The first thing to look for when you hit any Casino, Poker or Sportsbook site is where they are licensed. This is critically important. Some countries allow crooks to operate as long as they get a slice of the action! Who loses? You!
1. Where do we get this information.
Our industry experience is of great value here. You also don’t need to search too far on the Net to read about all sorts of scams involving different countries. An important issue is transparency. Try and contact some of the licensing authorities and ask them fir information about their regulatory framework- you’ll be lucky if you get anything constructive back from them.
2. So which countries can you trust?
As far as we are concerned – these:
Curacao – Dutch Antilles
Antigua and Barbuda
That’s it! The UK and Australia speak for themselves. First world countries who place a strong emphasis on responsible gambling, enforce tax on operators and have stringent reporting requirements. They also have strong codes of ethics. We include Gibraltar and the Isle of Man under the UK for this purpose).
Curacao and Antigua (with which we have first hand experience) are serious about acting responsibly. Licenses don’t come cheap and they have strict probity requirements (i.e. they will uncover a scam artist even if he has the cash to get licensed).
We are monitoring Kahnawhake (Canadian Mohawk Territory) on an ongoing basis. The regulator seems to be taking enforcement of some rules more seriously nowadays although there have been some issues in the past). Again, one of us actually worked for a company who held a license there).
The only exception we make is with Hampton Casino, who holds a license in Panama. They have a sterling reputation and we have not heard any complaints about them.
3. When do you run or hit the Back Button on your browser?
When you see any of these countries:
Margarita Island (Venezuela)
Why? As a start licenses are typically dirt cheap. Most of these countries don’t have the government structures (and often the finances) to run a regulated gambling environment. If you look where the biggest scams have been run from – you’ll find that these countries were involved.