An MGA casino license is together with Curacao and Cyprus one of the non uk gaming licenses a casino operator can obtain. In fact, for the jurisdiction of Europe, MGA is included in a very short list of go-to licencing boards when a casino operator really means to take their business to the next level.
Every aspect of the online casino’s business plan is considered before a license is granted and each part of the casino’s operation is continuously monitored to guarantee an above-board service that can thrive for many years.
The Malta casino industry is rapidly growing with casinos now available around the world. One of the reasons these sites are so popular is that they hold a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), which is one of the stricter jurisdictions.
The MGA licence was actually one of the first to start regulating online casinos. This has meant that Malta licensed casinos are often seen as some of the best sites around to play at. They offer a tonne of exciting features alongside high levels of security.
- MGA is a top licence
- Casinos with this licence are very secure
- Players around the world can use Malta casinos
However, there are a number of different aspects players should consider when choosing to play at Malta Gaming Authority casinos. Because of this, we have compiled a list of the best Malta casinos out there so that players don’t need to spend time researching themselves.
What to look for at Malta casinos
When we review the casinos Malta has to offer, we take a number of different factors into consideration. On top of the licencing and security that these casinos offer, we also take a look at the games and software utilised by the site.
We also take a look at other aspects about Malta online casinos such as the payment options available as well as the accessibility of the site and whether it can be used on mobile devices. Some of the other options we look at include:
Details of the MGA licence
The MGA licence is designed to perform a number of different roles within the gaming industry. First and foremost it is there to ensure that players are protected when playing online. It protects minors and includes monitoring of sites to ensure compliance.
The licence also helps make sure that any games on the casino are fair and legitimate, preventing piracy of games. The organisation also makes sure that there is a positive impact on the gaming sector within Malta and how it is developing.
Getting a licence
Getting a licence is relatively straightforward as long as the company has the right paperwork. It can take a number of steps to complete though and in some cases the authority will require additional paperwork to make sure all is as it should be.
Types of licence
There are four different licence types available for businesses looking to get an MGA licence. However, most casinos will simply use the Class 1 licence which enables repetitive games such as slots, table games, lotteries, and live casinos to be played online.
How safe is an MGA casino?
MGA casinos are actually very safe. Though not quite as stringent in their rules and regulations as UKGC casinos, these sites nevertheless have to go through a ton of criteria to even get the licence. On top of this, they undergo regular checks.
The licence also takes into account player safety making sure that a number of different aspects are met. This makes the MGA one of the more sought after licences alongside the UKGC licence. Some of the specific features of player safety include:
- Anti-money laundering
- Company reputation
- Responsible gambling
- Player protection
While the MGA had a bit of a rocky start when it came to responsible gaming in its early years, recently the organisation has pushed forward ensuring that responsible gaming is at the forefront of their operations. Now there are a number of options for players.
These options include access to a wide range of helplines. It also means that any Malta casinos offer the option for players to self-exclude for varying time periods if they feel that their gaming is becoming a little bit too much for them.
Games at Malta casinos
One of the great things about Malta casinos is that a lot of the top game providers also hold an MGA licence. This means that software providers such as Microgaming, NetEnt, and Evolution Gaming all have their games available on these sites.
This means that players, not only have access to a large number of games, but they can play top quality games that are also certified as being fair. The combination of these providers means that players can enjoy all manner of different casino games such as:
- Live dealer games
- Virtual table games
Pros and cons of Malta Casinos
Casinos licenced with the MGA have a lot going for them, though there are some downsides too. One of the biggest issues with these sites is something that UK players will have to contend with – UK players can’t join some of these sites.
It’s not totally true though, they can only join these sites if the site is also licenced with the UKGC. This is a pretty big downside, but as these sites are generally reputable, many of them do hold the dual licence. There are plenty of pros though.
Pros of MGA sites
One of the best things about these casinos is that the gambling laws are always being updated. The GDPR compliance at these sites is also very high helping players keep their data safe and secure. These sites are also recognised within the EU and on a global scale.
Cons of MGA sites
One of the major flaws, and one that potentially stops UK players from joining, is the fact that the adverting rules are not strong, something that goes against UK regulations. While there is player protection in place, it’s also not as good for vulnerable players.
A final important feature to note about these casinos is the payment methods they offer. These sites have a huge number of options available to players and these cover most of the usual options such as debit and credit cards, e-wallets, and bank transfers.
However, some of the more popular options such as PayPal that are found in the UK, are not actually available. This isn’t so much of an issue though as there are a large number of other options still available, many of which are used in the UK.
How to Obtain an MGA License
For complete information on how to obtain a MGA license, the licensing board’s own website has the entire process clearly laid out for interested parties. Here is the process in a nutshell, nonetheless. The first step is to go through a pre-application where an MGA representative gives a green light.
Once all is clear, a business should decide on a license type, provide all necessary paperwork and pay the associated fees. When all requirements are satisfied, a 10-year license is given, which can be renewed towards the end of the term.
Benefits of an MGA Licensed Casino
The benefits with a MGA licensed casino are many. For one thing, MGA is one of the most respected names in the online gambling world. Players, both old and new, often check for MGA before joining a casino. Some Maltese casinos are so called non Gamstop casinos and have decided not to be included in the self-exclusion scheme.
MGA also operates within the EU and casinos holding this license can operate in a broad range of countries – both within and outside of Europe. Taxes are also lower for casinos operating out of Malta since taxes are only collected from revenue. The ten-year gaming license and various license types are also beneficial.
Considerations for an MGA License
While there aren’t many risks with MGA licensed casinos, there are a few considerations to keep in mind before deciding to go with MGA for a gaming license. The primary one being that fees and application costs are slightly higher than those from other licensing boards with similar jurisdictional reach. One of the reasons for MGA’s success as a trusted licensing board is that the requirements they have for their licensees are quite strict. That’s great news for players, but it makes it is bit more difficult for online casino operators to keep their license.
Requirements to Maintain an MGA License
To maintain a gaming license from MGA, a casino operator must adhere to the stipulations laid out by Maltese gambling law found in the Gaming Act. Some of these are related to player responsibility, player fairness, and player rights, while others outline privacy and security issues.
A casino holding a license from MGA must regularly go through audits for its networks, software, and player protection strategies. The casino also must provide adequate protection to players who are disadvantaged, either from disability, gambling addiction, or any other at-risk party.
MGA License Jurisdiction
The MGA license jurisdiction is one of the most expansive in the industry. Players from nearly 200 players are admitted to play at MGA licensed casinos, which makes the license one to have if you are looking to reach the world.
There are some limits to who can take part, however. Due to conflicts between gambling laws Malta and elsewhere, players from select countries are not allowed to play at online casinos licensed by the MGA. A full listing of restricted countries can be found on the MGA website.
A license from MGA will certainly bring an online casino into the fold of top-rate casinos in Europe and beyond. Malta gaming law is on par with that of the UK and casinos with a license with Malta can easily get one from the UK as well to further extend its reach to new players from more countries. The strict licensing requirements instills trust in players, which is yet another factor that helps casinos holding this license catapult themselves to new highs within the industry very quickly.
When players see the MGA logo on the webpage of their chosen online casino, they instantly know that every part of their experience at that casino is going to be a positive one. Payments are always secure, personal data is always encrypted, and the games are always guaranteed to be fair and unbiased. To top it off, players also gain comfort from the knowledge that should any problem surface from their time at a casino licensed by MGA, part of the requirements set up by the popular licensing board stipulate that the casino offers help.