Online Casino Licences: Everything You Need to Know (2024)

If you are an online gambler in India, you might have wondered about the legality and safety of the online casinos where you play for real money. How do you know if they are trustworthy and secure? How do you avoid scams and rogue operators? The answer lies in one word: licences.

Written by Shivam Bhateja
Verified by BettingGuide team
Last updated 21/2/2024

What Is a Casino Licence and What Are Its Functions?

A casino licence is a legal document that grants permission to a casino operator to offer online gambling services in a certain jurisdiction. It is issued by a reputable and independent authority that regulates and monitors the online gambling industry. A casino licence serves as proof of quality, credibility, and reliability for both the casino operator and the player. A casino licence has two main functions:

  • 1. To protect the players from unfair, unsafe, and illegal gambling practices. A licensed casino has to follow strict rules and standards that ensure the games are fair, the payments are secure, the personal data is protected, the money laundering is prevented, and responsible gambling is promoted. 

  • 2. To generate revenue for the jurisdiction that issues the licence. A licensed casino has to pay taxes, fees, and contributions to the licensing authority and the local community. Also, the authority has to comply with the anti-corruption and anti-terrorism laws of the jurisdiction.

How Is a Casino Licence Obtained and What Are the Criteria?

The process of obtaining a casino licence varies depending on the jurisdiction and the type of licence. However, there are some common steps and criteria that most casino operators have to follow:

  • The casino operator has to choose a suitable jurisdiction that offers online gambling licences and meets their business needs and goals. There are different types of licences, such as global, regional, national, or local licences, that have different scopes, costs, and benefits.

  • The casino operator has to fill in an application form and submit it to the licensing authority along with the required documentation and fees. The documentation may include personal details, business plans, financial statements, technical specifications, game portfolios, security measures, policies and procedures, etc.

  • The licensing authority will review the application and conduct background checks, audits, tests, and inspections on the casino operator and their platform. Furthermore, they will evaluate the casino operator’s suitability, integrity, competence, and compliance with the licensing requirements.

  • The licensing authority will grant or deny the licence based on their assessment. If the licence is granted, the casino operator will have to pay an annual fee and follow the ongoing regulations and obligations of the licence. If the licence is denied, the casino operator may appeal or reapply for the licence.

Some of the criteria that casino operators have to meet to obtain a licence are:

  • Offering fair games that use random number generators (RNGs) that are tested and certified by independent agencies.

  • Using secure payment methods that protect the transactions and prevent frauds.

  • Protecting personal data of the players and complying with data protection laws.

  • Preventing money laundering and terrorist financing by verifying the identity of the players and reporting suspicious activities.

  • Promoting responsible gambling by providing information, tools, and resources to help players gamble safely and responsibly.

  • Providing customer support, dispute resolution, and self-exclusion options for the players.

Taxation of Online Gambling Wins in India

If you are a lucky winner of some online gambling games in India, you might be wondering how much tax you have to pay on your winnings. The Income Tax Act, of 1961, says that you have to pay tax on any money that you earn from any source, unless the law says otherwise. 

This means that you also have to pay tax on any money that you win from online gambling, such as lotteries, card games, sports betting, casino games, etc. Online gambling wins are treated as “income from other sources” and you have to pay a fixed tax of 30% on them.

What Are the Different Types of Casino Licences?

We already know that a casino licence is a legal document that allows a casino operator to offer online gambling services in a certain area. There are different types of casino licences that exist, depending on the scope, jurisdiction, regulation, taxation, and other factors. Here are some of the main types of casino licences:

  • International Licences

    These are licences that are valid in many countries and regions around the world. They are issued by reputable and independent authorities that regulate and monitor the online gambling industry. Some examples of international licences are Curacao, Malta, Gibraltar, and Montenegro licences. 

  • Local Licences

    These are licences that are valid only in a specific country or state. They are issued by local governments or agencies that control and oversee the online gambling activities in their area. Some examples of local licences are UK, Sweden, Denmark, and US licences.

  • Hybrid Licences

    These are licences that combine the features of both international and local licences. They are issued by authorities that have agreements or partnerships with other jurisdictions to share information and resources. Some examples of hybrid licences are Alderney and Antigua and Barbuda licences. 

