Regulatory compliance of gambling establishments that operate offline and online is a huge chunk of their daily business. In fact, no gaming venue can start a legal business until it obtains a gambling license of a corresponding jurisdiction, which requires the venue to be regulatory compliant to the set of rules, laws & standards that are set forth by national and/or international regulatory bodies governing the gambling industry. In this article, we’re exploring the issues of regulatory compliance in a casino.

What is regulatory compliance for the online casino?

Any online house of gambling must operate within the legal landscape that is established in the geo of its business activity. This landscape consists of:

  • iGambling laws (global and local)
  • iGambling rules and standards of business common to a particular geo, which may or may not be obligatory, directive, or punitive
  • Internal regulations of the iGambling company that operates in one or more geos
  • Additional requirements that are common for all businesses legally operating in a particular geo.

As a result, an online gaming parlor must adhere to a complex set of requirements that comprise not only industry-specific iGambling limitations and rules but also a batch of other requirements that are required to comply with to make it possible to run a business effectively in a particular geo, such as labor laws, taxation laws, intellectual property laws, data protection, privacy laws, health and safety standards, environmental protection regulations, contractual obligations & financial reporting standards.

Why is regulatory compliance important for online casinos?

A mother company of a gaming club must ensure regulatory compliance for online casino because it is of crucial importance:

  1. Building trust and good reputation amongst the gamblers. No sane gambler will trust a house of gambling and will want to spend time in it if it is not trustworthy. Reputation is key in the modern online gambling industry and news spreads very fast, even faster than fire. If peeps will find out that a venue is rigged and deceives its gamblers, then, if nothing changes promptly, it will soon be blacklisted by reputable third-party online sources and people start avoiding it. This effectively marks the end of the business life of such an establishment.
  2. Financial stability is the thing that directly follows the previous. If a venue has a high reputation among people, then they will spend time playing there, which results in an increase in money flows inside this venue. Increasing the number of clientele is the task that every reasonable gambling establishment strives for, as they earn on large turnover with little margins, not vice versa. 
  3. Access to markets. When a betting club is licensed, it means, it can legally enter various markets that acknowledge this particular license and use various financial and legal services in this country. These are, for instance, registering as a local enterprise, opening bank accounts and making international transfers, connecting to local payment methods to receive deposits from customers and pay out winnings, paying taxes, hiring people locally, making procurements on the local market, etc. A wise company that runs a gambling establishment will always choose to become a registered and licensed business on every market because acting within the legal field gives tremendously more business opportunities and capabilities than working off the books, illegally & moonlighting. This is because working without official registration, without paying taxes, or without legal employment documentation will one day lead to revocation of the right to operate within a certain country, receiving fines, penalties, incarceration for its management or key responsible people & legal prohibition to operate in the future.

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Compliance regulations and licensing

The most important thing why compliance with all the rules is important for a house of gambling is the licensing issue. That is, without adherence to a number of standards, no venue can legally operate as it will not have a proper iGambling license. A venue running without a license is not considered safe, secure, fair & worthy of gamblers’ attention. It is also highly likely that such a venue deceives its gamesters, steals their money, blocks their accounts out of the blue, does not pay winnings & has rigged games that do not allow it to win money. 

Rules that a venue must correspond to depend on a specific iGambling license. There exist many iGambling jurisdictions (over 60 in the world). Here are some of them (alphabetically): Alderney, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Bulgaria, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Curacao, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Ireland, Isle of Man, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jersey, Kahnawake, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malta, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Panama, Peru, Philippines, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Singapore, Slovakia, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Taiwan, Ukraine & the United Kingdom. The list is subject to change over time, so make sure to find out about those changes by visiting corresponding online resources or contacting us for the latest updates.

Whilst it is hard to explore the details of all and every jurisdiction within this article, we can offer their generalization. If our reader wants to know the details of a particular jurisdiction’s license, it would be expedient if they explore them on their own by visiting their websites. 

So, a gaming parlor that wishes to obtain an iGambling license, in general, must ensure compliance with these provisions:

  • Legal
  • Financial stability
  • Good business reputation of key people in charge of a betting club
  • Responsible gambling measures adopted
  • AML, KYC & anti-minor policies adopted
  • Player protection (of their financial and personal data)
  • Anti-fraud and monitoring policies adopted
  • Adopted standards of marketing, advertising, technical operation
  • Auditing and compliance reporting policies.

Also, compliance in a narrower sense of this notion includes sticking with the internal regulatory documents of the betting club itself, which are not specifically outlined in national or international iGambling regulations and are only specific to that venue. These can be, for instance:

  • Procedures for handling customer complaints and disputes via online chat
  • Protocols for verifying player identity and handling non-standard situations
  • Guidelines for in-house game testing to ensure their fairness, etc.
Read about tip compliance for casino

How requirements ensure compliance for an online gambling establishment

Compliance with regulations established for online gambling venues means the implementation of the rules that are set forth in the respective documentation. The specific documentation that can set the rules is usually the requirements to obtain an iGambling license in a specific jurisdiction (typically found on the website of the body in charge). The implementation practically means the following.

