What Are MGA Casinos?

An explainer on what the Malta Gaming Authority is, what it prides itself for, and what makes Malta-licensed casinos so appealing for players.

mga casinos
What Are MGA Casinos?

The Malta Gaming Authority's establishment and ongoing efforts have been fundamental in shaping a safer, fairer, and more transparent gaming environment. Its comprehensive regulatory framework serves the interests of players and operators and positions Malta as a leading figure in the global gaming industry.

Understanding the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), established in 2001, plays a pivotal role in regulating various sectors within the gaming industry, particularly in Malta, a hub for online gambling. Its establishment marked a significant step towards the structured regulation of physical and online gambling activities.

Originally known as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), the MGA was established to regulate most forms of gambling in Malta. Its inception was a response to the evolving nature of the gaming industry, particularly the rise of online gambling platforms.

The MGA is dedicated to regulating the gaming industry sectors competently under its jurisdiction. Its primary focus is ensuring fair and transparent gaming for players, preventing crime, corruption, and money laundering, and protecting minors and vulnerable players. It aims to protect minors and vulnerable persons, safeguard players' rights, promote responsible gaming in a safe environment, ensure the integrity of games and gaming devices, and keep gaming free from criminal activities.

The MGA's objectives include consolidating all regulatory functions related to gaming activities, operating as a successful and fully integrated authority, supporting industry and technological innovation, providing authoritative and accessible information, and offering a one-stop shop for licensing.

The MGA regulates the gaming industry to ensure fairness and transparency, prevent illegal activities like money laundering, and protect vulnerable and underage players. This broad mandate covers various sectors within the gaming industry, encompassing both land-based and online gambling platforms.

As one of the first EU member states to regulate online gambling, Malta, through the MGA, has set a standard in online gambling regulation. Its licenses are globally respected, making MGA casinos a trusted entity in the international online gambling community.

Highlights of MGA-Licensed Casinos

MGA-licensed casinos are distinguished by their rigorous compliance with high standards of operational integrity, player protection, and continuous monitoring. These features and a robust dispute resolution and customer support system make them trustworthy and reliable choices in the online gambling industry.

Regulatory Compliance and Auditing

  • Strict Requirements for Licensing: MGA-licensed casinos must meet stringent requirements, including proving that the owner has no criminal record, providing notarised copies of utility bills and passports, and presenting bank references. A detailed business plan and information about third-party agreements are also essential​​.
  • Fit & Proper Test: This test evaluates the ability of an applicant to run an online gambling company. It includes a personal interview and a thorough evaluation of the applicant's qualifications and experience, with law enforcement authorities verifying the information provided​​.
  • Business & Finances Evaluation: MGA conducts a rigorous analysis of the applicant's business plan, ensuring financial viability, detailed operation costs breakdown, and the capacity to manage substantial shared capital​​.
  • Due Diligence: Applicants must submit identity, address, and source of income documents to ensure the legality of funds and compliance with anti-money laundering policies​​.
  • System Audit & Review: Casinos undergo a system audit in a closed environment before launching. An external agency reviews the gambling platform to ensure consistency with the initial proposal. If discrepancies are found, the application process restarts​​.

Player Protection Measures

  • Security of Funds & Fair Gameplay: MGA-licensed casinos are required to guarantee the security of player funds and withdrawals, ensuring fair gameplay and unbiased operation of random number generators​​.
  • Privacy Protection: These casinos must protect players' personal and financial information, safeguarding them against data breaches and fraud​​.
  • Ongoing Supervision & Monitoring: MGA continuously supervises casinos to maintain compliance with these standards. This includes investigating player complaints and ensuring responsible and transparent operations​​.

Dispute Resolution & Customer Support

  • Player Complaint Investigation: The MGA investigates complaints submitted by players against licensed casinos, ensuring fair treatment and resolution of issues​​.
  • Renewal & Ongoing Compliance: Once licensed, casinos must annually renew their license and continue to meet MGA's requirements, maintaining a high standard of service and compliance​​.

