Regulation in the online gambling industry is no longer an option – but a must. Long gone are the days when online operators could simply set-up shop without first going through a highly stringent approval process with an established gambling regulator.
In fact, in certain markets, online casinos must hold a full gaming license with the respective regulator that they operate in. One such example of this is the UK. Each and every gambling operator looking to offer its services to UK players must be in full receipt of a gaming license issued by the Gambling Commission.
While we at Fruity King hold gaming licenses from both the Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority, other licensing bodies also exist. Here we explore the key gaming regulators currently serving the online casino space and thus, the organisations responsible for ensuring you can gamble in a safe and secure environment.
The Gambling Commission is often regarded as the hallmark license issuer, not least because they uphold water-tight standards. The institution was only launched in 2005 as part of the UK’s primary gambling legislation – the Gambling Act 2005
As noted above, all online casino operators that wish to facilitate gambling services to those based in the UK must be authorised and regulated by the Gambling Commission. This is not a straightforward process, as operators must first satisfy the Commission that they meet the minimum requirements as set out in the License Conditions and Code of Practice (LCCP).
The Gambling Commission has a range of powers at their disposal should an online operator not meet its regulatory obligations. This ranges from a regulatory fine, all the way through to a full revoke of license. One such example of this was the £6.2 million fine the Commission sanctioned against William Hill in 2018 for its systematic social responsibility failures.
It is important to note that while online casinos must hold a regulatory license, the Gambling Commission also expects software developers to hold one if they are to offer their games to UK players. Not only this but before the game can be launched to the UK market, they must first go through a certification process with a testing house. Once again, the testing houses themselves must be regulated by the Gambling Commission.
This further highlights the important role that the Gambling Commission play in keeping the UK casino space safe.
Malta Gaming Authority
We at Fruity King are also regulated by the Malta Gaming Authority. For those unaware, the Malta Gaming Authority has a significant presence throughout the European gambling arena. In fact, some estimates claim that the licensing body is now responsible for regulating up to 80% of the European gambling industry. From a UK perspective, operators often obtain a license from the Malta Gaming Authority with the view of expanding their offering to mainland Europe.
Launched in 2001, the Malta Gaming Authority is tasked with monitoring the gambling operators it licenses. Much like in the case of the Gambling Commission, the body seeks to ensure that players can gamble in a safe online ecosystem. Moreover, the Malta Gaming Authority has a range of tools available to them should an online casino fails to meets its regulatory obligations.
For example, we saw the Malta Gaming Authority flexing its regulatory muscles just this year, whereby the body removed gaming licenses from two online casinos – Neptune Entertainment and Triton Gaming. Actions such as this should further highlight the important role that the Malta Gaming Authority plays in the online casino space. Ultimately, if an online casino doesn’t operate in a legitimate manner, rest assured the regulator will step in.
Other Key Regulators
While we at Fruity King are regulated by the two hallmark licensing bodies – the Gambling Commission and Malta Gaming Authority, it is important to note that a small number of other regulators are also looking to increase their scope in the industry.
Gibraltar Gambling Commission
A significant number of gambling operators are headquartered in Gibraltar, not least because the small jurisdiction has a business-friendly attitude towards casinos. However, there is often a misconception that the casinos stationed in Gibraltar are licensed by its national regulatory body – the Gibraltar Gambling Commission.
This usually isn’t the case, although the Gibraltar Gambling Commission is looking to increase its presence in the European remote gambling arena. The regulator recently rebranded, where it was formerly known as the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority.
Alderney Gambling Authority
The tiny Channel Island of Alderney is also home to a notable gambling regulator. Launched back in 2000, this makes the regulatory body more established that both the Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority. Unlike the other licensing bodies we have discussed so far, the Alderney Gambling Authority is only involved in issuing remote gambling licenses.
The Gambling Supervision Commission (Isle of Man)
Another UK Channel Island entrant to our list of notable regulators is that of the Gambling Supervision Commission. Based in the Isle of Man, the regulator was first set-up back in 1968, subsequently making it one of the most established regulators in the global gambling industry.
The regulator is tasked with ensuring that player funds are kept safe and that hosted games and true, fair and legitimate, as well as monitoring the casinos they license to ensure its strict requirements are upheld.
The Curaçao Gaming Control Board
The final regulator that we at Fruity King felt was worth mentioning is that of the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. Based in the idyllic island of Curaçao, the regulator has a strong presence in North America.
Quite often, U.S. gambling websites have a hard time obtaining the required green light from U.S. regulators, and thus, turn to the Curaçao Gaming Control Board. The licensing body also has a strong presence in the online crypto-casino space, where it currently regulates a range of crypto-centric platforms.
From the UK and mainland Europe perspective, the Curaçao Gaming Control Board has little, if any, casinos under its watchful eye.