What Are Gambling Licences?

The gambling licence is the most evident proof that an online casino’s business can be trusted, and all incurred winnings, transactions, and payout rates are guaranteed. They are issued by specially designated gambling authorities, to which the appropriate government has given the power. Such a licence is the only way for a casino to be allowed to offer any gambling activities, regardless if they are skill-based or depend entirely on luck.

Because each regulator’s rules and requirements are bound to the local judicial laws, the casino will likely have to meet different requirements, depending on the market(s) the business would want to penetrate. For instance, businesses that want to obtain a gambling licence from the UKGC would have to follow the strict set of rules as per the UK gambling law.

Regardless of how stringent they are, casinos do their best to obtain a UK Gambling Commission licence because it opens the door to infinite casino possibilities of what they can do with their future casino and the right mindset. Just to illustrate how massive the desire for this particular licence and jurisdiction is, have a look at the following table, which highlights the most important facts and figures about the leading British regulator:

📛 Regulator Name: UK Gambling Commission
📍 Established: 01.09.2007
🏢 HQ: Victoria Square House, Victoria Square, Birmingham, B2 4BP
⚖️ Jurisdiction: Great Britain
✈️ # of Remote Licences: 951
📍 # of Non-Licences: 2350
🎰 # of Casino Licences: 264
💻 Website: UK Gambling Commission
💸 Sponsored by: Department of Culture, Media and Sport

The admirable number of licensees is nothing short of impressive, to say the least, as are the advantages that come along with having a gambling licence from it. Still, having the stamp of approval from other regulatory bodies, such as the Malta Gaming Authority is as prestigious and well-regarded as having one from the UKGC. Above all, all players – existing and potential – will know that the venue can be trusted.

Breaking Down the Gambling Licence Cost

The gambling licence cost is a hot topic and one that people are very curious about. The short answer is that it isn’t cheap. However, when you think about it, in reality, operators, such as the best casino sites in the UK have millions of pounds pass through their digital platforms on a weekly, if not daily basis.

If such websites want to maintain their devoted fanbase and bucketloads of goodwill and trust, they should gladly pay all fees, from the beginning of the application process to the rather steep annual fees. As we have been using the UK Gambling Commission licence as a prime example, it would also be fitting to crunch some cost numbers about the entity’s remote licensing. The fees reflect the most recent updates found on the UKGC website.

Cost Category Application Fee Annual Fee
F1 (Less than £200.000) £9138 £5809
F2 (£200,000 or greater, up to but excluding £550,000) £9138 £8987
G1 (£550,000 or greater, up to but excluding £6.6 million) £18,746 £27,595
H1 (£6.6 million or greater, up to but excluding £30 million) £23,435 £44,574
H2 (£30 million or greater) £23,435 £76,289

Basically, the bigger the casino and the more traffic it gets, the higher your gambling licence cost. Who would have figured, huh? These numbers reflect the situation solely when business owners want to have the British jurisdiction issue gambling licences. For comparison’s sake, you can also refer to some of the regulator alternatives and conclude if the Malta Gaming Authority fees, for example, are more in line with what you are willing to pay.

Disadvantages of Gambling Without a Licence

We wouldn’t recommend to anyone committing to an operator where gambling without a licence is practised. Aside from scamming casino players, such businesses are inflicting more harm to their websites than they think they are actually doing. It’s perhaps easier to think that by bypassing the laws, the path ahead is much more trouble-free if you know how to protect yourself.

However, the benefits of possessing a simple UK Gambling Commission licence, for example, are much greater in the long term, from a monetary perspective too. In case you are wondering, what could be the main drawbacks of gambling without a licence, the following list could give you a pretty good idea:

  • Inability to build a trusting, long-term relationship with gambling fans.
  • Unlicensed casinos can’t represent the products of leading software providers.
  • A dishonest and illegal business will ruin its reputation.
  • Incapability of setting up reliable payment methods to be used for transactions.
  • Gambling without a licence carries a higher risk of going bankrupt.
  • No real prospects of success in the long run.

List of the Leading Gambling Licence Regulators Worldwide

In terms of choice and availability, several high-profile regulators issue gambling licences to casino establishments, including remotely. The right choice would depend on the markets you’d like to penetrate and reach, as well as the judicial laws the casino must abide by. If you are to operate an online platform, it’s much easier because you can go for any of them, more than one too.

