The Best Malta Licensed Online Casinos | 2019

MGA Licensed Casinos – The Ticket to Secure Online Gambling Across the Globe

European, Asian or even North American, if you're a regular at online casinos then you are bound to have had your fair share of experiences at MGA licensed sites. Over the years, Malta has become somewhat of a hub within the gaming industry. We have seen iGaming giants including the likes of LeoVegas, Casumo and even Mr Green moving their entire operations to the small island. This is just the tip of the iceberg though as the number of off-shore gaming companies in Malta continues to rise. Just what is it that fuels the demand for the Malta Gaming license though? We are about to find out. Here's our best online casinos Malta list to start you off.

Top 13 MGA Online Casinos

  1. LiveRoulette Logo
    LiveRoulette
    4 / 5
    Flag usPlayers from USA Accepted
    Deposit Bonus
    up to 150€
    Flag usPlayers from USA Accepted
    18+. First 4 deposits of £10+. Certain deposit methods excluded. 4 bonuses available once, in chronological order. 40x play through within 14 days. Real money first when playing bonus. Available currencies are GBR, EUR and CAD. Conversion £1 = €1 = C$1. Weightings apply. Further T&Cs apply, www.begambleaware.org
    Details
  2. Betfair Casino Logo
    Betfair Casino
    5 / 5
    Deposit Bonus
    100 Spins
    New Customers Only. All Winnings Paid As Cash. Please see terms & conditions for further details
    Details
  3. Casumo Casino Logo
    Casumo Casino
    5 / 5
    No Deposit
    30 Spins
    Deposit Bonus
    100% up to $300
    18+. New UK customers only. Opt-in required. 30 free spins on Book of Dead game upon registration with NO wagering requirements or deposit required for spins AND 100% deposit bonus up to £300: Min deposit £10 and 30x wagering requirements apply on bonus (game weighting applies). Max bet applies. T’s and c’s apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org
    Details
  4. Casiplay Casino Logo
    Casiplay Casino
    4 / 5
    Deposit Bonus
    up to $800 + 100 Spins
    Terms & Conditions apply. New Players only. 18+. Min deposit €/$/£20. Welcome package split over 4 deposits. 35x Wagering applies to match up bonus.
    Details
  5. Videoslots Logo
    Videoslots
    5 / 5
    Bonus Spins
    11 Spins
    Deposit Bonus
    100% up to £200 + 4200 Spins
    New players only. Min deposit: £/$/€10. Account balance is withdrawable at any time. Upon withdrawal, any remaining bonus spins are forfeited. 7 days to activate the spins. Bonus spins expire 24 hours after activation. Full T&Cs apply. 18+, Play Responsibly.
    Details

Casinos which have this licence

Malta is considered as the base of operations for most online casinos. It was actually the first EU country to start regulating remote gaming. Gaming operators continue to set up across the island, with the main areas being St. Julians, Portomaso and even Qawra. With so many Malta casino license holders out there, choosing the right gambling site for you can end up being a difficult task. Luckily we have come up with a list of the best online casinos Malta has to offer. These are some of the most trustworthy sites out there and they also offer some great bonuses for both new players and existing ones. We would suggest reading our casino reviews on each of them for in-depth information on their gaming experience.

New Online Malta Casinos

As mentioned previously, the gambling industry is on the rise and with this, the demand for a remote gaming license. We are seeing new Maltese sites being launched every other day. Although some players may shy away from newcomers for obvious reasons, there is always something rather intriguing about them. New gambling sites are always looking to make an impact and most tend to start off with all guns blazing. They are looking to compete with top online casinos that have had years to build a reputation for themselves. Be it in the form of free spins or match deposit bonuses, you can expect some of the best first deposit offers for new players out there. Some of the welcome bonus offers include no deposit bonuses. If you have any experience in online gambling, then you know how hard these are becoming to find.

LiveRoulette Logo
LiveRoulette
4 / 5
Flag usPlayers from USA Accepted
Deposit Bonus
up to 150€
Flag usPlayers from USA Accepted
18+. First 4 deposits of £10+. Certain deposit methods excluded. 4 bonuses available once, in chronological order. 40x play through within 14 days. Real money first when playing bonus. Available currencies are GBR, EUR and CAD. Conversion £1 = €1 = C$1. Weightings apply. Further T&Cs apply, www.begambleaware.org
Details

Malta Gaming Authority Casinos – A Brief History

malta gaming authority casinos

The Malta Gaming Authority is the legislative body governing all gambling activities. It was first set up in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA). They were actually one of the first organisations to devise a set of legal regulations for online sports and gambling procedures. They started off with the Lotteries and Other Games Act (2001) and chapters 400 and 438 of the Laws of Malta. This Gambling Act was the first of many. 2015, saw a rebrand from LGA to MGA, as we know them today. Perhaps this restructuring came about as a result of the move from static land-based casinos, to the dynamic world of iGaming.

