Albert Einstein once said that, “reality is merely a perceived illusion, although a very persistent one”.
The old adage that perception is reality is one that few in politics, the media or business in general will argue with. It is particularly relevant to the online casino industry where operators are asking customers to trust that their games are true and fair and all player funds deposited are 100% safe.
A casino can have impeccable ethics and sound operating practices but if players believe otherwise they simply aren’t going to play there – and understandably so. After all, the enjoyment you get from playing a casino game is inextricably linked to the anticipation of a) winning cash and b) getting your winnings paid and any doubts that these two things aren’t going to happen completely kills the thrill.
The challenge for online casinos…
For likes of the Ladbrokes, William Hill, Unibet, 888 Casino, Paddy Power and Party Casino the task of garnering player trust is a little easier; substantial corporate profiles and strong brand recognition created through long operating histories and/or extensive mainstream marketing go a long way to convincing players they won’t be ripped off.
But what about the smaller or newer operators? And let’s face it, in the live casino space which is a still in its infancy there are plenty of these. No High Street or other terrestrial presence; no Real Madrid or FC Barcelona jersey sponsorship deals; no Tour de France teams; no London Stock Exchange listing; a brand that didn’t exist 3 years ago. How do these guys convince players that they too can be trusted?
One way is try and get an online gambling license from a respected issuing jurisdiction.
Not all licenses are created equal…whitelisted countries
There are plenty of countries around the world that issue online gambling licenses but it’s fair to say that some are far more rigorous than others with regard to imposed regulations and enforcement of those regulations. Fortunately the UK Gambling Commission has made an assessment of what it believes the better licensing jurisdictions to be and lists them here.
Referred to as the White List, whitelisted countries, or jurisdictions with ‘white list status’ it currently includes:
- Antigua and Barbuda
- Isle of Man
- Tasmania (Australian State)
- any European Economic Area country.
As an operator, a license from these countries allows you to advertise your gambling services in Great Britain. As a player you have the reassurance of a better dispute resolution process and tighter operating controls than might exist with other licenses.
I should stress that a license from a non-whitelisted country doesn’t mean the operator is unscrupulous – but if I don’t know much about them and they’re licensed in somewhere like Costa Rica, then that old perception thing will probably steer me in another direction.
Just recently Lucky Live Casino secured a license from the Isle of Man, which in part prompted this post. They’re the perfect example of a smaller operator that will benefit enormously from the marriage of perception and reality (that they are an operator of good standing) that this license will bring.