Online Casinos Licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority
MGA is one of the most popular licensing bodies in the world, with hundreds of licensed online casinos currently operating. The stringent, lengthy, and complex process doesn’t deter operators from seeking MGA’s renowned licensing approval. Let’s explore the steps a business must take to obtain the coveted license from MGA.
The first step to obtaining a license requires a business to maintain a registered office in Malta. Each company must have at least one secretary and one director. MGA also has minimum requirements for positions, which include obligations to the Chief Executive, Gaming Operations, and Compliance. Legal, technology, anti-money laundering, and accounting are other primary areas under review during the licensing process.
After reviewing the background of the company owners and key personnel, MGA officials assess all financial aspects of the company. Determining whether the information provided and all persons involved with the enterprise meet MGA’s standards. This step of the process consists of an investigation with law enforcement and bank references.
A business plan review is the next phase. After the company passes the initial two checks, MGA delves into the business plan to determine its efficacy. Scrutiny of all aspects of the proposed project may include reviews of human resources, software, operations, finances, and marketing. Even proposed hosting companies must meet strict standards under Malta’s online business requirements.
After accepting the business plan’s feasibility, MGA analyzes corporate documents, rules, procedures, software, and all agreements with third-party vendors. In addition, the company must meet the financial threshold MGA sets for the specific license class, which requires capital of at least €40,000 for Class 4 and up to €100,000 for Class 1. A final compliance review allows operators to go live and show how the online betting platform works. Here is a list of casinos licensed by MGA.
- Casino Cruise
- Genesis Casino
Malta Gaming Authority Approved Casinos
Applicants at the audit certification stage receive approval to operate within 60 days to complete an audit by an MGA-listed company. The auditor ensures that the online betting platform works as outlined in the company’s business plan. Once certified by the auditor, the platform obtains the MGA license for a 10-year period. The entire start-to-finish licensing and audit completion timeframe may take from 12 weeks to up to 50 weeks, depending on the application.
After receiving the license from MGA, online betting operators may freely offer gambling opportunities to citizens in many countries which accept gaming sites with the MGA license. Any operator who opens a registered business in Malta is eligible to apply for online gambling licensing to offer betting products and services in any place in the world that accepts the license.
What Restrictive Measures Do They Take?
One of the benefits is that the Malta license is well respected. Industry leaders across the globe are familiar with MGA, and some countries automatically accept betting platforms licensed by the Authority. While the process for approval is long, complex, and expensive, it’s worth it for operators who want to reach a global audience with gambling entertainment. With one license, an operator may provide services in multiple places and offer a variety of services by adding the associated gambling class type to the permit.
Without a license, operators face several hurdles in building a good reputation in the industry. Advertising restrictions apply in many countries that require licensure for an online betting site to operate. Without the ability to advertise, a company may not remain competitive in the market with others that are free to spread the word about gambling services. Regulators frequently block unlicensed operators to prevent access to citizens. Blocking a website is a measure in place to protect gamblers from disreputable individuals. History of the Malta Gaming Authority License
Launched in 2001**, the MGA controls and regulates all gambling in Malta,** including lotteries, slots, casinos, and online betting operations catering to businesses and consumers. With the goal of ensuring fair gameplay and protecting players from unacceptable business practices, MGA promotes transparency, prevents crime, and protects minors. As one of the online market’s first gambling regulators, the government in Malta has implemented strict requirements for the industry.
Since 2001, the market in Malta has continued to grow, and gambling is 12 percent of the GDP.
Embracing online betting in 2004, the region passed its remote gaming regulations, which quickly became an industry standard for online gambling and entertainment. Malta’s thriving gambling business fuels the government’s open environment, which welcomes the technology, entertainment, and gaming sectors. By offering four different license classes for specific gambling sectors, MGA covers most gaming entertainment sectors.
Benefits of Malta Gaming Authority
Businesses choose Malta because the license is legal in any country, which doesn’t prohibit its use in online gambling. In addition, EU laws prevent member states from restricting Malta’s licensees. These guarantees afford license holders significant leverage when setting up digital operations in multiple nations across the globe. However, a regulatory body may require a Malta-licensed casino or sportsbook to purchase a local license to adhere to regulations within a specific nation’s borders. Although many regions accept the MGA license, several do not. However, for a global expansion, MGA offers the quickest way to legally operate a gambling business online and advertise to a variety of audiences in various locations.
Another benefit to the MGA license is that operators do not complete the licensing process a second time to add a different gambling class. Instead, it’s a straightforward process to add the category to the existing license. License classes represented include games of chance, sports betting, commission-based gambling, and skill games such as fantasy sports.
How to Identify MGA-Licensed Casinos
Identifying reputable casinos licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is essential, especially for beginners. Here's a list to guide you:
- Look for the Official MGA Logo: This is usually displayed at the footer of the casino's website. It serves as an instant badge of quality and safety.
- Check the License Number: Besides the logo, many casinos also display their MGA license number, providing an additional layer of transparency.
- Visit the MGA's Official Website: Directly accessing the authority's site can provide you with a wealth of information.
- Use the Licensee Register: On the MGA website, there's a specific section where you can verify the licensing status of a casino. Make sure the casino's details match what's on their website.
- Customer Support Query: If in doubt, ask the casino's customer support team directly about their MGA license.
By following these steps, you'll be better positioned to play with peace of mind, knowing you're on a platform that meets the esteemed standards of the MGA.
Domestic Laws and Restrictions set by the Malta Gaming Authority
For illegal operators who run an online betting establishment in the Maltese jurisdiction, the owners may experience heavy fines and possible jail time. Fines are steep and may cost an illegal gambling operator as much as 500,000 euros.
Operators without a license may also face bans in the marketplace or be forced to shut down by regulators. In addition, reputable vendors only work with licensed casino operations. To facilitate payment transactions, deposits, and withdrawals, a license is essential. Software vendors are also the lifeblood of the industry. Top-tier developers will likely refuse to place software on a website without a gambling license.
In 2022, after tensions between Russia and Ukraine escalated, MGA requires licensees to adhere to sanctions by running additional background checks and ensuring money does not originate from sources within Russia.
The Malta Gaming Authority is a significant player in online casino licensing. The organization performs in-depth background checks and analyses to ensure companies comply with strict regulatory requirements for establishing an online betting site under the country’s jurisdiction. As an industry leader, the Authority implements best practices to protect global gamblers from disreputable companies by requiring licensees to meet strict operational standards.
About the author
Amidst the hustle of Lagos, Adaobi Okonkwo emerges as Nigeria's preeminent specialist in localizing online casino content. By fusing Nigerian zest with global gaming insights, she's become a household name in the industry.