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Malta Gaming License

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Benefits of a Malta gambling license

A Maltese gaming license offers several benefits for businesses in the gaming industry. Here are some key advantages:

Reputation

Malta is one of the first jurisdictions to offer legal frameworks for online gaming. A Malta casino license is highly respected and recognized globally, enhancing the credibility of a gaming business.

Regulatory Framework

Malta has a well-established regulatory framework, providing clear guidelines and regulations for online gaming operators and providers. This ensures a fair and transparent gaming environment, which is beneficial for both operators and players.

Tax Benefits and onshore status

Malta offers attractive tax incentives for the businesses. The corporate tax rate is competitive, and there are various tax relief options available, making it a financially advantageous location for online gaming businesses. Since joining the European Union in 2004, Malta-based companies are fully compliant with EU regulations, making them ideal for conducting international business. This EU membership assures businesses of operating within a highly regulated and stable framework, offering a secure environment for commercial activities contrary to the offshore options. For more information about taxation in Malta please our article about Malta company formation here.

EU Membership

Since Malta is a member of the European Union, obtaining a gaming license in Malta allows operators to access the European market, subject to compliance with local regulations in other EU countries.

Technical Infrastructure

Malta has a robust IT infrastructure, which is crucial for the online gaming industry. This includes high-quality telecommunications facilities and data centers, ensuring reliable and efficient operations.

Skilled Workforce

Malta has a pool of skilled professionals in the IT, legal, and financial sectors, providing a strong support system for gaming companies.

Player Trust

A Malta casino license is often seen as a mark of trust and reliability by players, which can help in attracting and retaining a customer base.

Networking Opportunities

Malta's growing gaming industry provides numerous networking opportunities with other gaming companies, suppliers, and service providers (such as EMI, banking providers etc).

Robust Economic Environment

A thriving business ecosystem necessitates a robust and reliable economic environment. Malta has demonstrated a consistent commitment to growth by increasing its Gross Domestic Product (GDP), lowering unemployment rates, and effectively managing inflation. These factors underscore Malta's dedication to sustained and stable economic development.

Advanced Responsible Gaming Measures and AML rules

The Malta Gaming Authority (or MGA) prioritizes promoting responsible gaming and protecting player rights. The goal is to create a gaming environment that is safe, secure, and sustainable, minimizing the potential for gambling-related issues or harm. This objective is a collective responsibility of the player, the gaming operator, and the MGA. In addition, the MGA diligently ensures that gaming licenses are granted or renewed only to applicants who demonstrate robust policies and systems to mitigate Money Laundering/Financing of Terrorism (ML/FT) risks. The applicants and their involved personnel must also meet stringent criteria for integrity and suitability.

Why Choose Malta for Gaming Licensing?

Malta stands out as a prime choice for online gaming licensing due to its pioneering role in establishing legal frameworks for the industry. This reputation is underpinned by the Malta Gaming Authority's rigorous standards, which ensure fair and transparent gaming operations. The country's strong regulatory environment not only boosts the confidence of businesses and players but also emphasizes Malta's global recognition in the gaming sector. The country's economic advantages are equally compelling. Malta offers a stable economy with competitive corporate tax rates, making it financially attractive for gaming companies.

Moreover, being a member of the European Union allows access to a broader market, presenting significant expansion opportunities for gaming businesses. Additionally, Malta's robust technological infrastructure and skilled workforce are critical assets. The presence of advanced telecommunications and data centers ensures efficient and reliable gaming operations. The availability of professionals in IT, legal, and financial sectors provides essential support, further enhancing Malta's attractiveness as a hub for online gaming companies.

Disadvantages of Malta Gambling License

Although Malta is a brilliant choice for the license obtaining in the field of iGaming, there are several disadvantages of a Malta iGaming license:

Complex Application Process

Obtaining the license involves a detailed and lengthy application process.

High License Fees And Associated Costs

The fees for an Malta Gaming Authority license are generally higher compared to other jurisdictions. In addition, fees for the maintenance of the licensed company can cost very much.

Option for mature gambling businesses

Obtaining a Malta casino license is particularly challenging for newcomers in the industry, as the process typically requires substantial prior experience in gaming operations. The Malta Gaming Authority's stringent requirements and thorough vetting process favor applicants with a proven track record in managing gaming activities and complying with regulatory standards. This can make it difficult for entrepreneurs new to the gaming sector to successfully acquire a license.

