Regulated Casinos Struggle Against Unregulated Competition

Regulated Casinos Struggle Against Unregulated Competition

Published Date · July 9, 2024 · Last Updated · July 9, 2024 ·Read Time · 6 mins

Regulated Casinos operate with a license in several countries including the United Kingdom, Denmark, Sweden, The Netherlands and the United States of America. To operate legally in these countries a casino must conform to certain requirements to acquire a license.

The main requirements to operate a legal casino are as follows:

  1. The venue must obtain a license from the authority that regulates gambling. In the United Kingdom, it is the Gambling Commission, in the Netherlands it is the Kansspelautoriteit and in the United States, each state has a regulatory body that licenses venues.
  2. Licensed Venues must comply with an advertising code of conduct, which normally focuses on Responsible Gambling Issues and the prevention of Underage gambling. That means casinos cannot make use of imagery that will attract minors and must make sure that individual players are not gambling more than what they can afford.
  3. To get a license a casino must prove it fully meets the requirements of the gambling authority and will be audited occasionally to ensure that its practices are consistent with what the individual authority specifies.
  4. Taxes – Regulated Casinos all pay taxes and license fees to operate. Taxes are also imposed on bonuses in the majority of areas or are highly restricted.

Unregulated Casinos Take Advantage of Regulation

An unregulated casino does not have to meet the above requirements and can offer eye-catching bonuses to lure players to their venue. They do this as they do not have the taxes and costs associated with operating in a regulated environment. The struggle for regulated casinos is becoming more acute as unregulated venues can and do attract players from regulated markets.

To combat this some Gambling Authorities implemented an ISP ban on unlicensed venues. We live in the internet age, and it is a simple matter of a VPN to bypass all of these restrictions to register at a venue that offers a massive bonus.

The Advantages of Playing at a Licensed Casino

  1. Responsible Gambling Practices: Although it is an invasive process, licensed venues will ask for proof of income to set a monthly limit on a casino account. It is a requirement by regulators to ensure players are not over-extending themselves and losing money they cannot afford. A lot of media coverage on problem gambling takes place so regulators have clamped down on this.
  2. Safe Casino Gameplay: Regulated Casinos have requirements that oblige them not to share or sell your private information. They will also boast some of the best technology to ensure personal and banking details are secure. Licensed Casinos also have to ask how players wish to be contacted and have to abide by the selection process of the player.
  3. Depositing & Cashing in A regulated casino will always use methods that allow for fast deposits and cash-ins. Both deposit and cash-in methods will be secure and safe in terms of information and in the case of e-wallets making payments to players. Please note that this is not the case with unregulated casinos.
  4. Bonuses & Terms&Conditions: Regulated Casinos must state terms and conditions on all bonuses upfront and will also have to pay all balances whether the balance comes from a win or if it’s just your balance. In the not-to-distant past many players lost out on wins due to the arbitrary decisions by online casinos to withhold winnings for spurious reasons. This is no longer the case in regulated regions.

The Risks of Playing at an Unregulated Casino

Playing at an unregulated casino is a risky venture. While there are no restrictions on what they can offer in terms of bonuses, there is no authority or regulatory body that a player can turn to if there is a dispute. Whilst Online Casinos should be for entertainment purposes only, the risk of not being paid a win, big or small, is a real risk at unregulated casinos.

Casino players need to be careful as there are a lot of jurisdictions that offer licenses to online casinos. Some of these jurisdictions do not have robust arbitration or player safety measures in place and are merely an exercise in providing a casino with a less-than-desirable gambling license to try and appear legitimate.

Our advice at Casino Range is to select a licensed venue in the region that you are from. It might be tempting to take up a massive bonus offer, the downside is that venues that offer these kinds of bonuses, can and often do reject payouts there is no one to police and enforce the payment of a win.

Why Does the Unregulated Casino Market Exist

Many countries have not regulated online casino activity. A good example would be the United States where there is still a lot of unregulated casino play. The reason for this is simple, not all states allow online casino play.

Gambling is legislated on a state level rather than a federal level and in the case of the United States, there are also Indian Tribal gambling compacts that can and often do complicate regulation. California for example does not allow for any online gambling due to the competing interests.

In short, the unregulated market exists in some populous regions due to the slow nature of getting laws in place. For your convenience, we list reputable licensing authorities available below.

