The Malta Gaming Authority, also known as “MGA”, was established in 2001. It aims to regulate all forms of gambling in Malta, both online and land-based. This Gaming Control Board established and applies the general principles of legislation to the various sectors of the gambling industry. This includes the outline and issue of licences and the safeguard of both players’ rights and the integrity of gaming devices.
Regulations and Rules
The MGA works through a large variety of fields and is comprised of a Board of Governors appointed by the Parliamentary Secretary. Its departments include Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, an Executive Committee, an Audit Committee, a Supervisory Council, and a Fit and Proper Committee. Gaming legislation is based on a framework that establishes, regulates and directs all the activity related to the gambling industry.
Malta’s gaming industry is a major player in the country’s economic landscape. It was one of the very first European countries to regulate online gambling, with licenses being granted since the early 2000s. The industry’s strictness and reputation have developed throughout the years. Nowadays, applicants for a licence granted by the MGA should expect a thorough process that includes the assessment of all the information related to those responsible for the financial and management areas of the business, as well as the project’s viability.
After an in-depth analysis of the business plan, applications are fully examined on its operational and statutory elements. Only then will the MGA inform if the requested licence will be granted. Applicants have 60 days to implement the technical environment before going live, and a 5-year licence will be issued.
Types of Casino Licenses
The Malta Gaming Authority issues both B2C and B2B licences, dividing them into Gaming Service and Critical Gaming Supply. The first deals with the operation and provision of a gaming service, while the second deals with the supply of material elements of a game. There are four game types bound to licensing. The Type 1 variety are games of chance played against the house with a randomly generated outcome (casino type games).
Type 2 are games of chance played against the house with the outcome determined by the result of an event or competition. Type 3 games are of chance not played against the house (poker, bingo or any other commission based game). Lastly, Type 4 are controlled, skilled games. All the applications must be submitted using the Licensee Relationship Management System available at the MGA website.
Responsible Gambling Online
In 2014, the Malta Gaming Authority launched an initiative aiming to consolidate the gaming industry in the country. A joint project between the MGA and the Ministry for Family Affairs and Social Solidarity, the Responsible Gaming Foundation established and manages a fund aimed to promote responsible gaming practices and to create awareness around the subject.
The Responsible Gaming Foundation also deals with the causes and consequences of excessive gambling in the country and provides support for addicted and compulsive gamblers seeking recovery. The Player Support Centre can be contacted, with the goal of further strengthening the help provided to those in need of assistance in gambling-related issues. By promoting responsible gaming, the commission helps ensure that everyone can fully enjoy the pleasures of Malta.