Gambling Webhosting and Licensing

Monday, 30 September 2013

Online Gambling Juristictions - Malta

Malta, an island lying in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Sicily and north of Libya. The capital of Malta is Valletta. Malta gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1964 and became a republic in 1974. Malta is an independent republic, a member of the British Commonwealth and a member state of the European Union.  Malta has received more than 450 remote gaming applications and has a labour force of 2,085 directly employed in the remote gaming industry. Malta is one of the world’s largest online gaming jurisdictions and was the first EU member state to regulate Remote Gaming.

Corporate tax: 35%
Gambling tax: approx. 0.5% of turnover but varies in accordance with the class of the license issues however the maximum gaming tax payable by one licensee shall not exceed €466,000



Who manages E-Gambling in Malta?
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) is responsible for the governance of gaming in Malta. It has developed set policies to govern the remote gambling operations for which it provides licences.

A licence granted by the Authority may be subject to conditions relating the proper operation of interactive games; the protection of players; the prevention of money laundering; exigencies of public interest. Companies must adhere to a strict code designed to protect players.

A corporate entity must be set up before one can apply for a gaming license in Malta. Any company that has been established as a corporate body in accordance with the Companies Act may apply for a license.

Brief History:
Under the Public Lotto Ordinance in 2000, Malta began licensing online gambling sites whilst, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) have developed its policies and procedures of remote gambling operations.

Since April 2004, Malta has offered four classes of remote gambling licenses, namely:
Class 1: For any games requiring a random number generator including lotteries, casino games, slot machines and any other games of chance.
Class 2: For companies that offer sports betting and other third party activities where spread betting, pool betting and fixed odds betting come into play.
Class 3: For companies based in Malta that offer promotional services and advertising for online gaming including poker, game portals, P2P and betting exchanges.
Class 4: For companies that offer hosting and management services for online gaming companies rather than offer gambling themselves.

In March of 2005, the first Malta Remote Gaming Council (MRGC) was elected. The Council monitors all remote gaming operators and service providers. The MRGC launched an online forum allowing operators and service providers to discuss legal, technical and administrative issues.

In September 2007, Malta positioned itself on the United Kingdom’s “white list” of countries that match its stringent gaming regulations, resulting in the steady increase of the number of licensees in Malta.

2011 saw the streamlining of the application process, whereby applicants may submit required licensing information at once allowing the LGA to assess whether an applicant:
• is fit to conduct a gaming business
• has a sound business strategy
• has the operational and statutory requirements to meet Maltese laws
• has correctly implemented their application’s technical environment

To enhance cooperation and the exchange of information and investigative assistance of providers of remote gaming services amongst their regulatory agencies, in 2012, Malta’s Lotteries and Gaming Authority signed a memorandum of understanding with the Danish Gaming Authority and the Jersey Gambling Commission.

Malta is developing a Responsible Gaming Fund for responsible gaming advertising campaigns. It is suggested that gaming operators be required to contribute to the fund.





Minimum Share Capital for an iGaming Company:
A company applying for a licence needs to have the following minimum issued paid up share capital when registering with the competent authority:
Class 1 - one hundred thousand euro (€100,000)
Class 2 - one hundred thousand euro (€100,000)
Class 3 - forty thousand euro (€40,000)
Class 4 - forty thousand euro (€40,000)
Companies applying for multiple licences should have the cumulative of the requirements established above, to a maximum of two hundred and forty thousand euro (€240,000).

Security Requirements / Indemnity for Player Deposits:
The LGA must be notified that player deposits must be held separately in a client's account. The LGA monitors the accounts monthly and reviews bank statements to ensure that the deposits are covered.

Licence Fee:
A license is valid for five years, it may be renewed for additional five-year periods should the issuing authority allow.
The cost to apply for any of the four license listed above is approximately €2,330. The fee is due on submission of the application. Once a license is secured the cost of renewal for another five year period is considerably less than the initial payment. Should your application be approved, there is an annual license fee which is approximately €7,000.

Length of the licensing process:
If all the necessary documentation and information is provided to the Authority, the process leading to the provisional licence takes approximately twelve to eighteen weeks. It is at this point where low-quality applications are dropped and the applicant is allowed to re-apply with a more persuasive application. Successful applicants are invited to implement their technical environment, this must be done within 60 days or may be suspended and subject to re-apply.
Once an online gaming site is live a licensee is subject to compliance audits usually after a year of operation however these audits can be made at anytime should the LGA have suspicions of deviation of regulations. Should a licensee fail a compliance audit, it could lead to the suspension or termination of a license

Licence Length:
Valid for five years with annual licence fees

Software Testing Requirements:
Any company applying for a Malta license must have their software tested 6 months prior to opening for business.

Anti-Money Laundering Policy:
The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit is in its final stages of issuing the 3rd EU Anti Money Laundering Regulations to include all remote gaming amongst subject persons.

Resolution of Complaints and Disputes:
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority handles all gambling issues for Malta-licensed gaming companies. Players who are experiencing any problems with an online operator licensed by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority can contact their Players' Support Channel via email at complaints@lga.org.mt.

Malta Restrictions:
With online gaming licensees, irrespective of where a company advertises or promotes their services they cannot:
• Imply that remote gaming is a means of social acceptance or the resolution for any social, economic or personal problems and in no way imply that by partaking can an individual gain personal or financial success.
• Be directed at encouraging individuals younger than eighteen (18) years old to engage in remote gaming.
• Be seen to encourage or portray indecency.
• Be endorsed by a celebrity or known personality whereby suggesting that remote gaming contributed to that person's success.
• Be conducted through the distribution of unsolicited electronic mail.
• Companies which are granted a Maltese license are not permitted to take bets from the island's citizens.

The complete list of restrictions is established in the Code of Conduct on Advertising, Promotions and Endorsements issued by the Authority.

Useful Links:
Remote Gambling Licence Application Form – Malta – Click here to download
Remote Gambling – Malta – Click here to follow link

Contact Details:
Lotteries and Gaming Authority
Suite 1, Level 3, TG Complex, Brewery Street, Mriehel, Birkirkara BKR 3000, Malta
Opening Hours: Mon - Fri: 09.00hrs till 16.00hrs
Tel: +356 2546 9000
Fax: +356 2144 6950
Email: info@lga.org.mt
Web: http://www.lga.org.mt/

Online casinos licensed in Malta:
7 Sultans Casino
Betfair Casino
Betsson Casino
Betway Casino
Casino Club
Casino UK
Casino Euro
Cherry Casino
Cinema Casino
Crazy Vegas Casino
Diamond World Casino
GoWild Casino
InterCasino
Luxury Casino
Mr Green Casino
Mummy's Gold Casino
Redbet Casino
Roxy Palace Casino
Royal Vegas Casino
Platinum Play
Ruby Fortune Casino
Spin Palace Casino
Sun Vegas Casino
VIP Casino

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