What is a sustainable online casino or bookmaker?

The big question I want to answer is: what is the most sustainable online casino experience?

To answer that question, we need to talk about and understand several things:

  • What are my requirements for an online casino?
  • What options are available?
  • What defines most sustainable?

Requirements for an online casino to get selected

My requirements for an online casino are high. Firstly, I want to play at a legal casino. Secondly, they need to offer a website that is:

  • fully functional
  • easy-to-use
  • secure website 
  • has lots of games
  • bonuses with fair T&Cs
  • plenty of banking options 

And most importantly: a license that gives me the confidence that the casino is being held accountable and everything is provenly fair.

But I want more. I want to only deal with businesses that give importance to ESG. Companies that understand what is happening in the world and want to take care of their players, employees, the environment and society.

Which online casinos can I choose from?

Which online casinos are available depends on where you live and where you are.

To keep things simple, let’s only consider the situation of being in your home country and not complicate matters by going into specifics about gambling abroad.

There are three types of countries:

  • Countries where online gambling is regulated and complying companies can obtain a gambling license.
  • Countries where online gambling is legal (or not illegal) but don’t have their own license hence operators use an ‘overseas license’ from countries like Malta, Gibraltar and Curacao.
  • Countries where online gambling is illegal.

I must note that games of chance can be categorised into different groups (aka ‘verticals) and that some countries allow one or more categories and not others.

For example, there are countries and states where sportsbook is legal, but casino games are not. Different laws can apply to different categories such as poker rooms, video poker, live table games, lottery, bingo, horse racing, etc.

For simplicity of this article let’s not distinguish between different categories and talk about game of chance in general including all forms of online gambling.

Countries where online gambling is illegal

If you live in a country where online gambling is illegal then obviously you shouldn’t try to gamble online because you will be breaking the law. Do NOT try to connect and create an account via a VPN. You are still breaking the law and will most likely have problems withdrawing any winnings since most online casinos prohibit the use of VPNs and will require you to be a resident of the country where you register.

Gambling is illegal in most Muslim countries such as Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. There are many countries where it’s illegal but not enforced or it’s decriminalised and overseas casinos are tolerated.

Countries where online gambling is not illegal but also not regulated.

If you live in a country that hasn’t regulated online gambling (yet) but playing games of chance online is not illegal, then there is a wide range of choices since you can play at practically any online casino. For these players I urge that you only place bets at companies that have a license from a reputable gambling authority.

Regulated countries

Residents of a country that has regulated online gambling most of the time are only permitted to play at online casino brands that hold a license from that specific country. Many casinos hold multiple licenses, which only adds to their trustworthiness.

I only promote casinos in countries where it is legal to play.

The most sustainable casino available to you

What makes an online casino sustainable? Sustainable means that the goal is to exist for a long time, implying that you need to take care of social and environmental factors that enable longevity. The better you take care of employees, suppliers, communities, the environment, etc, the more likely it is that you can survive and even thrive.

Sustainability in business is generally described and analysed according to the ESG framework: Environment, Social and Governance. Each activity has a footprint and an effect on its surroundings.

I will consider something truly sustainable if there are zero negative effects that disrupt the harmony of an ecosystem. Or even better, when the effects, the spillover, has healing or regenerating effects and restores previously caused harm. The harm could concern people and/or nature. 

Whether or not a company is sustainable comes all down to choices and business decisions. And these in turn are based upon the core values of the organisation and its owners. And how well we can judge this comes down to transparency. This points all relate to governance. 

Here you can read our post in which I describe a hypothetical 5 star casino. 

There are currently no 5 star casinos. But some companies say they want to be sustainable and care for society and nature.

Better World Casinos dedicates itself to analysing the ESG performance of the biggest online casino and sportsbook operators. So far I have looked closely at five operators who belong to the top igaming brands. They all have ESG as part of their strategy.

Here you can read how they perform and what I have to say about it. 

But there are many more casino and sportsbook operators that I need to research and compare if I want to be able to say who is the most sustainable.

So to answer the question that I started with: “what is the most sustainable online casino?” unfortunately, the answer at this moment is: “I don’t know yet¨.

There is still a lot to research to be done to give a satisfying answer to that question.

But I can already narrow it down to who is not and who might make it to the list. 

Casinos that will not be on the list of most sustainable casinos.

I don’t list operators with only a license from Curacao or Panama. There is plenty of information to be found that suggests that these jurisdictions do not hold high standards and are not trustworthy.

Any self-respecting online gambling company that is serious about their business and the wellbeing of their customers will have at least one or more licenses from the following jurisdictions:

  • Malta: Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • United Kingdom: UK Gambling Commission
  • Netherlands: Dutch Games of chance authority (KSA)
  • Gibraltar
  • Isle of Man
  • Sweden
  • Spain
  • Kahnawake Gaming Commission

Online casinos that might be considered sustainable

I consider an online casino with at least two licences from any of the jurisdictions mentioned above. The following requirement is that they publicly disclose information about who owns the company and what is its financial and ESG performance. Transparency is key to being sustainable.

That is why I selected these five companies about which I wrote the first reviews. These companies all focus on regulated markets and hold multiple licenses and are publicly owned hence their annual report is publicly available.

I hope that soon I will be able to give a more detailed and definite answer to the question, ‘what is the most sustainable online casino?’

If you subscribe to my mailing list I will keep you up to date on any news and progress. 

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