Obtaining Malta Gambling Licenses for gambling activities, tax consultancy & planning, legal strategy, consultancy, legal opinions & reports, and incorporating companies in European jurisdictions without requiring the licensing of related activities.
Malta Remote Gaming License
Malta is the largest online gaming jurisdiction and the most popular location for operators that seek a license for their online gaming operation.
Malta, as the first EU Member State to introduce online gaming regulations, holds the distinction of being the largest and most sought-after jurisdiction for operators seeking an online gaming license.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), a single regulatory body, governs all gaming activities in Malta and issues Remote Gaming Licences to operators engaged in various forms of online gaming, including casino games, poker, sports betting, lotteries, and gaming platforms. Since 2004, the MGA has received over 500 applications from leading global online gaming operators.
Licensed online gambling operators in Malta enjoy the benefits of a stable legal framework established by the robust and effective Remote Gaming Regulations (L.N. 176/04). In addition, attractive fiscal incentives, including competitive corporate and gaming tax rates, contribute to the appeal of Malta as a licensing jurisdiction. The Regulations, implemented on April 20th, 2004, adopt regulatory best practices, ensuring a secure environment for both players and online operators. They are technology-neutral, encompassing internet, mobile, and telephone technologies, and game-neutral, encompassing various game types such as betting, P2P, online casino, poker, lotteries, bingo, and slot games.
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When it comes to launching your gambling enterprise in Malta, Szilaghi Consulting is the top choice. With their extensive knowledge of the local gambling industry and regulatory framework, they provide unparalleled expertise and support throughout the entire process. Their experienced team ensures compliance with all legal obligations, making the incorporation and licensing process streamlined and hassle-free. Szilaghi Consulting takes pride in offering customized solutions tailored to your specific needs, helping you navigate complex challenges and maximize your chances of success. With a strong commitment to trustworthiness, reliability, and client satisfaction, Szilaghi Consulting is the leading partner to guide you towards establishing a thriving gambling venture in Malta.
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Malta Gambling License
The Maltese jurisdiction enables operators in the gaming industry to freely operate within the European market. In 2004, Malta became the first EU Member State to introduce remote gaming regulations, pioneering new concepts in the i-Gaming industry. These regulations have been harmonized with European Union legislation and are periodically amended to meet market requirements.
Malta offers an attractive fiscal regime with favorable corporate and gaming tax rates, as well as an extensive network of double taxation treaties and relief mechanisms. Corporate licensees are subject to a flat income tax rate of 35%, but shareholders, including Maltese companies, can receive a tax refund equivalent to 6/7ths of the company’s paid tax upon receiving a dividend. Effectively, this results in a 5% after-tax refund. The full imputation system of taxation ensures that economic double taxation is avoided, as any tax paid by the company is imputed towards the shareholders’ tax liability. Additionally, gaming tax is capped and can be either a fixed amount or based on real income generated by operators.
Aside from being renowned as a center of excellence in the financial services sector, Malta has established itself as a reputable jurisdiction in the ICT industry over the past two decades. With state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, including digital networks, satellite technology, and high-capacity fiber-optics connecting Malta with Europe, the island provides robust hosting capabilities and high-speed connections. Support services, such as online payment processors, data centers, financial institutions, auditors, software platforms, and developers, contribute to the rapid development of the remote gaming industry in Malta.
Malta’s strong regulatory regime and comprehensive legislation led to its qualification in 2007 for the United Kingdom government’s White List of jurisdictions from which online gaming companies are permitted to advertise their services in the UK market.
Another significant advantage of establishing a remote gaming operation in Malta is the availability of highly qualified human resources. Despite being a relatively young industry, Malta boasts a pool of professionals specialized in the gaming industry. The workforce in Malta is well-educated, diligent, and known for its strong work ethic and loyalty.
The Malta Remote Gaming Regulations prioritize the adoption of anti-money laundering policies, responsible gaming measures, and security protocols to ensure the protection of online players and gaming operators alike.
Recognizing the importance of the online gaming industry, Malta is actively considering further measures to enhance flexibility and competitiveness in anticipation of global changes and advancements in the gaming sector.
