Whether you’re a keen casino gamer, you’re in charge of operating an online casino, or you’re simply on a quest for knowledge, finding out about the online casinos licensing process is surprisingly fascinating. There are licences in all different kinds of businesses, and they are there for a reason. In the world of casinos, licences help to keep consumers safe, so it’s essential for casinos operating either on land, or online to have a licence. Where your casino sits on the spectrum will affect the steps that you must take in order to ensure that you’re complying with regulations. As well as this, the country which your casino is operating from will affect the licensing process.
We’re going to focus on the licensing process for casinos operating in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom, as these countries are three of the largest online casino users, so if your country is different then it might be necessary to look into your individual needs.
Why is Licensing Important?
Insisting upon the licensing of online casinos is the only way to guarantee a safe and secure gambling environment for customers. Whilst part of the fun of gambling is the excitement of not knowing what exactly is going to happen, it’s essential that customers are protected from any unwelcome surprises. This is exactly what licensing ensures. By only playing at casinos that have a licence, customers can ensure that they’re protected from scams and fraud. All of the games on the casino site will have been checked for fairness, meaning everybody can benefit from a safe gaming environment.
Where Can an Online Casino Licence Be Obtained?
There are a surprising number of different ways to get a casino licence. One of the most popular with new casinos is to obtain what is known as a White Label licence. This is where casinos can obtain the right to operate through another licence holder, as a sub-licensee. This is considerably less expensive, making it a popular option for smaller, or newer, operations. For reference, a casino licence from the Malta Gaming Authority has a $5000 application fee and costs in the region of $25000 for a single year, whilst one from the Swedish Gambling Authority will cost more than $200,000, an enormous difference. With these figures in mind, it makes sense for casinos with a smaller operating budget to opt for the more cost-effective white label licence.
Applying to a Regulatory Body
The other way to obtain a licence is to apply for one through a regulatory body. Some of the most popular regulatory bodies include the Malta Gaming Authority, the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, and Curacao. The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most popular because Malta offers access to the European market and has a process that is rigorous and a licence that is well thought of. Operators can apply for either a licence for organising games of chance, such as slots and roulette, or an outcome-based gambling licence, for games like poker, or sports betting.
The UKGC is a popular choice because it is recognized as being one of the most stringent authorities. The commission has always considered the protection of customers to be the number one goal and its recent rule changes for licence holders reflect this. On the other hand, Curacao is popular because it is far easier to obtain a licence with very low costs, usually around $5000. There are drawbacks to opting for this cheaper licence though. A Curacao licence does not allow online casinos to accept players from the United States, France, the Netherlands, or Curacao itself. Understandably, some players are less likely to play at casinos with a Curacao licence, not just because of the area restrictions, but also as the licence is not deemed as stringent as other providers.