Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Kahnawake Gaming Commission IconThe Kahnawake Gaming Commission (KGC) is a Canadian regulatory authority that regulates and licenses online casinos that are based and operating under their jurisdiction.

Being one of the very first online regulatory authorities having launched back in 1996, it was not until 1999 that they first started to grant licenses to online casinos. This licensing was put in place to ensure that any online casino operating from their jurisdiction was subject to rules and regulations that would ultimately protect any player that was using their product.

Since its launch almost 20 years ago, the KGC has licensed numerous online casinos and has since become recognised as one of the better-performing regulators of online gambling. Not quite up there with the likes of the UK Gambling Commission or the Malta Gaming Authority but certainly a second-tier regulator, the KGC currently has more than 250 online casinos that are licensed to operate working under their jurisdiction.

While the license allows operators to provide their services to those living in the jurisdiction of Kahnawake, many countries also allow their players to play at online casinos that have managed to get a license from the KGC. Some countries, on the other hand, require a bit more protection for their players and will insist on the online casino getting a license from their own regulatory authorities as well. This is the case in the UK with the UKGC, so online casinos would also need a UKGC license if they wanted to legally accept UK players.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has come a long way since its launch and despite an early reputation of being a little lacklustre, in recent years they have really bucked up their ideas and are providing a good level of protection for online gamblers.

What would happen if the KGC did not exist?

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission not existing alone would not really mean much in the grand scheme of things apart for players in Canada. It would just mean that there would be no online gambling regulated in that country.

As for the rest of us, it would just mean that online casinos would have to get licensed elsewhere and to target other players instead of Canadians. There are so many different regulatory authorities out there, some easier to obtain licenses from than others.

The UK Gambling Commission, Malta Gaming Authority and the Gibraltar Gambling Commission are some of the other more common and reputable regulatory authorities for online gambling and an online casino would just have to try and obtain licenses with one or a few of them instead.

Without acquiring a license an online casino would be operating illegally under whichever jurisdiction it is. Any casino that does not have a license would then obviously be out for whatever it could get before being caught and ultimately shut down for good. This is why we always advise players to make sure that any online casino they play at, has been licensed by at least one regulatory authority.

What would happen if there were no Regulatory Authorities?

With no online gambling regulation authorities out there to protect players, you can just imagine the mayhem there would be. With no protection the many online casinos would literally be able to just set their own rules, their own house edge and basically give their players little chance of winning. They would have nobody to answer to and players would have no authorities to complain to.

We believe the whole industry would eventually crumble as the reputation of online casinos would see most players avoiding them like the plaque. No player with a brain would even consider gambling online if they knew there was a good chance they were not getting a fair deal from their online casino. They would use traditional high street gambling options instead as it is regulated.

Online casinos as they are now, use RNG software to determine the random results and these are regulated and tested. In a world with no regulation, the casinos could mess with these RNGs to weight the games heavily in their own favour.

Casinos would also not be forced to have a strong stance towards protection player information. The personal and financial information of players might not get the protection it does now through firewalls and 128-bit SSL encryption technology

You then have the player funds which are protected under current regulations as online casinos are told to keep them in holding accounts that have nothing to do with any other operational funds in other accounts.

In a nutshell, online gambling would not be something that anybody would like to entertain anymore and it would eventually die out. We just need to be thankful that we do have regulatory authorities and appreciate what they do to help protect us.

What Licenses does the KGC provide?

The KGC regulates both online and offline gambling entities but we are going to talk specifically about their licenses that any online entity will have to obtain. There are actually four different licenses that the Kahnawake Gambling Commission can issue and each of them will allow the holder to perform different actions under the jurisdiction of Kahnawake.

  1. Interactive Gaming License

This is a license given to a hosting provider that operates within the jurisdiction of Kahnawake. This hosting company is what any online casino that wants to operate in Kahnawake has to use as per regulations. Only one of these licenses is available and it has been held by the same company since 1999.

  1. Client Provider Authorisation

This license is given to an online casino, sportsbook or poker site that wishes to provide its services from Kahnawake. They must use the hosting services of the above Interactive Gaming License.

