legislation (and its enforcement) directly depends on the jurisdiction in which the permission to carry out activities was obtained. The most prestigious of them is the United Kingdom, Malta.

But all the above teases the reckless, the license is just one of the factors/indicators that determine the good – neighborliness’ and hopefulness of the casino. Just don’t talk about anything like that yet.

It is for this reason that the licensing and regulation of online gambling sites is crucial.

When making an independent choice, first of all, you need to make sure of the actual similarity of such. To do this, it is enough to scroll through your favorite batch of the official website of the online casino to the very array and click on the commission logo. No, just checking similar logos of regulatory authorities will not be enough. The problem is that some fraudulent operators, to get a real permit to carry out gambling activities, simply deploy a picture with a logo image at the bottom of the site, thereby misleading inexperienced users. Therefore, it is important to check the clickability of the logo: when you click on what, the system should redirect you to the page of the official website of the gambling commission, which will support information about the corresponding license.

Today, several online casinos try to provide services without a gaming license. We strongly recommend avoiding these sites, as those that have a gaming license will provide the same gaming experience with much better protection for customers.

If you can’t find the logo of the authority that issued the right to carry out activities in the footer of the official website, try contacting the support service specialists – they will either provide you with proof of the existence of such, or they will evade the answer, this will signal that the casino is operating without the actual right to do so.

The gambling license for an online casino is an official document that allows the gambling platform to carry out gambling activities.

Obtaining a gambling license is necessary for the legal operation of an online casino, and it also provides the platform with several advantages. The official permission to conduct gambling business is a sign that the casino is controlled by independent auditors, all transactions are protected and there is a guarantee that all winnings will be paid.

Thus, the gambling license ensures the reputation of a reliable platform – it attracts new users and develops the business.

Advantages of licensed online games

 There are much more advantages than you might think. The most obvious:

  • Official activity based on laws.
  • A wide selection of original games from a variety of providers.
  • Full protection of personal information, including payment card data and other payment details.
  • If a licensed gambling establishment does not comply with the rules for the payment of winnings, each player can independently form an appeal to the regulatory body with a complaint. If your complaint is appropriate and true, the gambling operator will be forced to pay out winnings and will also be fined a large amount of money.

Who issues licenses and regulates the rules?

Various authorities have the right to issue licenses for gambling platforms. As a rule, permits are issued by special gambling commissions, various departments and ministries, each of which has its requirements for business owners with gambling.

The Commission checks whether the online casino complies with regulatory standards.  The employees of the gambling platform must provide financial documents and data on the structure of the casino. In addition, the commission analyzes information about the owners of the gambling business. A license can be issued for all gambling activities or one category of gambling – the type of license depends on the jurisdiction. International licenses allow you to work in different countries, while domestic licenses allow you to work in only one country.

Why should I get a license?

The acquisition of a gambling license is a complex process that requires compliance with a large number of regulatory requirements and investment of financial resources. However, an online casino with an official work permit is popular with players, guarantees reliability and security, and also gets the opportunity to legally develop their business.

In most developed countries, state authorities assume responsibility for ensuring control and licensing of both the activities of operators and the games provided.

Overview of global regulators

Among the most popular, well-known and unusual places for online gambling are such jurisdictions as:

  • Great Britain
  • Belgium
  • Gibraltar
  • Denmark
  • Costa Rica
  • Curacao
  • Malta
  • The Isle of Man


In the European Union, the activities of foreign gambling sites fall under the requirements of EU legislation, which the member countries are obliged to obey. However, not all states agree that foreign operators do not pay taxes to the local treasury. Contrary to the EU requirements, they reassign foreign operators under their own regulatory rules, forcing them to obtain a local gambling license and deduct taxes to the local budget. For example, France, Germany, and Italy do this.

Gambling license in the UK

The UK offers 3 types of licenses for gambling:

  • Operating license;
  • Personal management license;
  • Premise license.

The first two are issued by the gambling commission in the UK, and the third is at the place of registration of the company. The first type of license that the UK offers, the Operating license, is issued for business and includes all the necessary sublicenses. While there are various types of licenses that the land-based gambling businesses can get, there are just 8 licenses for online casinos that could be gotten only in a way of auction.

Gambling license in Belgium

This is an example of complex license acquisition. The fact is that since 2009-2011, a new gambling law has come into force in Belgium. The requirements for online gambling companies have increased, and there are restrictions for players.

Players from Belgium are prohibited from playing on blacklisted sites – a fine of up to 25,000 Euros. Foreign portals cannot offer their services to Belgians.

To gain access to this market, it is necessary not only to obtain a local license for an online casino or arcade but also to create a physical casino/arcade. Or become a partner with someone who works in the country.

The amount of the guarantee fee is 250,000 Euros per year. The tax rate for casinos is 11%.

The Gambling Commission constantly blocks sites that do not fall under the current rules.

Changes in the tax legislation of Belgium were made in 2016.

Gambling license in Gibraltar

Gibraltar is considered the largest center for online gambling, even though it is not so easy to get a license here. The requirements for companies are high: a stable financial condition, a realistic business plan, a license in a reputable jurisdiction (if you already have one).

The tax for gambling is 1%, with a minimum of 85,000 pounds and a maximum of 425,000 pounds per year. This applies to both physical and online entertainment.

