A Quick Look at Gambling Regulators, Auditors and Dispute Centres

The internet is the 21st century's Wild West and it needs sheriffs. The quality of your online gambling experience is based on the safety and licenses of your online casino. Certain organisations specialise in conducting the necessary verification and auditing to keep you safe. This page is dedicated to these unsung heroes.

Without licensing and regulatory entities, the world of gambling would be ruled by anarchy. These bodies truly care about punters, and they help build the safer gambling world of tomorrow.

Licensing and Regulatory Bodies

The safety, security and fairness of gambling in Ireland depend on the following licensing and regulatory entities. Their gilded title was earned by long years of faithful service, and a love for the industry has maintained their vigour.

Ireland Gambling Regulation

New Irish Gambling Regulation is geared towards protecting minors, consumers and problem gamblers. The brand-new Gambling Regulation Bill presents as one of the most notable reforms in fifty years. It replaces the Betting Act of 1931 and the Gaming and Lotteries Act of 1956. Initially contrived in the early 2000s, the new Irish Gambling Regulation is the brainchild of James Browne, Minister for Law Reform.

Betting and gambling in Ireland have mainly followed a self-regulated track. However, dramatic growth in betting and gambling has occurred within the past twenty years. In addition, overall enhancements in tech innovation (vis-à-vis payment platforms, betting products, online games, et al.) have fast-tracked Irish Gambling Regulations, with the local industry worth €8 billion per year. The new Bill is designed to cover multiple online and land-based platforms.

Enforcement will be enacted by a seven-member strong Gambling Regulatory Authority (GRA). Anne Marie Caulfied will head this Irish oversight body as chief executive. Rules, regulations, governing bodies and other operational conditions will be laid out for all gambling companies. The government will implement new rules regarding sponsorships, marketing, promotions, and gambling advertising in Ireland. Currently, all licensing in Ireland is undertaken by:

  • The DOJE (Department of Justice and Equality)
  • Office of the Regulator of the National Lottery (ORNL)
  • Advertising Standards Authority (ASAI)
  • District Courts

Based on current constructs, the Regulator will have full authority to apply to the courts to force ISPs in Ireland to block online sites in the country. Punitive measures will also be put in place for companies transgressing regulatory constraints. For example, some €20 million or 10 per cent of the takeover can be levied for companies breaching the laws. In the worst-case scenario, severe breaches of the law can result in prison sentences of up to eight years. This includes, but is not limited to, willful failure to protect minors from gambling activity.

Based on the rules of the Bill, no social media advertising is allowed. Online gambling advertising is opt-in only. Enticing content such as ‘Free Bets, Free Hospitality, VIP Treatment’ is expressly proscribed. The regulations are so stringent that no gambling advertising is permitted on TV between 5:30 AM and 9 PM – to protect children from exposure to gambling content. Further, a Social Impact Fund is proposed. The authorities will use it to raise awareness and treat problem gambling activity. Specific exclusions apply, notably the National Lottery.

Jurisdiction applications for licenses apply to the following:

  • Gaming Licenses
  • Bookmaker Licenses
  • Remote Bookmakers
  • Amusement Machine Licences
  • Remote Betting Intermediaries

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) 

The MGA is a regulatory body empowered to issue gambling licenses to operators. The MGA serves as an official authority with oversight and enforcement powers. Among the many tasks, duties, activities and responsibilities, the MGA is engaged in the following areas:

  • Stats
  • Permits
  • Approvals
  • Certificates
  • Enforcement
  • Sports Integrity
  • Material Gaming Supply
  • Commercial Communications Committee

The MGA is responsible for regulating multiple gaming industries under its jurisdiction. Responsibilities include fair gaming, protecting vulnerable players and preventing corruption and money laundering. The Malta Gaming Authority's activities revolve around land-based and online operators. 

By facilitating responsible gaming to legal-age players anytime, anywhere, the MGA is engaged in high-tech innovation, legislative frameworks, and creating a clear corporate structure. In addition, the MGA's protection of underage and vulnerable players is an important objective. Other issues include preserving the integrity of games and gaming devices and maintaining the security of gaming activities.

The MGA seeks to solidify its position as a top-tier jurisdiction in the gaming industry. Plus, the MGA aims to improve overall standards in the industry, domestically and worldwide, to create an environment conducive to fair, credible, secure and customer-focused operations. The MGA actively works to combat criminal activity by working with worldwide partners. Finally, the MGA strives for excellence in all operational aspects by staying abreast of the market's ever-changing needs. 

United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) 

The United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) is the official authority for gambling in Great Britain. The UKGC is responsible for providing guidance, advising, licensing and regulating all forms of gambling activity in the United Kingdom. These activities cover individuals and businesses that offer gambling activities across the UK, including the National Lottery.

The UKGC features a public register where customers can quickly verify whether a business has an active gambling license. The UKGC primarily focuses on safe, fair, and responsible gaming practices. To this end, the UGGC imposes punitive measures on operators that do not act per industry standards. These measures include fines, suspensions, and other guidance.

The UKGC is tasked with regulating the following gambling activities: 

  • Bingo
  • Arcades
  • Betting
  • Casinos
  • Lottery Operators
  • The National Lottery
  • Remote Gaming Activity
  • Gaming Machine Providers
  • Gambling Software Providers

The UKGC operates in an executive capacity as a non-departmental public body. It is sponsored by the Dept. for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. All operational aspects of the UKGCs functions are established in the Gambling Act 2005, under amendments of the Gambling Act 2014.

