In this section, you can find information about Malta online gambling legislation, requirements for a casino license, information about gambling taxes, dispute resolution process and where to address the player complaints.
Information about Malta and its gambling legislation
Malta is a small island located in the Mediterranean Sea, south of Italy. It is one of the world’s smallest and most densely populated countries. The island covers 122 miles and its population is over 450.000. Malta is a member of the European Union and also the first EU country to successfully regulate online gambling. It is an independent country with its own company laws and legislature.
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the only government agency in regards to gambling licenses and fees. You can reach their website from the http://www.mga.org.mt address. MGA is established in 2001 and consists of 25 people; including a Chairman and a Supervisory Council. They define their goal as “to regulate competently the various sectors of the gaming industry that fall under the Authority by ensuring gaming is fair and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minor and vulnerable players.” Their e-Gambling legislation consists of only one framework, which is the Gaming Act, Chapter 400 of the Laws of Malta. There are also lots of regulations and directives.
There are only three licensed casinos operating in Malta: Dragonara Casino, Oracle Casino, and The Casino at Portomaso.
Licensing requirements and fees
There are four different types of gambling licenses in Malta. These are:
- Class 1, a remote gaming license; for casino-type games and online lotteries.
- Class 2, a remote betting license, for fixed odds betting and pool betting.
- Class 3, a license to promote remote gaming, including peer to peer gaming.
- Class 4, a license to host and manage remote gaming software.
The applicant first will decide which type of license it will apply for and fill out a form. After that, MGA will start an investigation which includes face-to-face meetings with the applicant. During the investigation, the applicant must prove that it can operate fairly and has a code designed to protect the players. The process usually takes around 6 months and the software of the applicant is tested during this time. The one-time fee for the license is €8,500. This license needs to be renewed every year and the renewal fee is a fixed €1,500. However, every applicant needs to pay yearly taxes for their license and these change according to the class of the license. For example, yearly tax for a Class 1 license is €11.660. You can check the http://www.mga.org.mt/gaming-sectors/remote-gaming/fees-taxation/ page for the details.
Malta gambling taxes and limitations
There are no income taxes on gambling winnings in Malta. All of your winnings are tax-free, even if you are a professional gambler. But since it is a member of the EU, your own country may ask you to pay taxes on these winnings. Check your local laws and legislature for more info.
You can limit your deposit, bets, and losses in Malta casinos. For example, you can set a deposit limit of €50 monthly. You can also self-exclude yourself from the casinos or specific games. It is possible that you can “pause” your accounts in casinos for a time of your choice or permanently.
All limitation claims must be addressed to the licensee (online casino) in a written form. E-mail claims are also acceptable.
Complaints and Dispute Resolution
All player complaints must be addressed to MGA. You can use the form located in http://www.mga.org.mt/support/online-gaming-support/ address or call them by telephone on +356 2546 9000. However, if you are lodging your complaint for the first time, always use the form.
MGA recommends seeking assistance with your complaint directly with the licensee (online casino) first. If no resolution is found there, you can contact the MGA. Dispute resolution process is not clear and the details are unknown. But you can check the chart located in http://www.mga.org.mt/wp-content/uploads/Malta-Gaming-Authority-Charter.pdf address to see your rights and obligations as a player. Unfortunately, there are many complaints that MGA is ineffective when it comes to player protection and dispute resolution.