Malta Gaming License

Malta Gaming License

Step into the dynamic iGaming sector with a Malta Gaming License. Boost your market presence and streamline your business processes with our expert licensing guidance.

Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) stands as a pivotal figure in the global gaming industry, renowned for its comprehensive regulatory framework and proactive approach to overseeing gaming activities.

This includes both land-based and online gaming sectors. The authority’s responsibilities extend beyond the issuance of licenses; it is also tasked with monitoring operators’ conduct, preventing and combating criminal activities within the gaming sector, and ensuring that gaming is fair, transparent, and responsible.

The MGA’s dedication to innovation and excellence has positioned Malta as a leading jurisdiction for gaming operators seeking a reputable and solid regulatory environment​.

Malta Gaming License Overview

Acquiring a Malta Gaming License signifies a commitment to compliance and integrity in the gaming industry. The process is meticulous, designed to ensure that only operators who can uphold the MGA’s standards for responsible and fair gaming are granted licensure.

The MGA offers licenses covering a wide array of gaming services, including both B2C (business-to-consumer) and B2B (business-to-business) operations, across various types of games.

This ensures a tailored regulatory approach, accommodating the diverse nature of gaming activities while safeguarding players’ interests and the integrity of gaming operations.

MALTA GAMING LICENSE - FREE CONSULTATION

The Malta Gaming License

Overview of MGA Licenses

The MGA categorises its licenses into different types, each tailored to specific gaming activities. This classification allows for a more focused regulatory approach, ensuring that each sector of the gaming industry operates under guidelines that are relevant to its particular needs and challenges.

1. Gaming Service License (B2C)

The Gaming Service License is intended for operators directly offering gaming services to players. It encompasses several types of gaming activities:

  • Type 1: This includes games of chance played against the house where the outcome is determined by a random number generator. Examples are casino games like roulette, blackjack, and online slots.
  • Type 2: Games of chance played against the house, where the outcome is determined by the result of an event or competition extraneous to a game of chance (e.g., sports betting).
  • Type 3: Peer-to-peer gaming and betting exchanges where operators take a commission from promoting and/or betting transactions (e.g., poker networks, betting exchange).
  • Type 4: Controlled skill games that are subject to a separate set of regulatory norms due to their skill-based nature.

2. Critical Gaming Supply License (B2B)

For companies providing critical gaming supplies to the operators, the MGA issues the Critical Gaming Supply License. This includes software developers creating platforms and games, RNG providers, and companies offering operational and management systems critical to the functioning of gaming services.

Special Licenses

In addition to the main license types, the MGA also issues licenses for specific niches within the gaming industry:

  • Land-Based Casino Licenses: For operators of physical casinos. These are heavily regulated and subject to strict oversight to ensure compliance with land-based gaming regulations.
  • Sports book Licenses: While covered under the Type 2 gaming service license, sports book operations often have additional guidelines, particularly concerning integrity and fair play in sports.
  • Remote Gaming Licenses: Specifically designed for online operators, this category covers a broad spectrum of online gaming activities, including casinos, sports betting, and bingo.

Licensing Requirements and Regulatory Standards

Obtaining a license from the MGA is a comprehensive process that demands adherence to a stringent set of requirements and standards. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Financial Stability and Integrity: Applicants must demonstrate financial stability and a solid business plan. This includes providing evidence of capital and a clear outline of operational and business strategies.
  • Technical and Operational Readiness: Operators must have robust technical systems in place that ensure security, fairness, and transparency. This includes secure payment systems, a reliable RNG for game outcomes, and measures for player protection.
  • Compliance with AML and CFT Regulations: Adherence to anti-money laundering and counter-financing of terrorism regulations is paramount. Operators are expected to have systems and policies in place to detect and prevent such activities.
  • Responsible Gaming Measures: Operators must commit to promoting responsible gaming, including providing players with tools to control their gaming activity and implementing self-exclusion mechanisms.