Online Gaming Regulations
Remote gaming in Malta is governed by the Remote Gaming Regulations (2004), which were introduced under the Lotteries and Other Games Act (2001). These regulations serve as a comprehensive legislative framework to ensure a secure online gaming environment for players and to provide remote gaming operators with a safe and competitive marketplace. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the regulatory body responsible for overseeing remote gaming operations in Malta.
The Regulations were developed in consultation with licensed operators and have adapted to incorporate advancements in high-tech innovations, enhancing player interactivity and accessibility.
To offer remote gaming services from Malta, obtaining the relevant class license is necessary, and licensees are required to comply with the Regulations, the Lotteries and Other Games Act, as well as applicable anti-money laundering, electronic commerce, and other relevant laws.
A key requirement of the Regulations is that the core components of the online gaming operations must be physically based in Malta. However, certain aspects such as the front end of games or customer support operations can be located outside Malta at the licensee’s discretion.
The online gaming system, including all its components, operating systems, and application software, must undergo certification to ensure compliance with MGA standards. Certification is particularly essential for system components that directly impact game operations and financial transactions reporting.
Every licensee is obligated to have a Key Official, who must be a resident of Malta and a director of the company. The Key Official is responsible for personally supervising the licensee’s operations and ensuring compliance with relevant laws, regulations, and license conditions.
Licensed operators are issued a Seal of Approval, which must be prominently displayed on their websites, serving as a distinguishing mark. The Seal is linked to an MGA-controlled site, providing independent and official information to players.
The Regulations also establish a Code of Conduct on Advertising and Promotions, outlining the rules governing how licensed online operators can advertise their activities.
In summary, Malta’s remote gaming regulations have set a benchmark in gaming regulation, ensuring technology neutrality and applying to various gaming formats, such as betting, online casinos, poker games, lotteries, bingo, and slot games. The comprehensive procedures and financial protections implemented under the Regulations contribute to building players’ trust and creating a safe gaming environment for both players and online operators.
Advantages of applying for a Remote Gaming License in Malta
What are the advantages of applying for a remote gaming license in Malta?
- Established Regulatory Framework: Malta has a well-established regulatory framework for remote gaming operations. The Remote Gaming Regulations provide a comprehensive set of rules and guidelines, ensuring a secure and transparent environment for online gaming.
- EU Membership: Malta is a member state of the European Union, allowing licensed operators to benefit from the principle of free movement of goods and services within the EU market. This provides access to a large customer base and facilitates cross-border operations.
- Reputation and Credibility: Malta has gained a strong reputation as a leading jurisdiction for online gaming. Being licensed in Malta adds credibility and trustworthiness to your gaming operation, giving players confidence in your platform.
- Tax Benefits: Malta offers an attractive fiscal regime for gaming operators. With competitive corporate and gaming tax rates, as well as a comprehensive double taxation treaty network, operators can benefit from favorable tax conditions and potential tax refunds.
- Strong Infrastructure: Malta has invested in state-of-the-art telecommunications and hosting infrastructure, ensuring reliable and high-capacity connections for online gaming operators. The availability of support services such as online payment processors, data centers, financial institutions, auditors, and software platforms further enhances the operational capabilities of gaming companies.
- Skilled Workforce: Malta boasts a highly educated and skilled workforce, with professionals specialized in the gaming industry. The availability of talented individuals with expertise in online gaming operations can contribute to the success of your business.
- International Recognition: Malta’s regulatory regime and legislation have earned international recognition. Being listed on the United Kingdom government’s White List of jurisdictions allows licensed operators to advertise their services into the UK market, expanding their reach and customer base.
By applying for a remote gaming license in Malta, you can benefit from a reputable regulatory framework, favorable tax conditions, a robust infrastructure, and access to a skilled workforce, all of which contribute to the growth and success of your online gaming business.
Following the grant of a five-year Remote Gaming Licence by the MGA, in accordance to the Remote Gaming Regulations, 2004, every licensee is under the obligation to appoint a Key Official.