The UKGC conducts regular work to raise standards in the gambling industry. This is done in the interest of protecting vulnerable individuals and underage people. UKGC work includes maintaining crime-free gambling activity. The UKGC sets business plans and budgets for each year, with critical strategic objectives. There are three primary licensing objectives enforced with all UKGC operators, namely: 

  • Fair and available gambling services in the United Kingdom.
  • Preventing legal gambling activity from being involved in criminal activities of any kind.
  • The protection and preservation of safety and security for children and vulnerable individuals.

Auditors and Testers

The men in the trenches, so to speak, are auditors and testing agencies that hold online casinos accountable and thus protect gamblers. Their renown is worldwide, and they test a plethora of casino games for fairness. But they do not stop there. They go above and beyond the call of duty and test the protocols that online casinos use for deposits, withdrawals and registrations. The best and safest online casinos are proud of passing security checks, so they openly display auditors and testing companies. The latter display of confidence gives players peace of mind and is welcoming to newbies. Look at the following companies and their specialities to learn more about the subject.


eCommerce Online Gaming Regulation and Assurance, or eCOGRA for short, was founded in 2003 and is now a leading testing agency. This agency is renowned for its detailed reports that are regularly presented to operators.


Players and casinos can rest assured that they are in good hands when working with the BMM testing lab. Their quest to maintain high industry standards is something that countless operators find priceless.

QA Labs

Quality Assurance Laboratories, or QA labs for short, is a branched-out international organisation that works with land-based and online operators. They focus heavily on gambling operators, game mathematics and their outcomes. Their reassurance of fairness and payout dissections are second to none.

Quinell M Limited

Quinell, a testing lab with departments in Malta, Italy, South Africa and the United Kingdom, is a rising star in the industry. They pride themselves on their online gambling technical compliance testing and also test land-based machines.


A truly international company with offices in Wales, Australia and several other parts of the world is focused on testing platforms, RNGs, games and conducting security audits. Gaming Laboratories International tests both land-based and online casinos wherever it is needed.

Eclipse Compliance Testing

An independent US firm specialises in game testing of both land-based and online venues in North America. They pride themselves on objective testing, certification and consultation.

Trisigma B.V.

Trisigma breaks the mould of testing companies by developing its own casino games. The latter is a pleasant addition to their certified and accredited international operations that are often closely linked to operators around the world.

SQS Group Limited

This company specialises in producing handy tools, testing, processing and guaranteeing enjoyable gambling. Their roots stretch back to 1996, and you will find their main base of operations in London, England.


Other organisations focus on games and their mechanics, but SIQ decided to focus on gaming devices. Their spotless reputation and renown for guaranteeing the safety and compliance of slot machines, table games and lotteries is second to none.

iTech Labs

iTech Labs is infamous as an amazing tester of gambling sites and casinos. It started its journey back in 2004, and it quickly became obvious that they were going to be a phenomenal company. They are committed to quality gambling, accountability and fair outcomes.

Gaming Associates

Gaming Associates is part of the old guard, and its roots stretch back to the first iGaming auditors and testers of the 1990s. Their track record is spotless, and they are renowned as a trustworthy and quality entity among online gambling sites, lotteries and countless other venues.

Reporting and Disputes Centres

We often mention how one of the first things that you should be mindful of when choosing a casino is whether or not it has a license. The reason behind this is that licensed sites are closely linked to dispute centres. A dispute centre will have a look at your report of unfair or unsafe gaming and take whatever actions are needed. Note that this extends to sudden account closures or refused payments.

IBAS Dispute Site

IBAS is a mediator, a dispute centre that takes an objective look at disputes that arise between casinos and their customers. Their adjudication panel dives deep into each dispute and considers it in full prior to making any judgement.


This is a very difficult question to answer, but what we can say for sure is that the safest online casinos forward everything that you need to know about their security, safety and licensing. A surefire way to go about finding a quality venue is by looking for fully licensed online casinos. Ireland has an array of options to choose from.

Every online casino in Ireland is required to have a license from the appropriate regulatory body. It cannot enable real-money gambling otherwise.

The country’s regulators are the ones that dish out online casino licenses, and these are based on an array of requirements set forth by the government. Licenses are locked away behind several layers of Draconian criteria.

Irish citizens need to be at least 18 years to gamble online legally.

Yes, it is. Not only that, you can also expect a plethora of legal and safe online casinos that any player in Ireland can partake in. However, always stay mindful of the license and protocols that your chosen casino has.

Online Casino Reports (OCR) provides a portal filled with reviews that are dedicated to reviewing online casinos with Irish licences.

Check that the site is operating under licence and with a fair approach to gaming. OCR’s Irish casino reviews can address both factors.

The Irish Office of the Revenue Commissioners is the regulator responsible for issuing Irish online casino licences.

Casinos typically publish licensing information either along the bottom of the homepage or else in the terms and conditions. OCR discusses licensing in its online casino reviews.

Licences are required to uphold legal standards and ensure that Irish casinos online will provide you with a safe and fair gaming service.

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