The most important casino licensing authorities at a glance

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Fairness, respectability and security – these three factors are what players want from every online casino. If you are looking for a suitable and reliable provider, you should first focus on the gambling license. This is a very good tool to distinguish reputable casinos from black sheep in the industry.

There are several regulated markets throughout Europe, which are backed by official authorities. Only when they have their thumb on the company, you can be sure of the seriousness in most cases.

A gambling license is not granted to online casinos, bookmakers and lottery providers just like that, of course. Strict requirements must be met in order to receive the green light from the responsible licensing authority.

For players, licensed providers of the gambling industry are therefore the first choice, because here you have a legal basis on which problems – for example, with payouts of winnings – can be clarified.

Why do online casinos need to be licensed?

In the last decade, Europe has experienced a veritable flood of new online casinos, betting providers and lotteries. Especially for the end customer, it is therefore difficult to distinguish good from bad companies. Some are preceded by a good reputation since the first hour. The great commonality of all these top providers is actually the Presence of an official gambling license.

license icon
Whether in Malta, Gibraltar, the Isle of Man or even in Schleswig-Holstein: If a company wants to offer gambling online, it cannot avoid applying for a corresponding license. The examination criteria of the authorities are very extensive and strict.

If there is a lack of financial reserves or if the operator can be linked to criminal activities, no license will be granted at all. For the provider, the licensing is an additional and indispensable seal of quality, especially for players something like a Guarantee for security and respectability.

The fact that gambling is licensed at all is of course not exclusively for player protection. The respective countries also benefit from this, as licensees have to pay taxes.

What licenses are there in Europe?

In the meantime, it is known that a gambling license does not necessarily have to be issued in Schleswig-Holstein in order to assume a reputable provider. In this country there are anyway very strict limitations for licensees.

The situation is different in other parts of Europe, where the number of licenses has not been limited. Nevertheless, as a casino founder and betting provider, you naturally can't get a permit just like that.

Let's take a quick look at the six most important licensors in Europe:

  1. Schleswig-Holstein
  2. Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  3. UK Gambling Commission
  4. Isle of Man
  5. Gibraltar Gambling Commission
  6. Alderney Gambling Control Commission

1.) Schleswig-Holstein

As the word has spread, Australia is still struggling to legalize the gambling market. EU licensed providers refer to the freedom of services act. The only exception is Schleswig-Holstein.

The state has decided to grant a limited number of license permits to casinos and bookmakers that meet even the highest standards in terms of security.

2.) Malta Gaming Authority MGA for short

mga casino license
The Malta-based MGA is one of the largest and most experienced authorities in the industry. It is therefore all the less surprising that today the majority of all providers – from casinos to bookmakers to lotteries – are approved by the MGA Malta. the MGA Malta is supervised. For this to work, the companies must operate their headquarters in Malta. In addition, strict requirements have to be met. This is especially true for the Player and youth protection.

For example, it is important to keep player funds separate. These must also be protected from attacks in the event of hardship. Those who play in an MGA-licensed online casino can therefore be sure that they have access to their own money at all times.

Other factors are SSL encryption,$secure payment methods as well as fair payout ratesto name just a few examples.

3.) UK Gambling Commission

gc casino license
In Great Britain people love gambling. In order to regulate it properly and strictly, the UK Gambling Commission was established many years ago. the UK Gambling Commission was founded many years ago. There are various providers that are in possession of a license and have managed to convince the watchful eyes of the authority.

However, after the Brexit, there is a big question mark behind the licenses, which were previously considered as authorization for the entire EU area.

Many of the casinos licensed by the UKGC therefore hold a second license in addition to this – mostly issued by the MGA Malta.

4.) Isle of Man

isleofman casino license
Islands are a popular location for online casinos, bookmakers and lotteries. Besides the mentioned ones also the Isle of Man which is located on the Irish Sea, has also established a gambling authority.

When it comes to regulating providers, the authority is very conscientious. Thus, players can expect only the best – starting with fair chances of winning, to reliable transactions as well as data protection according to current standards.

5.) Gibraltar Gambling Commission

gibraltar casino license
When it comes to strict licensing requirements, then the the Gibraltar Gambling Commission clearly in no way inferior to other European gambling authorities. The region is part of the British Overseas Territory.

Since 2005, the GGC has been awarding licenses to casino operators, bookmakers and lottery providers. For each sub-sector, the operators have to fulfill separate requirements, which are clearly defined.

6.) Alderney Gambling Control Commission

alderney casino license
This licensing authority, which is responsible for all gambling companies based in Alderney, has also set the bar very high in terms of security, fairness and player protection.

Alderney is a county that operates under the British Crown.

Commonalities of European Gambling Authorities

As in so many areas, each country brews its own brew in the field of online gaming. There is therefore no uniform regulation throughout Europe for casinos, bookmakers and providers of other types of gambling. Each of the aforementioned authorities must set its own criteria and ensures that these are adhered to by the licensees in the long term.

