Betting Without License

Playing online betting without a license refers to the many online gaming operators on the market today that choose to target players from German, Dutch countries, even though they are not licensed in these countries. It’s totally legal for players from the above mentioned countries to play at “unlicensed” betting sites, and a majority of them has actually a license but not from those specific countries. We have gathered all the information you need to know about betting sites without a license. So take a look at our comprehensive guide to know more about unlicensed betting sites.
Last Updated: June 10, 2024

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What is Betting Without a License?

Betting without license and casino without license are terms that concerns those foreign betting sites that lie outside the jurisdiction of a few countries such as Germany, Netherlands or other European countries and are commonly referred to as “wetten ohne lizenz“ or “betting uden licens”. However, referring to unlicensed sites in this way may be problematic since this doesn’t make them bad or unreliable operators.

Betting without license does not mean that the betting site does not have a license. Most of these betting sites have MGA or Curacao license.

MGA & Curacao License

MGA & Curacao License

While it’s true that many online betting sites operate without a license issued by the gambling authority in each of the relevant countries, some may be in possession of a valid license from other trusted authorities such as the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) or the government of Curacao.

Is it illegal to gamble on unlicensed betting sites?

No, it’s not illegal to play at a betting site without a license. It is not a criminal offense to play on betting sites without a license and this is mostly a matter of personal choice. However, there may be some higher risks involved with these types of operators, which is why we recommend being cautious about the site you choose. Or simply going for a licensed operator if safety is one of your top priorities.

It’s fully legal for Germans, Dutch players to play at a betting site without a license.

In practice, it is up to you whether you want to play on an unlicensed betting site while keeping in mind all the risks of choosing a gaming company without a license. However, it is illegal for operators to accept players from some countries due to the lack of a license in those countries. This can even result in hefty fines for the betting sites in question. But nothing can happen to the players, they are free to choose to play at a betting site without a license.

What’s the difference between betting sites without a license with a license?

The biggest difference between licensed and unlicensed betting companies is mainly that the site is not covered by the laws and regulations stipulated by the gambling authorities in Britain, Holland or Germany. The requirements for obtaining a gaming license from these countries are strict, and not every company that applies for it is granted it. The gambling authorities in these countries have a major influence on how operators in their gaming markets should conduct their operations for players in each country.

Bigger bonuses

Bigger bonuses

Multiple bonuses are not allowed so if you choose to play on a betting site with a license, you will be offered an odds bonus at best in addition to the welcome bonus for new players. At unlicensed betting sites, the bonuses are both bigger and more. You don’t only get one bonus but often several, sometimes even every week.

Different payment methods

Payment methods offered in licensed casinos must be secure and reliable. This is also the case on betting sites without a license but not to the same extent. You can find credit cards, E-wallets, Trustly, Instant Banking, DirektBank at casinos with and without a license, but payment methods like Bitcoin and other crypto currencies can only be found at casinos with Curacao license.

Most betting sites without a license offer VISA and Mastercard, but players have difficulties using it, due to the government stopping transactions from banks to an unlicensed betting site.

No national self-exclusion program

One big thing that does differ between a betting site with and without a license, is national self-exclusion programs.  If you have a license you are obliged to be part of a national self-exclusion program. If a player chooses to use the program, they exclude themselves from all sites at the same time.

At betting sites without a license, this does not exist. Betting sites without a license ar not part of any national self-exclusion program, meaning that if a player uses a self-exclusion program, they can still play at an unlicensed betting site.

Bonuses on betting sites without a license

At licensed betting companies, you currently only get one bonus, which is the welcome bonus awarded to new players when making your first deposit. At betting companies without a license, on the other hand, you will be offered several bonuses and promotions in addition to the welcome bonus and can take advantage of both free bets and promotional offers. In addition to this, odds on betting sites without a license can also be better, and the range of games is often more varied.

Here’s an example of the types of bonuses you can receive on betting sites without a license:


Free Bet Bonus

A type of bonus that gives players a free bet when they place a bet. Example: Bet €20 on a football match and get €20 extra to play for.


