The Legal Responsibilities of Online Casino Operators
For students of the law, looking at the online casino sector is an interesting study for the internet era. There are so many points that challenge traditional legal conventions. For instance, there is often a question of jurisdiction, one that dominates any legal debate involving the internet. In addition, there are debates over freedoms and personal choice. And… Read More »
For students of the law, looking at the online casino sector is an interesting study for the internet era. There are so many points that challenge traditional legal conventions. For instance, there is often a question of jurisdiction, one that dominates any legal debate involving the internet. In addition, there are debates over freedoms and personal choice.
And yet, it is generally accepted that many countries, India included, have antiquated laws when it comes to online gambling. From Australia to Zambia, and everywhere in between, governments are accused of being dysfunctional when it comes to legal interpretation. Dozens of parliaments around the globe have bills “stuck” in consultation as they try to modernize the law so that it is fit for purpose in the digital age.
As a consequence of the stasis, the iGaming sector has widely pushed its own set of values and norms, sometimes taking legal precedence from one country and applying it when operating in another. Below we want to look at some of those legal responsibilities, whether enforced or self-imposed and see how they play out in practice:
It is relatively easy to get a license for an online casino platform, but not every license is created equal. By that, we mean there is a difference in the licensing procedure from, for example, the UK Gambling Commission (probably the world’s foremost regulatory body) and one somewhere like Curacao. The latter is much easier to get and much looser in its regulation. Players should look for ‘good’ licenses. Take the credentials of Genesis Casino, which operates in India and around the world. As a global brand, it has licenses from the UK, Spain, and Malta (one of the most important regulatory bodies, despite the size of the tiny European country). Therefore, that operator takes in regulatory frameworks from the world’s most influential – and trusted – regulators. For players, that should be the first thing they look for in an online casino.
KYC (know your customer) is interesting as it overlaps with the world of finance. For casino regulation, there are basically two tiers. First, there are anti-money-laundering measures. So licensed casinos are obliged to query those who are trying to spend huge amounts of money. Yes, high-rollers can play online, but if there are suspicious patterns, then the casino must act. On the other level, casinos can carry out simple affordability checks to make sure the players are spending within their means. This will differ by jurisdiction.
Linked to KYC, most licensed casinos will strive to promote responsible gambling. Some regulatory bodies will require operators to provide responsible gaming tools. This could be the ability for the player to set deposit limits, time-outs, and other types of prompts. Some regulations can go further, including imposing stake limits. Germany, for example, has a very low stake limit of EUR 1 (approx. 85 INR), but casinos can adjust this depending on which jurisdictions they are operating within.
This is another interesting area due to the fact it must pull strands together from several sectors. Consider that each casino does not create the games that we play online. Instead, they partner with gaming studios that provide the games. However, the casino is obliged to ensure that the games are “fair” and “random”. The former refers to the payouts being as advertised, whereas the latter refers to the use of RNG (random number generator) software that ensures these are really games of chance and that all players are treated equally. Obviously, with the arrival of live casino online, which involves real games without the use of RNGs, there’s another sector to oversee. However, licensed casinos usually employ independent bodies – eCOGRA, TST, GLI – to constantly test games, and then provide reports on payouts and randomness. This way, players know that the operator is a trusted platform. But again, we stress that you should always play with licensed casinos to ensure that this is the case.