Malta Gaming Authority

Malta Gaming Authority

Arguably one of the most robust gambling regulators in the online gambling industry, the Malta Gaming Authority (also known as the MGA) has some of the biggest operator brands in the world under its jurisdiction, and as a result, is very highly regarded.

Established in 2001, when online gambling was still very much in its infancy, the MGA has witnessed a significant amount of change in the industry and it was launched in order to regulate numerous sectors , including land-based casinos, lotteries, sports betting, online gambling, bingo and even fantasy sport and eSports.

There are a number of areas that the Malta Gaming Authority is responsible for, that include making sure of the fairness and transparency of games for players and the prevention of crime such as corruption and money laundering. In addition, they are also responsible for protecting vulnerable players, by making sure that operators under their purview and which are licensed and regulated by them are adhering to the relevant legislation that is in place.

Malta is regarded as one of the major hotspots when it comes to online gambling and, as a result, the island is home to many different operators and casino oriented agencies. Ever since 2001, when online gambling first started to gain traction and savvy operators realised that the internet had a huge part to play, the MGA has in turn, played its part, by making sure that players are protected in the right ways.

A strong regulatory body, it is only really rivalled by the UKGC (United Kingdom Gambling Commission) and, arguably, the GGC (Gibraltar Gambling Commission). There are some operators that have two of these licenses, while a few have all three of these, if they operate in the relevant regions.

However, what is important to consider, is that if any operator has even one of these, then the player knows that it is a highly legitimate online casino. There are many online casinos that are available to players in Canada that have the Malta Gaming Authority seal of approval, which not only lends great credibility but gives them much needed peace of mind

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Why is it important to have a Gaming License?

While there are some countries that do not require an online casino to have a gambling license, these are very few and far between. If you encounter an operator online and you notice that it obviously does not have a license then it is highly advisable to stay away from it.

The most important thing to remember, is that the regulatory bodies exist to protect you as a player and to make sure that the online casino is conducting itself in a manner that is fair. As a result, they are as much accountable to the player, as much as the particular online operator is.

A gaming license means that a casino adheres to often strict legislation that is in place, that often relates to making sure that it has secure payment protection that guarantee the safety of private and sensitive information.

In addition to this, they also monitor online casinos on a regular basis to make sure they are still operating in a manner that lines up with their legislative measures. The Malta Gaming Authority, who are particular heavyweights have a considerable amount of employees, spanning numerous departments whose role it is to be accountable for one casino and the way that it conducts itself. Quite often, there are teams at the MGA whose job it is to constantly monitor a number of casinos on a regular basis.

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Advantages of the Malta Gaming Authority

There are many advantages for both players and online casinos who are licensed by the MGA which serve to enhance the overall gambling experience. These differ in a number of ways and take into account many facets of online gaming as whole. Let's take a look at some of these and what helps to set the Malta Gaming Authority apart.

Each Operator is Accountable

The MGA works hard to make sure that operators who are licensed by them know that they are accountable for their actions, especially towards the players. As a result of this, when an operator is granted a license from the MGA, they are aware that any actions that flout the legislation that is in place is punishable which includes illegal and even unethical behavior.

Because of this, the accountability gives players a lot of peace of mind as they know that their rights are adequately protected.

Gaming is Fair

In the online gambling industry, fair gaming is one of the most important priorities not just for the player, but also operators who are licensed. The last thing that a regulated online casino wants is to be flout the laws that relate to this because it can result in hefty fines and as worse case scenario complete, forced closure.

This works in conjunction with both the online casino and the relevant software providers, which means, for the latter, they have to make sure that the games they provide are subject to approval from testing agencies, while the particular operator should also do its own due diligence. One indicator of this is that all fair games will have a random number generator (RNG), that is built into their software, which makes sure that all of the games are completely fair and above board.

In addition to this, there is a stipulation for all online casinos and by extension the software providers to provide relevant information and statistics that relates to the technical elements of a game such as the likelihood of a player winning on a particular game. One of the clearest ways of doing this, is by displaying the return to player (RTP) percentage rate for each game, so that it is visible to the player. In doing this, they are then aware of the risks that are involved before they start.

Funds of players being seperate

Another important element that the Malta Gaming Authority require for operators who are under their jurisdiction, is that they have a separate account for player's funds that are deposited, which is often referred to as a holding account. This means that these funds are completely separate from an online casino's operating revenue.

As a result of this, should an online casino go bankrupt, then player's funds are protected and cannot be touched by the operator by way of a bailout. This is something that the MGA considers a serious breach in regulation if an operator under their purview fails to have this in place.

Protection of the player

Players are particularly cautious of online casinos, because they are not sure as to whether their personal and financial details will be kept private. It is also a requirement for online casinos to be fully compliant with the Data Protection Act, which prevents a player's data from being misused.

The MGA checks to whether an online casino that they license has these safeguards in place to help protect against cyber attacks. It is worth mentioning that the majority of online casinos also employ some of the best cyber security specialists to help with this as well.

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Malta Gaming Authority FAQs

How do you know if an operator is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority?

One easy way of finding out if an online casino has a license from the MGA is to simply look around the website. Usually, the relevant regulator's logo is displayed in the footer of website, while in most cases, they will also say that they are licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority.

However, another way of checking is by visiting the MGA website and searching the relevant online casino in their database, or even the URL of the casino. If the casino isn't there, but is claiming to be, this is a very serious breach and it should be reported. Despite this, the MGA are very good at sweeping the internet to check all new casino sites and they will usually be detected before any damage can be done. This is a very rare scenario though as most will not risk doing this because it can result in a significant amount of jail time.

Is Online Gambling legal in Malta?

Unless an online operator has a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, then it is strictly prohibited from offering its services to those who reside in Malta. Not only can the operator get into trouble if they are caught, but also the players that engage in the operator's particular services are subject to, in some cases prosecution.

Can you complain to the Malta Gaming Authority?

If you feel that an online casino that is regulated by the MGA is flouting the regulations that are in place then it is possible to make a complaint directly to the MGA website, using the gambling support form that is available. The first recommended step though, is to try and resolve this with the online casino, via the online chat, or even by sending them an email. Contacting the MGA, should really be as a last resort.