To run a virtual gambling website legally, you should have a permit. The huge question which arises for newcomers is what place to choose to legalize gaming businesses. Very frequently the choice for numerous reasons falls on Malta. It has an impeccable reputation in the iGaming industry, which is also applicable to the Malta gaming permits. Interestingly, Malta is known as the 1st European Union jurisdiction, which declared gambling legal. Currently, loyalty to the iGaming industries and its support by local governments make licensing in the island state fit and proper for gaming operators.
Is it worth getting a gaming license in Malta? Do the pros of holding it cover all difficulties and high expenses? The answer is unequivocal yes. It’s true that the permit-acquiring procedure in this location is quite complicated and requires careful preparation. Nevertheless, owning the document issued by the Malta gaming authority MGA makes your gaming company competitive and prestigious. Moreover, after obtaining this document, you’ll be able to cooperate with widespread payment systems, buy official software, and offer customers numerous types of games.
In general, it is believed that Malta as a licensing location is placed between Curaçao and the UK. The gambling sphere is not as deregulated as in Curaçao but the permit acquisition procedure is easier and requirements for potential licensees are lower than in the UK.
Types of Malta gambling licenses
Malta gaming authority offers two types of licenses:
This document is intended for developers of software for iGaming industry websites. It’s mandatory to have a B2B license because operators are prohibited from using not official games.
This gaming license is intended for iGaming operators and allows them to provide clients with multiple types of games.
Also, there are 4 B2C types of licenses:
1 – gambling against the computer, so-called games of chance (online casinos);
2 – bookmaking;
3 – gambling between customers;
4 – control skill games, like logic games, quizzes, etc.
Holders of all types of licenses can offer players several gaming services. To do it, it’s needed to provide certificates for all gaming content to the Malta gaming authority MGA.
Malta gaming license requirements
Let’s consider what a gaming company owner applying for a Malta gaming permit needs to do:
- To register the enterprise;
- To collect mandatory documents about the platform, its founder, and the origin of funds and provide them to the Malta gaming authority MGA;
- To prepare a resume;
- To draw up a business plan and certificates for all types of games;
- To submit an application to the Malta gaming authority.
Operators also must complete and attach The Entity Declaration Application Form, and the Gaming and Control Systems Information Form.
LicensingAid can prepare a detailed application algorithm for you. Our specialists always take into account the peculiarities of each unique case and find the fittest and the most proper solution for your gaming company.
Procedure for obtaining a Malta iGaming license
The procedure of a remote gaming license acquisition consists of several stages. On average, the issuing period is approximately 6 weeks. Then, the future licensee receives a temporary gaming permit for six months. After it, the gaming company must pass the system review, and if everything goes well, then the Malta gaming authority MGA will issue a new permit for 10 years. This document can be renewed upon expiration.
It is worth noting that the system review, which is undertaken by an MGA-approved independent auditor, is a serious procedure which requires careful preparation. Feel free to contact our specialists to assist you with preparation for this serious check.
Malta gambling license cost
If you are going to apply for a Malta gaming permit, you should first calculate the expenses. The table below represents the components of a Malta gambling license price.
|Renewal payment||5000 euro|
|Key function certificate||50 euro|
|Transfer of a qualifying interest||1500 euro|
Operators also must pay a yearly fee, the amount of which varies depending on the type of gaming license.
|Types of licenses||Amount per year|
And finally, the minimum issued and paid-up capital in Malta is from 40,000 to 100,000 euros. Its amount depends on the type of gambling activities that you will offer on your website. If you choose several iGaming services, you’ll need to submit an extended application. In this case, the minimum issued and paid-up capital can increase up to 240,000 euros.
A Maltese permit is a license, requiring impressive expenses not only during but also after obtaining it. Local tax rates are very high as elsewhere in the European Union. The corporate income tax rate in Malta reaches 35%, but for non-residents tax benefits are possible. Enterprises offering gaming services are also obliged to pay an extra fee of 5% of the income.
You can contact our experts to know more about tax benefits in Malta and your chances to get them.
What are the alternatives to a Maltese permit?
There are plenty of popular jurisdictions, and in some of them, a gaming license costs much less than in Malta. The most famous of them are Curaçao, the Isle of Man, Costa Rica, Panama, etc. Be careful and value other factors also, because it’s not a good idea to choose jurisdiction only due to the low license price. If you doubt and can’t make a choice by yourself, feel free to ask for professional advice. It’s the best option, especially for beginners.
LicensingAid lawyers are always ready to analyze your special case and define what license is more suitable for you.
Pros and cons of obtaining a Malta online gaming license
- Opportunity to operate in the European Union.
- Stable currency and economic situation.
- Straightforward and well-determined application process.
- The brilliant reputation of the island and the Malta gaming authority MGA.
- Having a gaming license of a European Union country increases the prestige and competitiveness of a platform. Moreover, thanks to the strict laws and mandatory system review, clients easily trust gaming businesses with a local permit.
- A Maltese permit is fit and proper for those who want to obtain a residence permit in Malta.
- The ability to provide numerous types of games (virtual casinos, bookmaking, fantasy sports, etc.).
- High taxes (but there is an opportunity for tax benefits for non-residents).
- High Malta gambling license cost for all types of licenses.
- The licensing procedure takes a long time.
- The minimum issued and paid-up capital is mandatory.
- You may not pass the system review even due to a small violation of the law.
- Strict control over the iGaming industry by the Malta gaming authority.
What is the risk of an illegal casino operating?
Those who want to save a tidy amount on obtaining a permit are wondering: is it worth spending so much money and effort on licensing? As experts in the gambling industry, we can confidently say yes. Operating an illegal iGaming platform threatens entrepreneurs not only with the loss of customers and potential partners but also with serious problems with the law. What exactly could be the outcome of such a decision?
- fines and even jail time in some jurisdictions (Malta, Germany, etc.)
- closure of the online casino as an illegal enterprise
- refusal of official software developers to cooperate and sell you their games
- distrust from most of the customers who usually check the presence of a gaming license
- distrust from other gaming businesses, with whom, in the case of holding a permit, it would be possible to build profitable cooperation
- inability to open and manage corporate bank accounts
As you can see, in the long run, license acquisition expenses are beneficial primarily for the operator himself since possession of a permit will allow you to calmly and confidently build a successful and profitable business.
Despite the high license cost, Malta offers very convenient conditions for running online casinos. As a European Union country, it has an unquestioning reputation in the global iGaming industry market. Moreover, a local permit issued by the Malta gaming authority allows you to work in Europe.
The application process would be faster and easier with professional help. Contact LicensingAid and our experts will help you to choose the fit and proper permit type, prepare for applying for a Malta gambling license, register a gaming company and collect documents, draw up a business plan, go through the system review, and obtain a long-awaited license.