Malta may be a small island in the Mediterranean, but it is known as one of the biggest jurisdictions when it comes to gambling. Located to the south of Italy’s island of Sicily, Malta plays home to some of the largest online casino platforms and software developers. It’s also home to the regulatory body known as the Malta Gaming Authority, which is responsible for providing gambling licences to multiple different online casinos, sportsbooks, poker rooms and more. As it happens, Malta was the first member state of the European Union (EU) to introduce regulated online gambling. Therefore, it holds quite a key standing in the world of both online and offline gambling.
Best Malta online casinos
Gambling online in Malta
Online gambling in Malta is very much a legal activity. Furthermore, because of low tax rates, many online casino operators utilise Malta as their home base too. Starting back in 2004 with the Remote Gaming Regulations, Malta has been offering up online gambling for a considerable number of years now. A notable benefit of operators receiving a gambling licence is that it is a jurisdiction that is on the United Kingdom’s “white-list”. Therefore, any operator that holds a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority is able to advertise its services to residents of the UK. So, while the casinos cannot officially operate within the United Kingdom, the services that they provide can be advertised to such players.
Offshore gambling is also available to players residing in Malta, meaning that residents have quite the ability to satisfy their gaming needs. These go hand-in-hand with a few land-based casinos, such as the Portomaso, the Oracle and the Dragonara. It’s not only casinos that are legal within Malta either. The country also provides access to sports betting, lotteries, poker rooms and just about anything else relating to gambling. It’s perhaps one of the most liberal countries when it comes to legal and regulated betting platforms. Additionally, operators are able to apply for four different licences from the Malta Gaming Authority, covering various different sectors of gambling, including skill games, lotteries, peer to peer gaming and software vendors.
The Best Maltese Casino Sites
Online casino games in Malta
The options in terms of games available in Malta is top notch with every big casino software software company like Microgaming and NetEnt allowing their games to be played there. Unlike many land-based casinos there are many different variations of your casino classics. To learn more about specific casino games check out our guides:
Casino promotions and welcome bonuses
As a member of the EU Malta residents have many online casinos that have sign up offers available to them, these include many casino with MGA accreditation, which makes sure you don’t get shafted by extreme wagering requirements. Although as always we caution punters to check the terms and requirements of any online casino bonus that you may claim.
Other offers online casinos put on include free spins, reload bonuses and event things like holidays around Europe, cash and prizes.
Euro Deposit Options for Online Maltese Players
Being a part of the European Union, Malta has chosen to adopt the Euro as its official currency. Therefore, players from this country can deposit and play in this currency at a mass of different gambling sites. To compliment this, there are many depositing methods that can be put to use in order to successfully transfer funds into a casino account in Euros. The ability to locate a casino that accepts Euro deposits is very simple too, so you won’t be searching around for a long time trying to find somewhere to play in this respect. Acceptable payment methods with the Euro currency include the following:
- Credit and Debit Cards: Visa, MasterCard, Maestro
- eWallets: Neteller, Skrill
- Prepaid Cards: Entropay, PaysafeCard
- Bank Transfer: Fast Bank Transfer, Bank Wire Transfer
Overall Gambling Status in Malta
It seems quite appropriate to mention that more than 12% of the national economy in Malta is represented by the gambling business. Or at least, that was the figure by the end of 2017. That’s quite a huge amount and it tells of how popular gambling is as a pastime within the country. However, in actuality, gambling has been very popular within Malta for many centuries now, dating right back to the times of the 16th and 17th centuries. By these ages, lotteries were introduced to the country where it became an instant hit with citizens. However, it was only in 1922 that the Lotto Act became official for the running of an actual national lottery within the country. Bets were accepted on the first number drawn, first two numbers drawn and on the first three numbers drawn. Over time, this was reduced from featuring 120 numbers in total, to 90 altogether.
While illegal gambling also existed within the country, with such things as soccer polls and derby betting being some of the most noticeable, the state lottery continued on to be just as successful. Even today, certain land-based establishments set up operations without first acquiring a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority and this has led to the police going on several raids over the previous few years to counteract the operations. Now, with the possibility of being able to provide gambling licences to both local and foreign platforms, Malta is seen as one of the biggest gambling hubs of the modern world.
Online casino and gambling laws in Malta
When Malta began issuing gambling licences in 2001, it was doing so under the Public Lotto Ordinance. This legislation was swiftly overruled by the Lotteries and Other Games Act of 2001 before the addition of the Remote Gaming Regulations in 2004 took place. These rules dictated that the regulatory body was able to provide licences of four different kinds, and online operators can apply for one or more of these. These licences are provided to operators for five-year periods and they must meet a set of requirements before they can receive a licence. In this instance, online platforms need to adhere to rules surrounding the operation of interactive games, the protection of their gamers and the strict prevention of money laundering. Additionally, a significant portion of the operator’s platform operations must be based within Malta. There are currently over 500 sites that are regulated within Malta.
Additionally, in 2005, the Malta Remote Gaming Council (MRGC) was launched. This is made up of stakeholders from various parts of the online gambling sector and was initiated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA). This is in place to bring about the discussion of different industry developments. Therefore, players from within Malta are able to satisfy their gaming needs in several ways, be that by entering a land-based casino or by utilising an online casino, sportsbook, poker room or anything else. As mentioned, the country is very liberal when it comes to its gambling laws and regulations, so citizens of the island nation aren’t specifically restricted on much of anything.