Looking for an online casino licensed by a reputable offshore gambling jurisdiction you can trust? Consider playing at a casino site licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority, one of the leading licensees for online gambling. We explain more about the MGA, what it does to protect online players and the best real money casinos with Malta certification.
About the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is Malta’s sole regulatory gambling body, responsible for governing all gambling activities in the country, both online and in real life. The remote (online) gambling sector is the fastest growing sector in the country, so the MGA is taking all measures to establish Malta as the world’s leading jurisdiction for remote gambling. It is considered by many to be the preferred global remote gambling regulator, with many of the best casino operators seeking licensing from the MGA.
In 2004, Malta became the first member of the European Union to regulate online gambling. The MGA operates under the laws of the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001 which is the comprehensive piece of legislation governing all gambling activities in Malta, bar land based casino gaming. The online gambling sector is further regulated under the stipulations of the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04).
What does the MGA do?
The MGA aims to be a one-stop-shop for gambling licensing, providing authoritative and accessible information for vendors and consumers, while supporting all facets of the online gambling industry and the technical innovation that applies to the sector. The organisation consolidates all regulatory functions relating to online and offline gaming activities.
In order to protect players and ensure the gambling sector continues to contribute positively to the development of the country, the Malta Gaming Authority’s activities include:
- Conducting research on various aspects of gaming
- Granting licenses relating to gaming
- Monitoring licensed gaming
- Collecting gaming taxes on behalf of the Government
- Supporting good causes
How does the MGA protect online players?
As set out in the wording of the Lotteries and Other Games Act 2001, MGA’s mission statement is to: “regulate competently the various sectors of the gaming industry that fall under the Authority by ensuring gaming is fair and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minor and vulnerable players.”
In order to achieve its mission, the Malta Gaming Authority operates under five key aims:
- Protect minors and vulnerable persons
- Safeguard players’ rights
- Promote responsible gaming in a safe environment
- Ensure the integrity of games and gaming devices
- Keep gaming free from criminal activities
For an online casino to receive MGA certification, there are a number of boxes it must tick to ensure the vendor is offering safe and fair services for players. During the application process, the MGA assesses whether an applicant is fit and proper to conduct gaming business, is correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective, has the operational and statutory requirements to meet the obligations prescribed by law, and has been correctly tested before going live.
Upon approval, a vendor is issued with a five year license, during which they are regularly audited to ensure they are adhering to Malta’s gaming laws and continue to offer a safe and fair service to players.
MGA’s plan to future proof for sustainability
In June 2017, the MGA released its 2016 Annual Review and Financial Statements, which included statistics on how the MGA is tracking, the Maltese gambling industry as a whole, and the MGA’s plan for sustainability as the online gaming industry continues to expand. The report showed the MGA earned an increase of €1.6 million in revenue from the previous year, with revenue growing 2.6% from €60.9 in 2015 to €62.5 in the year ending 31st December 2016. The MGA also saw a 0.7% rise in contributions to the government for gaming taxes, with €56.2 million paid in 2016 compared to €55.8 million in 2015.
Despite growing revenue, Malta has been having difficulty appealing to the outside European market recently, with fewer gambling operations looking to the MGA for certification. In order to stay ahead of emerging trends and keep up with industry demands, the MGA’s 2016 Annual Report included a commitment to continuous work on further developing its regulatory framework that was originally developed in 2015. The MGA plans to work closely with Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit to enhance its anti-money laundering policies, while working to identify new business areas, enhance regulatory efficiency, improve compliance systems and enhance player protection mechanisms.
The new regulatory framework is scheduled to be implemented by 2018. The growing revenue and organic growth of existing MGA licensees ensures the region will continue to grow in the meantime, with new investors being attracted to Malta when the new framework is introduced.
Best MGA certified casino sites
Given its outstanding reputation, many leading online casinos have sought out licensing from the MGA, so when you start playing online you will notice a lot of the best gambling sites have Malta Gaming Authority certification. To tell if a casino is MGA approved, scroll to the bottom of the casino’s homepage where you will generally see the MGA logo, or you can go to the ‘About Us’ section to check where the casino has received its licensing.
Here are some of the leading online casinos licensed by the MGA, which have undergone our stringent testing process to ensure player safety, entertaining game variety and dependable payment options. Click any of our links below to sign up directly with the casino and get access to our exclusive welcome bonuses along the way:
- Rizk Casino
- All Slots Casino
Be mindful that due to region restrictions, not all of these casinos will be available to players from all countries. If you are unsure whether players from your country are allowed to play at a particular online casino, check our table at the top of the page – this has been geo-targeted especially to your area.
Why play at a casino with offshore licensing?
Internet users are taught to be wary about spending money online, especially to unknown companies based on foreign land, so it is perfectly understandable that many online players are suspicious about playing at a casino licensed offshore.
However, offshore casinos are usually your safest option when it comes to playing real money casino games, as the online gambling laws in most countries have legislations in place that forbid their residents from operating gambling sites within their borders. Licensed offshore casinos cater to players from all over the world, adhering to the strict rules and regulations set by their jurisdiction to ensure players can legally and safely gamble for real money while being protected by the laws of a trusted gambling jurisdiction.
Playing at a casino that is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority means you are playing at a site that has been tested by leading gambling authorities and is regularly audited to ensure all operations are happening above board.