Gibraltar also makes high demands on the “compliance” of customers: the operator company must check its players, plus store data on the claims of these customers.

Gibraltar does not require a fee for obtaining a license, but the annual fee is 2,000 pounds. The time for consideration of the application depends on your company, jurisdiction, etc. The license is issued for a year.

Gambling license in Costa Rica

Costa Rica is an interesting example of how a jurisdiction without rules in the field of online gambling is becoming a popular center for online gambling.

The reason is simple: the regulation in the country is generally minimal, including in the field of online gambling. It turns out that you need to create a local corporation, get permission to process personal data and go ahead!

The only problem is that the reputation of local operators is not too good, plus the economic crisis in the jurisdiction has somewhat spoiled the picture.

In addition, banks are reluctant to open accounts for gambling companies from Costa Rica.

Gambling license in Malta

There are 6 types of licenses in Malta:

Depending on the class, taxes also change.

At the start, you will have to pay 2,330 Euros for registration and 2,500 Euros for a certificate, plus an annual fee of 8,500 Euros.

The corporate tax is 35%, but it is possible to reduce the effective rate to 5%.

Gambling license in the Isle of Man

The Isle of Man is a popular jurisdiction for obtaining a gambling license. As in Curacao, you can get a full license, or you can get a sublicense. The full license is obtained from the local gambling commission, and the sublicense is issued by the owners of the full license.

Not all types of gambling require licensing. It is not necessary to obtain a permit for the national lottery of the United Kingdom and the Isle of Man, for those who already have a casino license, for certain types of bets, for games that are completely dependent on skills, not luck.

Taxes are collected from gross income: 1.5% from the amount up to 20 million pounds per year; 0.5% from the amount of more than 20 million, but less than 40 million per year; and 0.1% from the amount of income over 40 million pounds per year.

Regulation of the online gambling industry in the United States

Gambling is not prohibited in the United States, but it faces a lot of legal restrictions. This is because each state can adopt its laws concerning both offline and online casinos. What is the situation with American online gambling?

Laws of different states on online gambling

A breakthrough for the American gambling market was the repeal of the federal PASPA law on the protection of professional and amateur sports, adopted in 1992 and prohibiting sports betting throughout America (the exceptions were Nevada, Oregon, Delaware and Montana). The ban was lifted by the Supreme Court in the spring of 2018, which allowed local authorities to decide for themselves whether to prohibit or allow betting activities in the state.

New Jersey. Online sports betting, online casinos and online poker are allowed in this state. Now New Jersey is considered one of the largest gambling markets in the United States. There are more than a dozen legal online casino sites and poker rooms operating here.

Pennsylvania. In 2019, the state authorities legalized sports betting, online casinos and online poker. The betting companies DraftKings, FanDuel and Unibet operate here. Players can place bets both offline and through a browser or a mobile application.

West Virginia. Here, the acceptance of sports betting on the Internet is allowed since 2018. Online casinos and poker will be able to start their official work in 2020.

Indiana. Sports betting online began to be officially accepted in 2019, then the state allowed the sportsbook offline and on the Internet. Three online bookmakers are represented here-Draft Kings, Fan Duel and Bet Rivers, five more are expected to enter the market.

Iowa. It was allowed to accept online sports betting in the state in 2019, several companies opened in Iowa within six months. The activities of online casinos and poker rooms are prohibited at the same time.

New Hampshire. Sports betting have been allowed here since the end of 2019, while Draft Kings is the only company on the online market. The operation of poker rooms and online casinos is prohibited in this state.

Nevada. The state in which the famous Las Vegas is located has been a monopoly in terms of sports betting for almost 20 years, betting in the online format was allowed here back in 2010.

Delaware. Online betting has been allowed in this state since 2018. Online casinos have been operating in Delaware since 2013, at the same time, poker rooms were allowed to operate. This is the first state to launch an online sportsbook after the ban was lifted.

Rhode Island. Sports betting online were legalized in 2019; the launch of the first companies is expected in 2020. Online casinos and poker rooms are prohibited in the state.

Oregon. It is allowed to place and accept sports betting online starting from the fall of 2019. The operation of online casinos and poker rooms on the Internet is prohibited.

Michigan. Last year, the state authorities allowed all types of online gambling here: accepting bets, operating casinos and poker rooms.

Colorado. The state is considering the possibility of allowing online casinos and poker rooms on the Internet, and the acceptance of sports betting on the Network has been legalized since 2019. The first companies are expected to appear this spring.

Montana. The governor of the state signed the law on the legalization of sports betting online in May 2019. Intralot will operate in the gambling market of Montana. The operation of casinos and poker rooms on the Internet is prohibited.

Tennessee. The state authorities adopted the law on the online sportsbook in April 2019. The launch of the first resources is expected in 2020.

Illinois. Sports betting became legal in the state of Illinois in June 2019; the work of the first betting sites will begin in 2020. The licenses will cost $ 10 million.

The regulation of the online gambling industry serves only the purpose that protects consumers. There is no point in having any regulation at all if it does not guarantee that the sites are operated ethically and fairly. Fortunately, established and reputable licensing authorities usually impose strict rules on the sites they license.