Gambling license in Malta

Gambling license in Malta

In recent decades, Malta has become one of the key centers for gambling licensing and regulation in Europe. With its attractive legal framework, flexible tax rates and reputation as a reliable and innovative gambling market, Malta attracts casino operators from all over the world. But behind this attraction is a thorough licensing system that ensures it meets high standards of integrity, transparency and player protection. Let’s take a closer look at what makes Malta such an attractive jurisdiction for casino licensing and what are the key points to consider during the process.

Licensing for casinos in Malta

Historical overview of gambling regulation in Malta:

The history of gambling in Malta goes back several decades. Starting in the 1960s, the Maltese government began to actively regulate gambling in an effort to attract investment in the area and create a favorable environment for the industry. In 2001, the Gambling Act was enacted, which was the starting point for the creation of the modern regulatory framework. Becoming known as the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the Malta Gaming Association was established in 2001 and given the authority to issue licenses and regulate gambling on the island. Since then, Malta has become one of the key gambling markets in Europe, offering high standards of security and transparency for operators and players.

Current structure of the gambling industry in Malta:

Today’s gambling industry in Malta includes a wide range of gambling establishments and online platforms:

  • Casinos: There are several large casinos operating in Malta, offering a wide range of games including roulette, blackjack, poker and slot machines.
  • Online Gambling: Malta is one of the world’s leading centers for online gambling licensing. Many online casinos, bookmakers and poker rooms are based here.
  • Lotteries: Lotteries are also popular in Malta, both among locals and tourists. Different types of lottery games are available both in retail stores and online.
  • Number of active licenses and distribution by type of gambling:

The number of active licenses in Malta is constantly increasing, reflecting the dynamic development of the gambling industry. The distribution of licenses by type of gambling includes casinos, online gambling and lotteries, with online gambling accounting for the largest number of licenses, due to the growing demand for digital platforms.

Key players in the Maltese gambling market:

There are many key players in the Maltese gambling market, including major international casino brands, online platforms and gambling software providers. Among them are companies such as Betsson, Kindred Group, LeoVegas, Evolution Gaming and many others, which are actively developing their operations in Malta and have a significant impact on the local gambling market.

Regulatory and legal part of licensing

The main laws and regulations governing gambling in Malta:

  • Gambling and Gambling Activities Act (Gaming Act): This Act is the main legal act regulating gambling in Malta. It defines the legal status of gambling, establishes requirements for licensing and regulation of gambling activities, and provides for measures to combat illegal gambling operations.
  • Gaming Tax Act: This Act regulates the taxation of gambling in Malta, setting tax rates on gambling revenues and other tax obligations for licensed operators.
  • Licensing and Regulatory Provisions (Licensing and Regulatory Provisions): These regulations set out the procedures and requirements for obtaining gambling licenses in Malta, and define the powers of the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) in this area.

The role of the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) in the licensing and supervision of gambling activities:

The Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) is the main body responsible for the regulation and supervision of gambling activities in Malta. Its role includes:

  • Licensing: the MGA issues gambling licenses in accordance with Maltese law. Licensing includes checking the financial solvency, business reputation and other aspects of applicants.
  • Supervision: The MGA supervises licensed operators to ensure compliance with legislation and license conditions, including requirements for the prevention of money laundering and player protection.
  • Policy development: the Authority develops and implements gambling policies and standards to ensure fairness, transparency and responsible gaming.
    Important provisions regarding licensing requirements:
  • Financial solvency: License applicants must demonstrate their financial stability and ability to meet financial gambling obligations.
    Business reputation: Operators must have an impeccable business reputation and no ties to criminal organizations or unreliable persons.
  • Origin of funds: Operators must ensure that the origin of their funds is transparent and that gambling is not used for money laundering.
  • Prevention of money laundering: Licensees are required to implement measures and procedures to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing within their gambling activities.
  • Technical standards and security requirements: Operators must meet high technical standards and security requirements to protect player data and ensure fair play.
  • Responsible Gaming: Licensees must take steps to protect vulnerable players and prevent gambling addiction, including providing information about gambling problems and access to support services.

