The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the biggest of its type in Europe and regulates many of the most well-known online gambling brands in the world. The MGA as a global body provides operators with guidelines to maintain the trust of the public, while also providing a protection service for players who may feel they have been wronged by a casino falling in this jurisdiction.
This article will highlight the best of the online casinos bearing the MGA seal of approval (there are many) and explain why this regulator has a huge role in the iGaming industry globally.
Casinos holding an MGA license
The Appearance & Development of the Malta Gaming Authority
The country of Malta is fully located on an island in the central Mediterranean, and while it is one of the smallest European countries, it has been known for its gambling industry. Namely, from 2001 onwards, the territory of Malta has been viewed as one of the most fertile lands for harvesting and promoting this kind of activities, mainly due to the straightforward manner in which the legislative authorities in the country have handled the issue.
A separate authoritative body, the Lottery and Gaming Authority of Malta (LGA) was established back then in order to provide the relevant regulations for it. Soon afterwards, in 2004, the same body was turned into the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), in order to cover all forms of remote gambling that have been eager to register their operations in this jurisdiction.
One year later, in 2005, the same jurisdiction was further strengthened by the presence of the Malta Remote Gaming Council (MRGC). This Council was made up of shareholders from the numerous respective remote gambling establishments set up on the country’s territory. This was the realization of MGA’s plan for the best way to get first-hand information about the opinions, agreements and disagreements of the operators regarding all legal provisions.
Nowadays, all segments of the relevant bodies in Malta operate seamlessly. This is due to the stringent rules and regulations that they have set for all operators to comply with. On the other, however, they have managed to offer impeccable service to both the gambling platform companies, and the player base registered on them, ultimately making all participants in the industry as happy as possible.
Legislation in Malta Gaming Authority Casinos
There haven’t been many changes in the Malta Gaming Legislation since its initial body was set up back in 2001.
In 2004 a key clause surrounding licensing was enacted, it primarily involved the categorization of the operator’s license – in order to provide different remote gaming services, operators had to obtain various licenses, but they can combine as many as they want should they wish to offer all different forms of gaming entertainment.
Licenses are divided into four classes:
- Class 1: covers lottery, skill and casino games
- Class 2: covers betting activities (spread, pool and fixed odds betting)
- Class 3: is for b2b and b2c exchanges
- Class 4: covers the software development companies that sell games and platform software to the relevant operators.
Each class of license can be awarded to a given operator once they meet the requirements for it, and each of them last a maximum of five years before they need to be renewed.
Improper behaviour and disruption of the stipulations will result in immediate revoking of the given license, so most operators are advised to only subject their platforms to the rigorous process of obtaining it if they are truly dedicated to keep it once it is theirs. Otherwise, there is a lot that could go to waste –a lot of money paid in fees and even more effort in attempts to comply with the Authority standards.
On top of that, these licensees need to respect and obey their legal obligations in terms of maintaining the platform. While the MGA does not require its licensees to be completely up-to-date in terms of technology, some matters have been imposed as the industry standard and are thus demanded by this relevant authority. The 128-bit SSL encryption is one example of it, paired with employment of an independent, third-party auditor to check the site for any tuning or software glitches that alter the games’ outcomes.
Playing at Malta Gaming Authority Casinos
At the moment, there is no exact statistical data regarding the number of operators which have been licensed by the MGA available. What is known for sure is that, a few years back in 2015, the number rose up above 500 licenses, issued to around 300 operators.
Playing at these casinos, just like any other on the planet, does have its advantages and disadvantages. Still, the former seem to topple the latter in this case, as both players and operators appear to be benefitting from the general situation. Top advantages for players choosing to register and spend their time at Malta Gaming Authority casinos are their security, stability of platform and above all, game reliability.
After all, the main purpose of these players is to enjoy the games they like, and the best way to do it is with a provably fair and reliable provider. Speaking of which, operators are just as likely to gain some advantages by becoming part of the top MGA casinos. Aside from the evident player traffic boosts and continuous growth, these operators benefit from the country’s lenient taxation policies. This means that, unlike other operators licensed by other jurisdictions, these are able to provide their services and pay minimum taxes to the country, while players are fully exempt of any additional expenses.
The downside to all this is that, with as many benefits as there could be, some operators are still interested in doing more malice than good, and are willing to go to great lengths to meet their goal. Regardless of it, the Malta Gaming Authority and its licensees are still a great choice for operator, just as much as they are for player inquiry and support organization.