The Significance of the MGA’s Licensing Framework

The MGA’s comprehensive licensing framework plays a critical role in shaping the gaming industry. By setting high standards for operators, the MGA ensures that the gaming environment is safe and fair for players. Furthermore, the MGA’s reputation as a rigorous and reputable regulator enhances the credibility of its licensees, making a Malta gaming license a mark of quality and trustworthiness in the gaming industry.

The varied license types reflect the MGA’s recognition of the diverse nature of gaming activities and its commitment to regulating the industry in a manner that supports innovation while ensuring player protection. For operators, choosing the correct type of license is crucial for compliance and successful operation within the regulatory landscape established by the MGA.

The 2018 Gaming Act streamlined the licensing process for iGaming operators, allowing them to expand their range of game offerings across different classes without the need for separate new applications. Additionally, license validity was increased from 5 to 10 years, enhancing operational efficiency and stability.

Operators seeking licensure must carefully assess which type of license best suits their business model, ensuring they meet the comprehensive criteria established by the MGA. This dedication to high standards has positioned Malta as a leading jurisdiction for gaming operations, attracting a wide array of operators from around the globe.

Gaming Tax

In addition to the licensing and compliance fees, operators are also subject to a gaming tax, which is calculated at 5% of the gaming revenue generated from Malta-based players. This tax is a crucial part of the MGA’s regulatory framework, ensuring that gaming activities contribute to the Maltese economy while maintaining competitive tax rates​.

The fee structure set by the MGA illustrates the authority’s commitment to regulating the gaming industry effectively, ensuring fairness, transparency, and responsible gaming. The structured fees also demonstrate Malta’s attractiveness as a hub for gaming operators, offering a balanced regulatory environment that supports business growth while upholding high standards of player protection and integrity in gaming operations.

Corporate Taxes

In addition to gaming taxes, licensed operators are also subject to corporate taxes on their profits. Malta’s corporate tax rate is nominally set at 35%, which is among the highest rates globally. However, the effective tax rate can be significantly lower due to Malta’s full imputation system and the availability of various tax credits and incentives​.

Application and Renewal Fees

All applicants for a gaming license in Malta must pay a one-time, non-refundable application fee of €5,000. This fee applies to both new licenses and renewals, ensuring that the MGA can cover the administrative costs of processing applications​​.

B2C Gaming License Fees

This licence, known as a Gaming Service Licence, is necessary for operators who offer or operate a gaming service or host a gaming service in their own premises open to the public, including physical locations with one or more gaming devices and/or systems.

Cost Structure:

  • License Application Fee: A one-time, non-refundable fee of €5,000 is required to process the application.
  • Initial Annual License Fee:  €25,000.
  • Reduced Fee for Type 4 Services: Operators exclusively providing B2C (Type 4) gaming services, characterised by controlled skill games, are eligible for a reduced annual license fee of €10,000.
  • Subsequent Years: After the initial year, the annual license fee is determined based on a series of regulated criteria.

B2B Gaming License Fees

This licence, known as a Critical Gaming Supply Licence, is for operators who intend to supply, manage, and provide the essential elements of a game or the gaming software, aiming to control or process significant regulatory records. This could also include the supply and management of the control system where the gaming software is stored:

  • For annual revenues not exceeding €5 million, the fee is set at €25,000.
  • Revenues above €5 million but not exceeding €10 million have a fee of €30,000.
  • Revenues surpassing €10 million are charged a fee of €35,000​.

Compliance Contributions

Compliance contributions vary based on the gaming revenue and the type of gaming service.  It is important to note that the Compliance Contribution, is waived for start-ups’ first twelve months of licensed operation, provided the company meets certain criteria like being less than five years old with revenue below €10 million.