- The Key Official supervises and is also responsible for the remote gaming operation of the company.
- The Key Official must be:
- – a director of the company
- – a resident in Malta
- Ensures that the Licensee complies with all applicable laws and regulations.
- Acts as a single point of contact between the MGA and the Licensee.
The responsibilities of the Key Official include but are not limited to:
- Submission of Key Official reports on a monthly basis.
- Payment of monthly gaming tax and annual gaming license fee.
- Tendering of gaming tax to the MGA on a monthly basis.
- Sealing of equipment and reporting of broken seals to the MGA.
- Filing in and signing of incident reports relative to the gaming equipment of the Licensee.
- Participation in System and Compliance Audits.
- Ensuring players’ funds are held by the Licensee at all times.
- Data protection.
- Legal advice and consultancy in relation to the Licensee’s gaming operation in Malta.
Classes of Licenses
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) offers different classes of Remote Gaming Licences to operators. Here are the available classes and their corresponding descriptions:
- Class 1: This license is for operators who manage their own risk on repetitive events with a random outcome. It covers casino-type games, lotteries, bingo, and slot games.
- Class 2: This license is for operators who manage their own risk on a singular event, specifically for sports betting.
- Class 3: This license is for operators who promote and facilitate gaming from Malta, earning only a commission. It includes P2P (peer-to-peer) gaming, poker networks, betting exchanges, and game portals.
- Class 4: This license is for operators who host and manage other remote gaming operators, excluding themselves. They operate as a platform for other gaming operators.
- Class 1 on 4: This license is for operators who manage their own risk on repetitive events but are hosted on a third-party platform with a Class 4 license issued by the MGA.
- Class 3 on 4: This license is for operators who promote and facilitate gaming from Malta, earning only a commission, and are hosted on a third-party platform with a Class 4 license.
A Remote Gaming License is initially granted for a period of five years and can be renewed for subsequent five-year periods.
The required share capital for each class of license is as follows:
- Class 1: €100,000
- Class 2: €100,000
- Class 3: €40,000
- Class 4: €40,000
- Class 1 on 4: €100,000
- Class 3 on 4: €40,000
These share capital requirements ensure the financial stability and credibility of the licensed operators in their respective classes.
The licensing process for remote gaming in Malta has been streamlined into a single stage since June 2011. Here is an overview of the process:
- Fit and Proper Assessment: The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) conducts a thorough assessment of the applicant’s suitability and integrity. This involves analyzing the information provided on the Remote Gaming Application Form, as well as conducting due diligence on the individuals involved in finance and management. The MGA also performs probity investigations in collaboration with national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.
- Business Plan Evaluation: The MGA reviews the applicant’s business plan in detail, focusing on the financial aspects. The applicant is required to submit a comprehensive three-year Business Plan that outlines the objectives, company structure, human resources, games to be offered, and technology and software to be used for the remote gaming operation. The financial projections for the next three years are also assessed.
- Operation and Statutory Requirements: The applicant’s readiness to conduct the gaming business is examined, including the necessary instruments and processes. This involves reviewing the incorporation documents, game-related processes, rules and procedures of the games, application and system architecture, and other technical and legal documentation submitted.
- The above three components constitute the desk-based audit of the application requirements, which typically takes 12 to 16 weeks to complete, assuming all information is complete and accurate without requiring significant back-and-forth communication between the MGA and the applicant.
- System Audit: Once the desk-based audit is successfully completed, the MGA notifies the applicant of the successful application and invites them to prepare the technical environment for going live. The applicant has 60 days to complete this process. During this period, the applicant may request an external systems audit by an independent third party contracted by the MGA. The systems audit assesses the live environment against the proposed application.
Upon successful completion of the certification process, the MGA issues a five-year license.
- Compliance Audit: After launching the gaming operation, the licensee is subject to periodic compliance audits conducted by independent third parties contracted by the MGA at a fixed market price. These audits typically occur:
- After the first year of operation
- In the third year of operation
- On the implementation of significant changes to the gaming system
- At the discretion of the MGA, usually prompted by suspicions of regulatory non-compliance, operational misconduct, or deviations from the license’s terms and conditions.
