Gambling Licenses and Background Information
Before an online casino can be launched, its operator needs to secure a gambling license. As explained, each country has its own gambling laws; however, this doesn’t mean that a casino must have an online casino license from a local gambling authority to offer its services within that country. For instance, many countries are happy to recognize casino licenses issued by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Furthermore, there is no reason why a casino operator should only apply for just one online gaming license. Many operators hold more than one online casino license allowing them to accept players from several different countries.
Some authorities will insist that an operator is at least partly based within its jurisdiction. As the gaming license is so important, it means that many gambling operators choose their location based on the licensing conditions. Once the operator has secured its online gaming license(s), it can then go about setting up the casino.
Gambling Jurisdictions and Authorities – What Are They and What They Do?
Every country has its own gambling laws, but not every country has its own gambling authority. Some countries or regions around the world have laws in place that allow them to license and regulate online gambling operators. These places are usually known as online gambling jurisdictions or simply gambling jurisdictions.
Within each gambling jurisdiction, there is an authority or commission that is charged with issuing gambling licenses and ensuring that operators adhere to the conditions. However, online gambling licensing jurisdictions are vastly different, and the specific regulations vary greatly from one jurisdiction to another. For instance, some online gambling jurisdictions have far stricter player protection measures in place than others.
Because of this, some gambling authorities are more respected than others. Both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority are widely recognized as demanding very high standards across the board. By contrast, authorities such as those in Costa Rica and Panama are far less respected internationally. Therefore, when browsing online casino reviews in search of sites to play at or if you are setting up an online casino, it is vital to understand the differences between the various gambling jurisdictions.
General Requirements for Online Gaming License
Gambling licensing requirements are simply the conditions an individual or company must meet in order to be granted a gambling license by any given gambling entity. The conditions are there to ensure that the potential licensee is in good standing and that they have honest intentions. As such, it is nearly always necessary to provide information about the business owner, the partners, and the employees.
For instance, the business owners may have to prove their identities, demonstrate that they have no criminal record, and show a solid credit record. Applicants will also have to supply financial and structural information about the company.
No matter the gambling jurisdiction, those applying for a casino license should expect to provide a lot of information.
Online casino license requirements:
- Financial information, including profit and loss predictions and proof of funding
- A detailed description of the casino, including information such as what platform it will run on, the games it will offer, the payment methods available, and so on
- Full disclosure of the business owners and profit-sharing plans
How to Get a Gambling License Step by Step
The exact procedure of applying for a casino license will, of course, vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. When dealing with the less reputable licensing bodies, it may simply be a question of providing a few documents and paying a fee. However, when applying to one of the respected gambling authorities, the procedure can be complicated, as it is extremely detail orientated.
To begin with, you must find out what type of licenses the authority offers and select which is the correct one for you.
Usual types of gambling licenses:
- Class 1 – For Casino Games, Skill Games, and Lotteries
- Class 2 – For Betting
- Class 3 – For Peer Betting and Betting Exchanges
- Class 4 – For Software Vendors
If, for example, you wanted to operate an online casino, then you would need to apply for a Class 1 license from the list above.
The next step is to fill in the application form and provide the required documents. This is where you need to take great care as the details are important, and most licensing authorities will run background checks to verify the information supplied.
Basic set of documents for obtaining a gambling license:
- Personal details
- Proof of funding
- A business plan
- Bank statements going back at least six months
- Player terms and conditions
- Safer gambling measures
- Anti-money laundering procedures
Many more documents will probably be required.
At the same time as submitting the documents, a license application fee must be paid. It is then a matter of waiting for the gambling authority to process your application, which can take a few months.
Assuming that you are granted a license, you will then have to pay the annual licensing fee, after which you are free to set up your business and start welcoming players.
What Is a Gambling Regulator?
A gambling regulator is an official body that is able to issue licenses to gambling operators allowing them to offer their services in a given jurisdiction.
The gambling regulator is also charged with monitoring operators to ensure that they stick to the licensing conditions and handing out appropriate punishments if necessary.
How Is Online Gambling Regulated?
Online gambling is regulated on a country-by-country basis. At its most basic, some countries may simply ban their citizens from gambling. However, many countries have regulations in place allowing them to license (and tax) online gambling.
These are known as gambling jurisdictions, and there will be an authority in charge of licensing gambling operators. Operators with a license from a gambling authority are then able to offer their services within that jurisdiction.
How Does a Casino Lose Its License?
A casino will have its license revoked for a serious breach of its licensing conditions. For example, if a casino were found to be rigging games, then a respectable gambling authority would both revoke the license and issue a heavy fine.
Casinos may also lose their licenses for not protecting players’ money or data adequately, facilitating money laundering, exploiting gambling addicts, and so on.
How to Obtain a Casino License?
The process of obtaining a gambling license will vary depending on the jurisdiction. However, in general, an operator will have to pay an application fee, apply to a licensing authority and provide full details of the business owners, the business plan, and so on.
If the licensing authority then decides to grant a license, the company will then need to pay an annual fee before it can begin operations.