Best Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) Casino Sites in 2023
MGA casinos are sought-after by players as they’re renowned for providing great safety features, generous bonuses, fast withdrawals, and some of the best casino game lobbies available. Our guide below will point you towards the best and newest licensed sites, telling you what to look out for, and where to find the best deals.
- Top MGA Casino Sites in 2023
- What Is the Malta Gaming Authority?
- MGA Casinos – Are They Safe Despite Recent Controversies?
- Main Benefits of Playing at an MGA Casino Site
- How To Find the Best MGA Casino
- New MGA Casinos
- Accepted Payment Methods at MGA Casinos
- How to Sign Up at MGA Licensed Casinos
- How To Verify That a Casino Has an MGA Licence
- Contacting and Filing a Complaint With the MGA
- Malta Gaming Authority and Other Casino Licences
- MGA Casinos – Our Verdict
- MGA Casino Sites FAQs
Top MGA Casino Sites in 2023
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What Is the Malta Gaming Authority?
MGA casinos first came into being in 2001¹, when the Malta Gaming Authority – to give it its full name – was created precisely to regulate the online casino industry. With online gambling still a relatively new phenomenon at the time, the Maltese gambling authority was one of the first to create official legislation and a regulated structure for online players.
As other countries dragged their feet in this regard, casinos licensed by the MGA offered the safest sites for players who wanted to play real-money games with complete peace of mind.
Holding a Maltese licence became a sign of security and respect, mostly because the authority observes strict processes in order to grant licences, while also obliging its online casinos to comply with anti-money laundering laws, as required by Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).
This is not a light requirement, as any casino online MGA caught violating these laws risks massive fines and a possible licence suspension.
Functions of the MGA
MGA casinos are required to uphold any and all regulations related to remote and land-based gambling within the Maltese Islands. These rules are guided by the principle of safety for players and responsible gambling, with casinos expected to actively intervene and implement limits when a player’s activity points towards addiction. Below, we list all the authority’s functions:
- Issues all forms of gambling licences
- Regulates the operations of all MGA-licensed gambling sites and venues
- Champions responsible gambling and ensures that its casinos abide by these principles
- Protects the rights of players
- Ensures that the player fund is protected, and that the entire payment process is secure for players
- Oversees game fairness and checks that independent auditing is carried out
- Monitors all gambling operations to ensure that licensees remain compliant
- Investigates complaints against its casinos on behalf of players
- Oversees the gambling landscape to make sure gambling activities have a positive effect on the Maltese Islands
Pros & Cons of an MGA Licence
Advantages of MGA-licensed casinos
- Malta online gaming laws are continuously updated for maximum player protection
- The application process itself is fast, resulting in a bigger choice for players
- It is accepted in multiple jurisdictions across the world
- Data protection is taken seriously
- No bonus limits
- Instant deposits and withdrawals available
- KYC verifications are speedy
- Full suite of live dealer games
- Provides assistance in case of official complaints
- Majority of games providers have an MGA licence
Disadvantages of MGA-licensed casinos
- Not accessible to UK players without a UKGC licence
- The authority operates under strict advertising rules
- Recent months saw it embroiled in various allegations of corruption, which has reduced some of the licence’s prestige
MGA Casinos – Are They Safe Despite Recent Controversies?
Being the first on the global stage counts for a lot. MGA casinos were the first regulated online gambling sites in the world, a fact that contributed considerably to the meteoric rise in popularity of this licence. The legal structure that was created by the Maltese gambling authority set the benchmark for the gambling licences that came after, and today little has changed.
During recent years, however, Malta casinos seemed like they risked losing popularity due to current events. The authority’s former CEO, Heathcliff Farrugia, faced criminal charges² related to trading in influence, while the CTO had to resign after being investigated for misuse of data³.
However, these events don’t appear to have had any lasting impact on the reputation or security of MGA casinos, with the authority doubling up on its transparency efforts and appointing a new chairman⁴ while maintaining its high standards. This was also largely thanks to a solid legislative structure that was made to survive any such isolated happenings.