  • B2C Type 1 Gaming Services: The minimum compliance contribution starts at €15,000 and can go up to €375,000, with rates ranging from 1.25% to 0.40% on gaming revenue generated within different financial thresholds.
  • B2C Type 2 Gaming Services: Here, contributions start at a minimum of €25,000, reaching up to €600,000. The rates applied to gaming revenue for compliance purposes vary from 4.00% to 0.40%, depending on the revenue brackets​.
  • B2C Type 3 Gaming Services: Contributions for these services start at €25,000 and cap at €500,000, with rates adjusting from 4.00% to 0.40% across different revenue ranges​​.
  • B2C Type 4 Gaming Services: These have a lower compliance contribution, ranging from a minimum of €5,000 to a maximum of €500,000. The rates are between 0.50% and 2.00%, reflecting the unique nature of Type 4 services​.

Process to Obtain the Licence

Preliminary Engagement with the MGA

Initiating dialogue with the MGA is a recommended first step for prospective licensees. This preliminary meeting is crucial for outlining the business concept, operational models, and understanding the regulatory landscape in Malta.

Step 1: Establishing the Company

The foundational step in launching an iGaming business in Malta involves setting up a limited liability company, entailing:

  • Registered Office: A mandatory requirement for every company to have a registered address within Malta, available through physical or virtual means.
  • Shareholders: The company must be backed by a minimum of two shareholders.
  • Corporate Documentation: Drafting and filing of the Memorandum and Articles of Association is essential.
  • Business Bank Account: Opening a corporate bank account is vital for managing financial transactions.

Step 2: Comprehensive License Application

This phase is pivotal, as the MGA conducts an in-depth review to evaluate the applicant’s eligibility based on various criteria:

    • Document Review: Examination of incorporation documents, operational verticals, terms and conditions, policies, and procedures to ensure regulatory compliance and operational readiness.
    • Fit & Proper Test: This assessment scrutinizes the applicant’s background, financial stability, and experience to affirm their suitability for operating a gaming business responsibly.
    • Business Plan Submission: A detailed business plan highlighting the operational objectives, game offerings, and financial projections is required.
    • Financial Reserves Check: The MGA verifies the applicant’s financial reserves, with the required paid-up share capital varying by license type:

  • Type 1 and Type 2: €100,000 each
  • Type 3 and Type 4: €40,000 each

The total share capital requirement is capped at €240,000 for operators seeking multiple licenses.

Step 3: Technical and Systems Audit

Upon document submission, the MGA may recommend enhancements to align the business model with industry standards. A detailed technical and systems audit ensures the gaming platform’s compliance with technical, security, and fairness standards.

Step 4: Compliance Review and Provisional Licensing

Successful completion of the technical audit leads to:

  • Provisional License Issuance: A ‘Letter of Intent’ is issued by the MGA, granting a provisional license for six months, allowing commencement of operations.
  • Operational Audits: The MGA conducts compliance reviews and audits during this period to ensure adherence to regulatory standards.

Step 5: Official Gaming License Acquisition

Following the provisional phase and satisfactory compliance with MGA regulations, the Official Gaming License is issued, authorising full-scale operations as an iGaming business in Malta.

Licensing Cost Comparison & Taxation

Jurisdiction

Application Timeframe

Local Officer Requirements

License Costs

Annual Renewal Costs

Corporate Taxation

Gaming Tax

Local Server Requirement

Local Company Requirements

Alderney

3-6 months

Yes

£17,500

£35,000-£400,000

0%

0%

No

No

Anjouan

3-4 weeks

No

€17,000

€17,000

0%

0%

Replication

No

Curacao

8-10 weeks

Yes

€61,700

€43,200

2%

0%

Yes

Yes

Cyprus

6-9 months

Yes

€30,000

€30,000

12.5%

13%

Replication

Yes

Gibraltar

6-9 months

Yes

£100,000

£100,000

12.5%

1% max £425,000

Yes

Yes

Isle of Man

3-6 months

Yes

£36,750 – £52,500

£36,750 – £52,500

0%

0.1 – 1.5%

No

Yes

Kahnawake

4-6 months

No

$40,000

$20,000

0%

0%

Yes

No

Malta

6-12 months

Yes

€25,000 – €85,000

€25,000-€85,000

35%

5% max €600,000

Yes

Yes

Ontario

6-12 Months

No

$100,000

$100,000

15%

15-25%

No

No

Tobique

6-8 weeks

No

€36,000

€18,000

0%

0%

Compliance Platform

No

United Kingdom

3-6 months

No

£4,224- £91,686

£4,199-£793,729+

19%-25%

15%-21%

No

No

 

