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Malta Casino Licence

It may be one of the world’s smallest countries, both in size and population, but don’t underestimate this small rock in the middle of the Mediterranean when it comes to online gambling. Over the past decade, Malta’s iGaming industry has grown exponentially from just a few iGaming licensees in 2004 to over 400 operators with a Malta casino licence in 2014. These operators are together operating around 1,000 websites in more than 20 languages.

Malta’s independency

Although a former British colony, this archipelago of seven islands, including Malta, Comino and Gozo, is now an independent republic. Malta achieved its independence on 21 September 1964. It was after intense negotiations with the United Kingdom, led by Maltese Prime Minister George Borġ Olivier.

Malta initially retained Queen Elizabeth II as Queen of Malta, but it was on 13 December 1974 Malta declared itself a republic.

Malta gained full accession to the European Union on 1 May 2004. Until today, this is a historic date for the country. It was on this exact same date that Malta became the first EU member state to adopt standalone online gaming regulations.

Gambling regulations Malta

The Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001 is responsible for the gambling industry taking place on the island. The Remote Gaming Regulations 2004 form the base of Malta’s iGaming industry.

Prior to the date, Malta introduced its revamped iGaming regulations on 1 May 2004, online gaming was regulated in Malta under accreditations issued under the Public Lotto Ordinance.

Malta casino licence system

Since its introduction in 2004, online gambling operators can apply for a Malta casino licence. The following four classes of online gambling licences are issued by Malta’s Gaming Authority (MGA):

Class 1 is for operators providing online casino games, games of chance, and games that use a random number generator.
A Class 2 licence provides online sports and betting operators to operate within the Malta jurisdiction and with in most European countries.
Class 3 is for advertisers and promotion companies that operate from Malta.
The Class 4 licence is for companies that host and manage remote gaming operations, but are not themselves operators.

Each licence is valid for a period of five years. Class 4 licensees give broader powers by 2011 amendments to the Remote Gaming regulations to allow them to operate as platform providers for client-facing operators holding a European licence, or any country approved by the MGA.

Prior to those amendments, Class 4 holders could only act as providers for operators holding a Malta casino licence (Class 1, 2, 3).

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is responsible for all gambling activities in Malta, including online gambling.

Its mission is to regulate the iGaming industry, and its various sectors falling under the authority. They want to ensure that gaming is fair and transparent to the players. The authority also aims to protect minor and vulnerable players.

Meanwhile, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering while it also aims to protect minor and vulnerable players.

Malta iGaming activities

The Remote Gaming Regulations 2004 allows Malta to issue online gambling licences to operators which meet the requirement.

There are four types of online gambling licences available for the iGaming industry. They concern online casino games, games of chance, games using a Random Number Generator (RNG), and online sports betting.

Respected iGaming jurisdiction

Malta pioneered online gambling licensing, even before the country introduced the revamped iGaming regulations on 1 May 2004. Malta approved the first gambling websites in 2000, conducted under the Public Lotto Ordinance.

Old or new regulations, it all started with just a few online casino licenses issued. But it was in the past decade Malta grew into one of the world’s largest and most respected iGaming jurisdictions.

With over 400 licensees operating over 1,000 websites in more than 20 languages, Malta can be called a home for iGaming companies. Licensees operate online casinos, poker rooms and sports betting sites. Malta also provides licences for software providers like NetEnt.

Memorandum of Understanding

It’s on the 9th of October 2013 Malta’s Gaming Authority (MGA) and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission (AGCC) signed bilateral cooperation to enter into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU).

This MoU provides a formal basis for cooperation between the two respected jurisdictions. The cooperation involves the exchange of information and investigative assistance of providers and iGaming services.

By entering the MoU both jurisdictions aim to improve consumer protection and the protection of society and public order as well as they will make extra efforts to ensure fair, responsible and secure provision of gaming services.

The MoU is an important step in the development and sharing of common regulatory best practices which benefits operators in both jurisdictions.