Information about the Malta online gambling jurisdiction, licensing requirements, player complaints and dispute resolution process, and a sortable list of casinos licensed under this jurisdiction.
Malta is a very small European country that is situated south of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea. It is a member of the European Union and is a strong, developed country. Malta holds the distinction of being the first European Union member to successfully regulate online gambling, having done so in 2000. Since then, Malta has proved to be something of a disappointment. While implementing a strict compliance and regulation regime via the Malta Gaming Authority (formerly known as the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority), there has been little assistance provided for players with grievances.
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The Malta Gaming Authority is the entity that hands out licenses to gambling companies, and they also rule on any matters that are gaming related. Since being created in 2001, the body has become a respected organisation within the international gaming community, and at one stage Malta managed to make it onto the (now obsolete) UK Gambling Commission's "white list" of countries that enforce standards that allow their licensees to advertise within the United Kingdom.
Companies applying for a gaming license in Malta have four different options to choose from. The first option is for gambling companies that will be providing games that use a random number generator to determine winners. The second option is for sports betting businesses. The third type of license is for gambling advertising companies operating from Malta. And finally, the fourth licensing option is for businesses that manage remote gaming operations.
Any company that applies for a Malta license must have their software tested 6 months prior to opening for business. Companies must also adhere to a strict code designed to protect players. Financially, companies need to pay 2000 Maltese Lira (Lm) for a license and 3000 Lm (or 0.5%) in taxes per month. You can check if the operator of a casino is licensed by the MGA by consulting this list of licensed operators.
The Malta Gaming Authority handles all gambling issues for Malta-licensed gaming companies. Players who are experiencing a problem or dispute that cannot be resolved with an online operator licensed in Malta can lodge a complaint directly here. Alternatively players can contact the authority via telephone on +356 2546 9000, but they do advise submitting complaints in writing first.
Unfortunately experience has proven that the MGA is little more than a paper tiger that takes a very hands-off approach, and will inevitably encourage players to settle their differences with the casino directly rather than intervening. Players that do run into problems with a Malta-licensed casino are advised to post in our help forum for further advice specific to their individual case.