Types of gambling licenses:

  1. Class 1: License for online casinos and betting shops
    • Requirements and procedures: To obtain a Class 1 license, an operator must submit a business plan, prove financial stability, and provide information about its business reputation and past experience in the gambling industry. It also requires the installation of controls, including a system to verify the identity of players and tools to combat gambling addiction.
    • Cost, Term and Limitations: The cost of a Class 1 license can vary depending on the complexity of the application and the size of the business. Typically, the validity period is 5 years, after which a license renewal is required. Restrictions include compliance with all requirements set by Maltese law and regular inspections by the regulator.
  2. Class 2: Casino Gaming License
    • Requirements and procedures: To obtain a Class 2 license, the operator must provide a detailed plan of gambling content, including casino games, poker, slot machines and other gambling games. Technical audits of gaming systems and processes are also required.
    • Cost, Term and Limitations: The cost and term of a Class 2 license can also vary depending on the amount of gaming activity and other factors. Typically, the validity period is 5 years and the cost is determined on a case-by-case basis. Restrictions include the need for high standards of security and fair play.
  3. Class 3: License to play fixed odds machine games
    • Requirements and Procedures: To obtain a Class 3 license, the operator must provide information on the planned machine games, including their mathematical models and win rates. Technical audits of the gaming systems are also required.
    • Cost, validity period and restrictions: The cost and validity period of a Class 3 license depends on the scope and type of gambling activity. Typically, the validity period is 5 years and the cost is determined on an individual basis. Restrictions include compliance with safety standards and gaming regulations.
  4. Class 4: Lottery License
    • Requirements and Procedures: To obtain a Class 4 license, the operator must provide a detailed lottery plan, including game rules, conditions of participation, and procedures for determining winners. Installation of a lottery control system is also required.
    • Cost, duration and restrictions: The cost and duration of a Class 4 license can vary depending on the nature and scale of the lottery activity. Typically, the validity period is 5 years and the cost is determined on an individual basis. Restrictions include complying with lottery rules and regulations and ensuring fairness and transparency of play.

Advantages of a Malta gambling license

Obtaining a gambling license in Malta has a number of attractive advantages that make this jurisdiction preferred by many gambling operators:

  1. Access to a regulated and stable EU market: as a member of the European Union, Malta provides access to a regulated and stable market that meets high standards of security and transparency. Obtaining a license in Malta opens the door to large-scale gambling operations within the European market.
  2. Ability to accept players from all over the world: Due to the international reputation and the attractiveness of a Maltese license, operators can attract players from all over the world, which helps to increase the customer base and revenues.
  3. Low taxes compared to other jurisdictions: Malta offers relatively low tax rates for the gambling industry, making it attractive to investors and entrepreneurs looking to minimize tax costs and maximize profits.
  4. Reputation as a reliable and transparent jurisdiction: Malta is renowned for its high standards in the regulation and control of gambling. Licensing in Malta demonstrates compliance with strict regulations and a safe gaming environment for both operators and players.
  5. Access to qualified personnel and service providers: Malta offers access to a wide range of qualified professionals and service providers in the gambling industry, including lawyers, auditors, technicians and marketers, making it easier to launch and manage a gambling business.

The process of obtaining a gambling license

The process of obtaining a gambling license in Malta involves several steps, each of which requires careful preparation and fulfillment of certain requirements. Here is a detailed step-by-step process:

  • Preparing the necessary documents: The first step is to prepare all the necessary documents and information to apply for a license. This includes a business plan, financial statements, information about the owners and managers of the company, technical specifications of the gaming platforms, and more.
  • Payment of state fees: Applicants must pay a state fee to review and consider their license application. The amount of the fee may vary depending on the type of license and other factors.
  • Passing a security check: Operators and all participants in gambling activities are subject to a security check to ensure they are in good standing and have no ties to criminal organizations.
  • Obtaining approval from the MGA: The license application is reviewed by the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA). After careful analysis of all submitted documents and conducting the necessary checks, the MGA may grant or deny the license.
  • Compliance with technical standards: Once a license is granted, the operator needs to ensure that it meets all technical standards and requirements set by the MGA. This includes ensuring the security of the gaming platforms, protection of player data, etc.