For example, most of the best British online gambling sites own more than one gambling licence, thus solidifying their status and popularity even further. The choice is yours entirely. At the end of the day, having one gambling licence from a renowned regulator is much more impactful for your casino enterprise than having none. Now, let’s quickly review the most popular entities worldwide:

Gambling Commission of Great Britain

British Gambling Commission

The UK Gambling Commission Licence entity is among the biggest and most respected regulators in the iGaming world. It boasts some of the strictest rules and licensing standards for the British market and remote operators. As such, approval from it could earn a casino extra credit for its transparency and trustworthiness. A quick peek at the top 20 online casinos in the UK will show you that all of them have the UKGC’s approval.

UKGC-approved casino sites are home to products from the best online casino software and each game is a real stunner. The regulator was created after the passing of the Gambling Act of 2005 and it oversees all gambling-related matters in the country. In addition, it aims to prevent underaged gambling and money laundering.

Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Gaming Authority has existed for more than two decades now. As its name suggests, the regulator issues gambling licences to casinos based in the island nation of Malta and remote-operated casinos offering various gambling products from slots to sports betting. The MGA has its own licensing tier structure, and which one you’ll qualify for depends on the type of gambling you wish to offer.

MGA-regulated casinos enjoy great popularity. The remote operators, in particular, are among the safest and most respected. Players can find all sorts of exciting titles in them, including the best live dealer casino games, slots, bingo and various table games. Above all, the MGA does its best to secure a safe gambling environment and only provides gambling licences to fair casinos.

Alderney Gambling Control Commission

The Alderney Gambling Control Commission is authorised to independently regulate the gambling market in the name of the State of Alderney. It can issue either a gambling licence or a certificate to remote casinos too, but only after they have fulfiled all qualifying criteria, which can be stringent. In addition, the regulator is appointed to issue two types of gambling licences: for casino platform management and for player registration and verification.

At its core, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission has one clear objective – to establish itself and become a top-tier regulatory jurisdiction. Judging by its serious commitment to ensuring a fair casino environment, free of any criminal influences for players, we’d say the AGCC is definitely on the right track.

Curaçao eGaming

Similarly to the regulators mentioned above, Curaçao eGaming is bestowed with the important task of creating, maintaining and regulating the gambling licence framework in the territory of the same name. The regulator issues a one-for-one gambling commission licence, allowing casinos to operate all kinds of gambling establishments and games.

Aside from monitoring, Curaçao eGaming double-checks the venues’ integrity, the games’ randomness, and the fairness in all B2C interactions. Last but not least, the regulatory body is extremely supportive of responsible gambling and ensures that all financial documentation is intact and up to standards.

Gambling Licence Question Round

Since the rapid advancement of technology and the huge leap in digital graphics, the casino scene has been flourishing. As a result, the topic of opening a casino and what is required has been increasing in popularity. Have a look at the final section to find the answers to some of the most popular gambling licence queries on the Internet.

1️⃣ What is a gambling licence?

An active or viable gambling licence is proof of legitimacy and seriousness when it comes to gambling establishments. They are allocated to venues that have passed all requirements and comply with local jurisdictions. Candidates can choose between several regulatory bodies, each of which is responsible for a specific market or markets.

2️⃣ How much does a gambling licence cost?

If you are wondering about the gambling licence cost, know in advance that it doesn’t come cheap. The registration, application, and annual fee can balloon up to dozens of thousands. Still, it’s money well spent when you know the positive long-term applications of the decision to opt for a gambling licence.

3️⃣ Are there any disadvantages to gambling without a licence?

Certainly, it’s dangerous to run a casino licenceless. From a player’s perspective, they face the fear of potentially losing all of their money, whereas the venue could end up in bankruptcy. Not to mention that gambling without a licence is considered a criminal offence and is illegal in all countries, where gambling is legalised to a certain degree.

4️⃣ Which are the most famous gambling commission licence regulators?

The most renowned and leading gambling licence regulatory bodies account for most of the remote operators and each respective market where they have been set up. Obtaining the stamp of approval from either means that your casino is ready to legally blossom and become a new favourite place for players globally. Notable mentions include the UKGC and the MGA.

5️⃣ Which is the biggest regulator and distributor of gambling licences?

Of all important regulators, the UKGC is considered the biggest and most respected in the eyes of players and industry professionals in the United Kingdom and abroad. The licensing body is known for having the toughest criteria and requirements if a venue is to obtain its blessing to legally offer gambling products to the masses.



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