Malta Gaming Authority | MGA Casino licensing
The MGA is probably the most common license used by online casinos that offer gambling to online players across the globe. This license is issued by the Malta Gaming Authority – the gaming authority of Malta, which is a member state of the European Union (EU). Malta is a small island and is located south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. There are hundreds of online casinos that are located here and that use this license. The MGA licence can be used both for gambling in Malta and from Malta.
The license from MGA is not only the most common license for online casinos, but it is also the license that is considered safe and the very best. This is a strict license, and casinos have a whole list of rules that they must adhere to if they want, and retain, the casino license. We can also mention that this license used to be called lottery and gaming authority – LGA, but this was switched to the Malta Gaming Authority in 2014. Examples of online casino sites licensed from Malta are CasinoEuro and FrankFred, but note that there are thousands of others. The reason we mention these is that they are both listed and both are headquartered in Malta.
Facts about MGA:
Tax rate: Up to 5%
Price: €21,000 in setup, as well as ongoing annual costs and commissions
Strict license for online casinos
The Maltese casino and gambling license is as strict as it is precisely is known to be, that’s why it is considered the very best license to play under for all online players across the world. The MGA is constantly taking on both reported and unannounced visits to online casinos, and asks for access to both routines and individual cases. If they find deficiencies at the casinos they can issue fines and in the worst case remove the license from the casino, leaving a gambling company with no legal grounds to operate. This is the worst thing that can happen to an online casino, which is why all casinos that use the MGA are careful to comply with all rules. Which also means safety for us players.
All casinos should be secure and that is the most important thing for the MGA, which is why, a few years ago they introduced rules for all employees at the casinos. All those who worked at an online casino had to get their own license to work in a casino with an MGA license. This meant that all employees had to verify themselves and prove that they did not have a criminal record. A clean record was simply required for all employees. However, this proved to require more work from the MGA than was affordable, which is why this rule was removed in 2016. With thousands of employees to be verified each year, there was simply too much paperwork. Now only employees at the executive level and those who have to verify themselves.
Rules for money transactions
The MGA is very strict on money transactions, and the Anti Money Laundry (AML) Directive is strictly followed. All players must be verified with a valid ID and residential address, and there are strict rules for the documents to comply with the rules of the MGA. The MGA can visit a casino randomly and take samples of such documents, and if they find something that is not kept properly, inadequate documents, or at all missing documents, this is noted. Therefore, for example, you cannot request a withdrawal from a casino until you have verified your identity. This is just to protect you and to make sure they are not victims of identity theft.
They also check money transactions to ensure that no money is transferred between different players, and at all that all their and THE EU’s rules are followed to the tip.
Responsible Gaming Rules
In recent years, it has been responsible gaming that has been the focus of the Malta Gaming Authority. This commission has always kept this as something that they have included in their license, but they have become far stricter now than what they were a few years ago. A new rule that came in 2016 was that all online casinos must have a separate department, or a responsible employee, for responsible gaming. Absolutely all employees of the casino must also be learned in responsible gaming, and this also applies to employees who are not in direct contact with players.
In addition, it must be possible for a player to pause their account or choose to self-exclude themselves. It should also be possible to set limits on the gaming account for deposits, time sessions, turnover, losses and more. To raise such limits there are also strict rules, and this is something that can only be done 7 days after the desire for raising limits was registered. This is to give players an extra chance to change their minds.
Not only must there be tools to take responsibility for gaming, but the casino must also work actively to identify players who are at risk of becoming problem gamblers and stop them before things go out of hand.
Malta and online gambling
Malta is a tiny island just south of Sicily, perhaps best known for being the recording location for the first season of Game of Thrones; and online gambling. The casino industry is a major influence on the island, and a large part of the population is foreigners who have come to the island to work in the industry, mostly swedes. This has characterized Malta for good and bad. The island has enjoyed enormous economic growth, but the price level has also grown considerably and the housing market is very expensive relative to the wage levels among the regular Maltese citizens. There are also many nordic citizens who have started their careers here, and you will find nordic people in important positions among the biggest gaming companies. The fact that there are many from the nordics working in important positions in these companies is good news for us players, this means that there is a focus on games and promotions that we all appreciate.
Why is an MGA license good for you?
As Malta is an EU country, they are required by EU law when it comes to, among other things, privacy and they must follow anti-money laundering measures determined by this supranational body. Therefore, all operators who hold an MGA licence must comply with strict regulations, including the above points. Another point that is important to mention is all players are protected by any bankruptcies that affect the operator they are playing on. Operators are required to have separate accounts with player funds, so these are winnings belonging to the players and not the casino. This is a prudent method and that provides even a plus in the book for choosing casinos with a Maltese license.
If there is a conflict between you and the casino – you can lodge a formal complaint with the MGA and they will follow up on the complaint and process your private details in a correct manner. Therefore, you can be safe when playing at an MGA casino.
If you are unsure what license an online casino has, you will always find the license information at the bottom of the footer of the website. If they have a license from Malta this will be there and they must include the license number and when the license was issued.
Malta or Curacao?
The majority of European countries have regulation when it comes to online casinos, Norway and Germany together with Finland, is one of the few countries in Europe that operates only with a monopoly. Of the countries we like best to compare with, Sweden and Denmark they have managed something Norway have not yet achieved, a regulation of gaming companies, they simply don’t welcome them.
Sweden got its license in 2019, and the figures so far have proved that it has been positive for the Swedes – and they have gained better control of responsible gaming. It has also been reported that the proportion of problem gamblers has decreased – which is very positive, as one of the backtanks of having a licensing system is to get a grip with the proportion of players who are unable to master their playing. In Denmark, they have had a licence since 2012, and they have allowed a handful of foreign operators to operate in their market, such as Mr Green and Casino Luck.
Other players usually have the choice between online casinos that have a license either in Malta or on the Caribbean island, Curacao. The one from Curacao is not the best option. Many online casinos usually start with licenses from Curacao, so it’s much cheaper – before they usually always end up with a Maltese license.
what do we think?
As long as the authorities do not allow foreign gaming companies to participate in a licensing system, the Maltese is definitely the best license a online casino can have for players. However, we at Casinowithdrawal.info are in favor of a licensing system similar to theirs in Sweden and Denmark, as we believe it will be even easier for a body to control and assist problem gamblers, as they can work closely with local organizations to to prevent problem gamblers. But before this happens, we can safely say that the Maltese license is a good and safe license for players at all times.