Based on the tiny, but very beautiful Mediterranean island of Malta we find one of the most reputable and better known of all gambling authorities. As an EU member state it was actually the first country in the European Union to introduce online gambling regulations. Known formerly as the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), the Maltese Gaming Authority (MGA) is responsible for the issuance of licenses in the gambling jurisdiction of Malta. They cover all manner of online and terrestrial gambling operations including online casinos and betting sites, bingo halls, land based casinos, sea based casinos, national lotteries and even amusement machines/gaming devices.
There are over 500 online gambling sites licensed by the Maltese Gaming Authority. The MGA is whitelisted by the UK Gambling Commission too, meaning its licensees are able to offer online gambling services to residents inside of the UK. There are numerous other benefits that come from obtaining a license from the MGA, most notably companies who operate their business from the island receive generous rates of business taxation.
Obtaining a license from the Maltese Gaming Authority
Initially Malta offered gambling licenses through its Public Lotteries ordinance. In 2001 however they introduced an overhaul of the legislative framework which fell into line with the Lotteries and other Games Act (2001). In 2004 Malta created new legislation called the Remote Gaming Regulations, which allowed for four different types of license to be applied for.
As an operator you are eligible to apply for multiple licenses which have a duration of 5 years. The MGA requires you to meet a number of conditions and pass a set of security checks before they will issue you any type of license. They ensure proper protection is offered to players and are extremely strict on fraud and money laundering activities. Operators must provide financial records as well as other proof of status, have a data protection plan in place and also advocate responsible gaming. The MGA reserves the right to revoke any class of license at any time and monitor licensees very closely, requiring them to submit separate written requests for any actions that need their approval.
The different types of licenses available from the Maltese Gaming Authority
There are four different types of licences that can be applied for by operators. They span from a Class 1 License which covers all casino, skill based and lottery style games. The Class 2 license covers all types of sports betting. A Class 3 license covers online peer to peer sites and a Class 4 license is specifically geared towards software and tech companies in the gambling sector. The MGA take the role of the licensees very seriously and as such consumers are able to make complaints directly to them, to ensure fairness and complete protection for all players.