Types of Licenses
MGA issues two different types of licenses, which must be obtained by anyone offering a game of chance or controlled skill game. The two different types of licenses are:
- Gaming Service License, which authorizes an online or land-based casino to offer gambling services.
- Critical Gaming Supply License, which is a business-to-business license that authorizes certain companies to provide products or software to those with a gaming service license.
Areas of Focus
Part of the Malta Gaming Authority’s mission involves “having a fair and transparent gaming sector in Malta to safeguard against crime and corruption, and to offer protection to minors and vulnerable players.” Part of the way they protect players is by requiring casinos to ensure that all players are at least 18 years of age.
MGA takes gambling addictions very seriously. As such, one of their requirements is that online gaming sites provide a link that people can click on to get help with their gambling problem. Online casinos must also allow players to place certain limitations and exclusions on themselves.
Protecting players’ funds is also a top concern. As part of their oversight, the agency requires casinos to perform monthly reporting. Part of that reporting involves player balances vs. the account balances of bank accounts used to deposit player funds. Player funds must be kept in a separate account from a site’s operating funds, and must not be comingled.
Software Testing and Licensing
All software must go through a rigorous testing process to ensure fairness and accuracy. MGA is very particular as to who performs the testing, and will accept only those agencies they have previously approved. Each time there is a change in software or game rules, the provider will need to obtain recertification from the Malta Gaming Authority. Accordingly, most software providers find licensing to be an ongoing process rather than a one-time affair.
How to Achieve Licensing
Operators who wish to apply for a license should visit the official website of the Malta Gaming Authority. There, they can log into a program known as the Licensee Relationship Management System (LRMS) to complete the application process.
From there, the Financial Directorate will determine if the appropriate fees have been paid before forwarding the application to the Regulatory Directorate. The Regulatory Directorate will review the application and may ask for additional documentation if needed. If approved, a platform will need to pay the appropriate licensing fees, gaming taxes, and compliance contribution fees before actually receiving a license.
MGA prides themselves on transparency throughout the licensing process. Applicants can view the status of their license in real time by logging into the LRMS system. Online gamblers can also check the MGA Licensee Register to search for licensed operators or to verify licensing.
The Malta Gaming Authority has the responsibility to protect online gamblersand takes that responsibility very seriously.Only the most reputable software providers and casinos are able to earn certification from the MGA. The authority also provides near constant oversight to protect the interests of players. If your casino has been licensed by them, you can be sure the platform is fully vetted and safe for play.