Despite all this, MGA online casinos remain just as popular among players across the world. According to statistics released by the authority, 2022 saw a 52% increase in gaming revenue⁵ at these casinos when compared to the same month in 2021. There was also a 33% increase in players⁶ during the same period, with the number of Malta casinos exceeding 500⁷.
Clearly, MGA casinos remain as attractive as ever, which is also evidenced by the number of online gambling conferences and tournaments that are held on the island every year such as SiGMA iGaming Festival and iGaming Next.
Applying for an MGA Licence
MGA casinos can apply for four difference licence categories:
- Type 1 – Covers all casino games and slots, virtual sports, and lotteries
- Type 2 – Covers sports betting and betting on events
- Type 3 – Covers games like poker and bingo, where revenue is generated via commission
- Type 4 – Covers any skill-based games
Main Benefits of Playing at an MGA Casino Site
There are many reasons why players seek out MGA casinos, and these have a lot to do with the way the authority has successfully found a balance between keeping online gambling safe for players without putting too many restrictions in place. Here are some of the benefits of playing at an MGA licensed casino site:
- Generous casino bonuses with fair terms and conditions – MGA casinos are perfectly free to offer a whole variety of bonuses, including welcome offers, free spins, no deposit bonuses, and cashbacks. Compared to other jurisdictions like Spain, new players can access some good deals with wagering requirements that aren’t too high.
- Online tournaments and competitions – MGA casinos regularly hold competitions and tournaments that place players in contact with each other, creating a fun and sociable aspect that solo play lacks. Licensed and legal casinos in Malta often hold massive poker festivals too, such as the Battle of Malta series, where prizes can go up to €3.5 million! Such tournaments are held under the watchful eye of the Authority to make sure that the terms are fair, and that the platform employs a high standard of security.
- Instant deposit and withdrawals – Players at online casinos licensed by the MGA usually have access to the widest range of payout options, which means that withdrawals are speedy and simple.
- No withdrawal fees – Having zero withdrawal fees is standard when cashing in at an MGA casino. Some banks will charge a fee for specific types of transfers, but these are not being charged by the gambling site itself.
- Biggest game providers available – The most popular game providers in the casino industry operate under an MGA licence. If you’re playing at a Malta casino, expect to find games from Play’n GO, Evolution, NetEnt, Pragmatic Play, Yggdrasil Gaming, Microgaming, and others, with many of these companies actually being based on the island itself. These casinos offer a broad and varied selection of games, including table games and video slots.
- Full selection of live dealer games – Some jurisdictions, like the US, are still in the process of developing their live portfolio, as very few software providers have been awarded a licence as yet in their regions. This is the opposite for MGA-licensed casinos, where every platform offers a good choice of live table games. Many go over and above with endless variants of live blackjack, live roulette, live baccarat, live poker, and more unusual varieties like Andar Bahar. You can even try out some of these live games for free, without any deposit, on our Top10 free live casino page.
- Support in case of player disputes – Should you have a complaint against an MGA casino, you are guaranteed the full backing of the Authority, which will investigate your claims and ensure that your rights are protected.
One of the biggest questions asked by players is this: how will I know if the money I deposit is safe? The good news is that when you put down a deposit at an MGA casino, it is unlikely for you to encounter any problems with your funds due to the strict legislative structure in terms of financial management.
How To Find the Best MGA Casino
With hundreds of licensed sites vying for your attention, your quest to find the best MGA casino can easily become a confusing trip down the rabbit hole. On this page, we’ve gathered a list of our top recommended sites to make your life easier. If you see a casino listed here, you know that the operator has satisfied all the following criteria with flying colours!
