MGA or Malta Gaming Authority is rightfully the most respected licensee in the iGaming industry. This organization can also be called the capital of legal gambling, since it was Malta in 2004 that became the first state in the European Union that was able to legalize online gambling.
MGA employees have earned a reputation for being honest and scrupulous experts who take their work really seriously. It is worth noting that online gambling revenues account for about 15% of Maltese GDP, and the experience of managing this business makes Malta a European hub for skilled workers talents in the iGaming niche.
One of the main advantages of the MGA license for operators is that it is international, that is, it allows casino platforms to operate in most European countries that do not have their own local regulation. Also, the fact that a casino brand has an MGA license is a sign of a high quality assessment of a gaming product, and in this article we will explain in more detail why this is so.
What types of MGA licenses are there and how much do they cost?
The MGA company provides several types of gambling licenses – B2B and B2C. I have compiled this table for you detailing their subtypes.
|Gambling profile type||Description||Core price||Renewal cost|
|Slots||Licensing of games built on the principle of random number generation.||€100,000||€25,000|
|Betting||Games, the result of which is determined depending on the triggering of some events.||€100,000||€25,000|
|Poker||Games in which earnings are calculated as a commission from the total prize pool.||€40,000||€25,000|
|Fantasy sports||Games, the result of which depends mainly on the skills of the players. Measured in the form of statistical indicators.||€40,000||€10,000|
*Important!*1* It is also necessary to take into account that after the start of financial activity of online casinos, MGA license holders will be charged a compliance contribution in the form of a percentage of gaming income. It is calculated using the following formula:
Gaming Revenue = (amount of real money wagers + amount of bonus wagers & player incentives) – (amount of bonus wagers & player incentives + amount of withdrawable player winnings)
*Important!*2* Compliance contribution for 1 year after obtaining a license is not charged from new companies that are less than 5 years old and have an income of less than 10,000,000 euros.
*Important!*3* The amount of costs and additional fees for filing an application can be 35,000 euros or more.
*Important!*4* When buying all 4 types of licenses in 1 transaction, the operator receives a discount of 40,000 euros.
How long does it take to obtain an MGA license and for what period is it issued?
If all documents are completed and submitted in accordance with the requirements of the MGA, then the verdict from the regulator can take up to 16 business weeks.
In 2018, the process of adding game activity types to an existing license was simplified. This means that if an operator already has an MGA license and wants to add a new type of gambling to their activities, they do not need to go through the registration process again, just submit an application and pay all the necessary fees.
We also consider the fact that in 2018 the license period was increased from 5 to 10 years as good news.
What online casino requirements do you need to meet to get an MGA license?
Of course, in order to obtain a license, operators need to prepare a complete package of documents and submit them for verification. Here is the main checking points:
|Fit and proper||The commission, together with international law enforcement agencies, makes a background check of the shareholders and checks their full financial history.|
|Business planning||The business plan is checked taking into account marketing costs, the staffing and description of their qualifications, as well as the mandatory financial forecast.|
|Operational and statutory requirements check||Authorized capital, business structure, reliability of documents on registration of a legal entity.|
|System (technical platform)||Conducted by a certified MGA auditor. The main purpose of the verification is to make sure that the real business is created in accordance with the previously submitted business plan.|
|Compliance||This final check is carried out by an employee of the MGA 90 days after the start of the business, to record the fact that there are no violations.|
“Customer Due Diligens – is one of the main requirements. It entails knowing of your customer, so many procedures need to be followed to understand the risks assosiated with customers and verify the customers identity as a starting point.” – said Tracy Cauchi, the official
representative of the MGA at the last webinar.
How does MGA feel about crypto casinos?
Unfortunately, to date, MGA licenses do not allow operators to accept cryptocurrency casino deposits. Perhaps this will change after the laws on the regulation of cryptocurrencies are adopted in Europe.