What To Look For In A Licensing Jurisdiction

Ever since the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) was passed in 2006 American players have been at the mercy of some less than honest online gambling operators. Of course all online gambling sites must be located somewhere and the licensing jurisdiction of a site can be in indication of the site’s reliability and reputation. There are several licensing jurisdictions for online gambling operators.  Licensing jurisdictions that take regulatory oversight seriously include Alderney, Australia, Gibraltar, Isle of Man, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Vanuatu.

Actually it is relatively easy to set up an online gambling site. Unscrupulous operators could go to just about any remote location without any regulations and set up servers. One of the main reasons for licensing is that it assures players of fair and honest games. Several small nations in the Caribbean and Central America have made a business of licensing online gambling sites. Some have reliable regulatory bodies while others provide very little oversight.

What should players look for in a licensing jurisdiction? From the player’s point of view the two most important characteristics to look for are strictness of regulation and the breadth of authorization. Some licensing jurisdictions are so eager to collect fees that they will issue a license to just about anyone while others have very strict requirements and rules. Should the public find out that some licenses are worthless gaming sites located in those countries will lose business quickly. Strict requirements are actually good for reputable online gambling operators.

Some licensing nations like the United Kingdom do not depend on licensing fees and are free to impose stringent requirements. Other licensing countries such as Costa Rica, Curacao and Antigua impose minimal regulations and standards when compared with those in the UK and the US. Some jurisdictions provide gaming companies with two advantages; strict regulations and very low tax rates. The strict regulations are beneficial because players know they are protected and will willingly patronize gaming sites licensed in reliable jurisdictions. The benefits of low taxation are self explanatory.

There are other important characteristics that should be of importance to players. The country should have the necessary infrastructure to handle high internet traffic. One unique example of a remote nation with the required infrastructure is the tiny Pacific nation of Vanuatu which is located between Hawaii and Australia. The tiny island has invested heavily in the necessary infrastructure and is one of the most sought after licensing jurisdictions. Political stability is also important. If political instability disrupts the operations of online gaming companies the license becomes essentially worthless.

Online bingo players and other gamblers should look for these characteristics in a licensing jurisdiction. A good licensing jurisdictions means that all games will be fair and honest and that most disputes will be resolved in a civil timely manner.

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