- Top-notch responsible gambling tools – The Authority’s standards with respect to responsible gambling are stringent. A casino licensed by it is responsible for making sure nobody under the age of 18 finds their way on the platform, and that all customers have access to responsible gamblingsources and tools. Like this, vulnerable players who are at risk of addiction will not find themselves in trouble. In addition, Maltese casinos monitor the amount of time and money a player spends playing, delivering ‘reality check’ prompts to make sure a player doesn’t spend more than they can afford.
- Game selection – The best licensees offer hundreds of games that range from the most popular titles to the newest, niche online slots. Expect to see 24-hour live dealer tables, with top-notch studio quality shot in 4K and professional dealers.
- Game providers – If the usual names aren’t present, there’s something fishy. All self-respecting MGA casinos online will proudly showcase the logos of the most reputable game providers at the bottom of their casino lobby.
- Fair T&Cs – We take note of wagering requirements, bonus terms, conditions for withdrawals, and anything else that can affect a player’s gambling experience. The best casinos will be happy to make all this information easily accessible, because they have nothing to hide.
- Good user reviews – It’s always a good idea to see what other players have to say about their favourite sites. If everyone else is complaining about a certain casino, chances are that it’s best to move on to the next one.
New MGA Casinos
New MGA casinos crop up pretty much every week, so it’s always a good idea to check in on this page for the latest additions. One of the advantages of a Maltese licence is that the process is straightforward and, unlike some other jurisdictions, B2B and B2C licences are granted speedily, as long as the requirements are satisfied by the applicant.
Licences are granted after the MGA carries out a fitness test and investigates the business plan to see whether it is viable. Next up, newly-licensed casinos get their documents inspected and a compliance test is carried out by an independent auditor. Once all requirements are confirmed, the new MGA casino is good to go live, with the overall process only taking a few weeks.
Here are some of our favourite new casinos that hold an MGA licence.
1. Casino Splendido
Having obtained an MGA licence in 2022, Casino Splendido is set to relaunch with a huge selection of games from Microgaming. Expect a generous bonus in keeping with the reputation of its owners, Megapixel Entertainment Ltd.
Enjoying a stellar reputation, 32Red also obtained its MGA casino licence in 2022. New players are welcomed with a 150% match up to €150, and will have access to the site's renowned Ruby Tuesday promos, along with free spins and Drop and Wins on multiple slots.Play at 32Red Casino
Part of the Betsson stable of casinos, Rizk has been in operation for a while, but only obtained its Malta licence in 2022. Expect funky visuals, cool animations, and the iconic Wheel of Rizk, which is a massive pull for Nordic players. We expect it to become equally popular worldwide.Play at Rizk Casino
4. Goldenbet Casino
With 10% cashback upon arrival, this new MGA casino is likely to become a fast favourite. Goldenbet provides an all-round offering that includes some top live casino options and even sports betting. The quirky design has a lot to do with this site’s popularity, so it’s a fun journey all round.
5. Rolletto Casino
A 2022 addition that will appeal to those who enjoy dipping their toe into a couple of sports bets, Rolletto Casino is also known for their virtual sports, which is fast gaining traction with MGA casinos. There’s ample slots for classic casino lovers, with a 150% deposit match up to €200 as sign-up bonus, so this is certainly one great addition to the Maltese casino landscape!Play at Rolletto Casino
Accepted Payment Methods at MGA Casinos
With the major casino software providers having offices in Malta, it’s to be expected that you should expect to find a wide range of payment options at your preferred site. Moreover, the Maltese gambling authority only gives a B2B licence to highly-reputable payment providers.
These are the payment methods that you should expect to find at your top Malta online casino.
MGA casinos have no restrictions on the use of credit cards, with Visa and Mastercard having remained two of the most popular payment methods at these sites. You can input your details securely thanks to the high, anti-fraud standards required by the authority's licence.
Direct bank transfers are a popular deposit and withdrawal method. Once again, players don’t need to worry about giving out their bank details as these casinos offer a highly secure, independently audited platform.
Most online casinos accept these type of deposits via prepaid options such as paysafecard. This is ideal for those who prefer to set a limit on their spending as it’s easier to control.
