With the ever-growing popularity of online slots gambling, more and more casino sites are being set up every day, each one looking to get a slice of the very lucrative pie that iGaming has become.
Now a multibillion-pound global industry, there are more incentives than ever for start-up companies to design sites, obtain the necessary licences, and start allowing gamblers to deposit their funds.
However, this would be chaos without any type of body regulating and licencing the market. Unfortunately, we live in a world of fraud, corruption, cyber-crime, and digital scams. Because of this, licencing bodies are more important than ever.
What do licencing bodies actually do?
Considering that you are depositing money into your chosen online casino’s bank accounts, it’s fundamental to trust them. How do you know they’re legitimate? Hopefully, you will have done some due diligence before signing up and see that they are fully licenced and regulated.
Depending on the country you reside in, the website should be licensed by a specific agency. For example, here in the UK, the UKGC (UK Gambling Commission) oversees the majority of operations, whereas, in the USA, most states have differing attitudes towards online gambling. This means that from state to state, they have their own bodies.
These licencing bodies must ensure that all of the online casinos for whom they provide licences are fair, random, and safe. What’s more, they must also establish rules that protect players’ funds. This involves keeping gamblers’ monetary deposits separate from the site’s running costs, so if an online casino should run into financial difficulties, the gamblers would get all of their money back from their e-wallets.
Some of the world’s major regulators for internet gaming
Starting with the UK, as we’ve established, the UKGC oversees the majority of operations. Initially established by the Gambling Act of 2005, the UKGC took control of online gambling from the Gaming Board for Great Britain in 2007.
Now, any online casino site that wants to take bets from UK customers must obtain a licence with the UKGC. Not displaying the said licence means that the casino site is operating outside the law and you should not deposit any funds into their account.
Staying in Europe, the “Amministrazione Autonoma dei Monopoli di Stato”, or “AAMS”, regulates online gaming services in Italy.
In order to obtain a licence from the AAMS, online casinos in Italy must show that they are based in an EU country in order to comply with European Commission rules, and prove that they can function in a stable and secure way.
In 2014, Spanish authorities set up “La Comision Nacional del Juego”, meaning that Spain became the latest European country to create a regulated online gambling market.
Set up as “L’autorite de Regulation des Jeux en ligne” (ARJEL) in 2010, this French licencing body regulates online casinos, allowing them to offer their games in France, which is one of the largest betting markets in Europe behind the UK.
The rest of the world
Other major licencing bodies in Europe and around the world include the following:
- Gambling Supervision Commission (Isle of Man)
- Malta Gaming Authority
- Belgian Gaming Commission
- Danish Gambling Authority
- ACT Gambling and Racing Commission (Australia)
- PAGCOR and FCLRC (Philippines)
- Nevada Gaming Control Board
- New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
Establishing the best body is difficult as each operates in different ways according to the countries where they are based. As each one has been set up to protect gamblers and eliminate fraud, they are all necessary forces for good, though, in France, Italy, and Spain, the bodies have been criticised for their high taxes.