Even though Malta is one of the smallest countries in Europe with an area of 316 km², it is one of the most popular destinations for online casinos to get a valid gaming license since their jurisdiction in the year 2000. An online gaming license through the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) of Malta offers operators and casinos a wide variety of licenses divided into four different classes:
Class 1: Remote gaming licenses for operators responsible for the risk based repetition games such as online slots, casino games, online lotteries and skill games.
Class 2: Remote betting licenses for operators responsible for the risk on events based on a matchbook such as fixed odds betting, pool betting and spread betting.
Class 3: To promote remote gaming in or from Malta for operators receiving commissions from promoting or betting games such as poker networks and game portals.
Class 4: To host and manage remote gaming operators for software vendors.
All companies looking to establish a license through the Malta LGA must provide a proof of fairness over a six month period through different tests performed by several agencies such as TST and iTech Labs to ensure results are transparent and accurate.
Additionally, operators establishing a prospective license must set up a corporate entity for its operations either within Malta or through a remote gaming license, which are granted for five-year periods. Malta’s regulation cap on gaming tax is a maximum annual EUR 466,000.
From June 2011 onwards, operators can submit all required licensing information at the same time for the application process in order to assess if the applicant is fit or not to establish a gaming business within Malta’s jurisdiction and laws to ensure all technical requirements are met.
In order to complete a licensing process, applicants should expect a decision for the first three stages of the process within 12 to 16 weeks, and then invited to implement their technical environment within 60 days. Once operators get their license approved and start their business within Malta, they are subject to several compliance audits after the first and third year of operation or any time the LGA has suspicions on regulation violations.
Some of the requirements for applying for a license in Malta include:
- Financial and personal background.
- Operating software tested for six months prior to the site opening business.
- Applicant’s financial interests.
- Criminal history or any involvement in legal or commercial activity from the applicants.
Malta is a current member of the British Commonwealth as well as of the European Union, and was the first within their countries to introduce regulations for online gambling. One of the benefits of Malta’s jurisdiction is that it is on the ‘white-list’ by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, allowing operators within Malta to advertise their services and products to UK residents
Given their high number of license holders and beneficial corporate tax rates, Malta has quickly become a profitable destination for online gambling businesses, ensuring no interference from government agencies beyond the established audits.