Sports Betting Jurisdictions
Let’s talk about sports betting jurisdictions. This section provides an overview of the countries that offer licenses and permits for the operation of online bookmakers. Although the Internet is at the forefront of globalization process and online gaming exists in one form or another in over 90 countries around the world, at this point a common regulatory framework or uniform regulations of international laws on gambling still do not seem realistic.
Please note that although each of those countries provides some form of license or permit for operation, this has nothing to do with effective regulation of internet gaming sites and only some jurisdictions protect the interests of players really well.
Any bookmaker who has internet gaming operations, including online betting must have a license for this activity. Malta, Gibraltar, Philippines, Costa Rica and Curacao are one of the most popular countries for licensing.
Among sports betting jurisdictions, the Australian license is regarded as the safest online gaming license.
List of countries that offer licenses: Aland Islands (Finland), Alderney (British Channel Islands), Anjouan (Comoros), Antigua and Barbuda, two provinces in Argentina, six states and territories in Australia, Austria, Belize, Cagayan – special economic zone (Philippines), Costa Rica, Curacao (Dutch Antilles), Gibraltar, Ireland, Isle of Man, Malta, Kahnavake (Canada), Panama, Seychelles, United Kingdom, Vanuatu.
Australia – Australia is a pioneer in the creation of legislation for regulation of online wagering and nowadays regulates the provision and advertising of interactive gambling services at a federal level by the Gambling Act of 2001. Six Australian states and territories regulate online gambling, while in Tasmania and Western Australia special laws to regulate this activity have been adopted, and in the Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Norfolk and Northern Territory the existing sports betting legislation has been amended to allow gambling on the Internet. Australian licenses are considered to be the strictest towards bookmakers and the most secure for customers of betting sites.
Alderney (British Channel Islands) – In Alderney, the third largest island of the Channel Islands, online gambling is regulated by the Gambling Control Commission, which was established in May 2000. Over the past few years, Alderney has managed to become a world class regulator, with strict license requirements, clearly defined technical and operational requirements, rigorous inspections of license applicants, and constant monitoring of licensees’ operations.
Licensing authority: Gambling Control Commission
Antigua and Barbuda – Antigua and Barbuda is part of the Caribbean, but unlike other Caribbean jurisdictions it managed to develop comprehensive guidelines and requirements, applicable to the licensing process and operation of online gambling sites. Antigua is at the forefront of the battle to open the U.S. market for offshore gaming operators.
Licensing authority: Directorate of Offshore Gaming
Curacao – Home for many high stakes sports betting sites for high rollers, online gaming in Curacao is governed by the National Ordinance on Offshore Hazard Games. Online gaming operators can apply for license from the Curacao Department of Justice or obtain a sub-license from the owner of the master license. Since 1996 Cyberluck Curacao holds the master license, designated by the Department of Justice. In May 2007 the Curacao Internet Gaming Association announced that Curacao is in the process of updating its legislation for online gambling regulation in order to maintain its position among the world’s leading regulators. As part of the update Curacao offers the UK government to accept recognition of online gaming licenses with reciprocal rights.
Licensing Body: Cyberluck Curacao N.V. (Master Licensing Authority on behalf of the Central Government of Netherlands Antilles).
Costa Rica – With its reliable telecommunication system and skilled workforce, and despite the lack of regulations for online gambling, Costa Rica is host to hundreds of sports betting sites and online casinos, the majority of which service the U.S. market. Although for many years there has been talks for creating legislation specifically dealing with online gambling, Costa Rica-based online bookmakers continue to work with business licenses granted by the municipalities, that is why bookmakers licensed there have a reputation for being not so reliable.
Gibraltar – Gibraltar hosts a number of reputable bookmakers and high roller bookmakers, who left Britain in the mid and late nineties, before the decision of the British government to abolish the tax on gambling. Today licenses for telephone and internet betting are issued by the Gibraltar Licensing Authority, which under the provisions of the Gambling Act of 2005 became Gambling Commissioner. Any company that wishes to perform gambling activity in Gibraltar is required to undergo a rigorous inspection and only operators with proven experience and realistic business plan receive license. That’s why, Gibraltar’s licenses are considered some of the safest for players.
Licensing authority: the Gibraltar Licensing Authority
Isle of Man – Gambling companies wishing to operate on the Isle of Man should have a permit and license from the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission. In 2001 the Isle of Man Government introduced legislation specifically designed to regulate online gambling. Since April 2005 the Isle of Man announced a zero rate of income tax for the online gaming sector, while offering government grants of up to 40% for software companies working in the field of gambling that want to move to the island.
Licensing authority: Isle of Man Government – Gambling Supervision Commission
Malta – Malta was the first EU member state to introduce legislation that fully regulates online gaming operators. It started in 2000 with the Public Lotto Ordinance. Since March 2005 the Lotteries and Gaming Authority established the Remote Gaming Council, which serves as an ongoing forum for discussion among all stakeholders, ISP providers, legal and financial representatives in Malta, etc.
Licensing authority: Lotteries and Gaming Authority
Kahnawake – Kahnawake Gaming Commission announced its first regulations on online gambling in 1999. In November 2006, the Commission made changes by imposing restrictions on phone betting and other gaming activities by way of voice communication with a player. BUT – in 2016 Kahnawake Licensed Gambling Sites to Cease Service for US-customers, which came as a great blow for many online casino operators.
Licensing authority: Kahnawake Gaming Commission
UK – Legislation in the UK is very strict in terms of online gambling, and the licenses it issues guarantee security of players. The licensing authority there is the Gambling Commission and the basic legislative regulation is the Gambling Act 2005. The Gambling Act of 2005 introduced a new regulatory framework in the UK for licensing of internet bookmakers, but also for advertising. For the first time in history, the licensed gambling operators in Britain were able to advertise on the radio and TV.
Licensing authority: Gambling Commission.
If you are still not happy with current jurisdictions available to you and maybe want more gambling action, you might want to check out the site for top online casinos for USA players. We are not diving in to different jurisdictions, but they’ve also covered the topic how to gamble at US-friendly online casino sites and how to access different gambling sites from different sites. You can read this article about online casinos for Texas players for more information.