Betting Licensing Jurisdictions
Before placing any type of real money bet online – whether at an online bookmaker, an online casino or any other type of online betting site – you should be sure that the site you are using is properly licensed and authorized to take bets from residents of your country. Any online betting site operating without a correct license is effectively trading illegally and your funds could be at risk. At OnlineBettingSites.com we only list betting websites that are licensed from a suitable jurisdiction and of high repute.
What are Gambling Licensing Jurisdictions?
As betting on the internet has become increasingly more commonplace there has been a sharp increase in the number of companies operating online betting sites. The very nature of the internet allows these online betting sites to provide betting services to customers all over the world. However, there is no recognized international law that universally governs these online betting sites and the services they offer.
As such, regions and countries around the world have individual rules and regulations that legislate for online gambling and betting. With this legislation in place, it is possible regulate online betting sites by way of a gambling license. Any country or region that has the laws in existence to offer these gambling licenses is referred to as a licensing jurisdiction.
Gambling Authorities and Wagering Licenses
Within a licensing jurisdiction there is usually a formal organization that is authorized and responsible for issuing gambling licenses to operators that operate online betting sites. Such organizations are commonly known as either licensing authorities or gambling authorities. It is these authorities that are ultimately in charge of deciding which companies are to be issued with licenses and then governing the online betting sites that are run from within their specific jurisdiction.
Gambling authorities generally have clear, and very strict, criteria they apply when reviewing applications to receive gambling licenses. Although this criteria can vary from one licensing jurisdiction to another, as a rule companies applying for a gambling license will at the very least have to prove that they are financially sound, secure and that money they hold on behalf of their customers is protected and safe.
Some of the more strict gambling authorities will be very thorough in their examinations of potential licensees. Factors that could come under consideration might include the level of customer support provided to customers for example. Once accepted, licensees are likely to be subject to regular audits and even periodic testing of their software.
Where are Betting Licensing Jurisdictions located?
There are licensing jurisdictions all over the world. Some notable jurisdictions include Malta and the United Kingdom – Malta's Lotteries and Gaming Authority being one of the largest licensing jurisdictions in terms of the number of licenses issued, currently well over 500 licensees, and the United Kingdom being widely considered as one of the strictest. The gambling authority in the UK is the Gambling Commission, and they also operate a white list to protect their own residents. For an online betting site to be able to accept customers from the UK they must have a license issued by a gambling jurisdiction that appears on this white list.
Another notable location is the Netherland Antilles, home to the Curacao Licensing Authority which is one of the oldest gambling licensing authorities. The Curacao Licensing Authority is also one of the few authorities that will allow licensees to offer online betting services to citizens of the United States of America, largely seen as a grey legal area and perhaps lately even designated as illegal (we'll let the lawyers argue over the specifics and just assume it's a play at your risk type of situation currrently).
Other lincensing bodies include:
- Antigua & Barbuda
- Costa Rica
- Ariel France
- Isle Of Man
Why do Online Betting Sites need Gambling Licenses?
A gambling license from a recognized licensing authority is an absolute must for any organization operating an online betting site. The license proves that they have met the required criteria and are functioning in accordance with the relevant legislation. This enables customers of such sites to feel confident depositing their money.
Another benefit from customers that is offered by many gambling authorities is an arbitration service. If a customer has a dispute of some description with an online betting site that is licensed by an authority that provides such a service, then the dispute will be investigated by an independent third party with a view to finding a fair resolution.
All of the best online betting sites will have gambling licenses and you should always check your chosen online betting site has too before depositing any money.