Cryptocurrencies at MGA Casinos
While cryptocoin casinos with an MGA licence aren’t yet commonplace, Malta has a legal structure in place to explore the possibilities of online gambling with crypto. The island was referred to as Blockchain Island for a reason, after all.
MGA casinos wishing to offer crypto as a payment option can ask to take part in trials that the Maltese gambling authority is holding in selected markets. This is thanks to a project called the Sandbox Regulatory Framework⁸, which offers guidance about the use of crypto and which has now been extended.
In January 2023, the MGA-licensed casino BetConstruct was given the green light⁹ by the Authority to allow players to deposit in cryptocurrencies. The site has adopted Fastoken as its primary payment method, which can be an indication that more Malta casinos will follow suit.
How to Sign Up at MGA Licensed Casinos
Signing up to your chosen casino is a simple process – as long as you provide the documentation required.
KYC (Know Your Customer) and AML (Anti Money Laundering) requirements are quite stringent, so the casino will need to make sure that you are who you say you are.
As soon as you register, a Malta-licensed casino will carry out KYC verification, which is usually completed automatically via your bank. Some other sites may ask you to send in additional documents, which is completely normal. Here’s what to expect:
- Proof of identity – A valid passport, driving licence, or an official identification card. You may also need to take a photo of yourself.
- Proof of address – This usually takes the form of a recent utility bill not older than three months.
- Proof of payment – Account-holder information or a screenshot from your bank (depending on your payment method).
Be aware that if your total transactions exceed the €2,300 mark, you will be asked for extra verification and will also get a Source of Wealth questionnaire.
How To Verify That a Casino Has an MGA Licence
Checking whether your chosen online casino has an MGA licence couldn’t be simpler. Here’s what you need to do:
- Scroll down to the bottom of the homepage and look for the MGA logo. If it’s present, then the casino has a Maltese licence.
- If this doesn’t work, visit the MGA website and click on ‘Licensee Register’. Enter the exact URL or name of your casino. If this is an MGA site, you will find all the details about the licence – whether it’s active, expired, suspended, cancelled, or even whether there are any restrictions applicable.
Contacting and Filing a Complaint With the MGA
The great thing about playing at casinos licensed by the MGA is that if you have a disagreement with the site, you can file a complaint with the Authority and it will carry out all the investigations and enforcement on your behalf.
Before filing a complaint, follow the steps outlined above to make sure that the casino is indeed licensed by the MGA, as otherwise they won’t be able to help you. Keep in mind that some casinos hold multiple licences, so if you see the logo of other authorities, it doesn’t necessarily mean that this isn’t an MGA casino.
To do this, simply fill out the form available on the MGA website and they will take the case forward. You can expect a decision within 30 days.
Malta Gaming Authority and Other Casino Licences
Malta was one of the first to offer an online gaming licence, and today these credentials remain some of the strongest within the industry. However, other countries are now starting to catch up and, while the island remains the biggest iGaming hub, many markets are regulated by their own local licences. How has this affected the popularity of the Maltese gambling authority? The below comparisons offer an indication.
The UK licence is issued by the UK Gambling Commission, which is known to be even stricter than the MGA. Credit card payments, for example, are not allowed. Neither is the auto-play function for slots. Advertising rules take particular note of whether graphics and themes are likely to be found attractive by children or young people, a fact which has created some issues for game providers and casino sites. An online casino needs a UKGC licence to offer its services to UK players, but those wishing to operate in other countries are likely to prefer a Malta licence.
Curaçao is Malta’s biggest rival in terms of gambling licences. It has been established since 1996, and the application process is simple and even faster than the Malta licence. However, this licence doesn’t enjoy as strong a reputation among players as the Maltese online casinos. The main reason is that the Curaçao gambling board actually uses external companies to monitor and licence, so the standards vary wildly. Moreover, player protection and security requirements aren’t as stringent as the Maltese licence.