Types of Malta Gaming License

Malta offers a comprehensive and structured approach to online gaming licenses through the Malta Gaming Authority. These licenses are categorized to cover various aspects of the online gaming industry, ensuring that companies can select a license type that best suits their specific business model and services. Malta offers two main types of gaming licenses.

The Gaming Service License (B2C)

The Gaming Service License is for business-to-consumer operations, covering various types of games including casino games, lotteries, and sports betting. At that, this type of license include several subcategories:

The Critical Gaming Supply License (B2B)

The Critical Gaming Supply License is for business-to-business services, focusing on the supply and management of gaming software and systems.

InteliumLaw's Gaming License Services in Malta

We can offer a variety of legal and licensing services. These include guiding clients through the licensing application process, advising on regulatory compliance, and assisting with corporate structuring. We also provide legal support for drafting necessary documents, ensuring adherence to anti-money laundering and responsible gaming regulations. Additionally, we can offer ongoing legal assistance, help with license renewals and amendments, and may help in interactions with the Malta Gaming Authority.

Malta Gambling License Application Process and Gambling License Requirements

The application process for a Maltese gaming license comprises the following stages:

Application Submission

Initially, applications must be completely filled and uploaded through the web-portal.

Application Review

The MGA evaluates the applicant's fitness for conducting gaming business, the viability of the business strategy, compliance with statutory requirements, and the operational capacity to meet legal obligations. It also checks if the applicant has correctly implemented the technical aspects of the application in a live environment.

Fit & Proper Review

This step involves the MGA conducting a fitness and propriety test on the applicant, assessing information related to shareholders, Ultimate Beneficial Owners (UBOs), key persons, and the business viability. This includes probity investigations with other regulatory bodies.

Funding Review

The MGA assesses the source of funds and wealth of the UBOs, ensuring fiscal stability to sustain the license and verifying the legitimacy of the sources.

Business Plan & Operating Policies & Procedures Review

An in-depth analysis of the applicant's proposed business operations, viability, funding, and financial forecasts is conducted, along with a review of incorporation documents and operating policies and procedures.

At that, there are requirements regarding share capital of the applicant. The applicant is subject to minimum issued and paid-up share capital requirements. Gaming Service Licence with a Type 1 and 2 approvals are required to retain a minimum share capital of €100,000 whilst Gaming Service Licence with a Type 3 and Type 4 approvals are required to retain a minimum share capital of €40,000. Critical Gaming Supply Licence holders are required to retain a minimum share capital of €40,000. Companies with multiple types are required to meet the above share capital requirements cumulatively up to a maximum capping of €240,000.

Technical Set-up Review & System Audit

The applicant's gaming and control system's technical documentation is reviewed. The applicant then has 60 days to implement and test the system in a controlled environment, followed by an external system audit.

Clarifications or Requests for Further Information

The MGA may request additional documentation or information during the application process. Major changes in the application may require a new license application.

License Approval or Rejection

Upon successful completion of the review, the MGA will issue Maltese gaming license valid for ten years.

Key Persons in the company with Malta online gambling license

Appicants and license holders under a Malta Gaming Authority license must appoint individuals responsible for Key Functions, referred to as Key Function holders. These roles are vital in gaming service or supply operations. Key Function holders must obtain a certificate and undergo an assessment by the Authority to verify their suitability. They should comprehensively understand and access the company's operations to perform their roles effectively. This fitness and propriety requirement is not just for initial certification but also on an ongoing basis. Key functions are exclusively for natural persons, and licensees must inform the Authority about their Key Persons.

For a Gaming Service (B2C) license applicant, the mandatory key function holders are the Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Key Compliance Officer, and Money Laundering Reporting Officer (MLRO). In contrast, for a Critical Gaming Supply (B2B) licensee, the mandatory key function holders are the CEO and Key Compliance Officer. These roles must be appointed from the time of submitting the gaming license application. Additional mandatory Key Function roles (for example, Legal Officer, DPO, Internal Auditor etc.) are required to be established within six months after receiving the gaming license from the MGA.

A number of roles are considered to be incompatible with one another by their very nature and, as such, a given individual will not be authorised to fulfil such conflicting roles simultaneously.

