gambling license malta

Malta gaming license

Malta is one of the world’s leading regulated gambling markets. Despite the strict regulatory requirements and the costs of opening a gaming license in Malta, which are higher than in Curaçao or the Isle of Man, it is an ideal solution for large companies wishing to enter the EU market. Gofaizen & Sherle will help to facilitate the entire licensing process and provide professional support for a guaranteed result

Malta is one of the largest and most respected regulated gambling markets in the world. The Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) issues licenses for a wide range of gambling activities including online casinos, sports betting, horse racing betting, and poker.

To obtain a Malta gaming license, an operator must meet strict requirements in terms of financial reliability, data security, player protection, and gaming fairness. MGAs also require operators to adhere to a strict risk control system, which aims to protect players from gambling problems.

The Malta gaming license is considered one of the most prestigious licenses in the gambling industry. It gives operators access to a huge market of players from Europe and other countries, increasing players’ confidence in the operator and its games.

You can open one or more licenses from the existing ones, depending on your needs: B2B (for game developers and software providers), B2C (for online casinos and other gambling operators). The validity period of each license is 10 years.

Explore more information about the Malta gaming license

Advantages of a Maltese gambling license

  • Prestige and respect
    The Malta online gaming license is recognized as one of the most prestigious in the world, providing companies with a high level of respect and trust in the eyes of both players and partners.
  • Reliability and trust from players
    Malta is renowned for its strict but fair and transparent regulatory standards, providing players with confidence in the integrity and safety of its gambling platforms.
  • Tax advantages
    Malta’s tax credit system reduces the real tax rate to 5%, making Malta one of the most tax-attractive jurisdictions for gambling.
  • Political and economic stability
    Being a member of the EU, Malta has a stable political and economic situation, which makes it an ideal platform for the development of the gambling business.
  • Double tax treaties
    More than 70 double tax treaties help businesses avoid additional tax liabilities.
  • Active promotion in the international market
    With a Malta gaming license, companies can actively enter international markets due to the recognition and credibility of the regulator.
  • Favorable regulatory environment
    Malta is constantly developing and improving its gambling legislation, which contributes to the creation of a favorable environment for the growth and development of the gambling business.
  • Infrastructure
    Malta has a well-developed infrastructure that supports the gambling industry, including state-of-the-art telecommunications networks and data centers.
  • Government support
    The Maltese government supports the gambling industry and provides several benefits to gambling operators, including tax incentives and market access.

Disadvantages of a Malta gambling license

Maltese casino gambling license is one of the most prestigious and respected licenses in the world. It provides a high level of protection, safety, and security for players and operators. However, obtaining a Maltese license can be a complicated and lengthy process and has some disadvantages. For example, you can expect complex and lengthy verification and approval procedures, as Malta is renowned for its high standards and strict regulatory controls. In addition, if you want to enter the market quickly, you may face difficulties as the time from application to license can take between 4 and 6 months.

Requirements for obtaining a Maltese gaming license

To obtain a Malta gaming license, operators must meet the following requirements:

  • The company must be registered in Malta.
  • The company must have a clean history and must not be under investigation for illegal gambling.
  • Availability of sufficient capital to conduct gambling activities.
  • A robust infrastructure to ensure player safety and fraud protection.
  • A risk management system that meets the requirements of the MGA.
  • The company must have a system to ensure player privacy and a system to protect against money laundering.
  • The company must be audited by the regulator.
  • A substantial part of the gambling operations must be located in Malta, which includes having an office, servers, and other infrastructure in the country.

How to Start a Gambling Company in Malta

Obtaining a Malta online gaming license requires prior preparation and several steps, starting with the registration of a local company. Here are the main steps in the process:

Establishing a local company

Step 1

  • The first step is to set up a Maltese company, preferably in the form of a private limited company (Ltd). The process can take up to three months and can be entrusted to an attorney through a power of attorney.

Selecting and reserving a company name

Step 2

  • You need to check availability and reserve a company name that will be valid for three months.

Organizing the office and registered office

Step 3

  • Find office space and set up a registered office address in Malta for correspondence with the Maltese authorities.

Recruit a team

Step 4

  • Recruit a director, secretary, and anti-money laundering specialist for your company.