The Licensing Authority of Gibraltar used to be a popular alternative to the MGA, as it enjoyed the same level of respect while being relatively straightforward and cost-effective to deal with. However, since Brexit, this licence has lost most of its advantages as taxation requirements have increased to be in line with those of the UKGC. Moreover, as it’s no longer part of the EU, the licence has ceased to apply to all EU players.
Estonia is the new kid on the block in terms of gambling regulation, but it’s fast attracting those casinos in search of lower taxes and little bureaucracy. Many sites are passing over the MGA in favour or an EMTA casino licence as this requires no bonus restrictions, offers instant payments, and is diligent in terms of player protection and responsible gambling. Additionally, the expenses required for this licence are a bit lower.
MGA Casinos – Our Verdict
As you can see, an MGA casino remains one of the safest options for online players. Not only that, but a Malta licence also guarantees an unrivalled game selection and some of the best casino bonuses available. This is why these casinos remain some of the most attractive ones out there and why we recommend them!
¹Fast Offshore. (n.d.). Malta Gaming License: Gambling Industry Gold Star. [online] Available at: https://fastoffshore.com/what-we-do/packaged-services/malta-gaming-license/#:~:text=The%20Malta%20Gaming%20Authority (Accessed 19 Jan. 2023).
²Times of Malta. (n.d.). Former MGA CEO Heathcliff Farrugia charged over Yorgen Fenech contact. [online] Available at: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/former-gaming-ceo-charged-over-yorgen-fenech-contact.856558 (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
³Times of Malta. (n.d.). Top Malta Gaming Authority official under investigation for data misuse. [online] Available at: https://timesofmalta.com/articles/view/top-malta-gaming-authority-official-under-investigation-for-data.922042 (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁴Authority, M.G. (2021). Malta Gaming Authority Appoints New Chief Executive Officer. [online] Malta Gaming Authority. Available at: https://www.mga.org.mt/malta-gaming-authority-appoints-new-chief-executive-officer-2/ (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁵Casino Gaming Revenue. (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://www.mga.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/Casinos-GR-2.pdf (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁶Casino Players’ Visits. (n.d.). [online] Available at: https://www.mga.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/Casino-Visits-11.pdf (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁷Malta Gaming Authority. (n.d.). Licences. [online] Available at: https://www.mga.org.mt/licences/ (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁸Authority, M.G. (2022). The MGA Announces Extension to the Sandbox Regulatory Framework. [online] Malta Gaming Authority. Available at: https://www.mga.org.mt/mga-extension-sandbox-regulatory-framework/ (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
⁹www.betconstruct.com. (n.d.). BetConstruct Approved by MGA to Allow Player Deposits in Cryptocurrencies. [online] Available at: https://www.betconstruct.com/media/betconstruct-approved-by-mga-to-allow-player-deposits-in-cryptocurrencies (Accessed 18 Jan. 2023).
MGA Casino Sites FAQs
The MGA stands for the Malta Gaming Authority, which is responsible for issuing gambling licences for land-based and online casinos. Such licensees are bound by strict requirements of player safety and security, making them a great choice for players.
On this page we have compiled a list of the top MGA licensed casinos, based on game selection, bonus offers, and all-round gambling experience. Our Top Table List will take you straight to these sites.
These are some of the safest platforms to play on, allowing you to deposit money safely and without any worry. This is because the MGA has a strict system of controls in place to guarantee protection of player funds and fairness of games.
No, they’re not. Nevertheless, some Maltese-licensed casinos also have a UKGC licence, simultaneously making them a UK online casino and an MGA casino.
If you see the MGA logo at the bottom of the casino homepage, this means that it is operating under a Maltese licence. If you need to double-check, the MGA website offers a database of licensees where you can check if your chosen site is present.
The official MGA site has an online form that enables you to register a complaint in a simple manner and for free. You may be asked for proof of identification, and you are guaranteed a result in about 30 days.