Online Gaming and Affiliates
Malta is home to a flourishing remote gaming industry, having one of the World`s leading I-Gaming jurisdictions, which safeguards the interests of both operators and players. Over 250 registered online gaming companies on the Maltese Islands, more than 500 licenses issued and a strong Maltese and international workforce of around 8,000 professionals are a proof of the industry´s success.
Malta's Pros for iGaming
Besides a reputable legal framework, further advantages of choosing Malta as a gaming destination are a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure, an efficient license process at moderate cost, trustworthy financial services institutions, an attractive EU-approved refundable tax credit system under Maltese law and last but not least a stable political climate.
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
All gaming operators carrying out the below mentioned activities must be licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) according to the Remote Gaming Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 438.04), first introduced in 2004.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the single, independent, regulatory body responsible for the governance of all gaming activities in Malta, both online and land-based.
Malta Gaming Licenses
The remote gaming sector is the most dynamic and the fastest growing gaming sector in Malta, which is regulated under the provisions of the Remote Gaming Regulations.
The Remote Gaming Regulations establish 4 classes of Remote Gaming Licenses, being:
- Class 1 – Casino: Organisers managing their own risk on repetitive games (casino type games, online lotteries, other games of chance)
- Class 2 – Sports: Organisers managing their own risk by offering bets on events based on a matchbook (e.g. fixed-odds betting and spread betting)
- Class 3 – Poker: Operators taking a commission from promoting betting games, such as poker networks, betting exchanges, game portals and other pool and Player to Player (P2P) games
- Class 4 – Software Platforms: B2B operators that provide management and hosting facilities on their gaming platform to other B2C operators, excluding the licensee himself.
The Remote Gaming Application Process
The application process has been streamlined into one single stage by MGA. Thus the applicant can submit all the required information at one go.
- 1. Fit and Proper: Whether an applicant is fit and proper to conduct gaming business.
- 2. Business Planing: Whether an applicant is correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective.
- 3. Operational & Statutory Requirements: Whether an applicant meets the operational and statutory requirements and obligations prescribed by law and policy. This includes among others the minimum issued and paid-up share capital, which amounts for:
- Class 1 and 2: to Euro 100,000
- Class 3 and 4: to Euro 40,000
- 4. System Preview: Whether an applicant has correctly implemented and tested, on a technical environment, what has been applied for, before going live.
On successful completion of the process, the MGA issues a five year licence.
At post-application stage, after going live with his remote gaming application the licensee has to undergo a number of compliance audits, which are performed by independent third party gaming professionals contracted by the MGA.
Specific MGA Compliance Requirements
We at Kresse International ensure the client meets further specific MGA requirements. Those include:
At pre-application stage our competent gaming team at Kresse International will ensure that the client’s application has been correctly developed and all necessary preconditions are met.
At application stage, the MGA assesses the following:
- Key Official: The necessity to appoint a key official as the liaison person between the Authority and the licensee, who must be a director of the company and readily available in Malta. We ensure the provision of a professional key official with a decade of experience and working with MGA at all levels.
- MLRO: the necessity to have a Money Laundering Reporting Officer and to comply with the AML Procedures (Anti Money Laundering).
- Fraud Management Procedures
- Pay out Management Procedures
- KYC: Know Your Client Requests
Gaming taxes in Malta are moderate. Please view the following overview:
|Class 1 Licence||€4,660||Per Month for the first 6 months|
|€7,000||Per Month for the entire duration of the licence|
|Class 1 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of a Class 4
Remote Gaming Licence (Class 1 on 4)
|€1,200||Per Month for the entire duration of the licence|
|Class 2 Licence||0.5%||Of the gross amount of bets accepted in remote betting operations|
|Class 2 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of a Class 4
Remote Gaming Licence (Class 2 on 4)
|0.5%||Of the gross amount of bets accepted in remote betting operations|
|Class 3 Licence||5%||Of real income|
|Class 3 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of a Class 4
Remote Gaming Licence (Class 3 on 4)
|5%||Of real income|
|Class 4 Licence hosting and managing other remote gaming operators||Nil||For the first 6 months|
|€2,330||Per Month for the subsequent 6 months|
|€4,660||Per Month thereafter for the entire duration of the licence|
|Class 4 licensee hosting and managing an operator which is not in possession
of the relevant Class 1, 2 or 3 licence in terms of the regulations, however hosting
an EEA licensed Business to Consumer operator
|€1,165||Per Month per operator, paid by the Class 4 Licensee|
|Remote Gaming Tax Capping per licensee per remote gaming licence||€466,000||Per Annum|
Affiliate Marketing Companies in Online Gaming
Affiliate marketing companies, offering an affiliate program in the online gaming sector, are generally free in their commercial activities in and from Malta and do not need an MGA license. But, it is vital to make sure that such activities do not penetrate into the regulated sector of online gaming which is defined in the Remote Gaming Regulations.
We at Kresse International advise our clients how to avoid conflicts with the Regulations, or, if necessary, how to apply for the relevant remote gaming licence category with MGA.
Dr. Kresse International Law Firm and KME Consulting
We at Kresse International and KME provide our gaming clients with a comprehensive range of legal and corporate services, including:
- Guidance through the complete remote gaming license process from pre-application to post-application stage
- Compliance with all license conditions and specific further MGA requirements
- Corporate services, such as company set-up, opening of bank accounts, directorship and company secretary services, accounts, tax and audit support