Open a bank account

Step 5

  • Open an account with a local bank for the company’s financial transactions.

Contribute equity capital

Step 6

  • Transfer the minimum equity capital required for your type of gaming activity.

Pay the registration fee

Step 7

  • Pay the company registration fee, the amount of which depends on the share capital of the company (€245 -1,750).

Filing the documents with the MBR

Step 8

  • Submit your application together with the required documents to the Malta Business Registry (MBR), including memorandum, articles of association, photocopies of passports of shareholders and directors, BO1 form, and proof of office address and transfer of share capital.

Registration with the tax authorities

Step 9

  • After receiving the certificate of incorporation from the MBR, register the company with the Commissioner for Revenue (CFR) for taxation.

Request more information about the Malta Gambling License

Gambling Lawyers in Malta

Kiryl Zaremba

Position

Senior Associate, Business Development Manager
Leonid Turok

Position

Senior Associate, Head of Sales (FX and iGaming)

Types of Gambling Licenses in Malta

Operators have the option to obtain one of the Malta gaming license types:

  • Game Developer License or Key Software Provider License for Game Platform Operators (B2B)This license is issued to game developers or key software providers who provide their products to gaming platform operators.
  • Online Gambling Operator License (B2C)A B2C license allows gambling operators to offer a wide range of games including slots, poker, roulette, baccarat, keno, bingo, etc.

The B2B and B2C licenses allow game developers or key software providers to offer their products in Malta and other markets where a gambling license in Malta is valid.

Obtaining a gambling license in Malta

The MGA presents 4 classes of gambling licenses designed to provide operators with flexibility and diversity. Operators can determine which license category best meets their needs and strategic goals:

Class 1
Class 1 license is aimed at operators providing a variety of gambling games where the outcome is determined randomly using a generator – casino, poker, bingo, etc. Holders of this class of license can distribute their games both in the Maltese market and in other markets that recognize MGA licenses.

Share capital amount – from €100,000

Annual license fee – from €15,000

Class 2
This license is for operators offering a limited range of gambling games where winnings depend on the outcome of competitions, such as sports betting. Holders of this license can also offer their games in Malta and other jurisdictions that recognize MGA licenses.

Equity capital amount – from €100,000

Annual license fee – from €25,000

Class 3
This is an option for operators who provide a gambling platform where players play against each other. The operators receive a commission or a percentage of the bets. Examples are betting exchanges, poker rooms, online bingo, etc.

Share capital amount – from €40,000

Annual license fee – from €25,000

Class 4
License for companies that offer gambling management and hosting, including platform providers. This license relates to B2B, and it is required for companies that want and manage gambling on behalf of other companies.

The amount of share capital is from €40,000

Annual license fee – from €5,000

Regulation of Gambling in Malta

The Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) acts as the autonomous gambling regulator in Malta. Established in 2001, it has proven to be one of the most valued and respected gambling regulators in the international arena. It can be said that it is based on the MGA legislation that many jurisdictions have established their regulatory bodies, which utilize Maltese principles in overseeing the transparency and integrity of operators, and protection of people with gambling addictions and minors. The MGA was one of the first jurisdictions to commit to ensuring anti-money laundering and terrorist financing in the gaming industry by complying with the EU Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing Directives.

The MGA issues licenses for gambling operators offering their services in Malta and abroad. In addition, MGA supervises operators and ensures their compliance with gambling legislation.

The MGA’s mission includes:

  • Protecting the interests of players from fraud and abuse.
  • Guaranteeing honesty and transparency in the field of gambling.
  • Promoting responsible gambling behavior.
  • Building a positive image of Malta as an important gambling center.

The MGA has the following powers:

  • Issuing licenses and revocation for gambling operators.
  • Exercising control over the activities of gambling operators.
  • Enforcing sanctions against operators who violate the legislation.
  • Cooperating with other gambling regulatory authorities.
  • Ensuring fair and transparent activities of gambling companies.
  • Controlling money laundering and terrorist financing.
  • Oversight of companies’ fair marketing strategy.
  • Responding to player complaints and helping to resolve disputes.

The MGA thus plays a key role in the regulation of gambling in Malta. Its work helps to ensure a safe, fair, and transparent gambling environment, resulting in increased player confidence and Malta’s reputation in the eyes of the international gambling community.

