The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
As the global iGaming industry keeps expanding, the need for regulated and legal casino sites is ever-growing. Being licensed and regulated is of massive importance to online casinos as the license is an indicator that they can conduct their operations in a legal way.
Not only that, but regulators always make sure that the casino sites adhere to the laws and thus, they protect registered players.
One of the world’s most reputable online casino regulators is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). We are going to share everything there is to know about this regulator and in doing so, explain what makes MGA such a well-known name in the world of iGaming.
Basic Information on MGA
As just mentioned, MGA is an online casino regulator. Its main job is to oversee the activities of casino sites that it licenses and make sure that they adhere to the laws and rules. If these sites do not adhere to the standards, the MGA has the power to penalize them and even suspend/revoke licenses.
It was established in 2001 to regulate the gambling industry in Malta. Additionally, MGA was among the first regulators to incorporate online gambling into its field of work. As time went on and the gambling industry evolved, MGA started licensing and regulating casino sites that operate on an international level.
MGA is headquartered in Malta and its structure features a non-executive board of directors, its CEO, executive management committee, audit committee, supervisory council, as well as a fit and proper committee.
Casino Sites Licensed by MGA
Because MGA is one of the world’s most reputable online casino regulators, it is only right that a majority of online casinos will apply for its license. There are plenty of reputable online casinos that possess a license from this regulator. These include:
- CasiQo Casino
- Night Rush Casino
- Vegadream Casino
- SlotWolf Casino
- N1 Casino
- Spin Casino
- Jackpot City
- Royal Vegas
- Casiplay Casino
- Jackie Jackpot
As you can see, many of the listed sites are globally renowned casino brands that have tons of great features and thousands of players use their services. That just proves that MGA is a well-established brand that protects players and always enforces strict rules.
Some of the newer online casinos that managed to obtain a license from the MGA are Spinnalot Casino, Whamoo Casino, Woopwin Casino and Touch Casino.
Aim, Goals and Vision
Ever since its inception, the MGA has been dedicated to making sure that the gambling sector in Malta is transparent and fair. Its core values are respect, passion and transparency.
First of all, respect is gained and maintained by embracing an attitude of tolerance and having open communication with partners. The regulator is also open and fair about all of its activities and operations. In doing so, all of its shareholders can have trust in the company, while the company maintains its integrity.
Finally, the MGA demonstrates its passion by always going a step further to ensure excellence in its work.
In 2014, MGA demonstrated its dedication to the gambling sector by launching three separate projects, all of which are designed to make the gambling industry in Malta safer and more responsible. These projects are:
- Responsible Gaming Foundation
- European Gaming Institute
Responsible Gaming Foundation
The Responsible Gaming Foundation was launched in February 2014 in conjunction with Malta’s Ministry for Family Affairs and Social Solidarity. Both the government and the opposition agreed on forming this foundation as a way to promote responsible gambling in the country.
To this very day, the main goal of the Responsible Gaming Foundation is to create wider awareness of gambling harm and support problem gamblers and assist in their journey to overcoming the problem.
European Gaming Institute
The European Gaming Institute or simply known as EGIM, represents a joint venture between the MGA and the Malta College of Arts, Science & Technology (MCAST). It provides potential candidates that want to get familiar with the gambling industry with various short-term courses and masters programs.
Its main objective is to understand the current trends in the gambling industry and anticipate and prepare for the upcoming skill sets.
Finally, GamingMalta is a non-profit organization that was established in 2015 and its main goal is to promote Malta as the world’s leading jurisdiction for gambling. In doing so, it is tasked to attract companies to set up shop in the country.
Main Tasks of MGA in Malta
As you can see, the MGA has been actively operating in the gambling sector in Malta and there are tons of other operations that this regulator is tasked with. For starters, its main objective is to license and oversee gambling operators in the country.
These operators need to make sure that they adhere to the Maltese gambling laws, which are featured in the country’s Gaming Act. The regulator monitors their operations and as mentioned earlier, it has the power to revoke or suspend licenses if partners do not respect the laws.
Apart from that, the MGA is tasked with protecting players and their funds and if certain discrepancies are uncovered, it has the power to conduct investigations of players’ concerns.
Promoting responsible gambling in the country and protecting vulnerable groups and minors in Malta is also something that the MGA puts special emphasis on.
Types of Licenses and Applying for an MGA License
The MGA issues both B2C and B2B licenses to land-based and remote operators. Once an application has been submitted, there are 5 application stages that the application goes through.
- Fit and Proper
- Business Planning
- Operational and Statutory Requirements
- System Review
- Compliance Review
In the first stage, the regulator conducts a fit and proper exercise on the applicant to determine whether the applicant can conduct gaming business. In the second stage, the MGA conducts a thorough investigation of the applicant’s business plans and inspects its financials.
The business plan should include information such as cash flow, profit, loss, strategies, growth targets, HR, etc.
Operational and statutory requirements include the examination of the instruments to conduct the business and the regulator investigates whether the necessary fees have been paid. Once the first three stages are passed, the MGA will invite the license applicant to a technical environment to see whether its operations can go live.
Finally, after going live, the MGA mandates the licensee to undergo several compliance revisions and these audits need to be completed within the first 90 days of the notice by the regulator.
Types of Licenses
Applicants that are applying for a gaming license can offer one or multiple types of games. There are 4 main types of licenses.
Type 1 is a license that concerns games in which the outcome is determined by an RNG. These games include roulette, blackjack, lotteries, virtual sports, etc. Type 2 is a license in which the outcome is not determined by an RNG, but is determined by the result of an event extraneous to a game of chance.
Moving on, a Type 3 license is a license that includes games of chance which are not played against the operator, but the operator draws revenue by taking a stake in the prize or a certain commission. These games include betting exchanges, bingo and poker.
Finally, the Type 4 license concerns controlled skill games that are in tune with Regulation 8 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations.
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