This month, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) had to officially declare that they have no connection with over a dozen websites that were claiming to be licensed by this particular licensing body.
In the three-decade or so history of online gambling, trust has been an issue for many potential customers around the world who are worried about putting money onto sites that are potentially dangerous.
To combat this and avoid scam sites, there are gambling informational and verification sites where you can type in an address or casino URL and check its license, or look through lists of licensed casinos and newly-licensed casinos.
The MGA does differentiate between new companies on the market and older casinos seeking a license for a particular market (some companies seem “new” even though they are well-established brands, vs. brand-new casino companies that do not have that history to back their “trust”) entering the market.
It can be difficult to decide if a new casino is worthwhile, but it is important to look at a few sources to check if it is a valid casino.
Each license holder has their own validator where you can look up a casino by their name or a license number, which will tell you if the casino is verified and licensed or not.
There are a number of different ways an online casino can scam you. Firstly, those digitally-adept people that have set up this casino are often quite talented at forging license numbers on a website.
They may even list out an address and license number as a logotype on the bottom of their site in order to trick individuals. These casinos will often be untrustworthy, may not have fair payouts for games, or even steal your information.
Another report from TransUnion found that fraud in the gaming industry is up a whopping 393 percent from 2020 to 2021, and 36.2 percent up when it comes to gambling fraud in particular.
|Industry||Fraud Percentage Change||Top Type of Fraud|
|Largest Percentage Increases|
|Travel & Leisure||155.9%||Credit Card|
|Gambling||36.2%||Policy/license Agreement Violations|
India relies on a lot of casino companies based in foreign territory, most often Malta or Curaçao. Each country has its own gaming panel or authority branch of government that sets the standards and regulations casinos must adhere to if they want to keep their license. This also means that some license holders are stricter than others.
For example, the MGA has strict rules and oversees algorithms that make sure casinos are paying out fairly, that customers are not being scammed, and customer complaints are answered, and that the casino takes some responsibility for consumers that overspend. The UK Gaming Authority has many of these similar ordinances and conditions that they set forth. Curaçao and Gibraltar are a lot freer, and they do not place the same restrictions over their casinos, but even these licenses mean that the casino is not a scam, as they do adhere to a legal governing body.
Last year, the MGA issued 69 warnings, suspended 3 licenses, and canceled 12 licenses, as well as giving out a plethora of warnings and fines for casinos that do not adhere to strict laws. At the same time, they’ve issued plenty of licenses for new Indian online casinos that players should feel safe using. Other gaming authorities do the same every year. Many also have a blacklist on their site of casinos that are not suitable or whose license has been canceled.
There are more than a dozen gaming bodies around the world that license casinos. Some licenses (like Malta) are allowed to be used outside the country (overseas), while others, like Sweden, Denmark, and the United Kingdom, have much stricter requirements and cannot pursue business outside their designated countries. In India, three types of licenses are popular and considered to be safe for players. At the time of writing, 61 percent of the newly established online casinos in India are licensed by the Curaçao Gaming Control Board, and only 31 percent by the Malta Gaming Authority.
|Licencing Body||New Online Casinos in India|
|Most common license|
|Curaçao Gaming Control Board (Curaçao)||61%|
|Malta Gaming Authority (Malta)||39%|
|Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (Gibraltar)||0%|
Curaçao Gaming Control Board: One of the oldest boards in the world, and is considered cheaper and easier to obtain than other licenses. Considered reliable and trustworthy, although this gaming commission does not assist consumers in disputes.
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA, Malta): One of the most popular licensing commissions, they have hundreds of casinos under their wing. Strict rules when it comes to responsible gambling and money laundering laws.
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority: Many well-known casinos are licensed through this gaming commission. They have strict standards and require casinos to have an accurate list of how many games and activities each casino can offer.
While it is clear that many casinos are trustworthy and can present the proper licensing, the responsibility ends up falling on the individual who must go to extra lengths to verify a casino’s licensure.