Licensing Authorities Around the World

Poker Licensing

We get it. You've come across poker sites that seemed to be licensed and regulated. Some even offer online poker in New Jersey. But they're not on our list. And they don't seem to be run by an Atlantic City casino. So what gives? Well, there are tons of offshore online poker sites that operate from outside of the US.

Here's the deal. Every site we recommend is headquartered in New Jersey and licensed by the state. There are other gambling regulatory bodies around the world that oversee, license, and regulate online poker sites, but none are officially approved for serving New Jersey players. Still, it's a good idea to familiar yourself with each one in case you come across their logo.

New Jersey

The Division of Gaming Enforcement regulates all online poker and casino activity in New Jersey. They hand out licenses to approved applicants after a stringent review process. Once a licensed site is up and running, they are only permitted to offer games to players who are residents of New Jersey and who are playing from within state lines.


Real money online poker play is licensed in the state of Nevada by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Much like New Jersey, players must be residents of Nevada and play from within state lines. Poker sites in Nevada aren't that popular. Right now, there are only two live poker sites and questions remain whether there is room for a third. There are some talks about a compact with the state of Delaware.


Most offshore poker sites are licensed and regulated in Gibraltar by the Gibraltar Gaming Commission. Poker players who see the Gibraltar seal on a poker sites can play confidently, knowing that the site is trustworthy.


The Malta Lotteries and Gambling Authority is renowned across the word for its strict code of conduct. Online poker sites licensed in Malta are constantly monitored to make sure they're operating fairly and within the tight guidelines set out by the


Formed in 2006, the UK Gambling Commission was created to oversee gambling for residents. However, they aren't involved in licensing any offshore online poker properties. There are talks to force companies that want to offer gambling with the UK to obtain a license from the UK Gambling Commission or risk being booted out of the country.


Not recognized internationally, the Spain National Gambling Commission controls all the casinos in the country. What's more, any offshore casino property that wants to offer poker and casino games to residents of Spain must first obtain a remote gambling license.


The epicenter of the online poker and casino boom, Antigua was one of the world's first licensing authorities. Today, they're still involved in licensing online casinos and poker sites. What's more, they're the one country that goes to bat for offshore sites. Antigua was involved in a trade dispute with the United States over Internet Gambling. The World Trade Organization actually ruled in favor of Antigua but the US has failed to abide by the decision.

Costa Rica

The betting capital of the world, Costa Rica is home to tens of thousands of employees working in the gambling business. From customer service to marketing, from operations to payments, Costa Rica is arguably the planet's online gambling headquarters. Costa Rica online poker licenses permit companies to operate from within its borders and build offices within the country.

Netherlands Antilles

Poker sites that want to hit the market fast will often obtain a license from Netherlands Antilles. As opposed to a stringent review process, Netherlands Antilles runs on more of a rubber stamp philosophy. Apply. Pay a fee. Get a license.


You don't usually see a Curacao stamp of approval on an online poker website, but that's because the Curacao license is less of an operational license and more of a business permit. A license in Curacao permits online poker companies from operating within its borders, but games are usually provided to poker players in other countries.

Always look for the New Jersey seal of approval

Wondering whether an online poker site is legit? Just look for the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement logo on the online gambling website. That means the site is not only regulated by the state, but also operating from within state lines. And that means it's safe to shuffle up and deal.