What Keeps Online Casinos Safe?
Exploring the Gambling Jurisdictions
The ever-growing online casino market is going parabolic as COVID closes the doors of brick-and-mortar gambling venues, leaving traditional gamblers no choice but to switch to online platforms. The current global online gambling market size of $59 billion is expected to grow to $92.9 billion by 2023, and the slowdown isn’t on the horizon at all.
With dozens, if not hundreds, of new casinos popping up on the web each month and thousands of players jumping on the bandwagon of online gambling, the temptation to join the euphoria is high. But there’s one thing that might hold you back: safety.
The question of safety is indeed relevant with online casinos as there are lots of shady venues on the web. Luckily, you don’t have to be an expert to find out whether this or that casino complies with the international standards and is generally worthwhile. For that, you check if the casino’s license – if there’s one at all, that is – was obtained in a credible jurisdiction.
Choosing an Unlicensed Casino is Risky, but Sometimes Still Might be an Option
In 98 cases out of 100, licensed casino online would be a better choice than unlicensed ones, but we still can’t talk in a deterministic way since there are some situations when an unlicensed platform might be an option:
- No-registration casinos. The lion’s share of casinos will ask you for verification before you can withdraw – or even upon registration – but with no-registration casinos, you don’t have to share your personal data. A no-registration casino will create an account for you and share with you a private key through which your profile stays connected to the casino. The same key will be used for deposits and withdrawals.
- Anonymous casinos. A little bit less private than no-registration casinos, anonymous casinos may ask you to create an account and specify your email, but that’ll be it – you won’t have to share your personal info.
It goes without saying that neither no-registration casinos nor anonymous casinos can be licensed, but they do have the right to exist all the same if we think of it from the basic right to privacy. Privacy concerns are rising with each year – for example, by half more internet users were concerned about privacy in 2019 compared to 2018 – so the emergence of private casinos is just as natural as anything that comes into existence as a result of growing demand.
The Most Credible Gambling Jurisdictions
Gambling laws are heterogeneous throughout the world, so the first thing to do is to find out whether online gambling is allowed in your country; because if it’s not, any further research would be in vain.
Once you’ve confirmed you can gamble legally, you can proceed with the casino’s license analysis. It’s generally believed that the UK Gambling Commission, the Malta Gaming Authority, Curacao eGaming, and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission are the best credible license issuers.
- The UK Gaming Commission. In accordance with the UK Gambling Act 2005, the UK Gaming Commission is responsible for licensing and regulating all gambling-related activities, including land-based casinos, online casinos, lotteries, and more.
- Malta Gaming Authority. Located off the Italian coast, the MGA has been issuing licenses for over two decades and is considered one of the most reputable licensers. The pros of obtaining a B2C license by the MGA are favorable tax policies, EU jurisdiction, and prestige itself. The MGA was the first in the EU to regulate online gambling.
- Curacao eGaming. The only organization issuing a single license for all types of online gambling (sports betting, lotteries, games of skill, games of chances, etc.), Curacao eGaming has provided its compliance services since 1996 and is now known for the quickest and least bureaucratic licensing process.
- The Kahnawake Gaming Commission. The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has been issuing licenses to international operators since 1996, has worked with over 250 applicants, and is considered a jurisdiction with high compliance standards. Online gaming operators licensed by the Commission are hosted at a data center located within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and managed by Continent 8 Technologies.
In addition to the mentioned four, there are the Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA), the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC), the Alderney Gambling Control Commission(AGCC), and a few more issuers with various levels of credibility.
Speaking of which, the credibility of this or that licensers is subjective, but the very presence of a license indicates that the casino has undergone rigorous checking and therefore must be safer than its unlicensed peers. For maximum safety, though, look for online platforms with several licenses – there are quite a few such casinos out there, and they’ll probably be the safest choice for you.