What Are the Benefits of Playing at Licensed Casinos and the Risks of Playing at Unlicensed Casinos?

Playing at licensed casinos is a smart and safe choice for online gamblers in India. Licensed casinos have many benefits that make them superior to unlicensed casinos, such as:

  • Safety

    Licensed casinos use advanced encryption and security technologies to protect your personal and financial data from hackers, thieves, and fraudsters. They also have firewalls, antivirus software, and backup systems to prevent malware, viruses, and data loss.

  • Security

    Licensed casinos follow strict rules and standards that ensure the payments are secure and fast. They use reliable and trusted payment methods that protect your transactions and prevent fraud. As a rule, they have clear and transparent terms and conditions that explain how they handle your money and what are your rights and obligations.

  • Fairness

    Licensed casinos offer fair games that use random number generators (RNGs) that are tested and certified by independent agencies. They also have regular audits and inspections by the licensing authorities that check the fairness and accuracy of the games and the payouts.

  • Transparency

    Licensed casinos provide clear and honest information about their licence, ownership, games, bonuses, promotions, policies, procedures, etc. They publish their payout rates, RTPs, RNG certificates, audit reports, etc., on their website or upon request. Their customer support teams are available 24/7 to answer your questions and queries.

  • Accountability

    Licensed casinos are accountable to the licensing authorities that regulate and monitor their online gambling activities. They have to comply with the laws and regulations of the jurisdiction where they operate and where they offer their services. They also have to follow the anti-corruption and anti-terrorism laws of the jurisdiction.

Playing at unlicensed casinos is a risky and dangerous decision for online gamblers in India. Unlicensed casinos have many risks that make them inferior to licensed casinos, such as:

  • Fraud: Unlicensed casinos may be run by scammers, criminals, or rogue operators who are only interested in stealing your money or personal information. 

  • Malware: Unlicensed casinos may use malicious software or programs that can harm your computer or device. They may infect your system with viruses, worms, trojans, spyware, ransomware, etc., that can damage your files, data, or hardware. 

  • Identity theft: Unlicensed casinos may use phishing techniques to obtain your personal or financial information. They may use your name, address, email, phone number, credit card number, bank account number, etc., to commit fraud in your name.

  • Legal issues: Unlicensed casinos may operate in jurisdictions where online gambling is illegal or restricted. They may expose you to legal problems or penalties if you play at their sites.

How to Choose the Best Licence for Indian Casinos?

So, which licence is best for Indian casinos? Well, there is no definitive answer to this question, as it depends on your personal preferences and needs. However, based on our research and analysis, we think that the licence from Malta is the most suitable for Indian players. This is because the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the most respected and strict licensing authorities in the world. 

Curacao is another popular jurisdiction for gambling licences. The Curacao gaming commission is known for being more lenient than some other regulators, but it still has a good reputation for fairness and player protection. Casinos with a Curacao licence are generally considered to be reliable.

  • Curacao licenced casino in India: many of the popular casinos in India hold a Curacao licence. One of the most famous operators is Casino Days which offers various Indian table games and accepts Indian banking options like UPI, Google Pay, Paytm and PhonePe. Users can also download Casino Days APK to get their mobile application on Android devices.

The UKGC is the gambling regulator for the United Kingdom. It is known for its strict licensing requirements and its commitment to social responsibility. Casinos with a UKGC licence are considered to be among the safest in the world.

The Gibraltar Gambling Commission is another respected gambling regulator. It is known for its fair and transparent licensing process. Casinos with a Gibraltar licence are generally considered to be safe and reliable.

We have carefully tested and evaluated the online casinos that we recommend here at BettingGuide. Only the ones that meet our high standards and criteria make it to the top of our list. These online casinos are licensed by some of the best and most trusted licensing authorities in the world.

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I am an avid reader and passionate writer. I have been working in the content writing industry for the past 10 years now and I have written hundreds of content pieces that cover the world of gambling. With a passion for all things related to casinos, sports betting, and online gaming, I bring a unique perspective and in-depth knowledge to my pieces. From strategy guides to reviews and analysis, my goal is to provide readers with the information they need to make informed decisions and enhance their experience. Let's win big together!