ESports Licensing has always been a debatable topic within the online casino industry. Professional video gaming, also known as eSports, has certainly attracted a great deal of publicity over the past years with a reported monthly audience size of 167 million viewers in 2018. The number is even projected to dramatically rise to the impressive 276 million by 2022. Numerous lucrative monetization opportunities have emerged thereof and steady growth is expected over the years to come. To further reinforce an argument, revenues are forecasted to exceed 1.1 billion USD by 2019 and reach 3 billion USD by 2022 due to the gradual growth of media rights and sponsorship. The statistical data recap solely comes to allude just how essential online gambling licensing is to all parties of interest involved.
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It may or may not thereby strike you as surprising that no unified legislation exists to address the legality of online gambling for the entire world. Therefore, most countries offer a unique interpretation of what sort of activity counts as acceptable consistent with their specifically legislated local laws. Also, local gambling laws change continuously over time. However, there are some basics licensing requirements that you should be aware of as most countries require casino licenses to allow an operator to offer their services to paying customers. Тherefore, it is important to understand the licensing behind all the eSports betting. Once again, online gambling laws in different regions are different. What is important for players is to make well-informed decisions and ultimately enjoy betting over the Internet to its full extent while gambling wisely.
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Is eSports Betting Licensing Different from Casino Licensing?
eSports betting is regulated by gaming authorities across the world under the respected Gambling Acts in each part of the world. In simple language, eSports betting is a form of gambling and therefore is regulated just as casinos are regulated. This means that there is no substantial difference between esports licensing and casino licensing. Both have to abide by the law as the regulated market is something we have to strive for.
General eSports Licensing Requirements
ESports Licensing is of paramount importance for a successful business. When a certain operator complies with the law, the trust from the respective casino players will enhance. The licensing requirements start with the demand towards the software providers to be granted with a license with the country they want to operate in. Such licenses are issued by certain gambling commissions and special authorities that are responsible for monitoring and control of the casino and gaming industry in each country.
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Then, a second “licensing” procedure follows, because the casinos situated on the territory of a certain country are not only required to get an operating license from the local authorities, but they also need to get a “license” from the software provider itself. The latter need to give their explicit consent to a certain online casino to provide them with the opportunity to use its platform and add its games to their offerings.
How to tell if a casino has a valid license?
Check out our full article dedicated on casino licenses here. The article showcases in detail how you can tell if a casino has a valid license. It is crucial for players, regardless of if they are casino players, or eSports betting players, to make sure that they check the bookmakers first. Remember, that you are going to provide that bookmaker with a lot of personal information. The rule of thumb is if a casino is licensed, then it is safe to go ahead and provide that information, and if it is not you should not be providing your personal information or gambling on their platforms. For more specific information on how to tell if a casino is licensed check out the article linked above.
Main Licensing Destinations
U.K. Gambling Commission
The Gambling Commission of the U.K. is the regulatory body that is responsible for controlling most forms of gambling on the territory of Great Britain. The Commission is officially established in 2007 under the rules of the Gambling Act of 2005 and is an exclusive non-departmental public body, which is sponsored by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.
It came as a successor of the Gaming Board of the U.K. and currently regulates betting, casinos, arcades, bingo, gambling machine and software providers, remote gambling operations, as well as lottery operators and external lottery managers. Still, not all forms of gambling are controlled by the U.K. Gambling Commission. For example, spread betting is currently regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.
The main responsibilities of the Commission are related to preventing crime out of the gambling industry. It is entitled with the authority of issuing licenses to the casino gaming operators, including the ones that have their remote gambling equipment is situated on the territory of the U.K. The operators that want to advertise their services in the country but are not based there also need to be granted a license from the Commission.
The Commission also can levy fines and revoke licenses as part of its responsibilities related to monitoring and regulation of the industry.
Gibraltar Regulatory Authority
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority was established in 2000 under the rules of the Gibraltar Regulatory Act. The Authority is the statutory body that is entitled with the responsibilities of monitoring and control on electronic communications, which include broadcasting transmissions, as well as telecommunications and radio communications.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority has responsibilities of both national supervising and regulation in the gaming industry. The authority operates in correspondence with the EU casino and gaming legislation, which has been implemented in the country’s national law.
The Gambling Act of 2005 came into force in October 2006 and the Authority was officially appointed as the Gambling Commissioner of the country. It issues licenses and controls the operations of the license holders accordingly to the terms of their licenses. All activities that are specific for the authority have complied with the provisions of the Gambling Act.
Malta Gaming Authority
The Malta Gaming Authority is the regulatory body that is responsible for the process of governing the land-based and online gaming activities in Malta. It is an independent authority but is entitled with obligations and powers that combine a top-notch regulatory environment as well as purely technical capabilities, which provide it with the opportunity to offer excellent service.
The responsibilities of the Malta Gaming Authority are included in the lotteries and Other Games Act of the country of 2001. It is required to impose competent regulation to the different gaming industry sectors to ensure that gaming in Malta is fair and transparent to players. The Gaming Authority of the country also needs to prevent crime, corruption and money laundering practices for the most vulnerable player to be protected.
The activities of the Malta Gaming Commission cover casinos, cruise casinos and remote gaming, various kinds of amusement machines, advertising lotteries, commercial bingo halls, the national lottery, and non-profit games.
eCOGRA is the abbreviation that stands for the eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance. It is a globally approved testing agency based in London. The company, which was established and introduced its first formal self-regulation program in 2003, also takes care of player protection and standards organisation.
The company not only regulates online gambling in several jurisdictions. It has also moved its focus to provide regulatory compliance services to markets that are already regulated. Its regime is primarily concentrated on fair and responsible gambling and enforcement of eGAP requirements, as well as continuous monitoring and control.
Remote Gambling Association
The Remote Gambling Association became fully operational in August 2014. It was established with the merger between the Interactive Gaming, Gambling and Betting Association and the Association of Remote Gambling Operators also known as ARGO.
The Association is aimed at providing organization for the benefits and service of remote gambling operators. It is also supposed to encourage the high standards in the betting and gaming industry, as well as the social responsibility in order to protect the most vulnerable players.
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