Known for its stringent laws aimed at providing a safe gambling environment, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) licence is one of the most coveted licensing bodies in the gambling world. In this guide, we will discuss why an MGA gaming licence is highly recognised and take a look at the requirements to obtain it.

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What Is an MGA Licence?

The Malta Gaming Authority was initially founded in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) — one of the first bodies to start regulating online gambling in the world. In 2004, Malta passed the Remote Gaming Regulations, becoming the first EU member state to embrace online gambling fully.

The LGA was changed to the Malta Gaming Authority in 2015 and thereafter became the reputable leading licensor we now know. The MGA licence is highly valued thanks to a hospitable government, thriving technology, and worldwide recognition.

The MGA licences both land-based establishments and online betting operators, and this licence covers all forms of sports betting and casino games. A Malta online gambling licence can fall under B2B or B2C, depending on the form of gambling the operator wants to provide.

Regardless of the type, the objectives of this regulator remain the same. These include:

  • Licensing brick-and-mortar platforms and online betting operators
  • Protecting underage users
  • Safeguarding the players’ interests
  • Advocating responsible gambling
  • Ensuring that all the games are fair
  • Monitoring MGA licensed operators
  • Ensuring that gambling activities benefit Malta’s economy

Why Should Bookies/Operators Opt for a Licence With the MGA?

Obtaining a proper licence is one of the major stepping stones for any bookmaker in the industry. However, navigating the bureaucratic processes is not always smooth sailing. The MGA licence has the most demanding requirements but is undoubtedly the world’s safest, which is why most online operators prefer it since it elevates their reputation.

Let's take a look at some other reasons why bookmakers opt for the MGA online gambling licence:

Gambling-Friendly Regulations

The Maltese government is one of the most hospitable to gambling operators. In terms of taxation, the 2018 regulatory restructuring helped streamline the tax system and solved the issue of double taxation. The low tax rates have contributed to the lower cost of obtaining a Malta gambling licence, which has been the biggest obstacle for the longest time.

Reputability

When it comes to reputable licensing bodies, the MGA tops the list, with its strict standards and substantial financial requirements that must be met before obtaining the Maltese licence. Therefore, MGA bookmakers are recognised as reliable and safe gambling platforms.

Recognised in Many Jurisdictions

The Malta online gambling licence is not only recognised on the island but also in jurisdictions worldwide. With this licence, bookmakers can accept players from the UK, USA, Canada, Asia, and more. Operators with the Malta online gambling licence do not need to apply for licences in other jurisdictions.

What Control Points Do the MGA Demand?

To obtain an MGA licence, operators undergo rigorous scrutiny related to financial orientation as well as the provision of a safe gambling environment. We have outlined MGA’s key checkpoints to give you a clearer picture:

Safe environment: The operator has to prove that they have put in place measures to ensure that the player’s data and information are safe.

Reliable payment methods: The MGA is also keen on ensuring that its licensees offer safe payment methods. Operators are expected to provide users with a variety of banking options.

Gaming software: The gaming software that operators partner with play a key role in determining the quality of the gameplay. The regulator frequently audits the software providers in MGA casinos to ensure their games are fair.

Customer service: The effectiveness of customer service is another key checkpoint under the MGA requirements. The service should be accessible at least in English, and there should be several communication channels such as live chat, phone, or email.

What Are the Requirements for a Bookmaker to Obtain an MGA Licence?

What does it take to get an MGA licence? The requirements are quite similar to other jurisdictions, except that some of the Malta guidelines are very strict. To obtain this prestigious online gambling licence, sportsbooks have to provide;

  • An in-depth business plan
  • A software and compliance audit
  • Documents to prove the ownership of the company
  • Original bank references of app applicants
  • Details of gaming software platforms and systems used
  • Pass a proper and fit test
  • Pass software and compliance audit
  • Hosting of gambling operations must be based in Malta

When it comes to the MGA gambling licence cost, the fee is approximately €5,000. There is also an additional cost of licence renewal, which often ranges from €10,000 to €25,000 depending on the licence type. After a successful MGA licence register approval, it remains active for a period of five years before renewal. In terms of tax, operators are charged a 5% corporate tax.

MGA Statistics

As one of the leading gambling regulators, MGA has licensed hundreds of operators and has also had an impressive contribution to the Maltese economy. The statistics below are based on the MGA’s 2021 Annual Report.

In 2021, the regulator generated €79.5 million in revenue, consisting of €68.6m in compliance contributions and levies. €9.3 was obtained from licence fees and €265,000 in application fees.

As of 2021, the MGA had a total of 351 active licences. This was an increase from 298 licensed issues in 2019.

The Malta gaming industry generated up to 10,685 job opportunities, which was a 28.9% increase compared to 2020.

Based on its compliance laws, the MGA carried out 54 on-site compliance audits and 230 desktop reviews. This accounted for around 65.5% of all licences issued by the regulator. From the audit, 65 operators were issued with a warning, and seven licences were canceled.

The Best Bookmakers Licensed With the MGA

Check out the list above of our top esportsbooks licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. These bookmakers are reputable in providing impressive services, including prompt payouts, reliable customer support, and fair games. Here are our top three MGA-licensed esports betting sites.

bet365

With over two decades of experience, bet365 is one of the most established esports betting sites in the industry. The platform supports up to eight esports titles, including Dota 2, CS:GO, and Overwatch. Other than holding a licence by the Malta Gaming Authority, it is also licensed by the UK Gambling Commission(UKGC). Whenever new users make a qualifying deposit of £5 or more, they are welcomed with a sign-up bonus of up to £50 in bonus credit. There are also tons of promotional offers for existing users.

Betfair

Betfair is another renowned online bookmaker, popular for its diverse betting markets and competitive odds, and features an impressive selection of esports games, including Call of Duty, Dota 2, League of Legends, and Overwatch. The betting markets under each category vary depending on the esports tournament.

William Hill

With a history dating back to 1934, William Hill is one of the biggest names in sports betting. However, compared to other top esportsbooks such as bet365, William Hill does not have exotic esports markets. Nonetheless, you will find straight bets on the featured esports games, including CS:GO, Dota 2, and LoL.

Summary

Being one of the top licensing authorities in the industry — alongside the renowned UK Gambling Commission, some strict regulations and requirements must be adhered to in order to obtain an MGA licence.

Fortunately, esports players have access to a wide range of MGA-licensed esports bookies, such as bet365, Betfair, and EnergyBet. With these platforms, you are guaranteed the absolute safety of your funds, fair gameplay, and reliable banking methods.


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FAQ

FAQS

Malta Gaming Authority is a top licensing authority tasked with the issuance of gambling licences to both land-based and online operators. Its aim is to promote responsible gambling and safeguard players’ interests.

An MGA licence expires after five years of its issuance, in which case the operator is expected to renew it.

Check our list of top MGA esportsbooks, which include bet365, Betfair, and William Hill.

Absolutely. MGA is renowned for its steadfast regulations aimed at ensuring that the operators provide a safe gambling environment.

Once an operator fills in the application form and submits all the relevant information, it takes 12 to 16 weeks to get approval.

Hey! Peris here, an ardent content writer and sports fanatic. I have over three years of experience in sports writing, iGaming and esports. If not creating content, you will find me playing FIFA, Xbox, or Nintendo Switch games.

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