The Republic of Malta is an independent island nation in the Mediterranean sea. Tourism is a key sector of the country's economy. In addition, the local government is actively developing the gambling business, creating favorable conditions for foreign gambling operators. This activity will be discussed later in the article.
Malta reviewThe most promising direction of this industry is the regulation of online gambling. Malta became the first member of the European Union, which at the state level began to issue licenses for the organization of online casinos and other virtual gambling establishments. Currently, a government organization called Malta Gaming Authority issues four types of licenses:
- Class 1 covers casino games, online lotteries, and other games where the operator risks their money.
- Class 2 applies to different types of bookmakers and sweepstakes.
- Class 3 is issued to establishments that earn commissions from players (for example, poker rooms).
- Class 4 is a license for developers of software used in gambling.
- Offline and online casinos (including the live casino);
- Commercial bingo;
- Entertainment devices;
- The equipment for gaming;
- Sports betting;
- Sports poker;
- The national lottery;
- Casino on cruise ships;
- Non–commercial games.
Gambling history in this countryTo trace the history of gambling in Malta will help the following list of the main dates when there were important events for the industry:
- The first gambling game, which was very popular in the country, historians call Ic – Cippitatu. In Malta, it was played several centuries ago, although it is hardly possible to name the exact dates. It was a kind of public lottery, which was arranged for the holidays.
- 1922 – Malta adopted the Lotto Act, which defined the rules of lotteries.
- 1945 – lottery Department is Founded.
- 1948 – Malta national lottery was launched.
- 2001 – the act on lotteries and other games was Adopted, and the Department of lotteries and gambling (the Lotteries and Gaming Authority) was founded
- 2004 – Malta becomes the first EU country to have a government body dealing with online gambling.
- March 2005 – was elected to the First Council of remote gambling in Malta (Malta Remote Gaming Council). MRGC was involved in regulating the activities of gambling operators and providers of such services. This body launched a forum on the Internet, where stakeholders discussed various issues related to the field of gaming.
- September 2007 – the UK's "white list" of countries that meet the stringent requirements of the British gambling Commission has led many operators to look to Malta as a potential gambling jurisdiction.
- June 2011 – Malta greatly simplified the procedure for applying for licenses and obtaining documents, which made it more attractive for casino owners.
- 2012 – MGA has signed a Memorandum of understanding with the gaming commissions of Jersey and Denmark. This step made a cooperation with the organization more convenient and transparent for customers.
- 2015 – Malta Gaming Authority investigated the operators 'links to the mafia, which resulted in the cancellation of several operators' licenses.
Licensing authorityAn organization called Malta Gaming Authority is currently engaged in issuing licenses and overall control of gambling operators. "Act on lotteries and gambling" prescribes its main objectives and goals:
Competent to regulate the various sectors of the lottery and gaming industry covered by its powers, ensuring the integrity and transparency of the gaming process for players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering, as well as protecting small and vulnerable players.
It not only issues permits but also monitors the integrity of operators, prevents money laundering, helps unprotected players and so on.
Mga does not certify software.
It deals with customer complaints only when they relate to the licensing of establishments.
Requirements for licenseesSince Malta Gaming Authority issues licenses of four classes required for the organization of different types of gambling, it is necessary to specify the conditions for obtaining documents in each case.
The rules are detailed in the thematic sections of the official website of the MGA. It also talks about the cost of all types of licenses. You can download the forms of all the documents that you need to send to apply in the downloads section.
The established requirements for licensees related to the size of the authorized capital, the system of measures to combat money laundering, the reliability of the software used, and so on.
An important factor is the mandatory location of the company's head office in Malta and the implementation of a significant part of financial transactions within the country.
After obtaining a license, the operator must fulfill a number of other requirements. They relate to proper financial reporting, proper protection of personal data of customers, taking measures to combat the development of gambling, as well as many other aspects.
If the licensee systematically violates the established rules, the validity of his license may be suspended, or it may be canceled altogether.
Malta: Casino with licensesThe Remote Gaming section of the Malta Gaming Authority's official website has a list of all valid license holders. There you will also find a list of operators whose licenses have been suspended and a list of scammers working on fake documents that mimic mga licenses.
Among the licensees of the organization, there are such well – known operators as Betfair, BML Group, Unibet, Betway, Casumo, iGame Malta, Mr. Green, bwin.party, Wazdan, Yggdrasil and other companies.