Gambling Licenses in 2024

A valid gambling license is the cornerstone of a reputable online casino. Regardless of how enticing a casino’s design may be, trustworthiness hinges on having the proper licensing. But how can you discern which authority to trust? Are there any differences to consider?

We’ve delved deeper into some of the most well-known casino licenses from regions like Malta, Curaçao, and now, the United States. Furthermore, we’ll provide an overview of all the territories that offer their own licenses.

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What is a Casino License?

A casino license is the bedrock of an online casino. It defines the payment methods and software providers that each casino can offer. Furthermore, a license ensures that a casino adheres to stringent regulations, including data protection, player safety, and preventing underage gambling. Regulatory bodies and government organizations conduct regular checks to ensure the security of gaming.

When an online casino is licensed, it also means that you, as a player, have a legal recourse in case of issues. Without a license, for instance, if an unlicensed online casino refuses to pay out, you have no legal avenue to pursue.

Moreover, licenses are not limited to online casinos; they also apply to software developers. Licensed games are the only ones permitted in licensed casinos, giving you assurance of fair payouts per slot.

🛡️ Reputable online casinos always hold a valid license!

Every provider of gambling games must adhere to specific standards to secure a license. These standards may vary by authority, but one common thread is fair play.

US Casino Licenses

The legal landscape in the USA has seen notable changes in recent years. Until 2021, online gambling was largely illegal in the USA, with internet gambling permitted only in select land-based casinos since 2012. In 2006, the US Congress passed the Internet Gambling Enforcement Act, introducing special regulations. However, these regulations did not deter other online casinos with EU licenses. The current legal status allows providers from EU countries to offer their services in the USA. Consequently, numerous online casinos with valid EU licenses now accept players from the USA.

After years of negotiations, the new gambling treaty took effect in July 2021, receiving recognition from all 16 states. This landmark development now allows operators of online casinos to apply for a US license. For players residing in the USA, it means they can finally register online at official gaming platforms and play with real money.

So, what are the key aspects of the US license? Here are the main points:

Player Protection Measures: 📑

  1. Maximum bet per spin is $1.
  2. Each spin must last at least 5 seconds.
  3. A monthly deposit limit of $1,000.
  4. A mandatory 5-minute break after every 30 minutes of gameplay.

Please note: The monthly deposit limit of $1,000 applies across all US casinos, not individually, allowing a maximum deposit of $1,000 per month across all casinos with a US license.

Other Regulations:

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European Licenses for Online Casinos

For a significant period, online casinos with European Union (EU) licenses operated in the USA. These licenses were considered valid, as they were based on EU laws, which held precedence over national regulations. Even today, there may be ongoing debates in the courts regarding their validity. Below, you’ll find more information about European licenses:

Malta MGA Licenses

The majority of online gambling establishments are headquartered in Malta. To secure a casino license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), providers must adhere to stringent requirements for player protection. For instance, every player should have the ability to set personal limits and exclude themselves from the platform. The MGA license is known for its robust technical specifications, making it a highly secure and reputable option.

Maltese licenses are considered the most significant EU licenses for the USA market. Moreover, they are the sole licenses from the EU available for use in the US. However, there are still certain limitations, such as the inability to conduct transactions using cryptocurrency with a Malta license.

UK Licenses

For a considerable period, the UK was often seen as a gambling hub, but licenses have now become more localized. The UK’s licensing authority, after the USA, enforces some of the strictest regulations, especially concerning money laundering and the battle against gambling addiction. Although the UK is no longer an EU member, its licenses are still recognized within the EU. However, the reverse is not true: players residing in the UK can only participate in games at casinos holding a valid UK license.

Isle of Man

The Isle of Man has been regulating gambling since 1962. It’s essential to note that this island in the Irish Sea has never been a member of the European Union, although it is under the jurisdiction of the British Crown. Approximately 55 providers and software companies, including Yggdrasil, hold valid licenses from the Isle of Man. To secure this license, operators must adhere to stringent player protection and anti-money laundering measures. Moreover, the Isle of Man authority oversees not only online casinos but also all land-based gaming establishments. The random number generators for casino games are subject to continuous scrutiny to ensure fair and transparent gambling.


Since 2000, Alderney has operated with an independent commission. The authority prides itself on meeting the “highest international standards.” Licensees are required to maintain funds that exceed the amount to be paid out to players. However, the number of licensed gambling operators from Alderney has seen a significant decline in recent years, as many European Union countries have introduced their own licensing systems.


The gambling authority of Gibraltar has long been a major competitor to Malta. Its primary role is to ensure compliance with legal regulations. Interested providers must undergo a thorough vetting process, which includes obtaining certificates of good conduct from their directors and more.

📑 However, it’s worth noting that at this juncture, the Gibraltar license holds little significance since it does not extend to the UK, and Gibraltar is no longer a part of the EU.

Local Licenses in the EU and Alternatives

For an extended period, the focus within the EU has largely been on the Malta license. However, most countries have now established their own licenses and, consequently, their own set of rules. Even Liechtenstein’s online casinos have gained legal recognition. Only Estonia is attempting to create a license applicable in multiple EU countries, and this has been realized in Finland.

