The small island of Malta was one of the first in Europe to regulate the online gambling sector. It issued its first licenses in 2001 under the supervision of the Malta Gambling Authority. Since then, the gambling sector has grown significantly, contributing more than 10% to the country's GDP.
The Maltese license is considered to be one of the most respected in the gambling world. Below are the latest developments in Malta, the benefits of a Maltese gambling license and how to get one.
In 2019, the MGA announced a sandbox regulatory framework that would allow authorized entities to accept cryptocurrency as a means of payment. This announcement paved the way for bitcoin casinos and crypto gambling websites to apply for a specific license under the supervision of the MGA. The initiative is scheduled to run until the end of 2021 and is open to potential and existing licensees.
This was a continuation of the three crypto bills from Malta that made it the first jurisdiction to enact laws in support of the cryptocurrency, and hence known as "The Blockchain Island".
2020 was the year in which the 5th EU Anti-Money Laundering Directive (5AMLD) had to be implemented in national law. This meant changes to Maltese law regarding due diligence, customer acceptance guidelines, payout management processes and the role of various officials requested by MGA.
In addition, the MGA launched its suspicious betting portal at the end of 2020. The portal was set up after an extensive consultation process and allows operators to report suspicious bets through a specific portal, which greatly simplifies the work.
While these new developments can be a little bureaucratic and headache for some operators, in practice they have a purpose. Malta's commitment to ensuring that the online gambling industry is well regulated and monitored increases the standing of the sector across the board. For those who choose to get a Malta gaming license, this is a testament to their dedication to doing things according to the book.
Shortly after the declaration of the COVID-9 pandemic, the MGA published a notice on socially responsible advertising for licensees. Operators need to ensure that their advertising continues to be accountable and not trying to profit from the pandemic. For example, to suggest that solitary gambling is an alternative to socializing or that gambling could replace employment would be against the rules. Furthermore, anything that could be construed as positioning gambling as an investment or as a solution to social, educational, or professional problems would also be against the rules.
This announcement was a reiteration of their existing rules, which place a great emphasis on responsible gaming and keep an eye out for those who may develop a problem. The MGA not only implements frameworks such as the Player Protection Directive, but also founded the Responsible Gaming Foundation in 2014 to raise awareness and prevent problematic gambling.
Like the Kahnawake Gambling Commission, the MGA believes that operators should focus on building a quality customer base. It is not something they want to be associated with when targeting people at risk, at risk, or promoting potentially harmful behavior. This attitude towards responsible gaming was an integral part of what has made it one of the leading jurisdictions for online gambling licensing.
Who is this license for?
The Malta gaming license is suitable for startups with capital or for operators who are based in other countries and are looking for an additional gaming license. Malta is home to some of the world's leading gambling platforms with decades of experience. The license costs are high compared to some other countries and the process is complex, but there are advantages to this.
Maltese online gambling license holders can enjoy the prestige and reputation that comes with it. It can be easier to open a bank account, negotiate good deals with third parties, and reach new markets that were previously unavailable.
In addition, license holders can enjoy "onshore status" in the EU, full compliance with EU laws and an effective system of full credit taxation. This system can significantly reduce the effective tax rate while complying with international best practices.
That being said, Malta is a stable European economy that has historically weathered an economic downturn. It is easily accessible by air, has a well-educated, multilingual and multinational workforce, and a dynamic iGaming infrastructure sector. These facts make starting and running an online Malta gambling company an excellent choice.
What are the requirements?
Obtaining a gaming license for Malta is not as easy as it is in some other countries. For many, however, it's worth it. You must submit all common due diligence, corporate, and licensing documents. You also need to:
- Attend a face-to-face meeting
- Present your business plans
- Offer RNG information
- Submit your software provider information
- Show that you are fit, properly and able to operate an online gambling platform.
Of course, there are more requirements than this, but it is best to consult your corporate service provider for a complete picture of the requirements and how to go about it.
Acquiring a Maltese gambling license is an opportunity worth considering to take your business to the next level. It gives you a globally recognized seal of approval, can open new doors and help grow your customer base beyond your current expectations.