Despite the fact that most of the authorities are not affiliated with each other – although some do cooperate in the meantime – our team of experts was quickly able to determine that there are commonalities after all. All six licensors attach importance to the following criteria, among others:

  • The personal background of the applicant must be serious.
  • A certain amount of share capital is required to cover costs and profits
  • A comprehensive and long-term business plan should be submitted to the authorities
  • Game developers must be self-licensed and therefore reputable
  • Player protection is always the first priority
  • Data is transmitted according to current SSL standards
  • The payment methods offered are reputable and secure
  • Fair odds as well as payout rates are available

In detail, the basic requirements that apply to license applicants do vary a bit. Also, the license fees can vary greatly.

Licensor Fee* annual fee per license Gaming taxes Other fees
MGA 100.000$ from 25.000$ (depends on turnover) 4.660$ per month for the first 6. After that 7.000$ p.m. 2.330$ application fees, 2.500$ system verification, 1.500$ license renewal, 5.000$ administration fee
UK Gambling Commission ?100.000 from £21,714 (depends on turnover) N/A from £2,640 application fee, from £2,709 license renewal fee
Isle of Man n.a. ?35,000 1.5% per year £1,000 application fee, £5,000 administration fee
Gibraltar Gambling Commission ?100.000 N/A N/A N/A
Alderney Gambling Control Commission N/A £17,500 in the first year, £35,000 from the second year onwards N/A £10,000 application fee
Schleswig Holstein n.a. 20% of turnover n.a. 2.000$ Administration fees

* for class 1 license types (casino, sports betting, bingo, slot machines).

How is a license application submitted to the authorities?

The most important thing for any applicant is the business plan. As an operator, you should therefore be able to explain very precisely which forms of gaming you intend to offer in the long term, how the cooperation with software partners and, last but not least, how the whole thing is to be financed in the long term. Not only the share capital as such is important here.

Casinos, bookmakers and lotteries must also reckon with high license fees (see table). These can vary depending on the authority, but are generally in the five-digit range.

The authority is then busy scrutinizing the business plan and checking whether it is really plausible. However, this alone is not a free pass into the world of gambling. Before that, however, the founder's background is closely scrutinized. Any kind of criminal connections will inevitably lead to cancellation. However, if the operator has a "clean slate", the next steps will be taken.

Keeping customer funds separate is a basic requirement for being licensed. In many cases, operators even go so far as to additionally insure the capital. So if an attack should actually occur or if the casino should go bankrupt, then at least it is ensured that you can book your money back.

ecorga siegel
Seals of approval provide additional security. The eCOGRA seal has proven itself over the years, but other independent organizations also help operators and customers to become even safer. This applies in particular to data protection, because this should always have top priority, along with other factors mentioned.

Our conclusion on the licensing authorities in Europe

You could spontaneously open a casino, but just as easily have it approved by the authorities, that doesn't work. Founders must comply with strict guidelines and a highly reputable licensing process licensing process before the relevant licensing authority issues a license.

It is very important for entrepreneurs to think in the long term, because a start-up requires a lot of initial investment, even in the casino business, and the proverb "no pain, no gain", is more than true.

Casinos that take on this challenge take the matter seriously and are usually on solid footing. This should make it clear to any reader why our team of experts repeatedly points out the importance of existing licenses. points out.

The FAQs about licenses

  1. What does a gambling license cost?
  2. How do I check if a license is genuine?
  3. Is every casino license valid in Australia?
  4. Does a license make online gambling safer?

1.) What does a gambling license cost?

stamp icon
The costs for concessions to operate online gambling are usually in the five-digit range. For example, the Isle of Man charges a fee of around 5,700 euros just for processing the license application. The license itself, if granted, can cost up to 57,000 euros. Almost all gambling authorities have similarly high prices, especially since a further annual fee must also be paid.

2.) How do I check whether a license is genuine?

license icon
As a rule, the seal of the licensor is displayed is displayed on the website of the casino displayed – to be found in the lower area. You can now click on it and you will be automatically redirected to the authority, which displays all the license numbers transparently and also shows which forms of gaming may be offered at all. For sports betting lotteries and casino games are subject to separate licenses. If you have any doubts about the authenticity of the license, you can of course contact the authorities and ask them about it.

3.) Is every casino license valid in Australia?

No, in fact there are various licensors that have no influence at all on the gaming offer in Australia. There is also the question of how things will be after Brexit with licenses from the UK Gambling Commission has not been conclusively clarified. In order to be able to continue playing without worries, customers should rely on Online casinos with EU license – like those listed in the test. With the exception of Schleswig-Holstein, there is no official ok from the Australian government, but at least operators can refer to EU law.

4.) Does a concession make online gambling safer?

Definitely, because in order to get a gambling license at all, operators have to meet very strict criteria fulfil. The focus is on the protection of players and the prevention of possible gambling addiction. In addition, games and their win rates are strictly monitored. These and many other aspects, which are regularly monitored by the authorities, ensure that playing in a licensed casino is always the better choice than relying on a company without a license.

Author: Kevin LansonRated: Gambling license authoritiesAuthor Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐ 92%