Legal Online Casinos – Best Licensed Casino SitesWorldwide, the gambling laws are a topic of immense complexity; every country has its take on the subject. Gambling is embraced in some parts of the world while others do everything in its power to ban gambling entirely. Legal licenses are the first thing you should check at any new casino website. Moreover, you should be aware of the casino’s reputation. Where different jurisdictions have a say in a single country, Internet gambling is tackled with radically different approaches.

Gaining access to an online casino these days is fairly easy. Although some casino websites were available since the turn of the century, there hadn’t been as much interest at first. A better protection of gamblers’ rights by legal authorities changed this.

Nowadays, there are numerous forums and discussion platforms related to this topic which makes it quite easy for people to share experiences and recommendations. Giving the software a test run can also help you decide whether the casino site can meet your expectations.

When considering the global situation, one can distinguish specifics for each individual country. Nonetheless, there are certain general characteristics which should be met by all legitimate casinos worldwide in order to attract and retain their customers.

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An excellent example of how complex the online gambling law can be within a nation is the United States; where individual states have their own legislation and the poorly written federal law can be interpreted inversely. While in some US states online gambling is one hundred percent legal, others authorities try to commandeer the assets of legitimate online gambling sites.

The legality of online gambling in Europe enjoys different approaches and while some countries outright ban online gaming others have legalized it with proper regulations in place. The best example of the latter is the United Kingdom where all forms of online gaming and betting are legal as well as well-regulated. Online sites wishing to provide services to residents must meet the requirements of the UK Gambling Commission established in 2005. It’s 2005 Gambling Act brought the UK up-to-date with the online gambling world and the bill not only clearly states what potential operators would need to qualify for a license but also ensures the protection of online gamblers in the United Kingdom. The three primary objectives of the licensing system are preventing gambling as a source of disorder or crime, ensuring that gaming is conducted in a fair fashion and protecting vulnerable persons and children from being harmed by gambling.

Operators with licenses granted via the whitelisted jurisdiction are also permitted to offer services to UK citizens. Whitelisted domains are approved due to their appropriately stringent licensing requirements and include Tasmania, Isle of Man, Gibraltar, as well as Alderney, Antigua, and Barbuda.

France has a strict licensing process and permits offshore operators to accept French players, meeting the necessary criteria. France is often classified as a gambling-friendly nation, although excessive regulations and high taxes make it challenging for gaming sites to operate and almost fifty percent of gaming sites licensed in 2010 have left the market. The biggest change happened in 2010 when the government passed the 2010-476 Gambling Act, disbanding the government monopoly and opening the market to competition and thirty-five operators applied and became the first non-governmental entities to offer horse racing, sports, and online poker betting. Excessive taxes on sports and poker betting is 8.5% while the industry average is 4 to 5% combined with the government not permitting player pools to be shared. French players were cut from the international poker scene, leading many players to join offshore sites.

Canada is divided into ten provinces, each a self-governing entity empowered by the federal government although significant changes require alteration to the nations constitution. Gambling provides a much-needed income to non-profit organizations and casinos are legal and prevalent throughout the nation, especially in British Columbia, Alberta, and Ontario. Online gambling laws nor here or there are described as a gray area, while Canadian players are not prevented from joining international casinos prepared to accept them.

Australia banned live sports and online poker in March 2017 when its federal parliament, CANBERRA closed loopholes to ban poker via changes to the gambling laws passed by the Senate outlawing in-play sports betting at the same time. After the review of the countries illegal offshore wagering in 2015, tightening up the federal laws was suggested, and the Interactive Gambling Amendment Bill of 2016 came about. Australia’s 2001 Interactive Gambling Act already sought to outlaw online gaming such as roulette, blackjack and poker and its latest amendment bill closed most loopholes, allowing online gambling to continue. Major brands left the Australian online market since, on the 1st of April, 32Red Casino announced it would no longer accept players residing in Australia, while 888 Holdings and Vera & John Casino already left earlier.

The gambling law in Germany is considered part of the law of public and regulated at the state level by each of the 16 federal states. Land based casinos are supervised and licensed by the respective Ministries of the Interior while slots gambling enjoyed at local halls are controlled by municipal offices. The Ministry of the Interior in Schleswig-Holstein supervises the licensing of online sports betting and gambling issued under the Gambling Act of Schleswig-Holstein. The approval of Federal States was considered safe at the start of 2017, although after the elections the Federal State of Schleswig-Holstein announced that no new laws would be passed and Rhineland Palatinate, Hesse, and North Rhine Westphalia considers joining the Schleswig-Holstein approach.

In the USA it is sometimes a question of who is in charge of online gambling laws especially since a few acts are under re-evaluation in 2017. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), states that accepting money from the player by gambling sites are illegal and the UIGEA prevents financial institutions from taking monies from online casinos, although it does not preclude individuals from depositing. In 2015 the Restoration Of America’s Wire Act (RAWA) was reintroduced to rewrite the 1961 Federal Wire Act. Currently, it outlaws online sports betting not online gambling. Once revised and accepted most forms of online gambling will be banned even though the act targets online casinos and not individual players.

Currently, online gambling is legal in three USA states including Delaware, New Jersey, and Nevada, and the age limit of 21 corresponds to that of land-based casinos. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission allows players to legally place online sports bets at sites licensed by the commission in New Jersey and Delaware. The Nevada Gaming Commission allows players to take part in sportsbetting at sites controlled and authorized by the commission. It is expected that the Silver State will soon legalize all casino gambling, opening up more the possibility of more online operators accepting players from the USA.

Frequently Asked Questions

The area of online gambling has been a bit grey throughout the years, and despite the strict legal rights and obligations, people are still unaware of some aspects. This frequently asked section should pinpoint the main issues you might encounter on any legal online casino.

