A Look at Legal Betting Jurisdictions and Gaming Commissions
The world wide gambling industry is comprised of various legal gambling jurisdictions that are regulated by some type of gambling authority. In order for a gambling jurisdiction to exist, then the regions that are accountable to this jurisdiction must have legalized and/or prohibited some type of online or offline gambling entertainment for its residents and visitors. It is up to each jurisdiction to determine what types of gambling activities, if any, that they want to allow and/or prohibit. Most gambling laws around the world address gambling establishment and gambling site operators and payment processors, and do not really target players. One example that many will be familiar with is the US Federal Government passing the PASPA law that prohibits US based sports betting throughout most of the US legal jurisdiction. That law only applies to the regions that are subject to the US jurisdiction, and is applicable to owning and operating a bookmaking business, not necessarily participating in sports betting.
There are many jurisdictions around the world, which means gambling regulation and laws vary throughout the world. There is no single gambling law or regulation that applies to all regions. Some of these jurisdictions take legal online gambling regulation very seriously, and these are the regions that we trust to administer fair gaming practices and genuine gambling regulatory oversight. There are also jurisdictions that are corrupt or that don't take gambling regulation serious, causing them to be attractive to questionable gambling operators and far less attractive to legitimate industry professionals and players. It is actually pretty important to understand these dynamics when selecting an online gambling destination you want to bet at. Players do not want to consider a gambling site that is based in a questionable gambling jurisdiction.
This page lists the most reputable, trusted and legitimate gambling jurisdictions and gaming commissions so that players can use this information as a guide in vetting the legal online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks they want to bet at. All of the recommended brands in our guide reside in one of these respected regions, subject to genuine regulatory oversight. There are many more gambling jurisdictions than what we've listed here, but we have chosen to limit our information to only the most legitimate regions, not including any questionable or lower quality gaming jurisdictions or commissions.
Gibraltar Online Gaming Jurisdiction
This region is tied closely to the UK. Gibraltar is self governing, and retains independence in most legislative matters, however is dependent on the UK for matters of foreign affairs. It is the home to many of the most reputable online gambling destinations for UK players. A full member of the European Union and included on the UK Gambling Commission 'white list', the jurisdiction of Gibraltar is one of the most respected regions for providing gambling regulatory oversight and practices. Gibraltar has been issuing gaming licenses since 1998. More about Gibraltar gaming.
Kahnawake Gambling Jurisdiction
Home to the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which oversees what we consider to be the number one US friendly online gambling site on the Web, the Kahnawake gambling jurisdiction is located in the Mohawk Territory of Kahnawake in Quebec, Canada. This gaming jurisdiction was one of the first to emerge once online gaming came to life. The gambling authority in the region is the Kahnawake Gaming Commission, which employs stringing licensing requirements and regulatory practices. They are one of the earliest gaming jurisdictions to administer licensing and regulation for online casinos, poker rooms and sportsbooks.
Costa Rica Online Gambling Jurisdiction
Though the Central American country of Costa Rica does not permit legal gambling online or offline for its residents and visitors, it has no problem allowing online gambling websites to operate within its jurisdiction that provide their services for players located outside of Costa Rica. The country is in the process of developing more regulatory structure for online gambling, as well as establishing a gaming control board. Despite their infancy in these areas, this region has turned out some of the most reputable online gambling sites, and as long as you carefully vet the brands you consider, you can find some very high quality online gaming based out of Costa Rica.
Alderney Online Gambling Jurisdiction
This is another British Crown Dependency and is considered to be one of the premier offshore finance centers in the world. They have earned a reputation for their involvement in the online gambling industry, and are found on the UK Gambling Commission 'white list'. Gambling sites that are licensed by Alderney are often located on one of the other islands in the British Channel. They are regarded as a respected governing authority with strict gambling regulatory practices, thereby providing their licensees with strong legitimacy and a solid reputation. More about the Alderney Gambling Commission.
Malta Online Gambling Jurisdiction
Malta is one of the premiere online gambling jurisdictions in the world, and is white listed by the UK Gambling Commission. They are a member of the British Commonwealth, and were the first member of the European Union to begin introducing online gambling regulation, and have become one of the largest gambling jurisdictions. They are a popular licensing location for gambling sites for several reasons, including competitive fees and attractive tax rates. Learn more by visiting the Malta Gaming Commission website.
Panama Online Gambling Jurisdictions
Panama has been issuing online gambling licensing and regulation since 2002 when they passed the Online Gaming Act of 2002. The region provides a strong infrastructure for the industry that is richly supported through local banking and governing support, free of market restrictions. The Panama jurisdiction attracts gambling site operations through attractive tax exemptions and provides legitimacy due to their strict regulatory oversight and regular auditing and monitoring of all games.
Antigua and Barbuda Online Gambling Jurisdictions
These islands are located in the Caribbean, and became free of British rule in 1981. They began issuing interactive gaming licenses in 1994 as one of the first gambling jurisdictions to enter the industry. They are responsible for licensing a number of premium online gambling sites, and are also known as one of the leading destinations for offshore banking. They are included on the UK Gambling Commission 'white list' and are regarded as one of the most reputable gaming jurisdictions in the world. Learn more by visiting the Directorate Of Offshore Gaming website.
Isle of Man Online Gambling Jurisdiction
The Isle of Man is a British Dependency, but is independent and self governing. It is an attractive destination for online gambling sites that are interested in boosting their reputation and legitimacy through strict regulatory oversight and meeting stringent licensing requirements. This region introduced legislation in 2001 that provides strong protection for players while also supporting and providing benefits to online gambling operators. It is regarded as a highly trusted gambling jurisdiction and is included on the UK Gambling Commission 'white list'. Learn more about the Gambling Supervision Commission of Isle Of Man.
Curacao Online Gambling Destinations
This region is home to the Curacoa e-Gaming Licensing Authority which was established in 1996 as one of the earliest online gambling jurisdictions. It is located in the Netherland Antilles, and Curacoa is associated with the European Union. Some of the most reputable and high quality gambling sites are based out of Curaçoa, and online gambling has become the central industry for the region.