The gambling world has always been fun and dynamic, with every bet giving a thrilling sense of excitement and expectation while waiting for the outcome. The expansion to the online space made gambling more accessible to players, but it also brought the need to update the laws and rules regulating the industry.
There are millions of online casino players worldwide, and many don’t know their rights until something goes wrong, and they need to take action to sort things out with the casino. Player rights exist to protect players, and if you are not familiar with them, we will break down the fundamental rights every player should be aware of when gambling online.
Gambling authorities impose rules on their licensees to ensure a fair and secure gaming experience for players while respecting the laws and regulations of the countries where casinos operate.
Your Rights as an Online Casino Player
Gambling authorities have rules in place that contribute to a safe and enjoyable gaming environment for all players. As a player, you should know your rights so you know how to react in case your rights are violated, or an online casino has wronged you.
Here's a brief overview of the basic player rights you should know.
Transparency and Fairness of Results
Fairness of results is one of the basic and most important player rights that is sometimes taken for granted. All licenced and reputable online casinos use random number generators (RNGs) to guarantee unbiased results for their casino games, meaning that the outcome of every spin and every game is completely random.
Operator’s RNG tools are the tools that ensure fair results for players, and the casino explains how the process works so the players can have a clear insight into what happens with their bets. Online gambling authorities ensure that the tools are working properly when they conduct their audits so the players can be certain that the wins are really random and that the RTP percentages for the games are correct.
Protection of Banking Transaction
It goes without saying that every banking or other financial transaction at an online casino has to be secure. Payment option providers need to secure the transaction on their end, but the casino also needs to implement data encryption and other security measures when processing players’ payments.
You need to know that your personal and financial information is safe and secure when you make a deposit at an online casino. There are certain methods that don’t require that you share banking info with the casino, like crypto or e-wallets, to a certain extent, so you can consider alternative options when making a payment, but keep in mind that the casino must protect your personal information, as it’s your right as a player.
Online gambling regulators require that the casinos keep players’ deposits in separate accounts from the funds the casino uses for its regular daily operations. Players’ deposited funds are kept separate from the casino's operational budget to ensure financial security when a player wishes to make a withdrawal or requests the payout of their unused funds.
Regulations dictate that the casino must protect players’ funds in case of insolvency, and the casino should let players know about this in their user agreements. For example, the UK Gambling Commission recognises three levels of clients’ funds security: basic, medium and high, and it’s quite obvious which is the best for players.
Responsible Gambling Measures
It is a player’s right to have access to responsible gambling resources and tools on the casino website. Every licenced online casino is required to have responsible gambling measures in place that aim to help players prevent the negative effects of gambling. Here are some responsible gambling tools:
- Reality checks: They allow players to set a reminder when they log in that would pop up after a certain amount of time. That reminder can be after 15 minutes or a couple of hours, depending on what the player sets as their time limit.
- Deposit limits: Players can also limit the amount of money they want to spend playing casino games. After they reach the limit, they will get a notification from the casino that they have already deposited the pre-determined amount.
- Cooling off: Players can take a time out when they feel they are losing control of their gambling behaviour. The break can last from one day to six months.
- Self-exclusion: This is the final step for players who are aware of their gambling problem. The minimum self-exclusion period is six months, but it can last longer than that if a player needs more time to deal with gambling addiction.
When a player signs up with a casino, the operator should look into their documents and information to ensure the player is not under the legal gambling age or that they have not self-excluded from gambling.
Some operators monitor their players' behaviour and betting habits so they can intervene if they notice problems with their gambling.
Online casinos must have a valid gambling licence from a regulatory authority to conduct their operations legally. The licence information should be clearly displayed on the casino website so players can check its validity. If you cannot find licence information, it is your right and responsibility to contact customer service to ask for a valid casino licence.
When a casino is licenced, it means that it has to adhere to the rules and regulations set by the issuing authority. It also means that you, as a player, are protected from illicit practices and harmful casino activities.
Regulators and Country-Specific Laws
Understanding the regulators and country-specific laws is vital for players to know their rights and navigate the legal landscape of online gambling. Even though the regulators are in charge of controlling legal gambling in a certain country, they can also be the preferred licencing body internationally because of the strict rules they impose on online casinos.
Let's explore the player rights associated with some prominent regulatory bodies.
UKGC Player Rights
The UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the main regulatory body for online gambling activities in the United Kingdom and one of the most reputable regulatory bodies in the iGaming industry. The UKGC protects players, so you should know your rights under the Consumer Rights Act in the UK, but you should also follow the UKGC set rules to ensure you are doing everything right to keep those rights.
For example, don’t attempt to gamble if you are not of legal gambling age and refrain from any illegal activities, like using a credit card for deposits, cheating, providing false identity information, or attempting to gamble if you have self-excluded.
If you are doing everything by the book, the UKGC will have your back if an online casino wrongs you. The UKGC ensures that the casinos’ practices are fair and regulated, so the casinos need to be careful about their advertising activities and the terms and conditions of their bonus offers.
Under the rules set by the UKGC, players must have access to multiple responsible gambling tools, including mandatory depositing limits and the prohibition of the use of credit cards.
MGA Player Rights
Just like the UKGC, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the most reputable regulatory bodies in the industry and the one whose licences are well-respected internationally. One of the reasons is that the MGA focuses on imposing strict rules and regulations, especially when it comes to following the laws and protecting casino players rights.
Although the advertising rules are not as strict as in the UK, the MGA also mandates that the advertisements and promotional offers don’t mislead the players in any way. All casinos that carry an MGA licence need to provide responsible gambling measures to players and to ensure that all the games they offer are provably fair.
The MGA also mandates that casinos protect players’ personal information and keep separate accounts for operational costs and players’ deposited funds. The regulatory body conducts timely audits to confirm casinos are obeying the set rules so they can keep their licences.
Spelinspektionen Player Rights
The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) is the gambling regulator that is known for taking the matter of protecting players' rights very seriously. Spelinspektionen focuses primarily on responsible gambling measures, and their licensees must provide adequate tools and measures to their players.
Along with ensuring fairness in all provided casino games, the regulator has also set a weekly deposit limit of 5,000 SEK for all players in Sweden and implemented a 3-second time interval between two spins in slot games to protect the players.
All Spelinspektionen casinos are required to connect with Spelpaus, the official Swedish centralised self-exclusion system. Spelpaus guarantees that once a player self-excludes from one casino, they are excluded from all licenced online casinos in the country that are in the registry.
What to Do If You Suspect Online Gambling Fraud
Unfortunately, it’s not all fun and games in the world of online casinos, as you probably already know. If you suspect an online gambling fraud or you have an issue with an online casino, here’s what you can do to resolve the problem:
- Try talking to the casino’s customer support team. This should be your first step whenever there is an issue with an online casino. Sometimes, the problem is just a misunderstanding or a malfunction. If that doesn’t work, you should escalate things.
- Turn to the AskGamblers Casino Complaints Service for help. You can find the guidelines on how to file a complaint with AGCCS, and our team will do their best to help you resolve the issue you have with an online casino. Remember to include all the details of your complaint and to be kind to the team that is there to help you. If AGCCS can’t help you with your complaint, they will instruct you on who to turn to next.
- Turn to regulatory bodies and other authorities for help. Depending on where the casino is licenced, you can turn to the UKGC, MGA, Spelinspektionen or other regulators for help. If the issue is beyond their jurisdiction, they will instruct you to contact the authorities.
Most disputes with online casinos don’t go beyond gambling regulatory authorities, but you should know that if your rights as a casino player have been violated, you have institutions to turn to for help. Now that you know your player rights, it is safer to start your casino journey. Good luck!