Malta is a small country member of the European Union which presents a stable government that has developed a reliable economic system based on an attractive tourist industry and the concession of licenses for the development of online gaming. In 2004 this Mediterranean country became a pioneer of online gaming regulations, or iGaming, presenting great advantages that attracted the attention of the main authors of the sector, who could invest and operate in the island with ample legal security. The factors that have turned Malta into a guarantor of the gaming industry will be reviewed in order to understand why all the major companies, such as Betting.co.uk are located on this small Mediterranean island.
Online gaming development in Malta
With a total of more than 250 licenses granted for the development of online gaming, in different modalities, the gaming industry in Malta contributes more than 1200 MM€ to the island’s economy, representing more than 12% of its GDP. This adventure began in 2004 when with numerous fiscal advantages and wide legislation for the companies that were joining, the so-called Remote Gaming Regulations came into force, with which the Mediterranean country attracted the main betting sites in the world. Thus, with the creation of the Malta Gaming Authority, MGA, a whole legal and technological platform was established for the safe and compliant administration of all types of games that can be established by remote communication.
Since then, the gaming business has experienced sustained growth, becoming the second largest industry in the country, after tourism. Representatives of large gaming and betting houses, as well as technology developers, are constantly searching for new alternatives to improve security and modernize technologies. Many slot software developers, such as WorldMatch, Playson, and GameArt, have settled in Malta, developing and offering their products from the island.
Malta has an active online program where young people from around the world are invited to join online gaming companies. Due to the vertiginous growth that this market continues to experience, online casinos need to hire staff with very specific skills, such as software developers, experts in communication, social media, and digital marketing. Also needed are graphic designers, experts in computer security, risk management, etc. The market growth projections, the Malta scenario, and permanent job offers make this job sector more attractive every day.
Advantages of online gaming licensing in Malta
The MGA promotes responsible gaming, in a safe environment, free of criminal activities that can generate frauds that can lead to money laundering or become a source of financing terrorism. By obtaining a license for online gaming in Malta, advantages are acquired both for the operators and for the player. In the case of license operators:
The Malta license allows the online casino operator to work in almost all EU countries, giving it an international character. Only in those countries where there is the regulation of the online game they will not be able to establish themselves. In these cases, they must apply for the license of the country where they decide to operate and comply with the specific legislation.
The corporate taxes for the initial procedures and on online gaming activity are relatively low. The license registration fee is €2300, plus the commissions for the system audit (which is mandatory) and the annual maintenance fee. In addition, there is a license renewal fee.
Speed of registration procedures at the Chamber of Commerce. The license is issued for 5 years, renewable for 5-year periods at a time. The MGA permanently monitors the activity of the operators.
The advantages of the platform also extend to the player, so that there is permanent protection that manifests itself in a fair game, avoiding fraud, with the protection of the invested funds and responsibility of the game operator. MGA verifies that the systems are not rigged and operate with random combination generators, without cheating. Through the MGA, official complaints from users are managed and they ensure that the operator complies with its responsibilities, such as compliance with regulations, the privacy of player’s information, and guarantee of funds. In addition, the MGA maintains an open registry of operators, so that anyone can confirm online that the operator’s license is valid.
Other advantages for players have to do with the variety of existing options, the diversity of payment methods, the attractiveness of the bonuses, and the diversity of languages in which the platform is displayed.
In recent years, the gambling sector in Malta has been observed and commented on by other EU members, considering that the advantages it offers represent unfair competition for the rest of the Eurozone nations. In order to minimize this uneasiness, it is being requested that the operators have a national license in each of the countries where they operate, thus eliminating the privilege of the license in Malta. In this regard, there are conflicting positions and solutions are still being sought that may lead to a plausible and convenient conclusion for all parties involved.
Types of online casino licenses granted in Malta
In Malta, it is possible to operate under the scheme of 4 different types of licenses
Class 1: includes casino games, lotteries, and general skill activities, such as video slots, slot machines, bingo, and table games.
Class 2: includes sports betting parlors.
Class 3: includes activities that establish interaction between groups of players, such as poker, lotteries, bingo, and other collective online games.
Class 4: special for software vendors and developers.
What do the most important bookmakers and online casinos offer?
When deciding on an online casino or when looking for a reliable bookmaker, you should be confident that you are getting the best of services on the internet. Generally, you are looking for:
Access to a website with a modern, eye-catching, and easy-to-follow design; that can keep your interest open to keep exploring new gaming alternatives and that guarantees a unique and exciting casino experience. That the games are available in the browser without having to download software.
Protection of the data transmitted between the server and the user of the system. Nowadays, encrypted connections that transmit secure data from the browser are the most reliable on the market.