The following EU countries have developed their own licenses for online casinos: Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Slovakia, and Spain.

LicensesNumber of casinos

Monopolies and Complete Bans

France’s gambling laws are particularly stringent, generally prohibiting online casinos. However, certain games like online poker, horse racing, and sports betting are exceptions. Some foreign websites available in French claim to operate under EU law.

In contrast, Poland introduced a state monopoly on gambling in 2017, leading to legislative changes. Online casinos are allowed, but only local companies are permitted to provide gambling services. Presently, there is only one legal online gambling platform in Poland, operated by the state-owned company Totalizator Sportowy. This platform regulates various aspects of gambling, including prize amounts, data storage requirements, and game conduct.

Both scenarios lead players to seek online providers with licenses from places like Malta because EU law takes precedence over national law. However, ongoing debates exist about whether this principle is always upheld. Additionally, licenses from Curaçao are gaining popularity due to their acceptance of cryptocurrency as a payment method.

Offshore Licenses

Offshore licenses, as the name suggests, are licenses obtained outside the European region. Typically, these licenses come with fewer requirements, but that doesn’t mean they lack regulations.

📑 One significant advantage of offshore licenses is the acceptance of cryptocurrencies as a payment method!

Curaçao Licenses

Curaçao, a Caribbean island, has been at the forefront of regulating gambling operators since 1996. Although the island is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, it holds the Master License of Curaçao, enabling it to issue additional licenses. Ensuring safety in gambling is a top priority here, with continuous checks to verify proper operations by providers. The authority also works diligently to protect players from criminal activities like money laundering. Curaçao licenses also permit the operation of crypto casinos, catering primarily to English-speaking users, making it one of the most significant non-US licenses.

Other Offshore Licenses

Apart from the prominent Curaçao license, several other regulatory bodies compete for market share:

Since October 2021, online gambling has become legal in the Netherlands. Many holders of offshore licenses are hopeful that the new Dutch legislation will impact the credibility of the Curaçao license, aiming to gain more influence.

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Key Criteria for Obtaining a Casino License

Obtaining a casino license involves adhering to specific criteria set by the regulatory authorities. With various licenses available, different regulations apply. Here are the fundamental requirements at a glance:

  1. Clean Management Record: The individuals in the management team must have no criminal history or past related to fraudulent activities.
  2. Financial Stability: Casino operators must demonstrate a sustainable and substantial capital reserve to ensure the ongoing financial security of the operation.
  3. Player Protection Measures: License applicants are required to employ systems for analyzing gaming behavior and safeguarding players. Ensuring responsible gaming is a top priority.
  4. Independent Audits: Technical systems for processes like deposits and withdrawals must undergo independent audits to ensure fairness and transparency.
  5. Partnerships with Software Vendors: Applicants are typically expected to demonstrate existing or prospective partnerships with reputable software providers, ensuring that their games meet industry standards.
  6. Reliability: The applicant’s overall reliability, including their history of compliance with gaming regulations, plays a significant role in the licensing process.

Adhering to these criteria is essential for casino operators seeking to secure a license and ensure a safe and responsible gaming environment for their players.

Unlicensed Casinos

Casinos without a valid license have become increasingly rare. Even purely cryptocurrency-based casinos typically obtain a license from Curaçao. Often, the term “casinos without a license” simply refers to those without a US license, as casinos with licenses from other regions like Malta or Curaçao are plentiful.

Key Characteristics of a Reputable Online Casino:

  1. Valid License: Look for the license, usually located at the bottom of the website or within the terms and conditions.
  2. Accepted Payment Methods: Reliable casinos offer a variety of payment options, including eWallets, credit cards, and bank transfers.
  3. Recognized Game Providers: Top casinos feature games from well-known providers like Pragmatic Play, NetEnt, Evolution Gaming, Microgaming, and more.
  4. Collaboration with Independent Organizations: Reputable casinos partner with organizations like Gamblers Anonymous, GamCare, and Gambling Therapy to promote responsible gaming.
  5. Audited Payout Ratios: Games should have transparent payout ratios and undergo regular audits for fairness.
  6. Strong Data Protection: This includes valid SSL encryption on the website to safeguard player information.
  7. Fair Casino Bonuses: Casinos should offer fair bonuses with flexible terms and conditions.
  8. Strict Terms and Conditions: Clear and comprehensive terms and conditions are essential to protect both players and the casino.
  9. Excellent Customer Service: Responsive customer support via live chat and email is a sign of a reputable casino.

🛡️ Always steer clear of casinos without a valid gambling license!


It’s clear that there’s now a multitude of casino licenses available. For many years, the Malta license stood as the sole reputable option in Europe. However, numerous countries have since gained independence and introduced their own licensing systems, including the USA.

Different licenses come with varying requirements, but the crucial point is that a casino must possess a valid gambling license. The most prevalent licenses include the EU license from Malta, the Curaçao license, and the new US license.

All of these licenses share a common objective: ensuring player safety during gaming. We strive to help you navigate this complex landscape and regularly update our reports to present only the best casinos with secure licenses. Your safety and enjoyment remain our top priority.