HomeGamblingHow has the Malta Gaming Authority become a hallmark of trust and...

How has the Malta Gaming Authority become a hallmark of trust and safety in the iGaming international industry?

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Small and mightly

Malta might be small in size, but when it comes to iGaming credibility, the country punches way above its weight. In fact, it is one of the world’s most trusted gambling jurisdictions. It provides a regulatory framework for remote gaming, sports betting, casino gaming and gaming devices that is regarded as the gold standard in international markets. Gambling in Malta was legalized in 1921 with the introduction of Lotto regulations, and the country was a pioneer in regulating online gambling back in 2004 when the web was still unchartered territory. Online gambling is incredibly important to the Maltese economy, contributing 12% to GDP annually. It was the first EU country to regulate online gambling, giving it a ‘first mover advantage’, and it has taken full advantage of it.

Great infrastructure

From an operator’s point of view, the country provides good business infrastructure, regulatory clarity and government support. For players, a Maltese license means fairness and safety. The county is an online gambling hub and has attracted numerous igaming operators and service providers to establish their businesses in the country. In addition, the Government has created a favourable regulatory setup, tax incentives and a well-defined licencing framework. All of this has led to the growth of the online gambling market in the country.

Many online casino platforms and casino game providers have a Malta Gaming Authority license and one from the local regulator. For example, an online casino in Ontario, Canada, will often carry a statutory iGaming Ontario license and a Malta Gaming Authority one. The fact that they had the Maltese license means they had much of what was needed for the additional country or location-specific permit already in place.

Looking at the numbers behind Malta’s iGaming business In pure numbers:

  • Online gambling market revenue is expected to reach US$132.9 million in Malta in 2024
  • The market is forecast to grow at 3.6% over the next five years and will be worth US$159 million by 2029
  • The average revenue per user is US$2.87k, and there are expected to be almost 17k online gamblers in Malta by 2029

In addition, international players are attracted to Malta due to its strategic location in the Mediterranean region. European Union membership has also been a significant benefit for Malta as it has access to the massive single market on its doorstep and allows license holders to offer services to customers across Europe. Obviously, each member state has its own gambling laws and infrastructure, but the Malta Gaming Authority license is a hallmark of security and trust across the bloc. Malta has a highly skilled workforce and advanced IT infrastructure, making it an attractive hub location for the online gambling industry. There are over 500 iGaming businesses based here, employing over 10,000 workers.

Lots of hoops to jump through

Holding a Malta Gaming Authority license is considered a vote of confidence for the holder. The trusted hallmark represents transparency, fairness and honesty. Anyone holding this license is operating within EU rules, and that holds a good deal of sway. If an operator has a Malta gambling license, it is understood that they have satisfied the regulators’ intensive and thorough vetting procedures.

These vetting procedures start with the people behind any iGaming business. Each and every authorized person, officer, shareholder, director and beneficial owner has to be able to provide the following documentation:

  • Police good conduct certificate that is no more than three months old
  • A “Fit ad Proper” test certification
  • Bank references
  • Notarized copies of passports
  • Detailed business plans
  • Details of all third-party agreements and gaming software in use.

In addition, license holders must ensure all operations and gaming servers operate within Malta. None of these seem to have put off reputable companies from setting up and operating in the country – quite the opposite, as companies are keen to display their license as a trust mark.

Horses for courses

While the operator holds a Malta Gambling Authority license, there are a variety of permits, and different rules and regulations apply to cover the following types of games: –

  • Type one covers games of chance. These are games where the result is determined by a random number generator. Most casino games fall into this category, including blackjack, roulette, poker and online slots.
  • Type two are games of chance where the outcome is decided by the result of an event or competition and played against the house. This is usually how a sportsbook operates, where the gambling company manages the financial risk in relation to the odds offered to the players
  • Type 3 are games of chance not played against the house but from one player playing against another one. This includes games like poker and bingo. The gaming companies generate their income by charging commissions or entry stakes.
  • Type 4 games cover those like fantasy sports, where the outcome is determined by the aggregation of statistical results from actual sporting events. While the outcome is based on actual results, the gambler relies on their own skills and knowledge to try to determine the outcome of their fantasy team.

Strength in numbers

In business and in nature, it is often the case that ‘birds of a feather flock together’, and this is undoubtedly the case for iGaming businesses and Malta. Businesses based here can benefit from the stable regulatory framework, which ensures pragmatic and efficient gambling regulation. Players and operators are both protected under these regulations, which build trust. That trust ensures repeat business and sustainable business models. Malta is also proud of its robust anti-money laundering processes and has implemented all the EU Directives in this area. This means that Maltese licenses are trusted around the world.

In an incredibly competitive market, trust and reputation are key to success, and the Maltese license is a trustmark, pure and simple. Having been the first EU country to regulate iGaming, Malta has no intention of letting go of its top-notch credentials.

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