The short answer to this question is “Yes”, but an in-depth explanation is definitely worth it. In many regards, this is the Golden Age of online gambling, since there are so many casinos and bookmakers out there. You get to choose the operators that better meet expectations and sign up for an account without making compromises. There are many things to consider and many elements that can be factored in to distinguish between bet, average and excellence casinos. When it comes to licensing, the only real question is which regulatory body is better, as unlicensed casinos should be avoided at all costs.
Why would online casinos operate without a license?
Prospective players should ask themselves a very simple question right from the start. Why do online casinos operate without a license in the first place? There are a couple of explanations for why this might happen, but few of them pass a real scrutiny. Very few casinos can argue that they didn’t have the time to apply for a license, or they are in the process of acquiring one. These arguments could be true, but punters should simply wait until the process is done and enjoy the services of a license casino until that happens.
Online gambling operators that haven’t applied for a license for were not issued one are likely to pose a serious threat. The fact that it didn’t pass the test of international regulators is a big red flag that punters should take seriously. Some casinos know that they would not qualify for a license issued by the most respectable regulatory bodies. Instead of applying for one at the UK GC or MGA, they get a license from a less reputable regulator, just to have a seal of approval to display on their website.
Why are unlicensed online casinos dangerous?
Gambling operators and new online casino sites that choose not to apply for a license or are declined one by regulators should be avoided for several reasons. They pose explicit and implicit risks that if you ignore can produce devastating consequences in the long run. An unlicensed casino can always go rogue and steal the funds of its players or mishandle sensitive information. There is no watchdog to monitor their business, so if they cut corners and inflict harm upon players, there is nobody to raise the alarm.
One of the many concerns that players should have in regard to unlicensed online casinos is that their winnings might not be paid. The terms and conditions are so long that players rarely read them and casinos can add multiple Trojan horses into these sections. Unlicensed casinos can virtually poison the rules of any campaign or bonus in this manner, without fearing consequences. When players demand to be paid, they can use these abuses terms as excuses, or decline payments without explanations.
Licensed casinos are also compelled by regulators to protect the most vulnerable players from the risks of gambling addiction. They provide the tools and the assistance needed by those who need help, whereas unlicensed operators don’t have the resources, interest and motivation to do the same.