  1. In the field of data protection: technical and technological measures aimed at the protection of personal and financial data of players of the gambling establishment, who register, make financial transactions, bets & transfer scanned copies of their documents. This is also about the protection of databases where the entire information is stored from hacking attacks, unsanctioned downloading, copying, infringement, deletion, modification, etc. 
  2. In the field of marketing and advertising: measures to only target specific audiences, which excludes minors, people who do not want to be contacted by gambling establishments, who are self-excluded, etc. All promo materials must correspond to requirements set forth by the local iGambling legislation (if any — in another case, by the license regulations), such as accuracy, transparency, informativeness, etc.
  3. In the field of transparency and fairness: the implementation of the Random Number Generation (RNG) software to all venue’s gambling games; transparent, understandable & doable terms and conditions, periodic audit of games and other business processes of a gambling establishment to make sure they are reliable, safe & fair, according to the license requirements and established gambling business practices.
  4. In the field of AML and KYC: people, who register in the venue, must undergo the procedure of entering their personal and financial data so that they can be fully identified and their transactions can be verified and monitored. This is also done to make sure that people do not launder money and that they win in a gambling establishment without various dirty tricks.
  5. In the field of responsible gaming: there must be a procedure for self-exclusion in the website’s interface of the venue so people who would no longer like to play can self-restrain doing that for a specific time or indefinitely. They must also not be targeted in the future with gambling messages and ads. Also, as part of both KYC and responsible gaming procedures, minors must not be eligible to play in the betting club.
  6. In the field of licensing: after these and other requirements are implemented, the venue must submit for a license and obtain it prior to opening its virtual doors to the clients. Obtaining a license takes anything between weeks and months and requires various licensing payments and fees. 

How data protection compliance shields player data

There must be technological and procedural means put in place to comply with the prescribed tasks of data protection, collection, processing & deletion. These tasks are made sure by a batch of business processes, technological measures & technical aspects of the gambling establishment’s functioning. 

Let’s consider the tip compliance for casino list in terms of shielding player data:

  • Encryption protocols (like SSL/TLS)
  • PCI DSS implemented for all payments
  • Role-based access controls
  • unauthorized access monitoring & prevention
  • Internal & external security audits
  • Personal data collection consent mechanism
  • Organizational & technological measures of data security.

Responsible advertising and gambling compliance

Gambling advertising is one of the frequently regulated areas of business of gaming clubs. Rules for that are enacted in many countries, even in those, where online gambling may not be regulated in full. 

The primary concern of gambling advertising regulations is that governments of particular countries would like to establish specific rules about the delivery of advertising and marketing information concerning iGambling to the people in these countries. Thus, they want to cut off minors from getting that information, as well as people who do not want to gamble. As a result, the set of these rules is made in many countries in the world. Every particular licensing jurisdiction also has a set of rules about responsible advertising and gambling compliance, which typically contain:

  1. Honest and transparent advertising of conditions of gambling in an online parlor (truthful and not misleading materials that cover all necessary terms of gambling).
  2. Sticking with the rules of gambling in a specific legislative area, which may be directed at the sums and percentages of bonuses, free spins, requirements to receive them, etc.
  3. Data protection and privacy.
  4. Staff training.
  5. Promotion of responsible gambling and focusing on the fact that gambling activity is connected to risks to gamblers; that it is not a job where earnings are guaranteed as a salary & that gambling shouldn’t be considered as a source of stable income.

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The importance of regular audits in ethical gambling operations

Independently of what specifically iGambling license a venue holds, periodical audits are one of the demands to prolong this license. They can be done by the employees of the licensing institution or a trusted third-party company & are aimed at:

  • Finding out if the systems and processes of the gaming venue’s mother company still correspond to the requirements of the license
  • Are there any directions for the improvement
  • What are the risks in the systems and processes and how they can be mitigated
  • Are there any fraud cases and how they can be mitigated or prevented
  • What is the degree of financial integrity and operational efficacy of the venue.

Successful passage of the audit procedure is manifested in a report done by the auditing company, which estimates the results, identified weaknesses and strengths of a gambling establishment & other important aspects. As a result, this affects the business reputation of the venue in the market, which eventually boosts the inflow of new customers. So, basically, this is another tool for bringing in more clients, as a high business reputation matters in the modern business environment more than many other issues. 

