Estimated Reading Time: 5 minutes
Spending real money for online gambling can be daunting, especially when there are some rogue operators out there who have tainted the reputation of an otherwise sound industry.
One of the best ways to ensure you’re gambling at a legitimate venue and not being taken for a ride is to only spend your money at sites licensed by genuine international authorities and reputable casino industry watchdogs. There is a range of highly respected third party organisations existing solely to protect the safety and vulnerability of online punters and we’ve listed some of the best ones to help players recognise a trustworthy casino from a cowboy operation.
As with all casinos recommended here at RegulatedCasinos.com, we only back sites that are 100% licensed and regulated, so if you’re unsure exactly how to tell if a casino is operating with proper licensing, just stick to the venues recommended at our site.
When looking for a casino with a legitimate international license, look for the following:
Malta Gaming Authority
The MGA is very highly regarded and considered the leading global authority on gaming regulations. This organisation is single handedly responsible for the governance of all gaming activities operating both online and in real life under Malta licensing. A casino that has received its licensing from the Malta Gaming Authority must operate under strict standards of the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001. The MGA constantly monitors venues that operate under its licensing to ensure the casino continues to uphold the necessary regulations.
There are four different levels of licensing within the MGA, ranging from a Class One license to a Class Four license. To determine which class of license a venue is operating under, simply click on the MGA logo usually located at the bottom of the homepage of the casino to receive all the relevant information.
Most of our recommended casinos are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority include Roxy Palace, Leo Vegas, Guts Casino and Thrills Casino.
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission
The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission was established all the way back in 1962, ensuring gambling on the island remained crime-free and fair for all punters. In 2001, it became one of the first jurisdictions in the world to introduce legislations relating specifically to online gambling and played a part in establishing the requirements of safe and fair online casino operation.
The Isle of Man is part of the British Crown Dependency but has its own government and has legislations separate from the UK. However, it remains one of the leading international casino licensing locations, meeting all of the UK governments regulatory requirements. Functions of the commission include distribution of casino licensing, protection of player funds, external testing of games to ensure fairness and unbiased results, investigation of complaints and monitoring the activity of licenced operators to ensure their ongoing compliance.
The Curacao eGaming authority is a leading licensing body aiming to supervise and ensure the integrity and conduct of its authorised operators and service providers. In operation since 1996, it is one of the oldest and most well-established providers of online casino licensing, following advanced gaming laws similar to Malta.
The comprehensive single license is designed to be all-encompassing, covering not just online casino operators, but also software and service providers within all forms of virtual gaming including online lotteries and sports betting. The Curaçao eGaming license is only issued to Internet gambling operators who maintain high standards and safe and fair practices.
TheAlderney Gambling Control Commission
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) has been around for 15 years and was established to be a completely independent, non-political party responsible for regulating interactive gambling on behalf of the States of Alderney. To gain licensing from the AGCC, a casino operator must undergo a series of rigorous testing to ensure their virtual establishment meets a long list of high compliance standards.
The key objective of the AGCC is to make sure that all gambling on the Internet is conducted honestly and fairly, is free of criminal behaviour and protects vulnerable players.
The AGCC has links with international licensing bodies like the Nevada Gaming Control Board and the British Gambling Commission and liaises with these organisations regularly to ensure it remains up to date with all the latest online gambling developments and requirements.
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
Established in 2000, the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) is the constitutional organisation responsible for the regulation of all online communications including broadcasting, telecommunications and radio. All casinos seeking Remote Gambling licensing from Gibraltar must receive approval from the GRA and follow legislations imposed by the Gambling Act 2005. The GRA enforces some stricter guidelines than some other jurisdictions, making it harder to obtain a Gibraltar casino license. To receive approval, the authority will only consider blue chip companies that have a proven track record, good financial standing, a genuine business plan and a website must have already obtained licensing under another leading jurisdiction.
32Red is our recommended casino that’s licensed by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
Although it doesn’t come under the definition of licensing, this organisation plays an integral role in the legal operation of online gambling. eCOGRA (the eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance) is the leading and most recognised industry body when it comes to the online gambling industry. This independent authority serves to maintain fair gaming, player protection and responsible operator conduct. eCOGRA operates as an auditing service for online casinos, using the eCOGRA Generally Accepted Practice (eGAP) checklist to ensure that the site, its games and its owners are running fairly and completely above board. The organisation also acts as a voice for online players, working to ensure any player disputes regarding payouts, customer service or concerns about any activity within the casino are tended to effectively and efficiently.
You can tell if a casino is regulated by eCOGRA as it will either display the organisations logo with a direct link attached, or adorn the eCOGRA Safe and Fair Seal of approval. For further info, you can click on the Safe and Fair seal for a full report of the casinos audit results, including details on its percentage payout and random number generation statistics.
Why it’s important to check the licensing of an online casino
Unless you’re playing at one of our recommended casinos which we check for suitable licensing before giving our tick of approval, the importance of making sure a casino has proper licensing cannot be stressed enough. If a casino is not licensed it means it isn’t regulated, so there’s no authority to check its legitimacy or operational standards, leaving players exposed to possible scams and fraudulent activity.
It’s important to note even though you may not be familiar with jurisdictions like Isle of Man, Curacao, Alderney or Gibraltar, they provide the highest and most legitimate form of licensing around. Casinos licensed by more recognisable countries like Australia should always be avoided, as the gambling legislations within such countries carry certain restrictions.