Obtaining a Malta Online Gaming License

There are several licensing jurisdictions around the world. Online bingo and other gambling sites are licensed in Central America, the Caribbean, Cyprus and Malta. Malta has become one of the largest licensing jurisdictions and has an impeccable reputation in the online gaming industry. Malta is part of the European Union and must maintain very high standards making gaming licenses from Malta highly sought after. Like most EU national Malta must adhere to strict regulations. Malta offers many advantages to online bingo and gaming countries; low taxation, low gaming taxes and low taxes on gaming operations.

In 2003 the Malta Lotteries & Gaming Authority announced a new licensing regime for online gaming companies were being considered and that most likely the new rules would be imposed in 2004. The new Remote Gaming Regulations were published and became law in Malta in April 2004. Through the new regulations other gambling activities in addition to online betting were introduced. The new gaming activities covered by the new regulations included online casinos, casino-style games, betting exchanges and lotteries. A series of checks and balances was created in Malty combining an advantageous and competitive business atmosphere combined with serious regulations designed to protect players.

In Malta the Lotteries and Gaming Authority is the regulatory body responsible for the governance of all gaming activities in Malta. Activities controlled by the Lotteries and Gaming authority include amusement Machines, Broadcasting Media games, Casinos, Commercial Bingo Halls, Commercial Communication games, the National lottery, Non-Profit games and Remote Gaming. On their official website the Lotteries and Gaming Authority stated that their mission is “To regulate competently the various sectors of the lotteries and gaming industry that fall under the Authority by ensuring gaming is fair and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minor and vulnerable players.”

The remote gaming sector is the fastest growing gaming sector of Malta and has been very profitable for the island nation. Remote gaming, including online bingo and online slot games, is regulated under the provisions of the Remote Gaming Regulations. Many of the top online bingo sites hold much coveted Malta remote gaming licenses. Malta imposes serious requirements in license applicants. Before a Malta license can be obtained the Lotteries & Gaming Authority (LGA) applies a three step process to all applicants.

The first phase that potential licensees must undergo is the Fit and Proper Test & Business Adequacy. The gaming authority analyzes all available information about persons involved in the finances and management of the business. The authority conducts investigations with other national law enforcement agencies and all involved under stringent background checks. A financial analysis of the business plan is also conducted.

The second phase is the Business and technical Ability Assessment. During this stage applicants are examined on the instruments necessary to run the gaming operation. This stage involves examining documents of incorporation, the games to be offered, the business processes related to conducting the games, the rules, terms, conditions and procedures of the online games. The site’s application and system architecture are also examined along with the gaming and control systems. Usually stage 1 takes about 2 weeks and stage 2 is usually completed within 3 weeks.

Stage three is the compliance audit. At the end of stage 2 applicants are given a letter of intent to operate a remote gaming site with the intent of acquiring a certificate of compliance within six months. The applicant may then open the business in Malta and can conclude all agreements and engage in testing the site’s set up. Usually this stage is completed within 2 weeks.

License applicants must submit a non refundable application fee with their license application. The license fee must be paid within fifteen days after the formal grant of the Malta license. License fees are paid annually and can be paid with a check in Maltese currency of a bank draft made out to the   Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority.

Malta has a 7,000 year history and is a modern country with a thriving open market economy. Malta offers licensees an excellent economic track record, stable currency, low inflation and a high standard of living. Malta is an independent republic and is a member of the British Commonwealth. Players at online bingo sites licensed in Malta can be sure of fair and honest games.

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