The Malta Gaming Authority, formerly known as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) was established in 2001.
Demonstrating foresight in identifying the exponential growth opportunities within the online gaming industry and the substantial economic revenue potential it would create, Malta became the first country in the EU to adopt legislation for remote online gaming.
Through continued investment in professional development, innovative industry technologies, and the enactment of comprehensive legislation, the Malta Gaming Authority has built an envious international reputation, now recognized as a leading regulatory authority in the world within this sector.
The Malta Gaming Authority licenses and regulates four major casinos and over 330 international remote gaming companies with their offices situated in Malta.
What are the aims of the Malta Gaming Authority?
First and foremost, the Malta Gaming Authority protects and guarantees the rights of players, maintaining and enforcing transparency and fair play throughout the industry.
All companies licensed to operate need to adhere to and comply with the following regulations set down by the Malta Gaming Authority;
Protection of Minors
In Malta, the minimum legal age to participate in online gaming is 18.
For land-based gaming operations, the legal age for Maltese citizens to participate is 25, the highest minimum age requirement of all countries within the EU.
Any gaming establishments or online gaming companies found in breach of this regulation will have their licences revoked. Minors will forfeit any winnings.
Protection of Vulnerable Individuals
“A Duty of Care from Operators”, is required by the Malta Gaming Authority through the legislation enacted. Malta Gaming Authority license holders are required to assess participants gaming habits and report any type of irregular or erratic behaviour.
A ‘Self Barring Request Form’ is a mechanism that enables individuals to voluntarily remove their access to enter gaming establishments nationwide for one year. This form application is available in the Downloads Section, on the official website of the Malta Gaming Authority.
Safeguarding Players Personal Information
All organizations formally licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority are required to comply with the Data Protection Act.
No personal or financial data provided by players accessing online gaming sites can be misused.
Additionally, license applicants and holders are required to have approved state of the art software installed across all platforms that are specifically designed to protect player data, prevent hacking and defend against cyber threats.
Protection of Players Funds
All monies deposited on account or won by players are 100% secured.
Licensed operations are required to maintain cash reserves in specified accounts separate and distinct from operating funds. In potential cases of litigation, receivership or applications for bankruptcy, all funds deposited or won by players are protected and cannot be claimed by creditors seeking injunctions or commercial claims against the organizations.
Games & gaming devices are constantly monitored by the Malta Gaming Authority, which carries out independent audits and random tests at facilities and on software to ensure that operators do not tamper with any results from games played.
Prevention of Criminal Activity
The Malta Gaming Authority has been relentless about preventing criminal activity from infiltrating this industry. The ‘Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive’ instituted by the EU in May 2015 provides the Malta Gaming Authority with official oversight of all entities that provide gaming services.
Additional coordination is conducted through financial institutions that enable the Malta Gaming Authority to strictly monitor financial activity across the industry. To protect players from unlicensed, unofficial sites and portals, the Malta Gaming Authority also provides a directory of all licensed operators on their website.
Main Objectives of the Malta Gaming Authority
- To provide a centralized organization capable of supporting industry stakeholders and consumers from a single integrated authority
- The Enactment and Oversight through legislation that keeps in line and adapts with this growing industry
- A one-stop-shop for licensing, application assistance and information. Ongoing support and guidance through the application process, licensing and operations
- Continuous investment in innovation and technology to support, grow and sustainably manage the industry
- The professional oversight of licensed gaming and collection of gaming taxes on behalf of the government
- Ensuring the benefits of the sector contribute to the development of the country and support worthy causes.
The Malta Gaming Authority is a leading example of a professional governing body that has adapted to the requirements of an industry experiencing rapid growth by providing a structured regulatory framework that expands and enhances the advantages of situating an organization in Malta.
The sector benefits directly from operating in a transparent, innovative and cooperative regulatory environment where the protections of the consumer are foremost in guiding policy.
Licensed operators have a strong, internationally recognized partner in the Malta Gaming Authority that works continuously to burnish the reputation of stakeholders, guard the integrity of the industry and invest in long term development.
The Malta Gaming Authority plays a fundamental role that impacts over 9000 employees, as well as the greater population of Malta, by safeguarding and pro-actively managing industry investment through vehicles such as Gaming Malta, a not for profit foundation.
Local and international students studying technologies can now intern and get ‘hands-on’ training with gaming companies, expanding the skilled labour pool to meet current and future industry demand.
The future of remote gaming is in Malta, and the future is now. Thanks to the Malta Gaming Authority, this industry has become — and will continue to be — a dynamic economic success story for this island nation.
Contact MGA directly for more information:
Malta Gaming Authority
Building SCM 02-03, Level 4
Ricasoli. SCM1001 Malta
Tel.:+356 2546 9000
Visit the Malta Gaming Authority website for a suite of documentation such as;
✓ Application Forms
✓ Guidance Notes
✓ Regulatory Policies and Manuals
✓ Fact Sheets
✓ Public Notices