Depending on a player's country of residence, the purpose of a gambling authority is to carry out checks on online casino operators, ensuring they are operating within any laws and regulations that apply within the jurisdiction. Some gambling authorities also operate internationally, independent of any one government and monitor gambling websites for any violations of industry rules and codes of best practice; ensuring games are run fairly and players are being paid any winnings they are owed.
Licences are used by gambling authorities to demonstrate that platforms are appropriately registered and are abiding by any rules and legal regulations they dictate. Players can search for these licences to establish legitimacy before signing up with a new online casino. Government sanctioned gambling authorities will typically have enforcement powers granted to them, allowing them to sanction or shut down any gambling business that isn’t following the rules, ensuring that players are always kept safe.
Checking gambling licences for established and new casinos online is an effective way of ensuring a business is legitimate and not simply a scam. From a player's perspective, it is important to check the provider's gambling licences so they can be reassured they will be paid any winnings they are owed and that their data will be kept safe.
Players can also check these licences as a way of determining that the new casino games to play provided by an online casino are within the industry's best practices and are being operated fairly - or put simply, that the games aren’t unfairly rigged.
Players from certain jurisdictions will also be subject to stricter laws and regulations than other regions. Some countries heavily limit gambling activities, restricting players to websites that are registered within the nation. In these cases, locally specific licences will be issued to legally registered casinos by government authorities, which players may wish to check for so they know they won’t potentially be violating any laws themselves by playing on a certain site.
UK Gambling Commission: With powers being granted to the UK Gambling Commission by the 2005 Gambling Act, this regulatory body has established an international reputation, which earns it respect in the online gaming world. Charged with regulating gambling businesses by ensuring fairness, player safety, protection of minors and preventing money laundering, players and casinos around the world regularly seek the legitimacy and trust gained from licences issued by this authority. The commission has strict rules for online casinos, which are rigorously enforced.
Malta Gaming Authority: Established in 2001 to oversee gambling activities in Malta, including operators based and run from other international territories. The authority offers four different licences, which vary depending on the kind of gambling taking place. Sportsbooks, lotteries and online slots are just a few of the gaming categories that fall under the control of the MGA. Fairness and safety of players are what the authority seeks to protect.
Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission: An independent statutory board, the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Authority was established in 1962 and has since earned a reputation for robust and effective implementation of its regulations. The authority aims to protect players on the island in land-based and online casinos, ensuring minors are unable to access gambling activities and that operators are running games fairly and paying out any winnings.