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Global Gambling Regulators Guide

Gambling regulators are tasked with supervising and overseeing online gambling as well as gambling in land-based gambling establishments such as casinos, sportsbooks, bingo halls and poker rooms. Our aim is to provide you with the ultimate source of regulator information for the online gambling industry, so that if you have a problem with an online casino or sportsbook, you know where to turn to for assistance.

The following list contains the most well known and active gambling regions, jurisdictions and information about applicable regulators, a brief description of its regulations and what makes it unique.


UK

Regulator: UK Gambling Commission

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is responsible for regulating land-based and online gambling establishments in the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland) with the exception of sports betting. Land-based and Internet based gambling is legal in Britain and licensed by the Gambling Commission.

The commission was formed with the UK Gambling Act of 2005 and gained more responsibility after the passing of the 2014 Licensing and Advertising Bill which first included reference to the P.O.C (Point-of-Consumption) tax which targeted British gaming companies which moved offshore, often to Gibraltar or Malta in order to avoid paying gambling taxes in the UK. The new Point-of-Consumption Tax requires a standard 15% taxation on revenue gained from U.K residents, regardless of where the company taking the player bets or “action” is based. Many gambling operators left the UK market after the P.O.C tax came into effect, claiming it was not cost effective to operate in the market under new tax-conditions. Holding a valid UKGC license enables companies to establish gambling companies in the UK to serve customers in other countries, as well as the U.K. The UKGC regulator issues fines to gambling companies who don’t meet their regulatory obligations.

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Canada

Kahnawake Gaming Commission
Kahnawake was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to recognize the opportunities afforded by the interactive gaming industry. Since then, the Commission has been continuously licensing and regulating a wide range of interactive gaming sites.

On July 8, 1999 the Commission enacted its Regulations concerning Interactive Gaming. As a result it has effectively and successfully regulated interactive gaming longer than almost any other jurisdiction in the world.

Online gaming operators that are licensed by the Commission must be hosted at Mohawk Internet Technologies, a data center located within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake and managed by Continent 8 Technologies.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is a gaming regulatory body that licenses and regulates a large number of international online casinos, online poker rooms and online sportsbook sites, as well as three land-based poker rooms that are situated within the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake

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Macau Gambling Regulator

Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau

Macau does not issue online gaming licenses, despite having a significant land-based casino economy. There is currently no legal framework in place to kick-start online gambling in Macau, however residents are not forbidden from gambling on international gambling sites.The Macau Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau (DICJ) advises and assists the Chief Executive of Macao SAR on matters relating to policy related to casinos, gambling and gaming.


Singapore Gambling Regulator

Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore

The Casino Regulatory Authority of Singapore is responsible for Casino control regulations, with the approval of the Minister of Home Affairs according to the Casino Act (Cap.33A). The Singapore “Regulations” as they are known,  detail the rules and regulations which must be adhered to by casino operators, vendors, employees and casino patrons.

Singapore residents wishing to visit a casino must first purchase a daily permit. Residents are not permitted to gamble online, however foreigners in Singapore can play casino/poker games online without worry. In 2016 the country banned access to most remote gambling services with a few the exception of Singapore Pools and Singapore Turf Club. Since the 2016 ban was put in place several hundred international gambling sites have been blocked via ISPs in Singapore.


France Gambling Regulator

Games Regulatory Authority Online

Following the passing of the French Gaming act in may 2010, ARJEL, the  Regulatory Authority for Online Games oversees all issues relating to gaming in France. Following the passing of Article 34 of Law #2010-476 in May 2010, ARJEL was created, and based in Paris. The regulator is comprised of seven permanent members who were appointed by the French President. Three distinct online gaming licenses are issued by in France including sportsbetting, poker and horse-racing betting.


Gibraltar Gambling Regulator

Financial Services and Gaming

In Gibraltar the Lotteries and Gaming Authority is the regulator, operating under the government of Gibraltar’s Gaming Division. Many international gaming operators choose to incorporate their companies and gain a gaming license in Gibraltar due to low licensing fees. The Gibraltar gaming authority doesn’t have a good track record for handling and managing player issues and disputes. Around 12% of the Gibraltar workforce works in iGaming –  with major high-street bookmakers like William Hill and Ladbrokes based in Gibraltar.


Malta Gambling Regulator

Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) or MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) is a European regulator which claims to protect players, ensure online casino fairness and transparency, and to prevent money laundering and responsible gaming offenses. The MGA has recently levied fines against a number of gambling operators for regulatory failings, including money-laundering and responsible gaming failings.

The MGA authority will not assist in disputes between players and EU based companies not registered in Malta, although they will contact the relevant operator on your behalf should issues arise.


Spain Gambling Regulator

Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling

Spain is a popular licensing jurisdiction – with many international gambling companies choosing to get licensed in the country to tap in to LATAM language customers. The country operates strict rules & regulations to protect spanish casino and poker players from dishonest operators and advertising.

The Spanish gambling market is regulated by the Ministry of Finance, General Directorate of Gaming Regulation and Supervision.


