In this MGA review, we’ll show you the history of the Malta Gaming Authority, and we’ll explain what regulations operators must comply with. As you will see, the Malta Gaming Authority is interested in protecting players, preventing crime, and making sure that online gambling is safe for Europeans.
The Malta Gaming Authority – A History
- The MGA began back in 2001. This makes it one of the oldest and most established iGaming regulators in Europe. It launched Malta to the forefront of online gambling.
- It aims to enforce the laws set out in the Gaming Act as of 2018. However, it also enforces lots of other gaming regulations and directives, including everything from tax to advertising standards.
- In its history, the MGA has fined several large operators for violations of its regulations. For example, in January of 2020, it fined Blackrock Media €2.34 million for offering unlicensed egaming.
Malta Gaming Authority Regulations
Operators who hold Malta Gaming Authority licences have to comply with all of the regulations laid out in the Gaming Act. The most important of these include:
- Paying appropriate license fees and taxes. License fees are currently €25,000, and the gaming tax is 5%. The gaming tax only applies to players based in Malta.
- Player protection regulations, including respecting the rights and obligations of players and protecting vulnerable players and the underaged.
- Complying with all relevant sections of the Malta Criminal Code.
- Technical infrastructure regulations for hosting remote gaming software. This includes game testing for randomness and fairness.
- Operators must comply with the Data Protection Act. This includes making sure that no personal or financial details are leaked.
- All MGA license holders must comply with the Prevention of Money Laundering Act. This includes performing source of funds checks and player verifications.
In total, there are 12 sets of regulations, 14 directives, 11 guidance notes, and 6 extra legal Acts that operators must comply with. Therefore, if you’re an operator, it is advisable to consult with the MGA and legal experts to ensure compliance before proceeding with an application.
Is the Malta Gaming Authority Strict?
The Malta Gaming Authority takes its responsibilities extremely seriously. It has proven that it will fine non-compliant operators significant sums and will revoke their licences in the most serious cases. Here are some of the instances in question.
- In 2020, the MGA issued its highest ever fine of €2.34 million to Blackrock Media.
- In 2018, they canceled eight iGaming licenses and suspended four more. This is when the new Gambling Act regulations kicked in.
- Since 2001, the MGA has revoked dozens of licences and has fined operators millions of Euros for various infractions. From the outset, it has proven itself a serious regulator that will enforce its license terms strictly.
Malta Gaming Authority – FAQ
What should I do if a Malta-licensed casino refuses to pay me?
You can lodge a complaint directly with the Malta Gaming Authority. Unlike the UKGC, which does not handle disputes directly, the MGA does. You need to try to resolve the dispute with the operator first. If this does not work, you can fill in a dispute resolution form on the MGA website.
How can I obtain a Malta Gaming Authority license for my casino site?
In the website, you’ll see a menu tab that says, “Apply for a License.” This will involve costly fees, so it is strongly recommended that you hire a legal professional to ensure that your casino is fully compliant with all relevant regulations before you apply.
Does the Malta Gaming Authority have a public database?
Yes, there is a public licensee register on the MGA website. You can verify that a casino has an up-to-date and valid license by entering its name and/or license number.
Why are there so many regulations and laws to comply with?
The MGA has recognized that the number of laws and regulations is burdensome. The introduction of the Gaming Act in 2018 was an attempt to consolidate and simplify the iGaming laws in Malta. However, you will still need professional legal help to navigate all the laws.