The online gambling and betting industry resembles an ocean in which not only treasures, but also predatory fish are hidden. These fish are fraudulent sites that were created with one purpose — to cash in on gullible customers. They don’t skimp on advertising, promises of generous bonuses and big winnings to build up their player base. The end result is always the same — the deception of people who trusted scammers.
The task of sanitation the industry is solved by issuing licenses from international regulators. We will tell you about the importance and essence of these documents in our author’s manual.
What are the Gambling Licenses?
So, let’s start with explanations. Gambling licenses are documents that legitimize the activities of online bookies and casinos. Their issuance is handled by reputable international regulators. Licenses may vary in level, as well as in the locations of their application. Say, documents from the UK Gambling Commission are valid for UK operators, and from the Malta Gaming Authority — throughout the European Union.
There are also local licenses that are issued to gambling operators and bookies by the responsible authorities of the countries in which they want to work. But, with the development of the industry, many brands have gone offshore and use loopholes in the legislation, if it does not prohibit online gambling/betting to local residents. Thus, the players can only rely on the fairness of the company… and, of course, the license of the international regulator, if it has one.
Why Do Online Bookmakers and Casinos Need Licenses?
The answer to this question is quite simple — it legitimizes their activities, as we have already said above. But there are several other factors:
By obtaining a license, operators demonstrate their desire to work fairly and comply with international standards;
Online bookmakers and casinos improve their reputation;
They get the opportunity to cooperate with a large number of providers who would not like their products to be associated with an unscrupulous online casino;
They inspire confidence among the players.
Thus, we recommend using the services of sites with active gambling licenses. If the operator is concerned about obtaining such a document, it means that it wants to play by the rules of the industry.
Rules and Regulations for Obtaining a License
It is no coincidence that we said above that in order to obtain a license, an online bookmaker or casino must fulfill a number of requirements. Their set and severity of measures vary depending on which regulator you are interested in. Most often, in order to obtain a license, an applicant must do this:
Have a good reputation;
Disclose detailed information about the operator, its owners, partners and other related persons;
Provide information on the employment and criminal activity of the operator’s representatives;
Promote the principles of Responsible gaming;
Implement anti-money laundering procedures;
Comply with technical standards and requirements;
Work according to standards when considering complaints and disputes;
Fulfill obligations prescribed by law and policy;
Test the system at the technical level before it is put into operation;
Pay for the application (the amounts differ depending on the regulator).
Consideration of an application for a license may have different terms depending on which regulator you are interested in. It may also have several types of licenses that differ in the complexity of obtaining and the amount of payment. Say, to obtain an MGA license, an applicant may need from 3 to 6 months.
How to Check That an Online Bookmaker or Casino Has a License?
If you have found an online bookie or casino whose offerings you are interested in, then be sure to make sure that it has an active license. According to the rules of the industry, information about the document and its regulator is presented in the footer of the site, in its central part. But this is usually not enough to make sure that the license really exists and it is active. In the same place in the footer, find the logo of the regulator that issued the document, and click on it, after which you will be redirected to a new page.
The page we are talking about should provide detailed information about the license, the procedure for obtaining it and the regulator. There you will also see the license status (Active/Not Active or Valid/not Valid). If it is valid, then you will be able to find out until what date.
Also on this page, a form of communication with the regulator can often be presented. It can be used if the player and the casino/bookmaker have unresolved disputes, and the intervention of the authority that issued the license is required.
Taxes for Players
At the end of our manual, we would like to note that you need to carefully browse the gambling/betting legislation of your country. You must be sure that you are not violating anything by betting or playing casino games on a website registered abroad. Also find out if you have to pay taxes on your winnings. Say, Finnish punters have the right to play in foreign online casinos and win money. But these winnings are taxed if the operator’s license was issued by a regulator from a non-EU country. For example, the Curacao Gaming Control Board. At the same time, if Finns play on a platform licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, then they do not need to pay a tax on winnings.
Our final words will be concise — take care of your money and private information. If you use the services of fraudulent sites, not only will your funds be stolen, but you will not be able to achieve justice and return them. Conversely, if you utilize the services of legal, fair online bookmakers and casinos with active gambling licenses, then you will always have the opportunity to ask for help from the regulator.