Online Betting Regulatory Bodies in 2023

Last Update

Online betting, a pastime that’s gaining popularity! However, it’s also a big business, and any business has to be regulated in order both parties, the operator and the customer, to feel safe and be protected. Online betting has evolved over the past 2 decades, reaching a point when there’s little room for improvements. Thanks to the continuous improvement and the efforts of the below listed regulators, punters from around the world can bet with ease and in comfort.

Below, you can find all notable betting regulators along with the operators which are licensed by the said regulator. If you want to find out more about a give regulator, just click on the name and you will be taken to an area where you can see ALL licensed bookies along with additional details.


Logo Name Betting Site Count
Alderney LogoAlderney2
Curacao LogoCuracao17
Gibraltar LogoGibraltar14
Isle of Man LogoIsle of Man2
Kahnawake LogoKahnawake1
Malta LogoMalta31
Schleswig-Holstein LogoSchleswig-Holstein1
Spain LogoSpain2
United Kingdom LogoUnited Kingdom37

It’s vital that you join and bet at licensed, legal online bookmakers. Doing otherwise puts your safety in question. There aren’t as many unlicensed online betting sites out there, but if you don’t pay attention, and you make a real money deposit, you’ve made the first step to impending trouble. One of the ways you can identify whether the betting site is licensed is to scroll to the very bottom of the betting site’s page and check out the seals that are put on display. It can be a UKGC seal, the MGA logo or the Curacao seal. Any of these is enough.

However, we recommend checking the betting site reviews we’ve put on display. Not only do we clearly say whether the bookmaker is licensed or not, but we also evaluate its overall performance, how customers are treated and what they can expect down the road. We try to make them as detailed as possible. After all, that’s the best and only way to for us to know that you know what you’re getting yourself into.

Avoid Betting at Illegal Online Betting Sites

With the exception of a few markets, which have access to unauthorized online betting sites only, all others should avoid illegal online bookmakers at all costs. Popular markets like the United Kingdom, Sweden, Germany and Spain among others, are effectively monitored and controlled by the authorities. Bettors from these regions can bet in peace, without having second doubts, or concerns about their safety.

However, until recently, sports and race betting enthusiasts from the US have had to resolve to joining bookies that held no licenses whatsoever. This is finally changing! Needless to say, this hasn’t stopped the said illegal betting sites to operate and welcome new customers. We’re not saying that all customers get double-crossed eventually. Instead, we just want to point out that it just might be you the one that’s misfortunate, and feel the bitter end.

National and International Betting Regulators

We distinguish between two types of betting regulators, based on the size and the nature of the markets they control. In general, there are two types, International and National. There are some markets such as the UK, Spain and Italy, which require the operator to obtain a national license in order to entertain their residents, or in other words, offer odds to the general public. Each of these has its very own dedicated online gaming regulator, the likes of the UK Gambling Commission. In other words, if you’re from the UK, you should look for UKGC licensed betting sites only.

On the other hand, by International Betting Regulators we refer to betting regulators such as Malta Gaming Authority and the eGaming Authority of Curacao. The latter is infamous in the eyes of online betting pundits, whereas the first has become a staple for EU facing bookmakers which have no interest in the UK. It’s no accident that most online operators have their offices based on the beautiful island of Malta. Coming across betting sites that hold a number of licenses isn’t uncommon. They need these!

Over the past few years, the effects of globalization have become apparent in the betting industry as well. The betting regulators are consolidating their rules and regulations, but not because they cooperate closely, but because they’re both headed in the same direction. At the moment, the UKGC is at the forefront, and it’s become an example of how future national betting regulators should look like.

Supporting, Independent Betting Organisations

Mandatory betting regulators are not enough to guarantee that sports events and betting companies do not influence the outcomes of the events. Betting companies have joined forces and have established a handful of organisations which operate on the grounds of Europe. They carry out investigations if needed. In the past, there have been several major league scandals that have cast a shadow on the reputation betting and sports associations have tried to develop and maintain for years.

EGBA - European Gaming & Betting Association

EGBA is seen as the watchdog, which protects the interest of both betting companies and passionate punters. Its primary objective is to prevent and shed light on match-fixing. Moreover, it’s adamant about putting an end to any activities which take advantage of the betting industry for money laundering. It’s been rather vocal about certain moves official authorities have made. In particular, when governments make a move to ban betting or gambling in general. In the past, all-out bans have proven rather ineffective and inefficient, as they promote and set the grounds for illegal gambling.

We must point out that EGBA’s statements have been constructive and backed by facts. They believe that instead of banning gambling, governments should control, monitor and protect their residents with efficient policies. It’s one of the few organisations which has managed to stay objective in this extremely volatile industry.

ESSA - Sports Betting Integrity

Similar to EGBA, ESSA is established by betting companies exclusively. It’s considered to be the official voice of online betting companies in Europe. Some of its members include bet365, Interwetten, Ladbrokes Coral Group, Paddy Power Betfair, Sprotingbet, Unibet and William Hill among others.

Prevention of match-fixing is one of its key objectives, but it also promotes fair practices, such as fair customer treatment and promotion of responsible gambling. Anti-money laundering is also in the scope of ESSA. ESSA, together with EGBA, fill the gaps and deliver where official national and international betting regulators cannot. Without them, bettors would be left at the mercy of malicious individuals who like to take advantage of the betting industry.

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Betting Regulators FAQs

How to know if an online betting site is licensed?
First, scroll to the bottom of the page. Look for the official seals of popular betting regulators. Click on the most relevant one. If it doesn’t work, you will have to look for the license number and check with the said regulator. You can also check our betting site reviews and be sure you’re going to join a licensed online bookmaker.
Which is the leading online betting regulator?
In our opinion, the UK Gambling Commission has the most advanced practices. Moreover, their rules and regulations have proven to be in line with what customers want and need, and what operators can afford. In addition, it’s considered to be at the forefront of the promotion of responsible gambling and customer protection mechanisms.
What can happen if I join an unauthorized online betting site?
Not only will you have to settle for unfair odds, you simply might not get paid. There have occasions when the illegal bookie simply denies to process the withdrawal because of vague reasons. They can simply add a term in their rule book and say that you’ve breached it. The threats outweigh the opportunities.