Today, the Maltese Authority for Gaming is the official regulator of most forms of gambling services in the region both at brick and mortar establishments as well as the online world. Sectors include slot machines as well as all other casino-type games such as poker tournaments, betting offices and even Business-to-business and Business-to-customer services. We have come up with a list of their regulatory objectives below.

Main Roles of the Malta Gaming Authority

  • Protection of Minors
  • Licensing of Online Gambling Companies
  • Licensee Monitoring
  • Ensure all Games are kept Fair and Legit
  • Protection of Players Rights (including player funds)
  • Advocates of Responsible Gaming
  • Ensuring that the Gaming Sector has a Positive Impact on Development in Malta

Malta Gaming Authority Structure

Being a regulatory body that deals with important Gambling Laws, it comes as no surprise that the organisation is split up into various boards. We have listed the various sectors below to give a better idea of the structure.

  • Board of Governors - Responsible for the strategic development of the Authority
  • Executive Committee - Responsible for achieving the vision devised by the board of Governors. The current Chief Executive Officer is Heathcliff Farrugia who was recently brought in to replace Joseph Cuschieri.
  • Audit Committee - Responsible for overseeing all audit and accounting issues
  • Supervisory Committee - Responsible for reviewing regulatory objectives
  • Fit and Proper Committee - Responsible for ensuring potential licensee is deemed fit and proper to receive a gaming licence.

Gaming Companies in Malta – How to get an MGA license?

becoming mga approved

As you have probably realised by now, a Malta-licensed isn't just handed out to any online gambling site. This is an Authority that takes its licensing process seriously and there are a number of steps all applicants will need to follow. Firstly, online gambling operators will need to decide whether they are applying for a gaming service (Business-to-Consumer) or a critical gaming supply licence (Business-to-Business). 

Types of Malta Gaming Authority Licenses

  • Class 1: It includes games that you are most likely to find in a gambling establishment (slots, table games, keno, craps, video poker etc.), skill games and other online lotteries. A Class 1 operator will be responsible for the risk of repetitive games.
  • Class 2: In this class, you can find fixed odds betting, spread betting and pool betting. A Class 2 gaming operator is responsible for the risk of events one might find in a matchbook.
  • Class 3: In this category, you can find the peer-to-peer, bet exchange, poker network. A Class 3 operator is taking a commission based on a percentage from promoting or betting games.
  • Class 4: This one is special and it allows the licensee to host and govern remote gaming operators, but the licensee itself cannot operate as an operator. A Class 4 licence is mainly for software vendors.

Once gambling operators have decided what class to apply for, they will need to submit all the required information. This documentation will then undergo a series of internal audits by a regulatory panel within the local authority. Here an ordered list of the criteria all applicants must live up to if they are looking at getting a gaming industry licence in the region.

Online Casinos Registered in Malta – Requirements

  1. Fit & Proper - Assessing the people involved in the finance and management of the operation.
  2. Business Planning - Assessing the business plan, including growth strategies.
  3. Operational & Statutory Requirements - Assessing the capital needed to run the business (including paid-up share capital requirements)
  4. System Review - Once the first 3 steps have been fulfilled, the applicant is given a 60 day period to complete a technical roll-out of the site. During this period, a service provider will carry out a system audit. If everything is in order then the applicant will receive a 10-year licence
  5. Compliance Review - After going live, the online gambling operator must undergo two compliance audits. One needs to be done after a year of being licensed and the other will depend on the compliance plan set by the gaming authority.

One thing to point out at this stage is that if the applicant is not in line with the requirements then they may be required to start the application procedure from scratch. Once the site goes live, it can have its online gambling licence suspended or even terminated should it fail to live up to the requirements. 

How Reliable are Malta Gaming Authority Online Casinos?

secure casino malta

Our previous section should already give you an idea of the reliability of Malta-licensed casinos. There's a long list of criteria that needs to be fulfilled and all Malta casinos are subject to regular checks. This is perhaps one of the main reasons why a Maltese license is considered one of the main ones in the gambling industry. The other two big ones are the UK Gambling Commission and Curacao gambling licenses. We take a look at how Malta-based casinos compare to the others in the lists below.