  1. Inter-jurisdictional Authorisation

This is for online casinos, sports betting sites or poker sites that are already licensed by another jurisdiction that just want to place some staff, equipment and operations within Kahnawake.

  1. Key Person License

A KPL is granted alongside any CLA to a key member of personnel within the company. This person is the main point of contact for the KGC and is the person held responsible for ensuring that all regulations are adhered to.

Those are the four licenses that the KGC issues and any online gambling company would have to apply for the specific licenses that it needs should it want to operate in Kahnawake. A licensed casino will be able to provide its services to citizens of Kahnawake and also to any other country that accepts online casinos that are licensed by the KGC.

Some countries might decide they want more than just a license from the KGC such as the UK who will also want their own regulatory authority in the UKGC to regulate the online casinos as well.

Why is the regulation of online gambling important?

There are so many different reasons why it is important that online gambling is regulated but the main one is that regulation is important for the protection of players.

There is little to no chance that many players would be able to put their trust into any online casinos if there was not the same level of regulation that there is nowadays. This regulation instantly makes players feel more comfortable with gambling online as they know there are authorities out there that are watching their back. In many ways, an online casino getting licensing from a leading gambling regulatory authority is much like having a seal of approval that players will see as a sign of the casino being one that can be trusted.

As players, all we want is to know that the online casinos are treating us in a fair manner and that we always have a fighting chance of winning some good money. We all know and accept that an online casino will always have a house advantage over us and that without this edge there would not even be online casinos operating. However, as long as this advantage is fair and regulated we as players will never have a problem with it.

We also want to be sure that all of our banking and personal information is being protected sufficiently. If we are using our bank accounts or credit cards to deposit and withdraw money onto the online casinos, we need to know that these transactions and their details are protected by technology such as 128-bit SSL encryption.

There have been some well-documented cases in the past of online casinos, poker sites and the like that have gone under that were not keeping player funds separate from operating funds. This meant that the players were not compensated for the money in their accounts – not straight away at least. Regulation these days demands that online casinos do keep player funds in accounts that are separate from operating funds.

What common regulations do online casinos operate under?

The exact regulations that an online casino will have to adhere to will depend on the particular regulatory authority that they are licensed by. However, each of them will have some core similarities and will share the same mission of keeping players protected when gambling online.

Below you will see some of those core regulations that the majority of regulatory authorities will ensure that online casinos that they have licensed will adhere to:

  • Regular RNG testing that is sometimes done randomly
  • Different accounts for player funds and operating funds
  • Strict policies in place for ID verification
  • Policies in place that promote responsible gambling
  • Security measures such as 128-by SSL encryption technology being used

Every one of the above regulations has been designed with players in mind and will go a long way to ensuring that they are always protected when playing at the online casinos. While there will be slight differences in the exact regulations and policies that a regulatory authority will demand from its licensees, most of the above will be found in the majority of them.

Which online casinos are regulated by the KGC?

There is a large number of online casinos that have opted to try and get a license from the Kahnawake Gaming Commission and among those that have passed the requirements needed are the following:

There are some pretty big names there as you can see and that is just five of them, there are more than 100 more online casinos that are permitted to operate in Kahnawake. We are also sure that many other online casinos will line up to try and be granted a license to operate in Kahnawake in the coming years.

How does the KGC regulate online casinos?

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission is one of the oldest regulatory authorities for online gambling providers and while its history was a little checkered during the early days, it has since pulled its socks up to easily be among the top 5 or 6 regulatory authorities for online casinos and other online gambling entities.

They might not be quite as good as the big three, the UKGC, GGC and the MGA but they are certainly moving in the right direction. They share similar goals to that of those regulatory authorities and have some very similar regulations put in place.

According to their website, their core basic principals are to:

  • To lawfully regulate any online gambling entity that operates within Kahnawake
  • To make sure that any online gambling entity is providing gaming in a responsible manner that is both fair and honest.
  • To ensure that there is no connection between online gambling and crime within Kahnawake.
  • To ensure that gaming operators always treat their players in a fair manner, pay out any winnings in promptly and that they keep all of their player’s information completely secure.
  • To ensure that anyone under the age of 18 or is classed as vulnerable is protected from the potential dangers of online gambling.