Bulgaria Gambling Regulator

State Commission on Gambling

Online gambling was legalized in Bulgaria in 2012. No gambling regulatory infrastructure or taxation policy was put in place at the time, and in 2013 taxation and licensing policies pushed through by Bulgarian lawmakers and regulators led to the 2014 Bulgarian Gambling Act which made all forms of Internet gambling legal.

The law enables operators to officially garner a gaming license to operate gaming activities in the state – however advertising of online gambling products is illegal in Bulgaria.


Curacao Gambling Regulator

The Curaçao Gaming Control Board

Formerly a part of the Netherlands Antilles. Since 2010 The independent Caribbean island nation of Curacao has an independent constitutional government , however the national is nominally still part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands – and is highly influenced by the legal practices of the Netherlands.

The Curacao Internet Gambling Association was set up in 2002, reporting to the Curacao Gaming Control Board. With strict regulations, the license is well respected, and popular with international casino and poker site operators.

The local government offers attractive packages to iGaming companies.


Antigua and Barbuda Gambling Regulator

Financial Services Regulatory Commission

The “original” licensing jurisdiction for online gambling, the twin-island nation in the Caribbean offers licensing and fair and transparent regulation via the Financial Services Regulatory Commission (FSRC)


Australia Gambling Regulator

Regulator: Australian Capital Territory Gambling & Racing Commission

Land-based gambling and online gambling are regulated by eight regulatory bodies in Australia’s  six states and two mainland territories. Each territory has its own distinct gambling laws and regulations, and different taxation systems.

All Australian online gambling websites  and apps are governed by the Interactive Gaming Act of 2001 (IGA).

  • Australian based online casinos are not permitted to offer real money gambling to Australian citizens, nor to serve them with advertising – but they may service and target customers outside of Australia.
  • Australian citizens may legally play casino and poker games online on international sites which are not operated in or located in Australia.

Latvia Gambling Regulator

Regulator: Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection
Latvia’s Ministry of Finance formed the Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection (IAUI)  in 1998 to govern lotteries and gambling, and to deal with licenses for gambling companies operating in Latvia, and soon afterwards – in 2003 online gambling was legalized and became regulated in the state. The operators is stringent and does not give out licenses without due diligence.

online gambling operators in Latvia must be licensed and pay taxes on revenue gained from Latvian customers. Players must be 21 years old to gamble in Latvia. The state is working on  ISP blocks to try to block access to unlicensed operators – especially those which don’t restrict customer age to 21+ years old.


Lithuania

Regulator: Gaming Control Authority

The Lithuanian Ministry of Finance is responsible for gambling regulations and enforces strict state policy in regard to gaming law compliance by operators, as well as ensuring customer safety and fair gaming practices.

Changes to gambling laws in 2016 specify that online gaming sites must obtain a remote gambling license to operate legally in the country. Like Latvia, the country uses ISP blocking to attempt to reduce access to international gambling sites for people in Lithuania.  Poker sites allowed to operate in Lithuania include GGPoker, PokerStars and PartyPoker.


Germany Gambling Regulator

Regulator: German Sports Betting Association (DSWV)

Until around 2008 Germany was an unregulated igaming wild-west, with thousands of companies offering gambling apps and games to Germany’s millions of inhabitants.

in 2011, legislation was passed  by one of Germany’s 16 constitutive states, Schleswig-Holstein (Hamburg) to legalize online poker, online sports betting and some casino games.

Applicants for a german online gambling license were requred to be based in the EU and to meet stringent standards.

In 2012 the first operators were issued licenses according to the new Schleswig-Holstein’s Gambling Act –  for a period of six years and with 20% tax on gross gaming revenues (GGR). Due to a change in government, which directed Schleswig-Holstein to join the Interstate Treaty, the Gambling Act was repealed in February 2013- with the repealed Gambling Act of Schleswig-Holstein continuing to apply in relation to first licensees until their licences expired.

The new German gambling regulation, the State Treaty on Gambling 2021 (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021 = GlüStV 2021), will bring substantial changes to the German gambling regulation. There will be new licensing options for online poker, virtual slots and online casino (table) games and current licensing options – e.g. for sports betting and for lotteries – will be extended. But the licences will also be subject to very detailed licensing restrictions and the enforcement against illegal gambling will be strengthened.

The German states have adopted a transitional regime that allows for a transition from unlicensed to licensed sports betting, virtual slots and online poker operation under the GlüStV 2021.


Isle of Man Gambling Regulator

Regulator: Gambling Supervision Commission (‘GSC’)

The Isle of Man (IOM )is a popular and well respected jurisdiction for obtaining an online gambling license, and the UK government offers many of attractive benefits to attract online gambling businesses to the island.

The Gambling Supervision Commission ensures that all licensed operators meet  requirements, pass vetting processes and can prove that they abide by fair business practices and that they ring-fence player funds to cover all potential payouts on request.

The Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission and Department of Economic Development actively promote and encourage online gaming in the UK and abroad.