The Player Experience at MGA Casinos

The player experience at MGA-licensed casinos is characterized by a broad selection of high-quality games, robust measures to ensure fair play and a strong emphasis on player security. These aspects contribute to a trustworthy and enjoyable gaming environment, making MGA casinos a top choice for players seeking a reliable and diverse online gambling experience.

Online gambling portals often list casinos and betting platforms operating within a specific jurisdiction. For example, MGA casinos at Slotsoo are listed with their respective highlights and points to be wary of as a gambler. 

Game Variety & Quality

MGA casinos boast an impressive collection of games that cater to every player's preferences. From classic three-reel slots to contemporary video slots with exciting themes and features, MGA casinos offer diverse gaming options to keep you entertained and engaged for hours on end.

The selection of table games available for players is nothing short of extensive! From the ever-popular blackjack, slots, bingo, roulette, and baccarat, to the classic poker, MGA casinos have covered everything. Moreover, the immersive experience of live dealer games recreates the exact feel of a physical casino, leaving players with an unforgettable gaming experience.

MGA casinos go beyond traditional casino games by featuring sports betting platforms, enabling players to bet on various sports and events worldwide.

Regulations of Operators

MGA casinos are committed to ensuring that their games are entirely random and fair by utilizing advanced Random Number Generator (RNG) technology. This technology is particularly crucial in games like slots, where random results are essential and must be guaranteed.

MGA casinos prioritize the security of player data and employ state-of-the-art data encryption technologies to protect personal and financial information from unauthorized access.

Moreover, MGA casinos undergo regular audits to ensure strict compliance with fair play standards. These audits guarantee that games are fair, payouts are prompt, and the casino operates transparently and responsibly.

The Global Impact of MGA Licensing

The MGA's stringent regulations and Malta's advantageous business environment make MGA licensing highly sought after in the online gambling industry. This fosters a trustworthy and secure gambling environment for players globally while offering operators a credible and profitable platform to conduct their business. The global impact of MGA licensing is evident in its widespread recognition, extensive jurisdiction, and the significant number of operators who choose Malta as their base.

International Recognition and Trust

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has established a reputation for ensuring the online casino industry's fairness, security, and regularity. By requiring rigorous financial stability, integrity, and compliance with security standards, the MGA has positioned itself as a key player in developing and controlling online casinos. This reputation has led to global recognition, attracting players worldwide who seek trusted and fair online gambling experiences​​.

The MGA's jurisdiction extends to more than 180 countries worldwide, making its license one of the most widely recognized in the online gambling community. This extensive reach ensures that MGA-licensed casinos are accessible to a vast international audience, further enhancing the trust and credibility of these platforms​​.

Attractiveness to Casino Operators

Malta offers several benefits for online gambling companies, making it an attractive location for operators. These include a favorable tax rate of no more than 5% of total revenues, the adoption of the Euro as its currency, and a strategic geographic position. Additionally, Malta boasts a diverse, highly skilled, and multilingual workforce catering to the needs of a globalized gambling industry​​.

To obtain an MGA gambling license, an initial fee of €25,000, along with an application processing cost of €2,300 and an annual renewal fee of €1,500, must be paid. However, the benefits and global reach provided by the license outweigh these costs and make it an essential investment for any gambling business.

And finally, acquiring an MGA license presents numerous advantages for casino operators:

  • Low Taxation Rate: Operators benefit from a relatively low taxation rate, which is crucial for maintaining profitability.
  • Cryptocurrency Acceptance: The MGA's openness to cryptocurrency payments provides operators with modern payment solutions to attract a broader customer base.
  • Wide Game Selection: Over 5000 licensed online casino games are available under MGA licensing, offering operators a diverse portfolio to attract players.
  • License Coverage: The MGA license covers many countries, allowing operators to reach a broad international market with a single license.
  • Player Protection: The MGA's emphasis on player protection adds to the credibility and trustworthiness of the licensed casinos​​.

This article was published on December 18, 2023, and last updated on December 18, 2023.