Who Licenses and Regulates Mobile Poker Sites and Apps?

Judges Hammer

To the uninitiated, the world of mobile poker might seem a little like the Wild West, with loads of sites running around without any kind of law or regulation to peg them back. Quite frankly, however, this is not the case. Mobile poker sites are massively regulated by a number of different bodies, therefore making them incredibly safe places to play poker. But who exactly are these regulating organisations, and what do they do?

Who Regulates Mobile Poker Sites?

All mobile poker sites are regulated, however they are not all regulated by the same organisation. Confused? Well, let’s shed some light on that point. The reason for this is simple: the sites are regulated by the bodies found in the countries they are based in. With the majority of poker sites basing themselves in tax havens, this means that it is usually a rather obscure country or territory doing the regulating. Some of the more popular regulating bodies include:

Just because these are small countries though, it does not mean that they are bad at regulating the companies under their control. Additionally, they are not push-overs either. Just take the example of Full Tilt Poker. They were regulated by the Alderney Gambling Control Commission, but were found to be operating dishonestly (this has since been rectified). Therefore, the Alderney Gambling Control Commission suspended their licence.

What Do These Regulators Do?

The different regulators all do things in different ways, however they will all fulfil the basic roles expected of them. These roles include:

  • Making sure the different mobile poker sites applying for licences are fit and proper to operate in their proposed role.
  • Monitoring the advertising and marketing activities of each licensee, to ensure they are not misleading the public.
  • Working with the licensees to ensure their sites are set up correctly in order to keep the personal details of their members safe.
  • Ensuring the different games are fair and honest.
  • Monitoring how the different sites deal with important issues, such as gambling addiction and underage gambling.
  • Dealing with complaints from aggrieved players against sites under their jurisdiction.


Does Anyone Else Regulate the Sites?

The official answer to this would be no, as the mobile poker companies only need to answer to their respective regulating bodies. However, in reality, there are other organisations constantly scrutinising them, in order to make sure they are operating correctly. The main ones in this list are without doubt the gambling addiction control companies like GamCare, who are always trying to ensure that the sites are helping those at risk. If they are seen to be exploiting the vulnerable, monitoring organisations will let everyone know, therefore meaning that their reputations will be ruined. That’s why all reputable sites work closely with outside organisations dealing with gambling addiction.

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