Published: | Last updated:
Around the world, online gaming has been made easier and laws have loosened a little. There are a few countries and regions where offering gambling services and playing games is illegal, however, most of the world allows online gambling. As casino sites are opening rapidly, it’s good to know which of these casinos are safe and reliable, and which ones will take your money and run.
Owning a casino license guarantees that the casino is strictly regulated and that a third party makes regular check ups. Operating under these regulations means mainly that that the casino is reliable and honest. But how do the licenses actually work?
EU Gambling licenses
When online casinos started opening, the markets were full of crooked casinos and weirdos who would gladly take your money, but never give anything back. Fortunately this has changed into better in the past years, mainly because of the licensing system. It makes gaming more transparent and provides a better gaming environment.
Not all casinos can get a license though. All casinos must follow certain rules and regulations before they can get a license. Licenses have different rules depending on their country and their laws. In order to obtain the license, the online casino must follow certain standards, but also keep following the standards to keep the license.
Gambling license Malta
One of the most popular licenses is Malta Gaming Authority. Casinos operating under this license offer games to the most countries in Europe. This license is one of the most used ones and it’s preferred for many reasons. Players love this license because it means tax-free winnings.
Gambling license UK
If a casino wants to offer their services in the UK, it needs a license from the UK Gambling Commission. And again each type of gaming needs its own license. Having a license from the UK means 15 % tax for the casinos and other high expenses. That’s why many casinos snatch their licenses elsewhere.
Licenses guarantee a safer environment for players, as well as provide taxes for the country offering the license. Operating without a license in the EU doesn’t benefit the countries financially. Casinos with an EU-license include for example Redbet, Casino Heroes, Unibet and Winning Room.
Gambling license Italy
Gambling in Italy is allowed, although it’s very strictly regulated. Something remarkable about this license is that Italy is one of the first countries to set a minimum return percentage for casino games, which is 97,03%. All casinos operating in the EU can apply for a license from Italy.
Gambling license Spain
Like Italy, also Spain regulates their licenses very strictly. Mostly all gambling in Spain is still taking place in brick and mortar casinos, however, online casinos are becoming more common. In Spain a casino need two licenses: one for general gambling, and another one for each type of game they’re offering.
Gambling license France
Gambling has been allowed in France since 2010. However, casino games still aren’t allowed. The only allowed forms of gambling are poker and sports betting.
Gambling license Belgium
Getting a license in Belgium is fairly challenging. Getting a license is not only expensive tax-wise, as they pay 11 % tax, but also because each casino must pay 250 000 euros for the license. In addition, the casinos can only get a license if they partner up with a brick and mortar casino. Also, all online casinos need a Belgian web address. And all casinos without a license are banned in Belgium.
Gambling license Denmark
Denmark is the first Nordic country offering gaming licenses. Getting a license from Denmark is a little easier than from many others, but the online casino still must pay a ton of different regular fees and taxes. All online casinos with the Danish license must also offer their services in Danish, and use Danish crowns as as a payment method.
Gambling license Estonia
Estonia started admitting licenses in 2010. Estonian online casinos are strictly regulated. Before, all casinos with a license from Estonia, had to operate from Estonia, however, this has changed and now online casinos outside Estonia can also obtain the license. Licensees from Estonia must only pay 5 % tax, which is very appealing for many online casinos.
When a casino has a reputable license, you can be sure that the casino is safe and reliable. These casinos are transparent and they have good intentions. It’s recommended to stay away from any online casinos that don’t have a license. If they take your money and run, there’s no one you could complain to. Licenses guarantee that the casino operates under a set of rules that keep you safe as a player.
New gambling licenses
Since there is a lot of money in online gambling, it is not a surprise that more and more countries are interested in getting their own share. Since now money is going offshore. Through legislation, countries can get something back by taxes.
Gambling license Netherlands
Netherlands, on the other hand, has been very strict with their laws and legislation throughout the entire gambling scene, but is now considering going in to license system in 2018. Online gaming is not legal in the Netherlands, and operators targeting Dutch players that are operating without a license will be severely fined. One question that is asked a lot in the online gaming industry is: “Is it illegal for players to play online casinos?”
Frankly, even if your country bans online casinos, as a player you’re still allowed to play. At least we don’t know of any case, where a player would have gotten fined for playing at an online casino. Although Casino Professor definitely recommends playing only at casinos that hold a reputable license.
Because of these ongoing changes in the market, the operators aren’t allowed to market to Dutch players, however, there are many online casinos that allow players from the Netherlands to play at their casinos.
The good news is, that the Dutch government is working on the remote gambling law for The Netherlands. This will give a definition of games of chance for remote online poker, casino games, sports, bets, live betting on sports, and so on. This means, that soon the Netherlands will have their own license for online casinos, in which case online gaming will be open to players from the Netherlands and operators holding this license are allowed to offer online gambling under the license. The government says though, that just because a casino has another EU-license, it doesn’t mean they will automatically get a Dutch license.
We were expecting this license to be published already in 2016-2017, but the timeline has moved back drastically, and now the license is expected in the summer of 2018.
What if a casino has two licenses?
If the casino has two EU -licenses, for example Malta Gaming Authority and UK Gambling Commission, you have nothing to worry about. You can play any games you want, and when you snatch a win, you don’t have to pay 1 cent of taxes. In addition, if a casino has two EU -licenses, you can be 200% sure that these casinos are trustworthy and reliable.
But what happens, when a casino has a license both from EU-area and non-EU -area? At casinos like these you have to choose your games wisely, as paying and not paying taxes depends on which kind of games you play. However, if a casino has a license from MGA and Curacao for instance, the casino is still audited and background checked – aka. safe.
A super popular software provider, NetEntertainment, offers tax-free games, as they are licensed by the MGA. Also, they offer 95-97% return. Starburst, Gonzo’s Quest, Dracula and Invisible Man are some of the most popular games from this provider.
Microgaming, on the other hand, offers games under the UK Gambling Commission. These winnings are tax-free as well. Games from Microgaming include for example Bridesmaids and Terminator 2.
Ezugi is licensed under Curacao eGaming, so when playing these games from a casino that operates under a non-EU -license, you have to pay taxes from your winnings. Ezugi offers a lot of card and table games, such as blackjack and baccarat.
In addition, providers such as Norwegian Yggdrasil and Swedish NoLimitCity offer tax-free games.
You should always double check the laws and regulations of your own country, if you’re unsure. Players from the UK can only play games from a casino that has a license from the UK Gambling Commission.
For example MyChance, Slotsheaven and Cherry Casino are casino sites with a double license. These casinos are excellent online casinos with great bonuses and free spins. Just make sure to play tax-free games, if you wish not to pay taxes from your winnings.