Malta Casinos VS. UK Gambling Commission Online Casinos

  • Player Safety - Whilst casinos in Malta offer some protection to players, the UKGC is taking things to the next level. For instance, all UK-based online casinos must display key terms in any promotion banner.
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) - Malta casinos have had issues in the past with AML but have cleaned up their act lately. UKGC casinos, on the other hand, have a clean track record and are constantly looking to improve.
  • Company Reputation - A Gambling Commission licence is the only one that will allow casinos to accept players from the UK. It is considered the most secure the gaming sector has to offer. A Maltese licence opens the door to players from other countries around the world whilst still having a good reputation in terms of its regulatory framework.
  • Responsible Gambling - Once again UKGC online gambling sites come out on top when it comes to efforts to promote responsible gambling. Malta Gaming Authority has partnered with some independent organisations but this does not include the likes of begambleaware.
  • Payment Method Integration - Maltese online casinos work with trustworthy payment providers however UK Gambling Commission casinos are the only ones able to become PayPal approved.
  • Game Providers - Both UKGC and Malta sites must work with reliable software providers. This said the first has even tighter regulations when it comes to this.

Malta Casinos VS. Curacao Licensed Casinos

  • Player Safety - casinos with an online gambling license in Malta offer some kind of player protection whereas the Curacao gaming license is there as a place holder and nothing more.
  • Anti-Money Laundering (AML) - In the past Malta-licensed casinos have suffered some blows regarding AML, but they've have made significant improvements to remedy the situation. Curacao casinos on the other hand, are still the subject of hot disputes.
  • Company Reputation - Curacao offers none, whereas Malta Gaming Authority opens the doors to many casinos in many countries around the world.
  • Responsible Gambling - MGA Partnered with most responsible gambling companies, whereas Curacao gambling sites have been known to fake the seals in their page footers.
  • Payment Method Integration - sites licensed in Malta work with safe and reliable payment providers. Curacao online operators are known to be big fans of cryptocurrencies, which says a lot about their safety systems.
  • Game Providers - Curacao casinos work with the majority of providers, but they have been the one that has pirated casino games in the past. This is unheard of at MGA online gambling operators.

Malta Gaming Authority – Responsible Gambling Efforts

If you take a look at any online gambling website with a Malta licence then you'll notice that most have a seal from a third-party organisation that deals with problem gambling. GamCare, Gambling Therapy, Gamblers Anonymous, these are a few of the responsible gambling organisations making efforts to help Maltese players by maintaining a database. Players also have the choice to become self-excluded amongst other support tools. This is proof that the Malta Gaming Authority is laying out the rules when it comes to responsible gambling. This said though, it is not enforcing these gambling laws to the same extent as the British Gambling Commission. In the United Kingdom, for instance, casinos not registered with Gamstop, risk suspension of their online gambling licence.

All this said the past years have seen the Maltese Gaming Authority turn their focus to responsible gambling. In 2014,  the Responsible Gaming Foundation was launched in collaboration with the local government. The foundation aims to create awareness on the issue of problem gambling. They also provide support to players at Maltese online casinos. 

Mandatory KYC Check - AML and Prevention of Underage Gambling 

Know Your Client (KYC) checks are one of the many gaming regulations sites must live up to. Gambling laws state that all players who deposit over €150 in a rolling period of 180 days must verify their identity. The same goes for players over €2300. A KYC check is to be conducted by the online casino rather than the local authority. Players will need to show proof of identity for starters and this can be in the form of a valid passport, i.d. or driving licence. In addition to this, most gambling sites will ask customers for a recent utility bill. This ensures the country of residence also.

The main aims of these checks are to prevent minors from gambling as well as protect the online world against money laundering. Some players view these as a nuisance since they can lead to delays in transactions. The truth is that they are in fact essential to ensure a safe gaming environment.

How to Lodge a Complaint against MGA-licensed Casinos Online

The MGA is Malta's one-stop-shop for licensing and gaming laws. In comparison to others such as the UK Gambling Commission, who make use of IBAS, they don't outsource the customer complaints procedure. The downside to this is a time-lag in providing feedback on all the complaints they receive. Until the company starts to increase its staff in this sector, we don't expect to see much improvement. The good news is that they do realise that this is an issue and have made promised in the past to work on the area. Unfortunately, we have yet to see any actions being taken. 

The good news is that all gambling-related complaints are dealt with, eventually. Lodging one is actually the easy part and we have provided a step-by-step approach below.

  1. Navigate to the official Malta Gaming Authority Website.
  2. Click on the 'Support' button in the top right corner of the menu bar.
  3. Select 'Online Gaming Support'.
  4. Fill out the online form by providing all necessary details
  5. If you have any proof in the form of screenshots, be sure to upload them.
  6. We suggest ticking the 'send a copy to my email' box for future reference.
  7. Submit the complaint.