  • The figures presented in the table above serve as estimates and are provided for informational purposes. It’s important to note that certain costs are approximations and may vary based on fluctuations in exchange rates.
  • It’s crucial to understand that the mentioned costs exclusively pertain to licensing fees and do not encompass expenses associated with legal fees, compliance procedures, or liaising with gaming regulatory authorities.
  • Furthermore, it’s essential to consider that additional charges might apply, including fees for key person licenses, local substance requirements, minimum capital obligations, and other regulatory prerequisites beyond the scope of the license costs.

Explore the diverse jurisdictions we specialise in through our comprehensive licensing support. Select a location from the dropdown menu to gain detailed insights into each region’s licensing landscape, requirements, and strategic advantages for your iGaming venture.

The Malta Gaming License FAQ

What are the types of licenses offered by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)?

The MGA offers licenses for online gaming, sports betting, casino games, and more, categorised mainly into B2C (Business to Consumer) and B2B (Business to Business) licenses.

What is the validity period of each license?

License validity was increased from 5 to 10 years in 2018, enhancing operational efficiency and stability.

Can a single gaming license cover a number of companies?

One gaming license can cover a number of companies (minimum 2 operational entities and one holding company as the parent), each of them then being authorised to operate as an MGA licensee.

Can one license cover all gaming activities?

No, specific gaming activities require different types of licenses, depending on whether the operation is B2C or B2B, and the nature of the games offered.

What documents are required for a Malta gaming license application?

Required documents typically include a detailed business plan, financial projections, details on software and games, and evidence of technical and financial capability.

What is the 'Fit and Proper' test by the MGA?

It’s an assessment to ensure applicants meet the criteria for integrity, financial stability, and competence, crucial for securing a gaming license.

What are the fees involved in obtaining a Malta gaming license?

Applicants must pay a non-refundable application fee, an annual license fee, and other charges related to compliance and operational licensing, which vary depending on the license type.

Are there ongoing fees after obtaining the license?

Yes, licensees must pay annual fees, compliance contributions, and potentially other operational fees as required by the MGA.

What are the key compliance requirements for Malta gaming license holders?

License holders must adhere to strict regulations regarding player protection, game fairness, anti-money laundering (AML), and responsible gaming.

How often does the MGA conduct compliance audits?

The frequency of audits can vary, but licensees should expect regular reviews and audits to ensure ongoing compliance with MGA regulations.

What technical standards must be met for Malta gaming licensure?

Operators must demonstrate robust and secure technical infrastructures, including game fairness, transaction security, and data protection.

Is a system audit required before launching gaming operations?

Yes, a technical and system audit is typically required before the MGA grants final approval for operations to commence.

Can a Malta gaming license be suspended or revoked?

Yes, the MGA can suspend or revoke licenses if a licensee fails to comply with regulatory requirements or breaches gambling laws.

Are Malta gaming licenses recognised in other countries?

While a Malta license is highly respected, operators must still comply with local regulations in each jurisdiction they wish to operate.

Can a Malta gaming license facilitate entry into new markets?

Yes, the credibility and respect associated with a Malta gaming license can support operators in entering new markets, though local licenses may still be required.

Are there specific data protection requirements for Malta gaming license holders?

Yes, operators must comply with GDPR and other local data protection regulations, ensuring player information is securely managed and processed.

