As we promote only verified and licensed casino sites in Malta, we will focus on the licensing process of the top gaming operators. The next boxes include links to the main topics in this blog post, so please use them, or stay tuned to the end of the article if you don't want to miss something important.
From the MGA fundamentals to the application steps for online casino operators who want to obtain a Malta gambling licence – you will find exactly what you are looking for. So, without further ado, let's get started with a short introduction to the MGA as a regulatory authority.
Fundamentals of the Malta Gambling Regulation
MGA has a significant role and purpose to regulate all sectors of the gaming industry in Malta. As stated by the MGA regulation fundamentals, a Malta gaming licence is required for every person intending to operate a gaming business in Malta. Simply put, if you have a business in the online gaming industry in Malta, you are required to have a licence. Here are other fundamentals of the MGA regulation:
- To oversee and regulate its licensees by managing innovation.
- Ensures the safety and reliability of the gambling services.
- Analyses of the business plans of the applicants for a licence.
- Audits all compliance reports and proposes dispute resolutions.
- Player protection by ensuring fair gaming and funds protection.
Malta Gaming Licence Types
The B2C Malta gambling licence is issued to gambling operators, such as online and land-based casinos that offer their services directly to players (customers). A B2B gambling licence in Malta concerns software providers that offer their services to other businesses, such as online casinos. There are also four classes or types of licences, depending on the offered remote gaming services.
|📜 Malta Gambling Licence Type||🎲 Examples of Included Games|
|Class 1 Licence||Casino Games, eSports, Lotteries, Poker|
|Class 2 Licence||Sports Wagers with Fixed Odds, Live Betting|
|Class 3 Licence||Betting Exchange, Pool Betting, p2p Games|
|Class 4 Licence||Controlled Skill Games, Daily Fantasy|
Of course, some types of games are excluded from the licensing requirement. Examples include games of skill that do not return prizes or require betting, such as charitable bingo or games played just for fun.
Licence Expiry Period
Several things changed with the publication of the Gaming Act 2018, including the extension of the Malta gambling licence validity from 5 years to 10 years. All four types of MT gambling licences can be renewed for the same period. Also, you will go through a compliance audit after the first year of operation, while any further change in the casino terms or the details on the offered games cannot be done without the MGA's approval.
Malta Casino Licence Application Process
The Malta casino licence is among the world's most important gambling commission licences. It offers a prestigious platform that can be used by gaming operators in any jurisdiction worldwide where online gambling is not prohibited. Here are the main steps of a Malta gaming licence application.
- Preparation/submission of the required documentation to the MGA.
- Thorough application review, including financial analyses and company security checks.
- Business plan review, including the sustainability of your company, business processes, etc.
- Complete testing of the gaming system that is conducted independently.
- Final checks and audits of the applicants who went successfully through the process.
- Issuing of a Malta gambling licence for 10 years.
You will also be asked to submit various documentation throughout the process and pay all the required taxes and application fees. If all goes well, your gaming business will be under the Malta gambling regulation, which offers unique benefits, such as access to developed markets, strict money laundering policies, and top responsible gaming services, among others.
Timeframes of the MT Licensing and Regulation Process
If you wonder how much time it takes to get a gambling licence in Malta – we can tell that the process
is lengthy and overwhelming. It comes down to several months, or even a year, depending on the state in which your
business is. Here are the approximate timeframes for some of the main processes, which could help you get a better idea.
|🏢 Registering a Company in Malta||About 2 Weeks|
|💳 Opening a Business Bank Account||About 2 Weeks|
|📗 Preparing the Business Plan||About 4-6 Weeks|
|📝 Gaming & Control System Audit||Up to 2 Months|
|⚖️ Compliance Audit||Up to 3 Months|
A nice tip is to use the services of a third-party company with professional consultants who can help you with all the
application steps from the MT licensing and regulation process. Yet, it could shorten the whole procedure up to
a month and a half, but this is a very rough approximation for the application only. It could take up to a
year or even more until you get the licence.
