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Best Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Casino Sites in 2022

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is a world-renowned gambling regulator, responsible for stringent rules and requirements which ensure that MGA casinos are safe. In this guide, we cover the best MGA licensed casinos and how they obtain the necessary credentials. Keep reading to learn more.

Top MGA Casino Sites in 2022

#1
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#5
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#6
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The Best MGA Casinos

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is one of the world’s most reliable licensing authorities for online casinos, safeguarding player’s rights and upholding responsible gaming in a safe environment.

In this MGA casino review, we explore how the MGA works, their reputation, how to apply for the MGA licence and the cost involved, as well as how you can file a dispute with the MGA.

Overview of the Malta Gaming Authority

The Malta Gaming Authority started out in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), placing them among the first regulatory bodies for online sports and gaming in the world.

In 2015 there was a move that saw them shift their focus from static land-based casinos to the dynamic world of iGaming. Today, they are one of the most reputable gambling regulators of both land-based casinos and online casinos.

(Image: MGA)

What Exactly Does the MGA Do?

MGA is a gambling regulatory and licensing body and as such, they are responsible for:

  1. Licensing online gambling companies
  2. Collecting gaming taxes on behalf of the Government of Malta
  3. Monitoring the operators that have the MGA licence
  4. Safeguarding the fairness and reliability of all the games
  5. Protecting players’ funds by ensuring that the deposit and withdrawal options are secure
  6. Upholding players’ rights through investigation of complaints
  7. Overseeing responsible gaming
  8. Protecting minors and vulnerable players
  9. Ensuring that the gambling and gaming sector positively contributes to the country’s development

The MGA pays particular attention to the following issues:

  • Player Protection

The Player Protection Regulation under the MGA was established in 2018. It works through a Unified Self-Barring Database and its main aim is to protect players who are vulnerable to problem gambling.

In the latter's case, they are offered the option to self-bar, which then prevents them from accessing other MGA casinos for a period of time they deem necessary. MGA-licensed casinos are required to offer players the option to:

  • Set deposit limits (the maximum amount they can deposit within a certain period of time). The players are asked to set these limits upon registration or immediately after creating an account. This option is also available for existing players.
  • Set wagering limits (the maximum amount a player can bet within a certain period of time).
  • Other additional settings could include loss limits and time/session limits.

Any of the limits set should apply to all games and websites offered by the licencee.

Should a player request to remove or change the set limits, the request can only be made after 24 hours.

  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML)

Since Malta is a member of the EU, the country and any relevant authorities have to follow all the EU directives in regards to preventing money laundering. The MGA itself is also a member of MONEYVAL, who are responsible for conducting self-and mutual-assessment exercises as directed by the Council of Europe.

  • Fair Gaming

The MGA regularly tests and audits games offered at casinos to ensure that they are fair and random, and that the casino doesn't hold an unfair advantage over players.

MGA Licence Classes

The types of licences offered by Malta Gaming Authority are categorised into 4 classes, which include:

MGA Licence Classes
  • Class 1: This is a remote gaming licence that covers games offered on a typical casino platform (video slots, blackjack, baccarat, etc.) lotteries, and skill-based games.
  • Class 2: A class 2 licence is offered to betting operators who offer games with fixed odds. The licence covers pool, spread, and fixed odds betting.
  • Class 3: This licence is offered to operators that offer peer-to-peer, poker, and bet exchange games. A class 3 licencee takes a percentage commission from promoting betting games.
  • Class 4: An operator who holds a Class 4 licence is allowed to host and manage online gaming operators, although it cannot itself act as a gambling operator. Ideally, these licencees are software and game providers.

Malta Gaming Licence

A licence from the Malta Gaming Authority is considered to be the safest because of its demanding requirements in any gaming level. For instance, the MGA demands information of all employees a licencee has.

They also do not accept employment of individuals with a criminal background. Moreover, MGA licencees must pay a €25,000 annual fee, along with additional fees based on the annual revenue the licencee makes.

How the Licence Application Process Works

Operators looking to obtain Malta licence have to undergo a rigorous application process where they are required to submit detailed information and documentation relating to their proposed operations.

The MGA will then review and scrutinise the information provided to determine if the applicant qualifies for the licence. When the operator applies for the licence, MGA will assess the applicant in numerous ways:

Application process

MGA accesses the applicant’s information related to their finances, shareholders, and UBOs. This helps them determine their business viability, to see that the gaming business is fit to operate.

The applicant’s business plan is expected to have an in-depth forecast of their operations, and should include well-thought out marketing and distribution strategies, growth rates, and HR plans.

The MGA will examine the applicant’s incorporation documents, their operational policies, their gaming and control systems, the rules, terms and conditions, and game procedures, among other related documents. In order to make sure the business is able to meet the operational and statutory requirements outlined by law and policy.

When the casino begins its operations, it is subject to a compliance review by a third-party auditor to ensure they adhere to MGA rules and guidelines. The first audit will be carried out after the first year of operation since obtaining the MGA licence. There will also be subsequent audits that depend on the compliance plan set out by the MGA.

The Cost of Applying for an MGA Licence

Below is an outline of the cost of applying for an MGA licence.

Description Fee
A new licence of any class €5,000
Application for the renewal of any class €5,000
Systems audit €2,500
Compliance audit €3,500

MGA licencees are also required to pay an annual licence fee. Previously, this was a fixed fee for any class, but has changed since 2018.

