The Malta Independent 11 August 2022, Thursday

Malta's relationship with gambling

Thursday, 19 August 2021, 08:00 Last update: about 13 months ago

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The Malta Gaming Authority acts in a similar way as any other national gambling regulator, by overseeing the activity of licensed casinos and gambling websites since 2001. Its stated goal is to ensure that gamblers are able to access safe and regulated playing options while protecting vulnerable members of society and preventing the financial crimes that are often associated with bookmaking. 

Malta may be a small country, but it has led the way when it comes to regulating online gambling, leaving many other, bigger countries trailing behind. Gambling laws are already an area where legislation varies significantly between countries, with some countries and states attempting to ban all forms of gambling completely and others embracing the opportunity to support a thriving industry. 

Since 2001, when the Malta Gaming Authority was launched, the gambling industry in Malta has experienced significant growth, in part due to the reputation they have established throughout the world for their gaming laws. The last 20 years have been a successful period for the Maltese government as they have carved out a niche for themselves as a world leader in the gambling sector. 

A Malta Gaming License – the golden ticket  

Throughout the world, gaming and gambling operators recognise the business opportunities and other benefits that are available to those who operate under a Malta Gaming License. Online operations are clamouring to get themselves a license that will mark them out as leaders in their field and provide them with a range of perks to aid their success. 

The process of obtaining a Malta Gaming License is hugely complex, requires a lot of paperwork and can be expensive. Applicants may have to wait months to hear from the Malta Gaming Authority and may even be called to meet with them in person before their application is processed. 

So why are there queues of companies waiting to put themselves through this gruelling process simply to have a license issued by one of the smallest countries in the world? For established organisations, the benefits that the license offers far outweigh the inconvenience and cost of applying. 

Operators that want to establish themselves as serious contenders in the world of online gambling often apply for a Malta Gaming License. In fact, many UK online casino operators make the most of Malta’s excellent reputation in this field. 

The benefits of operating out of Malta 

Operators with a Malta Gaming License are in a better position to open bank accounts, enter into agreements with thirds parties under Maltese jurisdiction and foster working relationships with international clients. The stringency of the application process also infers a degree of prestige to businesses that hold a license as it demonstrates an understanding of and a willingness to work within EU rules and regulations. 

The Malta Gaming Authority also conducts a number of safety and security checks on all applicants, so other businesses can be confident that any organisation that holds a Malta Gaming License has been thoroughly vetted and found to be operating in accordance with all relevant legislation. This makes an operator much more appealing when it comes to forming business partnerships and working together on high-value contracts. 

Malta is one of the few jurisdictions that has embraced the advent of online gaming wholeheartedly, making it a very appealing place for iGaming providers to launch. Malta has a multicultural and multilingual workforce that can offer support in a range of online gaming sectors such as affiliate marketing, data management, online advertising, and software and hardware providers. 

A site that displays the logo of the Malta Gaming License will also enjoy player confidence and trust. This is vital, particularly when trying to attract new customers, as players want to be sure that their stakes are safe and their payouts guaranteed. 

With well-regulated gambling, everybody wins

Many offline operators have launched their own websites over the last few years and customers have responded favourably to familiar brands. But with so many new games being developed every day, it’s important that players can see at a glance whether a site is reputable or not. 

The UK’s gambling industry is proof that customer confidence is high, as the number of players is increasing. The online gaming sector accounted for more than 52% of the income generated by gambling in 2020 alone. Online casino games make up the majority of that total, suggesting that players are confident that casino sites are safe and secure. 

By contrast, non-remote betting was only the third largest sector in terms of the income generated. As in Malta, where iGaming contributes nearly 15% of the country’s economy, the appeal of online gambling has been so strong that traditional casinos are taking a back seat.

With reports suggesting that the online gambling market is going to continue to grow over the next few years, Malta’s early adoption of stringent regulation appears to have been an incredibly wise move. It has boosted their economy and provided online gaming providers with a strong and clear framework in which to expand. 

The high standards put in place by Malta’s Gaming Authority don’t just offer benefits to the operators that acquire a license. Players around the world benefit from the rigorous security measures in place, law enforcement agencies benefit from their anti-money-laundering measures and governments benefit from the tax revenue generated by the gambling sector.

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