Requirements for a Gambling Licence from Malta
There are a lot of Malta online casino regulation requirements, and they are even more to get a licence. Examples
include documents and various forms, fees, certificates, etc., and you usually have a certain timeframe
to prepare them. Here is a list of requirements to get a Malta casino licence:
|Type of Requirement||Examples|
|ℹ️ ID/Contact Information||Copy of your ID, contact address, phone number, etc.|
|👔 Company Documentation||Documents about the office's registration, incorporation documents, annual financial reports and tax returns,
copies of audits, etc. Fewer documents for startups.
|💻 Property Requirements||The location of all software and hardware elements required for the operation of your gaming business must be in
|🏢 Casino Plan||Scheme of the gaming premises, the support centre, and documents to prove the operational readiness of your
facility to meet the standards.
|🏆 Business Plan||A short- and long-term business plan, documents about business activities and projections, and other documents
to prove operational sustainability.
|📜 Gambling Policies:||Documentation about the offered games and testing certificates, general casino rules, promotional conditions,
responsible gaming practices, technical procedures, etc.
|💵 Share Capital:||A minimum of €100,000 issued and paid-up share capital for Class 1 or Class 2 game licences; and a minimum of
€40,000 for Class 3 or Class 4 game licences.
|✔️ System Audit Report:||Report from an independent test-run audit of the gaming system. Required only from the successful applicants and
must be conducted by a company approved by the MGA.
Of course, these are only the common examples of the requirements you can come across during the MT
licensing and regulation process. Prepare for many additional requirements, such as personal details of shareholders
with more than 5% interest, including qualification and experience evaluation, face-to-face interviews, and others.
Annual Licence Fees & Costs
There are many application fees, as well as costs during the Malta gambling regulation. If you wonder whether it
is cheap or not to get a Malta casino licence – the short answer would be ‘it is not cheap'. There are
administrative fees, non-refundable fees, annual licence fees, regular audit taxes, and more. Here are a few examples:
|➡️ Licence Application Fee:||€1000|
|➡️ Fixed Annual Licence Fee:||€25,000 (for Types 1, 2, and 3), €10,000 (for Type 4)|
|➡️ New Licence Application Fee:||€5000|
|➡️ Licence Renewal Fee:||€5000|
|➡️ Malta Tax on Gambling:||5% (for B2C Licence Holders)|
|➡️ Corporate Tax Rate:||35%|
There are also compliance contribution rates for offering gaming services, paid yearly. They vary from
0.40% to 4% depending on the class type of the Malta gambling licence and the annual revenue. There are also different
fees for B2B and B2C licence holders. You should contact the MGA or your consultancy company for more details on this
Responsibilities of the Operators Licensed by the MGA
The greatest responsibility after your business obtains a Malta gaming licence is mostly associated with continual compliance with the MGA policies. From general accounting to ongoing operational maintenance and regular audits – there are many obligations once you become a licence holder.
Penalties for Non-Compliance with the MGA Regulation
Non-compliance of licensees with the Malta online casino regulation leads to penalties and even criminal proceedings. The high credibility of a Malta gaming licence must not be underestimated. Here are some of the penalties for non-compliance with the MGA regulation:
- An administrative fine of up to €235,000 for licensees who breached the MGA conditions.
- Administrative penalties for offences committed against the Gaming Act.
- Criminal proceedings for licensees who refuse to pay administrative fines.
Every fine is determined by the MGA and depends on numerous factors, such as scale, duration, and frequency of the breach. The investigation must conclude whether the non-compliant breach is deliberate or due to negligence, the parties involved, previous records, and others.
Overview of the MGA Licensing Process & Closing Thoughts
All gaming establishments and casino operators in Malta are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, and you can check them out from the MGA licensee register. The Authority transformed into a symbol of innovation and high standards in the gaming industry, and it develops constantly. They even have a new revamped look you can see in the next video.
Compared to other application processes – the Malta gaming licence is often preferred, as it offers numerous benefits. The shortened application time, the long validity period, and the good offshore coverage are only a few examples. It is a licence from an EU member, and it is a guarantee for the fairness and trustworthiness of the casino operators.
Malta Gaming Licence and Regulation Process – Q&As
If you want to know more about the gambling licence in Malta, please read the following sections with questions and answers. From the application process to the main requirements and the licence validity – we have covered it all.
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