These are some solid regulations and we certainly think that the KGC has the right idea when it comes to regulating the online casinos in their jurisdiction. We would like to see more done with regards to regular testing of RNGs but they at least have some good and solid core basics in place. They do have RNGS tested by third-party companies but not as regularly as we would like.

Should we trust online casinos that are regulated by the KGC?

We think that any casino that has been licensed no matter who it is from, should instantly see an increase in the level of trust that they receive. Of course, there are regulatory authorities with a slightly better reputation than the KGG but these guys have made a lot of improvements over recent years and are now considered to be a very trustworthy regulatory authority.

Besides, if you do come across an online casino that is regulated by the KGC and is not convinced that they can be trusted, you can always report that to the KGC and they will no doubt launch an investigation. They always welcome communication from players and will not hesitate in punishing an online casino or revoking a license if they find anything they deem to have broken their regulations.

Ultimately, you should definitely trust any online casino that is licensed by the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, at least initially. If you then find something that might suggest they should not be trusted, you can report this to the KGC.

Can we contact the KGC?           

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission openly welcomes communication from players for whatever reason. Should there ever come a time where you think an online casino that operates with a license from the KGC is not treating you or other players in a fair and/or safe manner, you are able to get in touch with the KGC and inform them of your concerns.

They will certainly take your complaints seriously and will always do their own investigations, help with mediating any contact with the online casino and will ultimately come to some kind of resolution. This could be in your favour or in the favour of the online casino but whatever the result, you can be sure that it is fair for all concerned.

Getting in touch with the KGC can be done by telephone, email or through the contact forms on their website.

Our Verdict: The KGC is a regulatory authority that has a good reputation and is doing its utmost to ensure that online gamblers operating in their jurisdiction are getting the protection that they need when gambling at the online casinos.

The KGC has come a very long way since being one of the very first regulatory authorities in the world. It did use to have a bit of a reputation for not being in the strictest of authorities but this has changed in recent years. They are now seen as being in the top 5 regulatory authorities around at the moment.

The following is what you can expect from the KGC:

  • Your account balances are protected

The KGC makes it clear to all online gambling entities operating from their jurisdiction takes measures to protect the funds of their players. This includes making sure that all player funds are kept in separate holding accounts to that of operational funds.

  • Many policies designed to protect players

The KGC works tirelessly to ensure that all online casinos in their jurisdiction have a number of solid policies in place that are designed to help protect their players. These policies should include promoting responsible gambling, preventing underage gambling and protecting the information of their players.

  • An authority that has your back

At the KGC you can be confident that you have a regulatory authority that is always looking out for the players at the online casinos that they have licensed. They welcome any complaints and will always stand up for the player if an online casino has been shown to be acting against regulations.

  • Fair results

At the KGC they work very hard to ensure that they have the regulations in place that ensures that any online casino they license is always delivering results to its players that are fair. It also ensures that the online casinos consistently adhere to all regulations.

  • An authority that likes to communicate with players

Players are always welcome to get in touch with the KGC if they have any kind of complaint or information about an online casino that is licensed to operate in Kahnawake. There are numerous ways in which you can contact the KGC as you will find in the specific topic above.

  • Responsible gambling is pushed for

The KGC has always had a strong stance on responsible gambling and demands that any online casino operating in Kahnawake shares that stance. They wish to protect players from possible gambling addiction and to put in place help and resources for any players that might be struggling.

The Kahnawake Gaming Commission has a lot of experience as a regulatory authority after being one of the first to license casinos almost twenty years ago and in that time they have really grown into a strong and strict authority.

We feel that players can feel a lot safer when gambling online if they are using an online casino that has been licensed by the KGA. They have some good regulations, an excellent morale ethic and are always working hard to improve in any area that needs it.

For UK players, it is only possible to play at an online casino that has been licensed by the KGC as long as it is also licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC). The UKGC insists on regulating all online casinos that serve the UK public no matter what other licenses they might have. This is good news for players in the UK as it means that they will be playing at casinos that have more than just a single license in many cases. You can find a list of UK Gambling Commission online casinos here

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