Nothing tells about the casino’s safety and integrity more than a license. Indeed, a gambling license lies at the core of any online casino. It’s a seal of approval that has the power to attract players to the casino and turn them into a loyal audience that spends and wins money on the e-gambling site. A globally recognizable license tells players that a casino operator is a law-abiding business that complies with gambling laws and guidelines. If you come across an unlicensed casino, don’t even think of registering an account or playing for real money in it, because you’re most probably dealing with a rogue gambling website that engages in shady, illegal practices.

quality casino licenses

How online casinos get licenses?

Obtaining a license is not easy at all. It’s a challenging, time-consuming process that requires a heavy money investment. To kick off the process, a casino must apply for a license and submit the required documents to the regulator. As the next step, the gambling regulator initiates a thorough check of the casino. It checks the casino’s criminal background, tests its games, performs financial and tax audits, and so on.

License costs must be paid in advance, regardless of whether the casino will be eventually granted the license or not. License costs are determined by a number of factors, such as the license issuing body and the type of the license. For example, a Curacao gambling license costs around 22,000 Euro per year, and compared to what other regulators charge, it’s a really budget-friendly option. Keep in mind that licenses are valid for a limited period of time and must be renewed every 5 years or so. So yes, if a casino has managed to obtain a coveted license, it’s a sure sign that it’s truly committed to providing a high-quality gambling experience to casino fans while complying with the law.

What gambling regulators do?

Novice gamblers may have a hard time figuring out what it is exactly that licensing authorities do. The Internet offers so much information that it may be tricky to wrap your head around such a sophisticated topic. We’ve tried to put the duties of gambling regulators into simple words.

  • One of the main responsibilities of a licensing authority is to check the iGaming software available on the casino site to make sure it’s not rigged and produces totally random outcomes which allow players get jackpots and winnings.
  • A licensing authority is entitled to take action against irresponsible casino operators if the latter fail to comply with the laws and requirements. Most of the time, a casino gets away with a fine. If, however, the violation is a serious one, the regulator has the right to revoke the license and even blacklist the casino. When dealing with an unknown casino, savvy players check it against blacklists to make sure it doesn’t have a dark history.
  • Also, a regulator checks where the casino stands financially and if it has enough funds to provide bonuses and pay out winnings to players.

casino site

Why should you look for a licensed casino only?

To have an enjoyable gambling experience, you should only play at regulated online casinos. Let’s take a look at the key benefits of playing at licensed casinos.

  • Licensed casinos ensure good player protection. Operating under a license means that a casino has to follow the local gambling legislation and strict guidelines. Such a casino is legally obliged to treat players in an honest way, protect their personal data, pay out winnings without unnecessary delays, and so on.
  • Licensed casinos offer fair gambling games that have been audited and certified by independent testing agencies, such as eCOGRA, GLI, BMM Testlabs, TST, ITechLabs, AGCC, SQS, and others. Players get access to top-tier games that run on fair RNG (random number generator) algorithms. You can rest assured that the slot or roulette game that you’re playing isn’t rigged up in the casino’s favor and you get fair winning odds.
  • Players can get professional help in settling disputes with online casinos. If you can’t work out a dispute with a licensed casino operator, you have a full right to contact its gambling regulator and ask for help in mitigating the conflict. Getting an unbiased party involved is a great way to settle a dispute. For example, if you played in a licensed casino and won a jackpot, but casino refuses to pay it to you. You can apply this case to regulator for dispute. In most cases regulators make casino owners to payout winnings to the player. However, you can get a reject as well, but this is true only if you have used additional software for cheating at the casino.

Top gambling regulators

Nowadays, you can come across quality online casinos operating under various licenses. There are several dozens of trustworthy gambling authorities that issue licenses to reliable casino operators. Here are some of the most prominent licensing authorities in the e-gambling industry:

curacao gambling license

  • United Kingdom Gambling Commission;
  • Malta Gaming Authority;
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission;
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC);
  • Curacao eGaming Commission;
  • Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA);
  • Swedish Gambling Authority;
  • and some others.

Each authority has its own requirements for getting a license. While some gambling commissions have more rigid rules (such as the UK Gambling Commission), others (Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming Commission) are more casino-friendly and grant licenses more willingly. Anyway, despite some minor differences in operation, each of these licensing authorities is safe and trustworthy.

How to check if casino has license or not?

Before signing up with the online casino and making your first deposit, be sure to check if it’s licensed by one (or several) of the above-listed regulators. Most of the time, licensing information can be found in the footer of the casino website. Scroll down the casino website page and see the license number and the name of the gambling regulator that issued it.

Here’s another thing you can do to make sure everything's in order and there’s no funny business going on. Every licensing regulator has a public database that contains all valid licenses that it has issued to casino operators. Copy the license number on the casino page and look it up in the database. If there’s a match, then you have nothing to worry about.