Taxation in Malta

Companies in Malta are required to pay corporate tax at a rate of 35%. However, the Maltese government also offers a deemed settlement system that can reduce the effective tax rate to 5%.

The deemed settlement system allows companies to receive a tax credit for the amount of corporation tax paid, out of which dividends are paid. The most common tax credit rate is 6/7ths, which means the effective tax rate is about 5%. The effective tax rate will vary depending on the specific situation of the company.

In addition, the Maltese government imposes a gambling tax on income earned from players resident in Malta. This rate is set at 5% and is only payable by B2C licensees. Revenues received by players outside Malta are not subject to this tax.

License Fees

The Gambling License Fee Regulations stipulate that each gambling license holder in Malta must pay a regular compliance fee. This fee is payable for each license period. In addition, there is an annual fixed license fee which is non-refundable and payable in advance for 1 year from the license’s date and every year after that for the duration of the license.

Annual license fees paid promptly are non-refundable and are assessed depending on the type of license:

types of gaming service licenses:

  • 1-3: €25,000.
  • 4: €10,000.

Critical Game Support License (for operators engaged in the supply and management of physical game elements):

  • For annual revenues up to 5 million euros: 25,000 euros.
  • For annual revenues up to 10 million euros: 30,000 euros.
  • For annual revenues of more than 10 million euros: 35,000 euros.
  • With a Type 4 license: €10,000, regardless of annual income.

For companies supplying and managing gaming and regulatory software:

  • For annual income up to 1 million euros: 3,000 euros.
  • For annual income over 1 million euros: 5,000 euros.

Compliance Audits in Malta

To obtain authorization for a Maltese gaming company to start operating, several key steps must be followed. Firstly, the company must undergo an inspection and technical audit. This involves running the system in a controlled environment where the company will have 60 days to complete the process.

During these 2 months, the company must initiate an independent analysis of its system.

This analysis involves auditing the actual operating environment and comparing it to the data stated in the business plan and application. If it turns out that the actual operating environment differs significantly from the originally proposed one, the application process will have to be started again.

In addition, it is necessary to conduct a compliance audit of both the gaming platform itself and the online casino organization. The criteria for this audit are set by the Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) and local legislation. Compliance audits are conducted during the initial audit, as well as periodically and at the request of the MGA throughout the term of the license.

Conclusion

The Malta online gaming license is not cheap, has strict requirements, and can be long and difficult to open. However, it offers several benefits, including better protection for players and operators, more partnership opportunities, and the ability to enter new markets.

If you are a company planning to operate a gambling business in Malta, Gofaizen & Sherle can help you. The company’s lawyers’ extensive experience in this field will guide you through the entire application process with guaranteed results.

FAQ about a Maltese gaming license

How do I get a gaming license in Malta?

To obtain a Malta gaming license, several requirements must be met and an application must be submitted to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The MGA makes its decision based on several criteria, including the applicant’s reputation, financial capacity, and risk management system.

How much does a gambling license in Malta cost?

The cost of a gaming license in Malta depends on the type of license and the activity of the company. The approximate cost with our legal support will be about 40000 euros.

How long does it take to obtain a gaming license in Malta?

The process of obtaining a gaming license in Malta can take from 4 to 6 months. MGA processes applications on a case-by-case basis and the processing time may vary depending on the complexity of the application and availability of all required documents.

Where can a Malta gambling license be used?

The Malta gaming license is valid within the European Union (EU). However, some countries may have their requirements for gambling licenses. Before starting operations in a particular country, you should familiarize yourself with its legislation.

What is the Malta Gaming authority (“MGA”) license?

The MGA license is a permit from the Malta Gambling Authority that allows you to engage in gambling activities. It is a sign of reliability and compliance with high industry standards.

Who is eligible to obtain a Malta Gaming license?

Eligible for Malta gambling license are companies that meet the MGA criteria: financial stability, honesty, responsibility, and compliance with strict rules.

Why Choose Malta for Your Online Gambling License?

Malta is attractive for online gambling licensing due to its stable legal system, progressive legislation, and favorable tax regime that facilitates the growth and development of the industry.

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