Any online casino that you play should be licenced by a recognised regulator. This means that you are protected when gambling online. It also means that the games you play have been tested for fairness. Which can only be a good thing!
However, just because the casino holds a gambling licence doesn’t mean that you won’t encounter any problems. But the casino is much more likely to be a fair and safe place to play.
As a UK player we recommend that you only play at online casinos that hold a licence from the UK Gambling Commission.
UK Gambling Commission
The UK Gambling Commission was set-up under the Gambling Act 2005 and regulate all commercial gambling in Great Britain.
As a result the Gambling Commission is responsible for the regulation of online casinos, casinos, bingo, lotteries and much more. Since the Gambling (Licencing and Advertising) Act 2014 they also regulate offshore gambling operators that accept UK players.
The Gambling Commission make sure that all gambling is fair and open, and they keep crime and disorder out of the industry. They also make sure that the young and vulnerable are protected.
This means that organisations that hold a UK licence offer games that are verified to be fair. The Gambling Commission also makes sure that free help and support is available for problem gamblers. And it also means that there are proper procedures for online casino dispute resolution for all licensed casinos.
The UK Gambling Commission have an excellent reputation and a licence from them is a ‘must’ for all UK players.
More Online Casino Licences
There are a number of other regulators that licence online casinos. You might come across these regulators when you play at a number of online casinos and it is worth knowing a little bit about them.
Malta Casino Licence
Malta might be a small island but it punches well above its weight when it comes to the online casino industry.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) are very well-respected and a licence from MGA is a good sign. The authority makes sure that gaming is fair and transparent for players, and the vulnerable are protected. MGA also have money laundering and criminality rules that need to be followed by licence holders.
There are over 400 companies that hold a remote gambling MGA licence and they operate over 1,000 websites. These companies include online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks, as well as iGaming companies like NetEnt.
In 2013 the Malta Gaming Authority signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the equally well-respected Alderney Gambling Control Commission to improve consumer protection.
Gibraltar Casino Licence
iGaming companies were first attracted to Gibraltar by the low tax rates. However, more recently the clear licensing regulations have attracted some top-quality companies. Well-respected operators such as Bwin.Party, Ladbrokes, Betfair and NetEnt all hold Gibraltar licences.
Gibraltar is on the UK Gambling Commission “white list”, which means that operators can offer their services to UK players.
A Gibraltar licence is a good sign for UK players.
Alderney Casino Licence
Alderney has a population of just 2,400 people. But this tiny island has its own government, law and legal framework. And it also provides very well-respected online casino licences.
The Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) offers a solid regulatory framework. This has combined with an strong technical infrastructure on the island to attract mostly Business to Business iGaming operators.
An Alderney licence can be trusted.
Curacao Casino Licence
Curacao was one of the first regulators for online gambling. It remains one of the most respected iGaming regulators but UK players should be cautious of casinos that only hold a Curacao e-gaming licence.