Not all online casinos guarantee the safety of your gaming funds. Discover which four casino licensing authorities can best protect your player funds.
One way to check if a betting site deserved your trust is by looking at its license. Besides serving as proof that the brand is a legitimate business, a casino license enables you to discern how well the casino is able to protect your money in the event of bankruptcy or other financial problems.
Every regulatory body will command different prices and services. There are licensing authorities that are firm when it comes to keeping your funds separate. There are also those that just hand a license to any casino that can afford the fee, regardless of the betting site’s level of integrity.
You can quickly see whether an online casino has a license or not by checking two places: on the footer of the gaming hub’s website or in the Terms and Conditions section. Check if your chosen casino has the seal of any of the following online casino licensing authorities that promise to take care of your money:
1 | UK Gambling Commission (UKGC)
Before you register for an account with a casino that has a license from the UKGC, check the Terms and Conditions thoroughly. There you will find the online casino’s plans to keep your money safe. The UKGC requires licensees to specify what these plans are so that you are aware of what will happen to your money if the betting site goes bankrupt. But you should also know that the UKGC does not guarantee the safe return of your money, in case the betting site is unable to pay.
For casinos that have a UKGC license, there are three levels of protection: Basic, Medium, and High. If you see a betting site with the Basic protection level, be wary; there is no additional protection in place. The money that you deposit on this betting site is part of the business, even if your funds are kept in an account that is completely separate from the online casino. So in the event that the gaming hub goes bankrupt, chances are your money will disappear as well.
If you see the Medium protection level, this means that your money is in a separate account from the gaming site’s funds. So in case the casino cannot pay you, you have assurance that you will get your money back. Meanwhile, the High protection level is the best you can hope for. Your funds are in a separate account and an external auditor is in charge of the money, thereby adding an extra layer of protection to your money.
Keep in mind that online betting sites that apply for a UKGC license can decide which level of protection they will take on. Additionally, the UKGC does not approve the overall assessment given by other institutions to the casino licensed. What the Commission can do is check the accuracy of the rating.
2 | Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission (GSC)
The GSC prioritizes protecting your funds. If an online betting site wishes to apply for an Isle of Man license, it must first agree to safeguard your money. Afterwards, your money, including bonuses you have earned, is classified as a deposit.
Also, the Commission requires its licensees to one of the following: a bank guarantee, a trust fund, or a client account. In each case, you can be sure that the GSC will do its part to ensure the safety of your money.
A bank guarantee is an agreement between the casino operator and a banking institution. This agreement stipulates that the bank will pay out all casino players in the event that the betting site loses funds. It is the casino’s responsibility to make sure that its chosen bank can pay.
A trust fund is a written, legal document. In the document are details about how money will enter the gaming hub and how the grantor’s bank account will pay out casino players. In case the online casino is unable to pay its members, only then will the trust fund money will be withdrawn. The betting site cannot use trust fund money to pay for advertising and other similar costs.
A client account involves the licensee’s opening of a bank account approved by the Treasury Department of the Isle of Man. In the eyes of the law, money that is in the client account belongs to the players. The bank will allow money to be withdrawn if the licensee cannot pay its players due to the casino experiencing financial difficulties.
Even better, the GSC endeavors to have quarterly checks on these player protection devices. This process is to ensure that the money in the trust fund, bank guarantee, or client account is consistent with the player deposit value.
3 | Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
A betting site with a license from the MGA can be trustworthy. Why? The MGA is a regulating body with stricter requirements and higher fees. As a result, few casinos bear a license from the MGA.
Besides having strict application requirements, the MGA takes steps to ensure the well-being of your money. Licensees must create a bank account with a credit institution that the MGA approves of. The funds within this bank account are exclusively for players. Since your money and the casino’s money are in separate accounts, you gain assurance that the online betting site will be able to pay you even if it goes bankrupt.
And if you have a dormant account that is 30 months old, the betting site cannot keep any of the funds. The casino must contact you to refund the remaining money. If the attempt is unsuccessful, the money must be sent to the MGA.
4 | Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC)
The AGCC, on the other hand, does not have as firm a stance on fund segregation. It does require casinos to have separate accounts for player and business funds. The catch is, the licensee can disregard the segregation if the AGCC approves a guarantee from the online betting site. In such case, gaming hubs with an AGCC license must inform its players. Thus, the responsibility falls upon you, as a player, to be aware that in the event the casino goes bankrupt, your money will not have full protection.
Your search for the best online casino does not stop with the licensing authority. Even if the regulating body has strict requirements and expensive fees, you should still know up to what extent your funds are protected. While this task may seem too much, it pays to understand what you are getting into when you deposit your hard-earned money in an online gaming hub.
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