Malta senglea grand harbour

One of the driving forces behind the growth of the online casino industry has been dedicated and robust regulation. Since launching in the 90s, online casinos have changed a lot, going from simple sites with a few games to apps and websites offering thousands of immersive games in high definition. Regulation has also changed significantly, with modern online casinos needing to be licensed to operate legally in many countries.

Despite its size, Malta has played a major role in the development of online casino regulation and continues to be a major part of the iGaming industry today. The Mediterranean island, home to just over half a million people, is also a hub for online gambling. Thanks to this robust regulatory framework, players can discover the best online casinos in Malta and stay safe from scams. Find out more information on safe online casinos at

How casino licensing works

The first online casinos started to appear in the 90s, offering a few simple games based on classic titles like blackjack and roulette. In those days, players had to trust that the site they were using was legit, and there were few ways to tell whether the games were fair. This meant that even people who would enjoy playing games online would usually stay away from online gambling, limiting the number of people signing up.

In addition, a lack of regulation meant that most payment providers were unwilling to support payments made to online casinos in Malta. Without being able to use popular payment methods such as Visa and Mastercard, depositing and playing with real money was difficult. Not only that, but encryption was rarely used, so player card details could be at risk.

Casino licensing eliminates these issues, making online casino gaming safer and helping establish trust between players and operators. When an online casino in Malta applies for a license from a regulator, they have to prove that the games they offer are fair and based on random chance. They also have to follow strict rules on financial regulations, including data protection and using encryption.

How Malta became an iGaming hub

Malta was one of the first countries to recognise the potential of the online gambling industry. In 2001, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) was established to draw up new regulations for the emerging market. Just a few years later, the Maltese government legalised online gambling, leading to a wave of online casinos Malta.

In another move to help foster the growth of iGaming in Malta, the Government also set the total gaming revenue tax at five per cent, providing an incentive for companies to move their headquarters to the island. Malta also benefits from being a member of the EU, meaning it’s relatively simple for companies and workers to move to the island.

It didn’t take long for some of the biggest iGaming companies to establish themselves in Malta, with Betsson being one of the first major operators to move their headquarters here. Since then, hundreds of companies have made the move, influenced by better regulations and tax laws, as well as an experienced and professional workforce.

Another overlooked factor in how Malta became an iGaming hub is the language. While Maltese is the national language, English is also widely spoken. Around 88 per cent of the population speak fluent English, making Malta a great destination for international companies.

The Malta Gaming Authority licence

To be licensed, and accept European players, online casinos can obtain a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority. This licence is to show that the casino operator only offers fair and tested games and that it takes financial regulations and data protection seriously. Licences are required for casinos to operate in most jurisdictions. However, they also establish trust between the players and the casino operator.

There are several MGA licenses available depending on the nature of the services offered. Each licence will have a different fee and may also affect the percentage of revenue that the operator has to pay in taxes. All businesses that provide some form of real money wagering, either on sports or games of chance, must apply for one of the licenses.

The Licensing Process

The process of accepting gaming licenses is not a simple one. It has multiple stages to prevent misuse and ensure that only the best online casinos in Malta are licensed. It begins with a complete review of the business and its owners, looking at financing, management and the overall viability of the business. Where required, the MGA will collaborate with international agencies and regulatory bodies to find the necessary information.

The licensing process isn’t complete without a thorough review of the operator’s business plan. This includes an assessment of how the operator aims to make a profit and whether there is a proper forecast of the business operation. The MGA will then review all documents relating to games, terms and conditions and other operational aspects of the site. The operator must also prove it has the required level of capital to launch.

After the above process has been completed, the operator will receive information on whether or not their application has been successful. If it is successful, the MGA will then carry out a system audit of the Malta online casino to view it in operation. This will be followed up with regular compliance reviews to ensure the casino is following the strict regulations set out by the licence.

Final Thoughts

The Malta gaming licence gives iGaming operators the ability to enter the highly lucrative European market. It also provides trust from players and means they can work with leading payment processors to deliver the best possible experience to players. It’s easy to see why it’s such a sought-after gaming licence, and even though competing gambling regulators exist, Malta has remained the gold standard.

Since it first became an iGaming hub in 2004, Malta has led the way in terms of online gambling regulation. By upholding the highest possible standards, the MGA ensures it will continue to safeguard players and help keep Malta online casinos safe, fair and fun.


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