Malta has historically been a popular gambling centre and the gaming legislation on the island goes back to many years. Only the strictest financial laws and regulations apply in Malta and the anti-money laundering laws here are at par with those in countries such as Germany and Switzerland.
Anyone starting a casino business in Malta stands to benefit from the stable regulatory climate in Malta. The protection offered by the Malta Gaming License will certainly reassure players all around the world that their interests are protected.
Why Malta Gaming License?
Malta is a tiny Mediterranean island and one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. It attracts a large crowd of tourists every year. There are many entrepreneurs and small business owners living in Malta attracted by the high standard of living which is available at an affordable cost. Malta is a full-fledged member of the European Union.
Malta has a thriving business community and because of low taxes and the business friendly policies of the ruling administration, it has emerged as startup hub of Europe. There are a number of ecommerce companies, online casinos and other online businesses that operate out of Malta.
Malta became a member of the European Union in 2004. That was the most important development as far as online gaming operators were concerned. A number of gaming companies relocated to Malta because of the business-friendly environment there. In Malta, gambling is seen by the authorities as a legitimate business and not as something to be wary or to put down. Remote gambling operators in Malta benefit from a freedom of establishment and are allowed to provide cross-border services across the European Union without any restriction from the government.
What to Expect from Online Casinos Based Out of Malta?
Online casinos based out of Malta are very popular among players across the world, and have a reputation for being secure, safe and promoting fair play. Furthermore, the Malta Gaming Authority, which provides gaming licenses to online casinos based out of the island, has the strictest standards.
All casino operators go through a series of background checks. The Gaming Authority in Malta makes sure that they comply with all player protection rules, are well funded and have a robust business model. The objective of the casino licensing is mainly to protect younger players who are most vulnerable and ensure that everyone has a safe and secure casino experience.
Malta has an excellent legal system which is based on the UK Civil Law. The commercial rules that apply to businesses on the island are a virtual copy of that in the UK. The taxation system in Malta is compliant with OECD standards and is as per the EU directives
What Comes Under the Malta Gaming License
The MGA license recognised license across Europe. It applies in all European nations as long as gambling is not a regulated activity there. So for an online casino to accept UK players it must have the UK Gaming License – the MGA license won’t be enough. Similarly, for a remote gambling operator to advertise their services in Sweden, they would need a Swedish gaming license. However, in this case, the online casino can still accept Swedish players.
The Malta Gaming License does not specify which types of games can be presented by the operator and are licensable. An important marker is that the games should be made available to customers remotely, and not face-to-face. This includes gaming activities such as betting, online casinos, lotteries, bingo, and other casino-type games.
The thing to remember is that these licenses are technology neutral. They cover all games that are served remotely, whether it’s by mobile, internet, faxes or phones.
The purpose of the Malta Gaming License is to protect minors from getting access to the games. Only those aged 18 and above can participate in any activity related to gambling, whether it’s online or offline, and there are no exceptions to this rule.
In order to protect such vulnerable players, the Malta Gaming Authority expects each remote gaming operator to have a robust written procedure in place to allow a player to open an account.
Detailed verification checks have to be carried out to ascertain the player’s identity, such as matching their credit card with the information received from their bank.
There are pre-set limits for every account, which means a player cannot spend more on gambling at a time than what is appropriate. There is a compulsory cooling off period as well, which ensures that gambling remains a fun activity, and does not become an addiction.
Malta Gaming License Rules
Any online casino that wants a Malta Gaming License should have a proper age verification process in place. They should only accept players that of an age at which they are legally allowed to participate in gambling-related activities in their country of residence. This minimum age requirement is usually 18 years, but in some countries in Europe, it is 21.
All players should fill in a “KYC” form so that they can verify their identity before being allowed access to their account in the casino.
The KYC application requires the following
- Age/Identity Verification
For this, the player will need to provide a passport, driver’s license or any other national ID card approved by their government. This is to ensure that they are of the right gambling age legally and to make sure that their account has been opened in the right name. The goal is to prevent identity theft or to prevent anyone from opening an account in another person’s name without them knowing about it.
- Address Verification
A document with full address details has to be provided. This could be a utility bill, or any document that contains the full name and address of the player that wants to join.
- Payment Verification
The player has to submit a scanned copy of the credit card or debit card that they would be using to make the payments. This is to make sure that they actually own the card and are not passing off someone else’s card as their own.
The players must provide correct details when signing up. They cannot provide invalid or fraudulent information. Unless their identity, place of residence, age and payment information is proved beyond doubt, they cannot get full access to their accounts.
While a player can sign-up, make the deposit and start betting without completing the KYC, they will not be allowed to withdraw any of their winnings unless their account is verified. This is to ensure that nothing fraudulent takes place.
Encouraging Responsible Gaming
The Malta Gaming Authority encourages responsible gaming through the following measures:
- Deposit Limits
Players are only allowed to deposit a certain amount during a fixed time period. For example, if the monthly deposit limit is €100, this means the player can only deposit up to €100 in the month, not more than that.
- Bet Limits
Players can only bet up to a certain pre-decided limit, not more than that.
- Loss Limits
Players are only allowed to lose a certain amount within a set time frame. They will not be allowed to place a bet once the loss limit has been reached.
- Exclusion Period
The player can choose to close or block their account permanently or for a set period of time. This is to protect the player in case they feel they are getting addicted to the games or losing too much money. The player cannot use their account during the time it is blocked in this manner.
When to Contact the Malta Gaming Authority
Players should contact the MGA only if they suspect something illegal on part of the casino, or are convinced that there has been a breach of the license.