Big Debate: Does the license demonstrate your commitment to acting in accordance with best practices?


Adam Doyle, Head of Games, TruNarrative

adam doyle, trunarrative

If you have applied for and successfully acquired a license within a whitelisted jurisdiction, then you represent that, as a business, you are committed to acting in accordance with the best practices set forth in that jurisdiction. No matter how strict and restrictive they may be, for example, to maintain a license in the UK, Malta, Sweden and the Isle of Man, the cost of not complying with these rules can mean huge fines, suspension and eventually the complete removal of the license. generally.

While the absence of a license does not necessarily mean that a business is operating outside of best practice in terms of compliance, regulation, etc., going through the licensing process demonstrates that the business has invested and built appropriate processes to act. obedient fashion.

Having a license whitelisted also builds trust in your customer base. This gives a guarantee of top-level security on many issues. These include the security of funds (where deposits are stored, payment/withdrawal speed), GDPR issues, and licensed operators also by default must minimize the damage to players due to the restrictions placed on them by the license compared to an unregulated business.

However, despite all this, as more and more mergers and acquisitions take place in the gaming industry, having a license in a reputable jurisdiction can also maintain and even add value to the business as it is acquired. Similarly, businesses seeking investment will benefit from having a license that must adhere to strict best practices.

Of course, there are many other trust factors that a business can use to allay the fears of partners, affiliates, players, etc. A game developer can have their range of slots and games thoroughly tested by one of the leading test centers. Operators can meet other industry standards such as GamCare, eCogra, etc. However, not having a license will still be a stain on their report card.


Liam Mulvaney, Commercial Director Gamingtec

Liam Mulvaney, gamingtec

No, you do not need to be licensed to follow best practices. Just look at the number of operators who incur significant fines each year from regulators such as the UKGC.

Left completely on their own, the vast majority of online gambling companies would prioritize safe gaming and RG as they absolutely want to protect players. This is not only from a moral point of view, but also from a commercial point of view.

Of course, the industry doesn’t work that way and shouldn’t – there needs to be some level of oversight and accountability from an independent body like the Gambling Commission. But is the industry currently over-regulated? Absolutely.

While global licensing jurisdictions such as Malta and the Isle of Man are more than capable of holding companies accountable, most markets now have local rules. This double layer makes it difficult for businesses entering these markets to survive, let alone thrive, and the unintended but inevitable consequence of this is that operators and suppliers turn away from these global/locally regulated markets.

Just look at how many carrier brands have moved out of the UK in the past 18 months, while others have moved into unregulated markets where it's a little easier. These shifts are driven by the players because regulators, presumably, have inadvertently penalized the majority of consumers in order to protect the few.

It may be a necessary precaution, but it's too heavy and has led players to look for casinos that can offer them bonuses and gaming experiences more in line with their preferences - these are increasingly unlicensed offshore sites.

It is clear that a balance needs to be found. The industry accepts and, in most cases, welcomes the need for regulation and licensing, but it must be reasonable and proportionate to truly achieve the goal of player protection.