Reputable Gambling Regulators

European Gambling Regulators

  • Austria: Federal Ministry of Finance
  • Belgium: Belgian Gaming Commission
  • Bulgaria: State Commission on Gambling
  • Croatia: Ministry of Finance, Tax Administration
  • Cyprus: National Betting Authority
  • Czech Republic: Ministry of Finance
  • Denmark: Danish Gambling Authority
  • Estonia: Estonian Tax and Customs Board
  • Finland: National Police Board
  • France: Autorité Nationale des Jeux (ANJ)
  • Germany: Glücksspielbehörde (GGL) (Federal Gambling Authority)
  • Gibraltar: Gambling Division, Government of Gibraltar
  • Greece: Hellenic Gaming Commission (HGC)
  • Hungary: Szerencsejáték Felügyelet (Gambling Supervisory Authority)
  • Iceland: Ministry of Justice
  • Ireland: Revenue Commissioners, Office of the Revenue Commissioners
  • Italy: Agenzia delle Dogane e dei Monopoli (ADM)
  • Latvia: Lotteries and Gambling Supervisory Inspection
  • Lithuania: Gaming Control Authority
  • Luxembourg: Ministry of Justice
  • Malta: Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Netherlands: Kansspelautoriteit (KSA)
  • Norway: Norwegian Gaming Authority (Lotteritilsynet)
  • Poland: Ministry of Finance
  • Portugal: Serviço de Regulação e Inspeção de Jogos (SRIJ)
  • Romania: National Gambling Office (ONJN)
  • Slovakia: Ministry of Finance
  • Slovenia: Financial Administration of the Republic of Slovenia
  • Spain: Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling (DGOJ)
  • Sweden: Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen)
  • Switzerland: Federal Gaming Board (ESBK) and Comlot (Intercantonal Lotteries and Betting Commission)
  • United Kingdom: UK Gambling Commission

North American Gambling Regulators


  • Alberta: Alberta Gaming, Liquor and Cannabis Commission (AGLC)
  • British Columbia: British Columbia Lottery Corporation (BCLC)
  • Manitoba: Liquor, Gaming and Cannabis Authority of Manitoba (LGCA)
  • New Brunswick: New Brunswick Lotteries and Gaming Corporation (NBLGC)
  • Newfoundland and Labrador: Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC)
  • Nova Scotia: Nova Scotia Gaming Corporation (NSGC)
  • Ontario: Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO)
  • Prince Edward Island: Atlantic Lottery Corporation (ALC)
  • Quebec: Loto-Québec
  • Saskatchewan: Saskatchewan Liquor and Gaming Authority (SLGA)

United States:

Numerous state-specific regulators. Examples include:

  • Nevada Gaming Control Board
  • New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement
  • Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board
  • California Gambling Control Commission


  • Mexico: Dirección General de Juegos y Sorteos (DGJS), Ministry of the Interior

South American Gambling Regulators


  • Buenos Aires: Instituto Provincial de Lotería y Casinos (IPLyC)
  • Other provinces have their regulators


  • Secretaria de Acompanhamento Econômico (SEAE), Ministry of Economy (pending legalization)


  • Superintendencia de Casinos de Juego (SCJ)


  • Coljuegos


  • Dirección General de Juegos de Casino y Máquinas Tragamonedas, Ministry of Foreign Trade and Tourism


  • Dirección Nacional de Loterías y Quinielas (DNLQ)


  • National Commission on Gambling (CONAJZAR)


  • Control and Regulation of Gambling Commission (prohibition status)

African Gambling Regulators

  • Botswana: Botswana Gambling Authority
  • Ghana: Gaming Commission of Ghana
  • Kenya: Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB)
  • Malawi: National Lotteries Board
  • Mauritius: Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA)
  • Namibia: Namibia Gaming Board


  • National Lottery Regulatory Commission (NLRC)
  • Lagos State Lottery Board (LSLB)

South Africa:

  • National Gambling Board (NGB)
  • Provincial gambling boards such as:
  • Gauteng Gambling Board
  • Western Cape Gambling and Racing Board
  • KwaZulu-Natal Gaming and Betting Board
  • Tanzania: Gaming Board of Tanzania
  • Uganda: National Gaming Board Uganda
  • Zambia: The Betting Control and Licensing Board (BCLB)
  • Zimbabwe: Lotteries and Gaming Board

African Countries with Notable Gambling Activities that are less formalized or under development:

  • Cameroon: Ministry of Territorial Administration (handles gaming regulation)
  • Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire): Loterie Nationale de Côte d'Ivoire (LONACI)
  • Morocco: La Marocaine des Jeux et des Sports (MDJS)
  • Mozambique: Gaming Inspection and Regulation Institute
  • Senegal: Loterie Nationale Sénégalaise (LONASE)

Most of the above regulators especially the European, North and South American regulators will have policies and licensing for Online Casino games. Some will not, it’s advisable to check their official site for the region that you are in.

Online Casino regulation has just taken shape in the last few years and is now taking shape slowly in more regions, the explosion of regulation in the previous few years means more countries will regulate.

We think this is a good thing as player protection and responsible gambling are at the core of what should be entertainment.


Greg Gomes

Gambling Consultant