Actions to ensure regulatory compliance for online casino

Legal challenges in cross-border online gaming venue

When a betting club works in more than one jurisdiction, it faces complications in its daily business activity due to the need to comply with the iGambling requirements of multiple jurisdictions, which, as a rule, differ from one another. In extreme cases, they may contradict one another. Therefore, a gaming venue will have to produce more processes and technologies to comply with these requirements in different geos. Two examples of conflicting requirements between iGambling jurisdictions are below:

  • Data retention periods: Some jurisdictions may require online gambling establishments to retain player data for a specific period for regulatory or legal purposes, such as investigating disputes or preventing fraud. On the other hand, other jurisdictions may require data to be deleted after a certain period or when it’s no longer necessary for the purposes for which it was collected. So keeping them longer than needed will violate at least one set of these regulations. Examples of conflicting jurisdictions in data retention periods are the EU and the US.
  • Advertising restrictions: Different jurisdictions have varying regulations regarding online gambling advertising, including restrictions on the content, placement & targeting of advertisements. For example, one jurisdiction may allow online gaming parlors to advertise freely on social media platforms while another may disallow it. Or it can be possible to advertise larger bonuses to players while another jurisdiction does not allow bonuses to be more than a specific limit. Or the placement of hard copies of ads within the radius of X yards to schools and universities while in another geo, this radius will be smaller or wider. Examples of conflicting jurisdictions in advertising restrictions are Australia, the UK & Denmark.

The given examples are not exhaustive cases of everything that a gambling establishment must be ready for in cross-border operational activity. The rest may also be different, including: 

  • Choosing the legal form of a business entity, taxation, financial reporting, etc.
  • Licensing requirements
  • Data protection and privacy laws
  • AML and KYC procedures
  • Cross-border money transactions
  • Applicability of certain game providers and their games in this or that geo
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Responsible gambling regulations
  • Enforcing legal rights and obligations, resolving disputes & seeking legal remedies can also be different.

That is why the business efforts of any mother company that decides to expand beyond one iGambling jurisdiction become harder, more specialized staff is needed to be hired to implement and monitor all these issues, as well as the expansion team with a project manager will be required. 

Creating a culture of responsible betting club

A responsible gaming club is one that promotes the safety of gambling, the enjoyable experience of spending time in it (looking for a good time primarily, not winnings) & mitigating the risks associated with problem gambling. This process consists of several strategies to focus on:

  • Education of its support staff and gamblers about responsible gambling
  • Application of technological tools to ensure the processes of responsible gambling
  • Collaboration with organizations that implement responsible gambling initiatives
  • Including this in advertising
  • Community engagement through various channels of communication, including social media.

Having all this in place helps people opt in favor of such a gaming venue because they know that their gambling issues will be addressed when they arise.

The technological revolution in gaming parlor’s regulatory compliance

In recent years, it has become easier to address issues connected to regulatory compliance because of the advancement of technology, the most significant of which are blockchain, AI & cloud computing.

  1. Blockchain technology offers decentralized and transparent record-keeping, ensuring the integrity and transparency of transactions in gambling establishments.
  2. AI algorithms can analyze vast amounts of data to detect patterns and anomalies indicative of potential regulatory violations or fraudulent activities of gamesters. 
  3. Advanced data analytics tools, which work as cloud solutions and can successfully operate with big data, allow gaming clubs to analyze large amounts of player data and gaming transactions to understand player behavior, preferences & trends to tailor their services, implement targeted marketing campaigns & identify potential risks associated with problem gambling or regulatory non-compliance.
  4. Various companies offer regulatory technology (RegTech) solutions to automate and streamline regulatory compliance processes, such as ComplianceTech, GeoComply, Featurespace, IdentityMind, NICE Actimize, Verafin & TruNarrative. They can be seamlessly integrated into most modern betting club software solutions to provide compliance monitoring, information & reporting.
What is regulatory compliance in a casino?

FAQs on regulatory gaming club compliance

What is regulatory compliance of the online casino?

Regulatory compliance of online gaming venues means sticking with the rules of the authorities to make sure everything’s legit and official & that the players can play securely.

Why is regulatory compliance of the online casino important?

Regulatory compliance keeps online gaming parlors legit and safe. It ensures fair play, protects people’s money & prevents shady practices in gaming venues. Think of it as the watchdog making sure everyone’s gambling experience stays fun and protected.

Which are the main regulatory bodies overseeing the online gambling industry?

The main regulatory bodies watching over online gaming parlors are bodies like the UK Gambling Commission, MGA, Kahnawake Gaming Commission, Curacao eGaming, Danish Gambling Authority, or Swedish Gambling Authority, amongst the others. They’re like the guardians making sure everything runs smoothly in iGaming parlors under their jurisdictions.

Conclusion

Sticking with the rules set for online houses of gambling is an important practice that ensures that this or that venue is safe for people according to different criteria. For that, venues must implement an array of software tools, business practices & procedural documents to legitimately work in certain jurisdiction(s) where online gambling is allowed. Also, having a legitimate license means the possibility for the gaming club to work officially in a given country or territory, earn income, pay taxes, hire people & do other actions that are standard for business entities. That’s why it is important for gamblers to seek only legit houses of gambling to spend time.

Stay Compliant: Learn the Essentials of Online Casino Regulation Today!

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