These compliance audits ensure ongoing adherence to the regulations and operational requirements set by the MGA.
Operational and Financial Activity Reporting
On successful completion of the remote gaming application process, the Licensee is awarded a five-year Remote Gaming Licence. The Licensee has to submit a “Go-Live” form and prior to the Go-Live date stipulated in this form, the gaming equipment has to be sealed by the MGA representatives in the presence of the Licensee’s Key Official.
The following are the major reports and forms that the Licensee is requested to submit to the MGA:
- Key Official Reports: The Key Official is under the obligation of submitting monthly reports that stipulate the gaming tax due for the particular month, the gaming logs, and the players’ balances in the gaming system. Furthermore, together with this report, the Key Official is under the obligation to also submit the bank statement of the players’ funds for the month for which the report is being submitted.
- Incident Report: This report includes the process for change requests to the approved infrastructure, upgrades, and maintenance of the sealed gaming equipment.
- Incident reporting is also used to report any failure to the gaming equipment hardware, whereby the MGA seals have to be broken due to unforeseen circumstances. In such cases, the Incident Report has to be submitted to the MGA within 24hours from the moment the equipment has been tampered with.
- Decommissioning of Equipment: The decommissioning of the Equipment report is used to acquire approval from the MGA to remove or move gaming equipment that has already been approved and sealed by the MGA.
- Management Accounts and Yearly Audited Accounts: These reports are required by the MGA to analyze the overall operational and financial performance of the Licensee.
|€4,660 per month for the first six (6) months
|€7,000 per month thereafter
|CLASS 1 ON 4
|€1,200 per month payable to Class 4
|0.5% per month on the gross amounts of bets accepted;
|Online Betting Exchange
|0.5% per month on the sum of all net winnings calculated per player per betting market
|Online pool betting
|0.5% per month on the aggregate of stakes paid.
|5% per month on Real Income (revenue from rake less bonus, commissions and payment processing fees)
|CLASS 3 on 4
|5% per month on Real Income
|Tax-Free for the first six (6) months;
|€2,330 for the next six months
|* Gaming Tax is capped at € 466,000 per Licence
Administrative and Licence Fees
Administrative and License Fees as per Second Schedule of the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04) issued under the Lotteries and Other Games Act (Cap. 438 of the Laws of Malta).
|Application Fee for New Licence
|Paid upon application for a remote gaming licence
|The fee paid in advance for the execution by the Authority’s approved third-party certifiers/auditors
|Per Annum per license
|Application Fee for Renewal of license
|Paid upon application for renewal of the license
|Approval Fee for Transfer or Assignment of Licence
|Paid upon application for approval
|Approval of Share Transfer
|Paid upon application for approval
|Approval of Simple Contractual Commercial Agreements
|Per Annum per contract. Aggregate amount for approved contracts shall not exceed € 30,000 Per Annum
|Approval of Complex Joint Venture Agreement
|An administrative hourly fee which is predetermined and communicated prior to the commencement of the approval process
Other Compliance Fees
|A fee paid in advance for the execution by the Authority’s approved third-party certifiers/auditors
Contact Szilaghi Consulting to Get Your Malta Gambling License
Since 2004, Szilaghi Consulting has been dedicated to assisting startups, entrepreneurs, and established companies in the online gambling industry. While we have worked globally, our extensive expertise lies particularly in Malta. Over the years, we have developed a deep understanding of the requirements and obligations involved in incorporating a company and obtaining a gambling license in Malta. Our strong relationships with industry stakeholders, including authorities, service providers, and gaming companies, position us as market leaders in supporting our clients with their licensing goals in Malta.
With our carefully curated network of contacts in the country, we ensure a streamlined setup process for you. We possess comprehensive knowledge of the requirements, criteria, nuances, and potential obstacles, allowing us to assist you in preventing and navigating any challenges that may arise.
Whether you are seeking to incorporate a company, apply for a gambling license in Malta, or simply discuss your plan, vision, or options, reach out to Szilaghi Consulting today.