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SPAIN + USA + MALTA GAMING AUTHORITY + CURAÇAO: What Are The Most Well-Regarded Casino Licences Outside The UK?

12 January 2022

Gambling is a business like any other. And you could argue that they all need controlling in some form or another. But gambling, in particular, generates huge revenues and if left without control and regs can lead to problems.

The UK saw the need to control the niche in the territory many years ago. And over the years, there have been several rules and reforms.

One of the biggest shake-ups in the industry in recent times was The gambling Act 2005. It aimed to stop vulnerable people from getting involved in gambling. And also to prevent criminal activity from taking place - namely money laundering.

The law also brought in the Gambling Commission to act as a controlling body. It is a huge organisation that keeps an eye on all gambling operators in the area. The UKGC has many powers. And they can make or break any gambling brand in the country.

One of their main jobs is to protect young people.

Anyone under the age of 18 should not access gambling games in the UK. For this reason, anyone offering this service to the public must check the player's ID first.

These rules are known as Know Your Customer protocols. When you join any online gambling site, you need to send the casino copies of your ID, utility bills as well as proof of where your funds come from.



Money laundering prevention

And the last part of the KYC procedures is in place to prevent this issue. Casinos can deal with large amounts of cash. And it has been the perfect place to enter money into the economy without raising suspicion.

But now, a casino must show that it has taken steps to see that any deposits come from a genuine bank account. And that the money enters from a legal source. Banks have their own checks in place when money enters a bank account. And together with the KYC checks, the trail of this money is traceable the whole way through.

Not only does this help prevent illegal activity. But it also ensures that the UK economy benefits from taxes from this gambling income.

UKGC licence

A UKGC licence is the only one to allow a casino to operate within the UK. Sites based outside of the UK without this licence are known typically as casinos not on Gamstop.

The reason for this is that the Gamstop self-exclusion program includes all UK brands. So anyone that plays outside of the UK's borders is playing at a casino not on Gamstop.

Getting hold of a UKGC licence is a long and expensive process for any casino or other gambling brand. For this reason, many companies have decided to remain as gambling sites not on Gamstop and obtain their licence elsewhere.

Other countries that have their own licences

There are many other countries that have their own gambling licences and selection of casinos not on Gamstop.

But some countries don't have their own licensing laws in place and will accept brands that hold a licence from another area. The two main permits that are accepted in these countries are from the Malta Gaming Authority and Curaçao Gaming Control Board.

We will take a quick look at these in just a moment. But first, here are a couple of countries that have their own specific internal licence.


The Directorate General for the Regulation of Gambling is responsible for running the licensing within Spain. It has a commercial register where all gambling brands must be present. Licences last for 10 years. And they are renewable after this. This is providing that there have been no problems in that time.

Casinos not on Gamstop in this area must prove that they have sufficient financial backing to pay out on any winnings that may occur.


The USA has always been a very complicated place when it comes to gambling. At one time, there was a federal ban making it impossible to gamble all over the country. But now, individual states have the power to create their own gambling licences.

Online gambling is now available in Connecticut, Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania and West Virginia.



Other general licensing zones

As we mentioned earlier, some countries will allow players to use non Gamstop casinos that hold a general licence from a recognised control zone.


The Malta Gaming Authority is responsible for licences for many European gambling brands. It is a trusted jurisdiction that has tough laws. And it keeps a close eye on non Gamstop casino sites.

You will find many UK brands that also hold an MGA licence.


Curacao is a tiny island with a big gambling connection. Plenty of offshore sites have their operation in this area. And today, many non UK-based casinos still accept players from the UK.

These sites are great places to find big bonuses and loads of top games.

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