To emphasize the importance of seeking the assistance of experienced gambling lawyers and consultants cannot be overemphasized. These professionals not only have knowledge and experience in the field of licensing, but can also help with preparing documents, providing advice on strategy and ensuring compliance with all requirements and regulations. Contacting these professionals can make the process of obtaining a license much easier and faster and reduce the risk of potential errors or delays.

Timeline and costs

Obtaining a gambling license in Malta is usually a process that requires a significant time and cost commitment. However, specific timelines and costs can vary widely depending on a number of factors, including the type of license, the size and complexity of the business, and the individual requirements and circumstances of the applicant.

General indicative timescales and costs include the following:

  • Timeline: On average, the process of obtaining a gambling license in Malta can take between 6 and 12 months, but this can be longer or shorter depending on individual circumstances. Timelines can vary depending on the workload of the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA), as well as the time required to prepare all the necessary documents and go through all the licensing stages.
  • Costs: The approximate costs of obtaining a gambling license in Malta can range from several tens of thousands of euros to several hundred thousand euros or even more, depending on the type of license, the size of the business, the applicant’s circumstances and other factors. Costs may include government fees, consultancy and legal fees, technical audits and MGA compliance costs, as well as other administrative and operational costs.

Compliance and Current Requirements

Gambling licensees operating in Malta are required to strictly comply with a number of requirements set by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) to ensure player safety and legal compliance. Here are the main responsibilities of licensees:

  1. Record keeping: Licensees are required to keep detailed financial and operational records, including data on revenues, winnings payments, tax liabilities and other financial transactions. The records must be available for inspection and audit by the regulator (MGA) at all times.
  2. Conducting audits: Licensees are required to conduct regular audits of their systems and processes to ensure compliance with safety and fair play requirements. This includes technical audits of gaming platforms, financial audits and audits of anti-money laundering procedures.
  3. Anti-Money Laundering Compliance: Licensees are required to strictly comply with all established laws and regulations regarding the prevention of money laundering and terrorist financing. This includes verifying the identity of customers, monitoring financial transactions and reporting suspicious transactions in a timely manner.
  4. Ensuring player protection: Licensees are required to provide a high level of protection for players, including the security and confidentiality of their personal information, as well as preventing minors from accessing gambling services. This also includes providing access to tools to monitor gambling activity and combat gambling addiction.
  5. Cooperation with regulatory authorities: Licensees are required to cooperate with regulatory authorities, including providing all necessary information and cooperating with investigations and inspections.

Failure to comply with licensing requirements can have serious consequences for the licensee, including:

  1. Fines and sanctions by the regulator (MGA).
  2. Suspension of the license for a specified period of time or until violations are corrected.
  3. Revocation of the license, resulting in the cessation of gambling activities and possible legal consequences.

Compliance with all licensing requirements is therefore critical for a sustainable and successful gambling activity in Malta.


Malta is one of the most attractive jurisdictions to obtain a gambling license due to its high standard of regulation, stable political situation and attractive business environment. Obtaining a license in Malta opens the door to the regulated and stable market of the European Union, which provides access to a wide audience of players from all over the world. Malta’s low tax rates, reputation as a reliable jurisdiction and access to qualified staff and service providers make it an attractive place to launch and run a gambling business.
However, it is important to remember that running a successful gambling business in Malta requires careful preparation and compliance with all the requirements of the regulator (MGA). This includes not only proper paperwork and payment of the required fees, but also strict adherence to all rules and standards regarding financial reporting, audits, anti-money laundering and player protection. Failure to comply with licensing requirements can lead to serious consequences, including fines, license suspension and revocation, so special attention should be paid to compliance with all regulations and standards.
Thus, Malta is an attractive and promising jurisdiction for obtaining a gambling license, but success in the gambling business on this island depends on a competent approach, thorough preparation and strict compliance with all the requirements of the regulator.

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