Actions MGA can take following a Complaint

It may take a while to get some feedback on a complaint but once the process begins, the matter is taken extremely seriously. Complaints are handled on a case by case basis as it will all depend on what the issue is. If the authority deems that there is reason for further investigation then they will indeed take the necessary steps. In most cases, this will result in a compliance audit. Should any breaches be found, the operator will be informed immediately. Depending on the gravity of the situation, the penalty could be in the form of a fine, suspension or even termination of licence.

Popular Software Providers Licensed with MGA

mga software providers

The MGA online gambling laws may not be as rigid as the British Gambling Commission but they still do have some gambling regulation. They are looking to find the perfect balance between a pro-gambling attitude whilst keeping players best interests at heart. What this means is that they won't hand out a casino licence to any old software provider. In fact whilst Curacao licensed sites are infamous for issues with pirated games, this is almost unheard of at Maltese licensed sites. In fact the latter works with reputable brands whose games are subject to regular RNG audits.

Players at Malta-licensed casinos can expect some of the top game providers the gambling market has to offer. NetEnt, Microgaming and Play'n GO, these are only a few of the biggest names in the industry and their games are available to play online. Choose from slots and progressive jackpots as well as table games such as blackjack and roulette. When it comes to online gaming, players at Maltese licensed websites won't be lost for choice that's for sure. Let's not forget about live dealer games, they are also available with the likes of Evolution Gaming paving the way.

Casumo Casino Logo
Casumo Casino
5 / 5
No Deposit
30 Spins
Deposit Bonus
100% up to $300
18+. New UK customers only. Opt-in required. 30 free spins on Book of Dead game upon registration with NO wagering requirements or deposit required for spins AND 100% deposit bonus up to £300: Min deposit £10 and 30x wagering requirements apply on bonus (game weighting applies). Max bet applies. T’s and c’s apply. Please gamble responsibly, www.begambleaware.org
Details

Payment Methods Easily Integrated with MGA Casinos

Payment options are a bit part of online gambling. Luckily when it comes to Malta registered online casinos, they work with reputable banking options. This is a step up from Curacao operators who tend to promote methods that retain anonymity such as bitcoin. All of the regular suspects can usually be found at internet gambling sites in Malta. These include e-wallets such as Skrill, Neteller and ecoPayz as well as all major debit and credit cards. Bank transfers have also been integrated into most sites. Some of the more innovative payment options such as eChecks have yet to be added to payment portfolios. In addition to this, PayPal is only available at UK-based casinos. All this said there is still a wide range to choose from.

For all those new customers out there looking to claim a welcome bonus, there are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to payment options. Most first deposit bonuses won't allow you to use e-wallets so you'll have to stick to other options. Keep that in mind and there's an abundance of promotions to choose from. Just remember to check out the full bonus terms such as minimum deposit limits and wagering requirements.

Pros & Cons of Malta Casino Sites

At this stage, you should have a better idea of what the legal side to iGaming in Malta. It shouldn't be hard to realise that online gambling and betting sites here are in fact the real deal. In case you still aren't convinced, we'll leave you with a table of advantages and disadvantages.

Pros Cons
Online Gambling Laws are constantly updated Not accepted in the UK
High levels of GDPR Advertising Rules not very rigid
Recognised both in and out of the EU Less protection for vulnerable players
Application procedure relatively fast  
This license is considered a vote of confidence in iGaming  

MGA Casinos FAQs

What is Malta Gaming Authority?
Also known as MGA, this is the legal body that aims to regulate all gambling activity in Malta. One of their many roles includes licensing of gambling and betting sites. In comparison to others, an MGA licence is considered as streets ahead of Curacao but still lagging behind the UK. All this said this licence opens the doors to countries in the EU as well as the likes of Canada and New Zealand.
How long does it take to get a gaming license for a casino in Malta?
It depends. As we outlined earlier, there is a set of criteria that all operators must live up to prior to gaining approval. We would suggest doing your research prior to submitting an application. This will ensure that things run smoothly during audits. As long as you tick all the right boxes, this is one of the swifter processes around.
Do Malta Gaming licensees offer live casino games online?
Yes. We would suggest checking back to our Malta online casino list for some of the best live dealer games out there. Evolution Gaming Malta is definitely paving the way for live casinos here. Of course, there are other options such as NetEnt Live.  The good news is that some of our best casinos listed above even offer live dealer bonuses.