The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the most respected and esteemed gaming regulatory bodies within both the offline and online gambling industries. We look at what the MGA does to safeguard the online casino industry and protect players, and the best online casino sites with licensing from Malta.
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What does the Malta Gaming Authority do?
The MGA governs the following areas of gambling which fall inside Malta’s jurisdiction:
- Advertising Lotteries
- Amusement Machines
- Commercial Bingo Halls
- Cruise Casinos
- Gaming Devices
- National Lottery
- Non-profit Games
- Racecourse Bets and Sweepstakes
- Remote Gaming (includes all types of gaming offered by means of ‘distance communication’, chiefly via the Internet, and across platforms such as computers, mobile phones, TVs and tablets)
This article will focus primarily on the MGA’s governance of remote gaming – the fastest growing and most advanced form of real money gambling in the world.
The Malta Gaming Authority welcomes all potential remote gambling operators to seek licensing with its organisation, so long as the applicants can securely manage their business through ‘distance communication’ and can comply with the legislative and regulatory framework drawn up by the MGA.
When considering and reviewing remote gaming applications, the MGA assess the following criteria:
- Is the applicant fit to conduct gaming business?
- Is the applicant correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective?
- Whether the applicant has the operational and statutory requirements to meet the obligations authorised by law and policy.
- Whether the applicant has correctly implemented and tested, on a technical environment, what has been applied for, before going live.
If granted a licence to conduct business under the Malta Gaming Authority, a compliance review is required to be carried out, according to the following schedule:
- One year after going live (being licensed)
- Three years after going live
- Prior to the five-year license renewal
- At the MGA’s discretion, if suspicious behaviour arises relating to regulations, misconduct or the operational nature of the licence
Failing a compliance review/audit can lead to the suspension or termination of a licence.
Types of MGA online casino licenses
Applicants can look to apply for any or all of the following licences that the MGA offers:
Class 1 licence: A remote gaming licence for online casino and lottery type games.
Class 2 licence: A remote gaming licence for fixed odds betting, pool and sports betting.
Class 3 licence: A remote gaming licence for peer to peer (P2P) network gaming (like poker).
Class 4 licence: A licence for another gaming software vendor to host and manage remote gaming operators’ services on their own platform. This is what is known as a business to business (B2B) gaming licence.
As an auditing and regulatory commission, MGA ensures all of its licensed gaming operators adhere to its comprehensive and strict code of ethics; a framework which includes the following important details:
- Protecting underage and vulnerable persons
- Safeguarding player’s rights
- Promoting responsible gaming in a safe environment
- Ensuring the integrity of all games and all gaming devices
- Keeping the gaming environment free from criminal, corrupt and fraudulent activity
Other areas the MGA concerns itself with include:
- Supporting technological and gaming industry advances and innovation
- Providing authoritative and accessible information
- Collecting gaming taxes on behalf of the Malta government
- Ensuring profits are contributed to the country’s development
The MGA brand has built a reputation based on five key principles: transparency, innovation, neutrality (unbiasedness), knowledge and humanity (altruism and sensitivity).
Online casinos holding MGA licences
The following online and mobile casinos that we endorse all hold their own Malta Gaming Authority licence. For all Australians aged 18 years and older, it is legal to access these sites and utilise the real money gaming services offered by these operators. All games have been tested and approved to comply with gaming industry standards of unbiased and random results.
Royal Vegas Casino – One of the most established and reliable Internet casinos, powered by Microgaming, and recently underwent an entire website refurbishment to allow for an even more player friendly environment.
Casino-Mate – Designed specifically for Australians, this Microgaming powered gambling site is all class, marketing elegant and stylish casino games such as blackjack, roulette, baccarat and poker.
Slots Million – The most comprehensive online and mobile pokies casino on the Internet, boasting more than 1800 interactive, immersive and high quality slots games from a range of diverse gaming software designers.
All Slots Casino – Another Microgaming powered gambling website, players can enjoy an assortment of casino favourites, including those powered by random number generators and live croupier titles.
HouseofJack.com – Powered by a range of top quality gaming developers, House of Jack is an instant play casino platform which offers a host of bonuses, promotions and tournaments to its Australian members.
7Sultans Casino – One of the oldest Internet gaming sites, 7 Sultans has been modernised and furnished to retain a position of excellence among some of the highest rating online and mobile casinos.
Platinum Play Casino – Powered by Microgaming, and a part of the Fortune Lounge Group of online casinos, which also include 7 Sultans and Royal Vegas. Boats a collection of over 500 casino titles.
Casinos marketing games designed by Microgaming will typically be licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority. The MGA has a strong alliance with Microgaming due to the company’s long history of producing fair and high quality casino games.
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