Gambling License Cost in Malta and Applicable Fees

The Malta gaming license cost involves several components, which vary depending on the type of license and other factors. During the application for an online gambling license in Malta, the following fees and costs should be considered:

Legal and Regulatory Compliance

After obtaining a Malta online gambling license, companies must adhere to ongoing legal and regulatory compliance. This includes implementing and maintaining anti-money laundering and combating the financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) measures, conducting regular business risk assessments, and establishing customer acceptance policies. Licensees must also have AML/CFT policies and procedures, perform customer due diligence, report suspicious transactions, provide regular AML/CFT training to employees, and retain documentation for record-keeping.

Annually, companies must submit audited financial statements, and within six months, provide reports on player funds and gaming revenue. Half-yearly management accounts and performance data are also required. Monthly, B2C licensees report player funds, gaming tax, and dispute resolutions, while B2B licensees report B2B activities and, if applicable, player funds related to pooled jackpots. Post-licensing, the MGA mandates compliance audits, including a system review after the first year and as required by the MGA's compliance plan. Non-compliance may result in license suspension or termination. Licensees also undergo regular MGA monitoring through reviews, incident report analyses, and on-site audits.

The Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the regulatory body responsible for all forms of gaming in Malta, including online gambling operations. It ensures transparency and integrity within the gaming industry, protects minors and vulnerable players, safeguards player rights, promotes responsible gaming, and prevents crime, corruption, and money laundering. The MGA also supports innovation and technological development in gaming, providing a secure and reliable gaming environment.

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FAQ

Why are gaming companies based in Malta?

Gaming companies are attracted to Malta due to its robust regulatory framework, favorable tax environment, and well-developed infrastructure for the iGaming industry. Malta offers a reputable EU-based licensing authority (the Malta Gaming Authority), comprehensive legal structures to support online gambling, and has policies in place that encourage innovation and growth in the gaming sector. Additionally, the country's skilled workforce and strategic location in the Mediterranean provide an added advantage for gaming companies seeking to operate within the European market.

How do I get a Malta gambling license?

To obtain a remote gaming license in Malta, you must go through the application process with the Malta Gaming Authority, which involves satisfying their criteria for financial standing, business strategy, and regulatory compliance. This can be a complex process requiring detailed documentation and adherence to strict regulations. InteliumLaw can assist you with this application, offering expertise to navigate the Malta gaming license requirements and facilitating a smoother path to acquiring your license.

How much is a casino license in Malta online?

The cost of Malta online gaming license can vary depending on the type of license you're applying for and additional services you may need.

What is remote gaming regulations of Malta?

The remote gaming regulations of Malta are a comprehensive legal framework established to regulate online gaming activities. Managed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), these regulations ensure the gaming industry operates transparently and responsibly, with a strong emphasis on player protection. They cover licensing requirements, operational compliance, and regular audits. The regulations are designed to uphold Malta's reputation as a leading jurisdiction for online gaming while promoting a safe environment for both operators and players.

How long does it take to get a gaming license in Malta?

The duration to secure a license is largely influenced by the applicant's efficiency in providing required information to the Malta Gaming Authority. The assessment comprises three pivotal stages: an initial due diligence on the involved parties, an evaluation of the business-related documents and procedures, and finally, a systems audit to confirm that the operational setup aligns closely with what was presented to the MGA, ideally with no significant discrepancies. Roughly, it typically takes up to 12 months to receive this license.

Can InteliumLaw assist with both new applications and license renewals?

Yes, InteliumLaw is equipped to assist with both new applications for Malta gaming license and the renewal of existing licenses

Are there additional costs beyond the initial application fees?

Yes, there are additional costs beyond the initial application fees for a Maltese online gambling license. These can include annual license fees, compliance contribution fees, fees for key functionaries, and annual renewal fees. These costs vary depending on the type of license and other factors related to the specific gaming operation. Additionally, operators should anticipate potential expenses for legal, auditing, and compliance services, as well as costs associated with technical system reviews and ongoing operational requirements.

What support does InteliumLaw provide after obtaining a Malta Gaming License?

After obtaining a Malta gambling license, InteliumLaw can provide you with ongoing legal support services. These include regular compliance advice to ensure adherence to Malta's gaming regulations, assistance with annual reporting and renewal processes, and legal consultations in any regulatory matters.

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