Cashback bonus

The player gets back a certain percentage of the amount he played for and lost. Example: 10% back on everything you lost in a week. If you have lost €1,000, you will get back 10% of this – €100.



Like offers and competitions of various kinds. Example: Win a football trip or an iPhone by playing for a certain amount of money for a certain period.

Payment methods on betting sites without a  license

As mentioned earlier in the text, there is not much difference regarding payment methods at licensed and unlicensed gaming companies. On betting sites without a license, you can in the majority of cases find the same methods that licensed bettings use.

Trustly & Instant Banking

Methods such as Trustly, Instant Banking and DirektBank are available on the majority of unlicensed betting sites. With these payment options you can use BankID or NemID to verify your transactions.  This means that you do not have to wait for several hours or days to access your winnings.

The vast majority of betting companies with MGA casino license offer Trustly, while Curacao licensed sites offer Instant Banking or DirectBank.

E-wallets and Bitcoin

E-wallets and Bitcoin

When playing on a betting site without a license, you also have more options when making deposits and withdrawals, including bank cards and e-wallets. It can take between a few hours and a day before you see the money in your account after a withdrawal with just these methods, but it is safe and secure. Some betting sites, such as those licensed in Curacao, also offer the possibility to deposit and withdraw with cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin.

Payment methods on betting sites without a license:

  • Trustly
  • Instant Banking / DirektBank
  • VISA
  • Mastercard
  • Neteller
  • Skrill
  • EcoPayz
  • Neosurf
  • Boku
  • Qiwi
  • Cryptocurrencies

Why do betting sites choose to waive a gaming license?

Since the Dutch, German and Nordic gaming licenses came into force, a clear division was created among gaming companies.  On the one side, there were those who immediately applied for the license and on the other were those who chose to refuse it. The reason why some gaming companies took the decision to opt out of the gaming license from those countries comes down to a few major factors:

  • The License Is Expensive – The Fee For A License Can Cost Up To € 70,000
  • Gaming Companies Must Pay Tax Amounting To 18% Of The Site’s Net Profit
  • The Regulations Are Strict – All Gaming Sites With A National Gaming License Must Offer The National Suspension System.

No limits on depositions

Additionally, there are several requirements for betting sites that have a license, such as moderate marketing as opposed to the usual large advertising campaigns. All players who play at a betting under those  licenses must also be able to set deposit limits and the maximum amount they can play for.

Target bigger audience

Due to the reasons mentioned above, many betting companies are satisfied with licenses from MGA or Curacao as they have the possibility to offer their site to several different countries and thus target a larger audience.

Frequently asked questions about betting without license

Is it illegal to play at a betting site without a license?

No, it’s not illegal to play at a betting site without a license. It’s fully legal for players from Germany, Holland to play at betting sites with no license.

What is betting without a license?

Betting without a license refers to betting sites that do not have a license from a Scandinavian country. These betting sites have often a license from Curacao or MGA instead.

What is the best betting site without a license?

It depends on what you are searching for in a betting site without a license. There are several unlicensed betting that offer both sports book and casino like 22Bet and Melbet.

Do betting sites without license have National elf-exclusion program?

No, national self-exclusion programs like ROFUS, Gamstop and Rofus does not exist on betting sites without license. If you have pressed any national self-exclusion programs at a licensed betting site, you can still play at a betting site without a license.

Is it safe to play at a betting site without a license?

Yes it’s safe to play at a betting site without a license. Most of the betting sites without a license have a either a MGA or a Curacao license.

Can I use Trustly, Instant Banking and DirektBank at a betting site without license?

Yes you can use Trustly, Instant Banking and DirektBank at betting sites without license. At the moment there are several unlicensed betting sites that offer these payment methods.

Vincenzo Davari

Written By

Vincenzo Davari

An iGaming enthusiast that have worked with online casinos and betting since 2017. Ex-chief editor for a sport news outlet, Vincenzo is the stalwart of the team who dares to dream big. He knows content that could be a player’s ticket to a million bucks. A quiet achiever, he believes in working in silence and letting success make the noise. He is also the one who ensures everything in the team works the way it should. We can always bet our boots on that

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