Online Casinos and Regulation Worldwide – Where is Online Gambling Legal?

Most countries have pretty clear and concise legislation in place regarding traditional gambling policies. By contrast, online gambling is a somewhat more ambiguous subject. While some countries heavily restrict or forbid all forms of online gambling, others aren’t even interested in whether an online casino is in any way licensed or regulated.

Justifications for online gambling restrictions (or otherwise) also vary significantly from one country to the next. In some instances, it’s all about capitalising on the opportunity to generate rich tax revenues. Some countries are more interested in the apparent moral and ethical arguments against online gambling, while others simply don’t have the technological infrastructures needed to implement and police regimented online gambling policies.

Why Online Gambling Regulation is Important

The importance of online gambling regulation lies in its targeting of irresponsible and deceptive entities. These days, it’s surprisingly easy to set up and launch a basic website, add a bunch of casino games and market it as a legitimate business. Hence, it’s also surprisingly easy for fraudsters to mislead consumers into making dangerous decisions online.

Online gambling regulation exists for three primary reasons:

  • 1. To make sure online casinos operate in a lawful manner
  • 2. To make sure online casinos are ethical and responsible
  • 3. To make sure online casino gamers are protected from harm

It is the responsibility of every online casino to ensure it complies with all applicable laws and legislation in its jurisdiction. Nevertheless, it’s the responsibility of the online casino gamer to exclusively do business with reputable and responsible service providers.

Doing so doesn’t have to be difficult – it’s a case of pure common sense. For example, if on the lookout for the best online casinos in the UK, you could visit online.casino/uk/ or use similar expert recommendations.

On the plus side, the presence of rogue casinos is diminishing all the time. It’s becoming increasingly difficult for low-grade casinos and dodgy dealers to get away with their irresponsible activities. They still exist, but the kinds of dangerous casinos that pose a genuine threat to your online safety are doing the rounds in increasingly small numbers.

Online Gambling Legislation Around the World – A Brief Overview

Back with international gambling legislation and regulation, every country has its own unique policies and restrictions. Though the vast majority can be divided into four specific types of gambling legislation, which are as follows:

  1. The prohibition of operating without a licence for domestic online casinos, while allowing international gambling sites to target local residents. This includes countries like Switzerland, Sweden, Canada, Norway, Greece and the Dominican Republic.
  2. Authorisation of online gambling and casino services exclusively with a local license from a recognised authority. Countries imposing this kind of legislation include the United Kingdom, France, Finland, Austria, the Netherlands and others.
  3. Total prohibition of local gambling operators from operating, though gambling sites based overseas can still offer their services to the local population. Countries in this bracket include Singapore, new Zealand, Brazil, Australia and Mexico.
  4. Zero prohibition of online casinos with no licensing or regulation required, which is the case in Gibraltar, Venezuela, Argentina, Bolivia, Kenya, Egypt and so on.

In the United States, gambling laws vary significantly from one state to the next. If interested in getting involved in online gambling in North America, be sure to check out an up to date guide to legal online casinos in the USA beforehand.

Licensing Requirements

Where licensing and regulation are required for an online casino to do business, the criteria that must be filled by the operator are usually quite similar. There will always be differences from one jurisdiction to the next, but typical licensing requirements tend to centre on the following:

Suitability of Owners & Executives

In order to qualify for an online casino licence, it will usually be necessary to demonstrate that you are an appropriate person for the job. Not just you, but anyone involved in the ownership and running of your online gambling business. You may find it difficult to qualify if you do not have an appropriate background in a related industry area, or if you are considered to be of ‘questionable character’.

Accounting Procedures

One of the most important factors considered when issuing online casino licences is the accounting procedures of the casino in question. It is essential to ensure that you are capable of and committed to safeguarding transactions in all directions and protecting customers’ finances. Casino operators are expected to demonstrate the extent to which they can handle all aspects of their brand’s accountancy requirements in a safe and professional manner.

Fairness of Games

The vast majority of online casinos source their games near exclusively from third-party service providers. But this doesn’t mean they don’t have a direct say on the fairness or otherwise of the games they offer. Along with initial checks and verifications, most online casinos are required to undergo periodic internal and external audits to ensure fair and responsible operations. In addition, the quality of the casino software in general that’s been used to create the gaming site will be evaluated.

Dealing with Problem Gamblers

All online casino operators have a responsibility to the safety and wellbeing of their customers. Measures must therefore be put in place to proactively detect the signs of problem gambling, in order to prevent vulnerable individuals from making dangerous and ill-informed decisions. Casinos that are found to have taken a blind eye to potentially problematic gambling risk having their licences suspended or revoked.

Preventing Underage Gambling

The same also applies to underage gambling, which continues to pose a problem in a wide variety of markets worldwide. Every effort must be made to prevent individuals under the required legal age (in accordance with the jurisdiction) from gambling online. Again, failure to do so will usually result in licence suspension or revocation.

Handling Complaints

Finally, gambling regulators and authorities worldwide require applicants and licensees to have structured and appropriate complaint policies and procedures in place. This is important to ensure that anyone who is dissatisfied with the services provided can formally register their complaint, after which a formal investigation should be carried out and documented.

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