When you play at an online casino you should always make sure it is a properly licensed casino so that you know you and your money, as well as your personal details, are kept safe. But with different licences out there, how do you know the one you are playing at protects you?
One of the licences you may come across when playing at online casinos in the UK is a Gibraltar licence, which is a licence issued by the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority and which allows operators to provide their services in this jurisdiction.
We have put together a guide of the Gibraltar Gambling Licence so you can be sure that, should you choose to play at a casino licensed in Gibraltar, you have all the facts and information necessary.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority (GRA) works in conjunction with the Gibraltar Gambling Commission to monitor all online gambling companies operating on the Rock, and they only approve and provide a gambling licence to those that adhere to its strict rules.
The Gibraltar Gambling Licence is among one of the hardest to obtain, with approximately 30 companies approved by the GRA. This not-for-profit is highly respected for the standards it sets but should you play at a casino just because it holds a Gibraltar licence?
The short answer is no. Essentially, no company can legally provide a gambling service to players in the UK without the Gambling Commission’s permission. Many casinos that do hold a Gibraltar licence will also hold a UK licence, allowing them to operate within the limits of the law in the UK.
You shouldn’t play at a casino that is not licenced by the UK Gambling Commission if you want to be fully protected and be afforded the benefits of playing at a licenced casino.
The GRA sets strict standards for its casinos to ensure that only respectable companies can offer their services from Gibraltar. The GRA considers the companies ownership, investigates whether there are any criminal connections, and evaluates whether the company works with integrity.
They also establish whether a gambling company has the competency to provide their services safely for the player. It makes sense, therefore, that many players feel assured they are receiving a safe and fair gaming experience when heading to a GRA regulated casino, with the risk of dealing with a scam casino being significantly reduced. But, for a UK player, it is important that the casino also holds a UK Gambling Licence. Holding a Gibraltar licence should merely be an added layer of assurance.
One of the biggest considerations for the GRA when approving a casino is whether the company can guarantee the safety of player funds and data. There is a strict data protection act that an operator must comply with before they can be approved by the GRA, but they must also prove themselves to be competent at defending against cyber attacks that could threaten the sensitive data of their players..
Another key area that the GRA has strict measures for is the fair gaming experience. Players must be given a realistic chance of winning and all games must be transparent to the player in terms of their chances of winning.
The main way that online casinos can be fair to the player is by using Random Number Generators (RNGs) in order to produce the result of their games, with all casinos specifying the Return to Player (RTP) rate of all virtual games.
The RTP is a percentage that presents how much of the funds put into a game are returned to the player. For example, a slot with a 95% RTP would return £95 for every £100 spent to the players. For a more detailed description of how RTPs work, check out our guide on what RTP means.
A crucial consideration in obtaining a Gibraltar Gambling licence is the separation of player funds from operating cash.
This means, should a casino go bankrupt, player funds will still be safe. This can give a player peace of mind, knowing that no matter what happens to the casino, their money will not be lost without their knowledge.
The Gibraltar Regulatory Authority was set up with the aim of providing players with a safe and transparent gaming experience. The rules set by the GRA ensure that all its online casinos are legally accountable for their actions.
With an organisation such as the GRA overseeing the actions of casinos, the player is afforded a lot of power should they be mistreated.
As there is such a short list of casinos that are GRA approved it is a quick job to find whether you are heading to a licenced casino. The full list of approved licensees can be found on the Gibraltar Government website, and you can simply check through the 30-odd licensees to see if the company you are interested in does indeed have a Gibraltar licence.
Should you encounter an issue while playing at an online casino that holds a Gibraltar licence you have several options when it comes to proceeding with a dispute. Typical issues that may arise with online casinos can include ID verification issues, bonus offers being mis-sold, issues with payment terms, or a dispute over a payout.
If any of these issues occur, you should take up the dispute with the casino as the first port of call, but if this is not resolved you can escalate the matter with the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Information on how to deal with a complaint at an online casino can be found on the Gibraltar Government website, and a Complaint Resolution Request Form available. This can be a lengthy process, which is why it is always best to speak directly with the casino in question first.
So, even though a casino holding a Gibraltar licence is a really good sign that you are playing at a fair casino, it should only be taken as a first positive signal. If the casino does not hold a UK licence it should not be operating within the UK, so if this is where you’re playing from you should instead choose a UK Gambling Commission approved casino in order to be afforded a full level of protection.
Here at Online Bingo we only work with UKGC approved casinos though some of these may also be GRA approved. This means you can spin the reels with peace of mind that you are protected and represented by a governing body whenever you play at a casino that we promote.
Hannah has written news articles and lifestyle blogs for three years. Venturing into the gambling industry Hannah is writing gambling content for Online Bingo and has written content for Lodgis Paris.
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