What responsible gaming measures are Malta gaming license holders required to implement?

Licensees must offer self-exclusion tools, set betting limits, provide responsible gaming resources, and ensure advertising adheres to responsible gaming principles.

How are player disputes handled by Malta-licensed operators?

Operators must have a clear dispute resolution process, and unresolved disputes can be escalated to the MGA for mediation.

Are there requirements to segregate player funds?

Licensees are required to keep player funds in segregated bank accounts to ensure their protection.

Are there any local server requirements?

Yes. All operations and gaming servers must be within Malta.

Corporate Structure

Strategic Framework for Global Expansion: Leveraging Malta's Gaming License for Entering International Markets

Our comprehensive strategy for gaming licensing services in Malta is meticulously crafted to offer robust support to companies aiming to establish a significant presence in the global online gaming sector.

By setting up operations in Malta, businesses can obtain the island’s prestigious gaming license, which is celebrated for its rigorous regulatory standards and worldwide acceptance. This strategic decision places the company in a jurisdiction that not only endorses international online gaming initiatives but also provides the benefits of Malta’s EU membership.

Launching in Malta with a gaming license provides a cost-effective groundwork for penetrating international markets. Holding a Maltese license is a crucial asset for market entry, not just into European markets like the UK, but also into other key territories including Italy, Spain, and Portugal. Each jurisdiction comes with its own set of regulatory demands and market specificities, and the esteemed reputation of a Maltese license aids in successfully navigating these challenges.

In essence, choosing Malta as your online gaming business hub delivers a blend of regulatory reinforcement and strategic leverage for access to global markets. This framework is designed to navigate the intricacies of international iGaming regulations efficiently while optimising operational performance.

Corporate Structure - Malta Gaming License

Benefits of a Malta Gaming License

Explore the strategic benefits of the Malta Gaming License, tailored to empower both emerging startups and well-established gaming enterprises.

For Start-ups

  • Regulatory Support: Malta’s clear regulatory framework is a significant boon for startups, offering guidance and a supportive environment that can ease the initial stages of setting up and navigating the complex gaming landscape.
  • Prestigious Licensing: Holding a Malta Gaming License adds credibility, signalling to customers, investors, and partners that the startup adheres to high standards of operation, fairness, and security.
  • European Market Access: The license serves as a gateway for startups looking to expand their operations into the European market, where Malta’s standards are well-regarded and facilitate smoother entries.
  • Robust Infrastructure: Startups gain access to Malta’s developed gaming ecosystem, which includes a wealth of experienced service providers, from legal and financial experts to a skilled and knowledgeable workforce.
  • Innovation-Friendly: Malta’s forward-thinking regulatory body supports innovative technologies, making it an attractive jurisdiction for startups looking to leverage blockchain and other emerging technologies.
  • Networking Opportunities: Being part of Malta’s vibrant gaming community offers startups unparalleled networking opportunities, essential for growth, collaboration, and staying ahead of industry trends.

For Existing Gaming Companies

  • Enhanced Market Position: For established operators, the Malta Gaming License facilitates easier access to global markets, enhancing their position and reach in the competitive gaming industry.
  • Operational Streamlining: Existing operators can benefit from streamlined operational processes thanks to Malta’s efficient regulatory practices, which can simplify the management of multiple gaming products.
  • Diversification and Expansion: Malta’s adaptable regulatory framework supports a wide range of gaming activities, allowing operators to diversify their offerings and explore new market segments.
  • Regulatory Stability: The predictability and stability of Malta’s legal environment provide a solid foundation for long-term planning, investment, and growth strategies for established gaming companies.
  • Community and Collaboration: Established operators can engage with a dynamic community of gaming professionals and companies in Malta, fostering partnerships and accessing valuable industry insights.
  • Global Recognition: The prestige associated with a Malta Gaming License can enhance an operator’s reputation globally, underlining their commitment to fairness, security, and responsible gaming.

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