For a class 1, 2, or 3 licence, the annual fixed fee is €25,000; a class 4 licence has a fee of €10,000. If a licencee has multiple classes of 1, 2, or 3 licences, the annual combined fixed fee will be calculated on Gross Gaming Revenue.

Revenue Fee
Where annual revenue does not exceed €5,000 €25,000
Where annual revenues exceed €5,000 but do not exceed €10,000 €30,000
Where annual revenue for the year exceeds €10,000 €35,000

Malta Gaming Authority Reputation

MGA is a top reputable gambling regulator and they have over the years lived up to their promise of upholding a fair, legal, and responsible gambling environment to protect players. With an MGA casino, players are guaranteed of:

  • A highly regarded licence that sets out strict criteria for the operator in question
  • A safe and secure gambling environment
  • Random and fair gaming results
  • Fast and efficient handling of complaint
  • Industry-approved technological innovations
  • A positive contribution to the country’s development

MGA Penalties

To ensure that MGA casinos offer a fair and secure gaming environment, MGA imposes fines to licencees who go against their stringent rules and guidelines. Penalties can be issued for various reasons, including:

  • Offering misleading and/or inaccurate terms and conditions
  • Failure to uphold due diligence in terms of proof of funds, AML, CFL (Combating the Financing of Terrorism)
  • Breaching adverting regulations
  • Accepting vulnerable players

The company uses an algorithm that determines the severity of the offence and the exact amount the offender should pay in fines. The largest fine that MGA has ever imposed was €2.34 million to Blackrock Media for operating a gaming service without the required authorisation.

MGA Licensed Casino Software Providers

Some of the renowned software providers that operate under the MGA licence include Play’n GO, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Microgaming, Yggdrasil Gaming, and Evolution Gaming. Players thus can have access to a wide range of fair casino games including video slots, table games, and live dealer games.

How To Verify That Your Casino Holds a Legitimate MGA licence

Before signing up to any Malta casino, make sure to verify their licence following these simple steps.

  1. Visit the MGA website and go to the MGA Licencee Register.
  2. Enter the casino’s name in the ‘Licencee Name' field on the form that appears and the website URL underneath.
  3. You will be provided with the Authorisation Status of the casino which could be licensed, surrendered, cancelled, suspended, expired, suspended expired, or temporary non operative.

Undertaking a due diligence check before signing up to any new MGA casinos will ensure that you're registering with a trustworthy site. Licensed casinos guarantee that both your personal and financial details are safe and you will receive all your winnings.

How to File a Dispute With the MGA

Before filing a dispute with the MGA itself, you should first try launching a complaint with the operator. If the operator’s customer support does not resolve your grievances to your satisfaction, you can go on and get in touch with the MGA customer support team by following the below steps:

  1. From the MGA support page, enter the required details which include your name, email address, etc.
  2. Enter the name of the gaming operator against whom you wish to lodge a complaint.
  3. Enter your username registered to your login account, the game you were playing, the disputed amount, the date and time of the incident.
  4. Write a short description of your claims and upload any files you feel will help with your case.
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The MGA support team will verify your information and investigate the complaint you have reported with any third parties involved. You will receive the verdict of your case via email as soon as the investigation is complete.

MGA Foundations

In addition to issuing licences, the Malta Gaming Authority has created several supporting foundations that have various objectives.

Responsible Gaming Foundation: In an effort to focus on responsible gambling, MGA created the Responsible Gaming Foundation in partnership with Social Solidarity and the Ministry for Family Affairs. The objective of this foundation was to create awareness about the possible causes and consequences of excessive gambling in Malta.

European Gaming Institute of Malta (EGIM): The EGIM is a platform that offers training and education initiatives for the iGaming industry through short-term courses, diplomas, and master’s programmes.

GamingMalta: MGA is also a founding member of the GamingMalta which is a non-profit organisation that was established in 2015. The aim of this foundation is to market Malta as the leading iGaming location both locally and internationally.

MGA Casinos Pros and Cons

By now, you should have a better understanding of why MGA casinos are popular with players and why they are among the safest. However, if you need a simpler breakdown, below is a list of the advantages and disadvantages of holding a licence from this regulator.

Pros

  • Highly prestigious licence
  • Recognised both in and out of the EU
  • Relatively fast application process
  • Their gambling laws are constantly revised
  • High levels of GDPR

Cons

  • Not recognised in the UK
  • Rigid advertising rules

MGA Casinos Conclusion

MGA casinos are safe and reliable platforms since they meet the stringent laws and regulations set by the renowned Malta Gaming Authority. A casino with an MGA licence is an assurance of protection from fraud, cyber-attacks, and data leakage. You are also guaranteed a fair playing experience, since the Random Number Generators are regularly audited.

MGA Casino Sites FAQs

Absolutely! Malta casinos undergo regular auditing and checks to ensure that they comply with the MGA regulations. Both your personal and financial details are safeguarded.

We have provided an MGA casino list at the top of this page, which includes Dunder Casino, Sloty Casino, and Genesis Casino, among others.

The MGA licence is best, as it regulates operations with the 4 types of service lines and allows access to over 180 countries. Players also benefit from guaranteed security and protection offered by MGA casinos.

Most online casinos will display their licensing credentials on the footer of their website. You can also check the information about the casino’s licence in the ‘About Us’ section.

The MGA licence is the most coveted, since platforms undergo vigorous testing and have to meet stringent standards before they can qualify. With MGA casinos, the safety of your personal and financial details is guaranteed and the results of the games are fair.

As long as you verify that the casino has a legal MGA licence, then you can be sure that the MGA casinos are trustworthy and you will receive your winnings.

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