  1. How do I know if the online casino’s license is legitimate?

    There are several licensing authorities which have developed throughout the years. You can recognize the best sites which offer fair play by checking whether they have been certified by reliable local jurisdictions such as the UK Gambling Commission or the Nevada Gaming Commission. Trustworthy offshore authorities like the Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner and the Malta Lottery and Gaming Authority can also prove the sites’ legitimacy.

  2. Which casino games are available at online casinos?

    Casino sites offer their players with the same range of game selection as their brick-and-mortar counterparts. The most popular ones include poker, blackjack, roulette, as well as baccarat and all kinds of themed slots for everyone’s taste.

  3. Do I need to download any software?

    Online casinos in general are primarily accessed through your own web browser and do not require any downloads. However, some of them go the extra mile and provide mobile friendly versions for smartphones and tablets. In this case, casino players can get the ultimate gambling experience on the move.

  4. Is there a legal age for online casino gambling?

    Yes, there is. Bear in mind that there are no specific differences between land-based and online casinos in this regard. The legal gambling age for online casinos corresponds to the laws in the relevant country where it is located or intended for. Thus, this age is 21 in the United States, while the UK has a more liberal approach, allowing 18-year olds to participate.

  5. How do I deposit and withdraw money?

    Online casinos offer a specific range of payment options. Thus, the best ones tend to provide numerous methods, starting from credit and debit cards, through money transfer services such as Western Union , all the way to PayPal and similar e-wallet services. Moreover, as there are countries which disallow citizens to send funds to any online gambling sites, additional methods have been implemented.

  6. Which currencies exist at online casinos?

    The best online casinos tend to adapt their currency to their target country or in cases when they operate on multiple territories, include localization in order to adapt the currency to each one. Furthermore, some casinos offer digital currencies, such as bitcoins, although there are fewer casinos sites which have adopted this option.

  7. How to determine the credibility of the casino’s software?

    Online casinos are as concerned about keeping their games fair as any real life casino. However, just to be on the safe side, you could check for the symbol of any software testing facilities which regularly check the RNG performance and other factors that might place the outcome in favour of the casinos. GamCare and TST are some of the most reliable testing providers in this regard.

  8. What do I need to know about online casino bonus offers?

    Bonuses at gambling sites have become their trademark ever since they first appeared. Their primary task was to attract casino players to the sites. Due to their promotional character, they often seem “too good to be true”, but they normally are. Welcome bonuses, no deposit offers and loyalty programs are just part of the selection.

  9. How do taxes affect my winnings from online casinos?

    Each country has its own taxation policies, and applies them in a different way. When it comes to the winnings from online casinos, the same laws and regulations apply as with land-based casinos. Hence, the answer would vary from one country to the other, as USA players are regularly taxed, while UK citizens can spend their winnings from online casinos completely tax-free.

  10. What if I want a live dealer at my table?

    Although players find online casinos to be far more practical and applicable than their real life counterparts, some of them can’t match the level of enjoyment they used to feel when walking into a casino. Understandably so, many people demand actual human contact in order to feel comfortable. In this regard, online casinos have introduced live dealers at certain tables which provide this element. Plus, players can often communicate with their dealer via instant chat in order to achieve the desired effect.

Casino Licensing Authorities and Commissions

On a global level, one can distinguish numerous authorities which are said to provide gambling licenses to online casinos. Nevertheless, some tend to be more credible than others, as the process of acquiring these licenses differs based on the provider. Here are the most trustworthy authorities when it comes to the matter.

  • UK Gambling Commission – This legislative body is responsible for testing and regulating the work of online casinos in the UK. It is known to hold the highest standards for online gambling.
  • Alderney Gambling Control Commission – The islands close to the English coast hold multiple such authorities that regulate online casinos. Alderney is separated from the group due to its reliability, prompt responsiveness and strictness.
  • Gibraltar Gambling Commissioner – One of the leaders in providing off shore online casinos with the necessary licenses is exactly this association. Its wide network of regulating both traditional and online gambling sites is practical proof of its credibility.
  • Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission – This is another example of an authority which licenses off shore online casinos. Its stringent policies and high standards provide this commission with an impeccable reputation.
  • Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) – This licensing body is situated in Malta, an island in the Mediterranean region, and is known to be the greatest license provider for the territory of Europe, doing so since the year 2000. It entered the EU in 2004 as the first member state which regulates online gambling. Its licenses are not truly credible, as they stay away from casino-player disputes, yet there are trustworthy casinos which hold a license from the LGA.
  • Nevada Gaming Commission – As the first regulatory body in charge of such matters in the US, this authority is unsurprisingly highly dependable. Due to the state’s history gambling this commission has come up with a way to legalize online casinos by seeking the basis in traditional ones.
  • New Jersey Casino Control Commission – The second license provider in the US solely confirms the great interest to spread legal gambling all over the country. As a recognized and firmly regulated body, this commission has even been recognized by Delaware, one among the few states that have limited rights allow their citizens to practice such games of luck.

Summary of Legal Online Casinos

To conclude, there are many aspects which need to be taken into consideration before you can choose the right online casino for your needs.
First and foremost, you need to check for legal licenses. Most casinos display them on the bottom of the homepage, although you might need to search through the ‘About Us’ section sometimes. Plus, you should take into account the gambling laws of your country of residence.

After that, all that remains is that you check the features of the website. The best thing to do is check for any faults in the software before it is too late. Contacting the customer support in order to check their responsiveness is another good precautionary measure.

This should give you a better overview of the basic requirements for each online casino and ultimately help you find the best ones without risking any of your hard earned money.