Online gaming casinos and other gaming sites legally require a license before offering online gaming activities. Gaming licenses are issued in jurisdictions where gaming is legal. Online gaming jurisdictions operate slightly differently. Online gaming sites must comply with variables that include differences in gaming tax rates, player protection policies, license costs and technical standards, information that is extremely important to players. It is vital that players seek gaming sites that are legally licensed and comply with the regulations that ensure fair and honest gaming. Not all gaming licenses have the same characteristics. It is important that the players understand the differences of online gaming licensing jurisdictions to choose the best jurisdiction for their online gaming activities.
Popular Online Gaming Jurisdictions
- Alderney: Since Alderney is completely independent, it sets out its own legislation. The Alderney Gambling Control Commission was established in 2000 to issue licenses and regulate online gaming activities.
- Antigua and Barbuda: : This Caribbean nation was one of the first jurisdictions to offer licenses for remote gaming activities.
- Costa Rica: This Central American country is a popular jurisdiction from where companies operate their gaming sites. Since Costa Rica does not have specific online gaming laws, any company incorporated in Costa Rica can offer online gaming activities. The lack of a government entity to regulate online gaming activities puts players at risk- their protection is not guaranteed if they are faced with problems with the gaming site.
- Netherlands Antilles: Until 2002, Curacao was the only region in the Netherland Antilles allowed to regulate and license online gaming. Since 2002, the Governor of the Netherlands Antilles has the authority to issue online gaming licenses to those applicants that are able to fulfill extremely strict licensing procedures.
- Gibraltar:This jurisdiction has been in the gaming industry since the 1980s and issued the first online gaming license in 1998. All online gaming websites operating outside of Gibraltar are required by the Gambling Ordinance of 2005 to obtain an online gaming license from the Gibraltar Gaming Commission.
- Kahnawake: Established in 1996, the Kahnawake Gaming Commission issues online gaming licenses under the Regulations Concerning Interactive Gaming since 1999. Licensing requirements are strict and only those websites that offer honest gaming activities are issued gaming licenses.
- Malta: Malta´s Public Lotto Ordinance has granted online gaming licenses since 2000. Currently, Malta´s online gaming licensing system issues four different types of licenses to online gaming companies, depending on the type of gaming services that will be offered.
- Northern Territory: The Northern Territory Government Department of Justice is the authority responsible for granting licenses. Due to recent problems of licensees threatening to relocate to jurisdictions with lower tax rates, the Northern Territory reduced their gaming tax in October 2009.
- United Kingdom: The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, under the Gambling Act of 2005, is the authority responsible for regulating online gaming in this country. Strict rules and regulations set out what companies are allowed or not allowed to do, thus ensuring safe and honest online gaming operations.
Other highly recommended jurisdictions for obtaining gaming licenses are Belize, Dominica, Estonia, Ireland, Isle of Man and Vanuatu.