Have you been reading articles on online gambling or online casino reviews? Then, you must have noticed that most of them mention regulatory bodies and licences. Although the information on regulations and licensing may not seem that important to you as a regular casino player, you should pay attention to these details.
Luckily, there are not many gambling sites that hold no licence out there. However, you can still stumble upon rogue casinos on the internet. So, the first thing you should check about an online casino before you sign up with it is whether a trustworthy authority has licensed it.
While no online gaming body regulates the industry globally, a few trusted regulators ensure operators provide their services lawfully, according to general standards. One of them is the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) we will take a closer look at in this article.
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What Is Malta Gaming Authority?
The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most popular gambling regulatory bodies in Europe. It is located in Malta, a Mediterranean island country that joined the European Union in 2004.
Malta was one of the first European countries to regulate the online gambling market back in 2000. But we will get to it later in the article.
In its mission statement published on the MGA official website, it is said that the regulator aims to regulate various sectors of the gaming industry by ensuring fair and transparent gaming services to players.
The MGA’s aims include protecting minors and vulnerable persons, safeguarding players’ rights, promoting responsible gaming and keeping gaming crime-free. Its vision is to sustain Malta’s position as a reputable jurisdiction and raise standards within the industry globally.
The main activity of the Malta Gaming Authority is issuing online gambling licences to casino operators. Besides, the MGA oversees online casinos regulated in this jurisdiction and collects gambling taxes from gaming companies to ensure the country’s development.
Malta Gaming Authority History
The Malta Gaming Authority was established in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA). As we have previously mentioned, Malta was one of the first jurisdictions in the world to regulate online gambling.
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority was a gaming body established under the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001. This piece of legislation addressed various forms of entertainment, setting the rules in this market.
The LGA rebranded to the Malta Gaming Authority in 2015, introducing a new logo.
Obtaining MGA Licence
Obtaining an online gambling licence is a subject that prospective casino operators are more interested in. Still, there are a few things you as a user should be aware of.
During the application process, an operator must prove that it is fit to conduct an online gaming business. In addition, the company that wants to run an online casino must meet the requirements and obligations prescribed by the regulatory body.
The Malta Gaming Authority will conduct investigations to check the companies’ backgrounds, finances, business plans as well as terms and policies. The process of acquiring an MGA licence consists of three stages, which include meeting share capital requirements of between €40,000 and €100,000
As you can see, there are many requirements operators must fulfil if they want to offer their services to the market. Those who manage to complete the procedure are granted a 10-year licence.
However, the operators who have obtained a licence are also subject to compliance audits once their businesses go live. If they fail to get audited, they will lose the licence.
The Malta Gaming Authority requires an operator to provide approvals for each vertical it offers, from casino and live casino games to sports and live betting, lotteries, bingo, etc. Also, to get an MGA licence, a gaming company must be registered in Malta.
Operators and Providers Licensed by MGA
Although it is not an easy task to secure an MGA online gambling licence, this Mediterranean island is one of the top choices for casino operators.
First of all, an MGA licence grants easy access to EU markets. Furthermore, taxes and fees associated with running an online gambling business in this jurisdiction are among the lowest globally.
Today, online casino goers can choose from hundreds of gambling sites that are registered and licensed in Malta. In addition, some of the biggest names in the industry have been licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.
Besides casino operators, the MGA also authorises providers to offer their products. Microgaming, NetEnt, Play’n Go and Evolution are just some gaming companies that have registered their branches in Malta to secure an MGA licence.
How to Find MGA-Licensed Online Casinos?
There are two ways to find an MGA-licensed online casino. You can either look up the MGA badge at the footer of a gambling site you like or browse casinos listed on our portal. Additionally, you can search the register available on the official Malta Gaming Authority website to find a site that has been granted a licence.
All MGA-licensed gaming venues featured on our website are vetted by our team of experienced reviewers. As a result, you can rest assured that all online casinos you will find on this page are legit gambling destinations.
Why Play at MGA-Licensed Online Casinos?
The advantages of playing at MGA-licensed online casinos are numerous. We will list some of them below.
- Safety and fairness
When you join a trusted online casino with a licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority, you can rest assured that you will play gambling games in a fair and safe environment. Both casino operators and software providers are subject to audits that should prove RNG-operated games have random and unbiased results.
Casino operators must employ security measures that ensure users’ data are safe. The industry standard is SSL encryption, which protects personal and financial information from cyber attacks.
- Your funds are safe
If an MGA-licensed casino goes bankrupt, you will be able to get your money back. Keeping players’ money separate from operational funds is one of the requirements operators must meet to get a licence.
- MGA is there for you
Do you believe that you have not been treated fairly? Are you not satisfied with the quality of the service the MGA-licensed casino you have signed up with provides? The good news is that you can make a complaint to the authority.
However, it is recommendable to resolve any issues with the operator. Contacting the regulatory body should be your last resort.