Licensing and Regulation

Every (honest!) casino is required to be licenced within the jurisdiction that they conduct base operations and in which they house their player servers. Consequently this means that most casinos are operated from small island principalities. The most common countries offering online casinos a regulated (and taxed!) base for operation are Gibraltar, Costa Rica, Antigua and Barbuda, Curacao, Malta, the Isle Of Man and a small Indian reservation in Canada called Kahnawake.

Each of these jurisdictions provide varying levels of regulation, but this is an important element for a player as good regulation can prevent a casino from, how best to put it… shirking their responsibilities! Of the above, both Gibraltar and the Isle Of Man (off the UK coast) have a strong reputation for ensuring operations are run smoothly and totally above board. If I see either of these touted on a casino’s website, I feel like I’m in the right place!

This is a list of jurisdictions who allow and regulate online casinos inclduing my own perception on their strictness: Alderney (strict), Australia (strict), Antigua & Barbuda (not very strict), Costa Rica (not very strict), Curacao N.V (not very strict), First Cagayan Philippines (not very strict), Gibraltar (strict), Isle Of Man (strict), Kahnawake (not very strict), Malta (strict), Vanuatu (reasonably strict). this information is repeated on the how to tell if a casino is legitimate page in the Player Tips section as part of the process I use to decide where to play.

Opinion on the degree that the other jurisdictions above respond to problems varies. I personally avoid Costa Rica as I have never seen any action taken by the powers that be when needed. Maybe it’s just very background…who knows. The latter one, “Kahnawake” is interesting. It’s where a large number of online casinos house their gaming servers and while few if any operate from within the Reservation, Kahnawake alledge to provide a level of regulation to support players. In truth, this has been tested on a few occasions in recent times with player complaints, and the response from Kahnawake has widely seen to be less than effective.

Nonetheless, it is accepted that Kahnawake run a very secure environment for the gaming servers and know the tech stuff inside out, so while the Kahnawake seal in itself may not mean much to some, it’s certainly not a negative.