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What Protection Does a Gambling License Give Players in 2023?

466 Views on 1/12/22

Gambling licenses are required by any company that intends to provide gambling services

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Gambling online is a fun leisure activity that is constantly growing in popularity across the globe. Despite the excitement that gambling offers, as a player, you can be vulnerable to a number of safety concerns. Due to the potential threats online gambling offers, it is heavily regulated to help protect the players.

Gambling licenses are required by any company that intends to provide gambling services. These licenses ensure that operators adhere to specific rules and requirements to protect their customers. The rules and regulations stated within a gambling license can vary between the jurisdiction which awards the license. Due to this, the level of protection provided for online gamblers can vary from one jurisdiction to another.


Do Players Have More Protection Now Than Before?

Online gambling is a growing business that will continue to expand in the years to come, with advancements in technology making it easier than ever to gamble online. Although only a small proportion of gamblers develop problems (0.2%), it is more than enough to cause concern for gambling regulators. As a result, various regulations and responsible gambling measures have been implemented over the past five to ten years to combat any potential increase in problem gamblers.

As a general statement, players now have more protection than before. Acquiring a gambling license is much harder than it used to be, with certain jurisdictions requiring extensive documentation to prove their suitability as well as adhering to stringent practices and regulations. However, this varies between jurisdictions.

New gambling regulations are always on the horizon, with regulatory bodies taking precautionary steps to provide complete safety to both land-based and online gamblers. Player protection has improved in a variety of ways, but the biggest in recent years has been the increase in the availability of responsible gambling information and tools. For example, all UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) licensed platforms must provide their self-exclusion systems to help protect vulnerable customers.

While certain regulatory bodies offer gambling licenses that provide adequate player protection, others are far more lenient in their rules and regulations, which leads to a lower level of protection.


How Player Protection Varies Between Jurisdictions

Complete player protection is crucial if online gambling wants to have a sustainable future. However, while the aim is to provide all players with this level of protection, certain jurisdictions do a better job than others. Below we take a closer look at how player protection varies between major gambling jurisdictions.


United Kingdom Gambling Commission

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission, or UKGC, is a leading regulatory body across the globe that has set various regulations that other licensing bodies around the world have adopted. The UKGC aims to keep crime out of gambling and provide protection for vulnerable people. This applies to the following areas; sports betting, arcades, bingo, casinos, lotteries, slot machines, and remote gambling operators.

As a player, the level of protection you receive in the UK is by far the highest. A factor of this comes down to the expensive and strict application processes that gambling operators must pass to obtain a UK gambling license. In addition, strict regulations and rules are in place that must be followed, and breaches of these can result in hefty fines.

As a customer, your playing experience is directly affected by the level of protection you receive, even if this is not easily noticed. Various UK licensed operators have systems in place that are able to flag customers as vulnerable or high-risk before they even place their first bet, which can result in restrictions being placed on your account. In addition, it is also mandatory for UK-licensed platforms to have self-exclusion tools in place to add even more protection for vulnerable customers.

Due to the strict regulations and rules, UK-licensed slot sites and other gambling platforms are often considered the safest to play at.


Malta Gaming Authority

Like the UKGC, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is a highly regarded regulatory body in the world of gambling, as it shares an equally strict application process. However, high costs, lengthy wait times, and strict regulations mean only the most reputable operators bother attempting to claim a Malta Gaming Authority license.

An area in which the MGA stands alone from the UKGC is player complaints. The MGA requires operators to work with multiple Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) services which are companies that help players resolve issues between them and operators. On the flip side, you are likely to find much less support regarding safer gambling tools and policies in place at MGA-licensed platforms.

The list of gambling operators licensed by the MGA is endless. A factor for this is that any operator holding one of these licenses can offer their services in various jurisdictions, which has encouraged the emergence of online casino sites in Asia. On top of this, some of the best sports betting platforms, slot sites, live casinos, and bingo sites around the globe also have Malta Gaming Authority licenses.


Curacao eGaming

Curacao eGaming has a bad reputation as a licensing agency compared to the previous two regulatory bodies. Most licensed sites out to scam players are licensed by the Curacao eGaming body due to the low tax rate and the far more lenient application process. Since there are harmful sites with a Curacao eGaming license, many players choose not to trust any operator that displays one of these licenses - even if they are legitimate.

While many Curacao eGaming licensed platforms can be trusted, the level of protection they offer players is far below that of the UKGC and MGA. Reduced customer service responsiveness, issues with payouts, and limited game quality are just a few things you can expect to experience as a player.

Curacao eGaming’s reputation is likely to improve in the oncoming year, with the Council of Ministers setting a new bill into motion that will clean up the current gambling regulations in Curacao. The changes within the bill will see a new independent licensing body set in place, as well as tighter restrictions making gambling safer in this jurisdiction. Higher fees and money laundering measures are two aspects of the new bill that will be in place to help improve the safety of punters.

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