The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the gaming control board of Malta, and it regulates most types of gambling that take place in Malta.
Formally known as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, the MGA oversees land-based and online gambling, and it’s one of the most well-respected gambling regulators in the world.
Known for taking a firm approach towards responsible gambling, the MGA is one of the world’s largest online gambling regulators, and in this post we’re going to look at what the Authority does, how it works, and what their complaints procedure looks like.
About The Malta Gaming Authority
The MGA was established in 2001, to oversee the various forms of gambling that take place in Malta. All operators that wish to offer services to Maltese players, or who want to base their business in Malta must hold a license from the MGA. The Authority has a few core aims, which include:
- Protecting minors and vulnerable persons;
- Safeguarding players’ rights;
- Promoting responsible gambling, which takes place in a safe environment;
- Making sure the games are fair;
- Ensuring gambling remains free from crime.
The MGA is known for its high levels of transparency as well, and they regularly publish reports on their website, so players and operators have an idea of how they function, and what decisions they make.
There are six parts of the MGA, and they are formed of the following entities:
- Non Executive Board of Directions: their main responsibility is to oversee and guide the strategic development of the Authority, and they work hard to make sure that policies and objectives are met. The Non Executive Board of Directors is also responsible for developing new policies, as well as risk management strategies.
- CEO: the CEO of the MGA (who, at the time of writing, is Heathcliff Farrugia) is responsible for the overall performance, strategy, and execution of the MGA’s core functions.
- Executive Management Committee: this department reports directly to the CEO, and carries out the major functions of the MGA.
- Audit Committee: the Audit Committee assists the Board of Directors, and they oversee everything from risk management, oversight of auditing and accounting issues, and they also deal with internal controls.
- Supervisory Council: the Supervisory Council reviews the regulatory objectives of the MGA. They make sure that the MGA is working towards its goals, and they provide guidance to other departments in the Authority, particularly where regulator issues and strategic regulations are concerned.
- Fit and Proper Committee: the Fit and Proper Committee deals with the operators directly. They assess an operator’s eligibility to become a license holder, and ensure that licensees are adhering to the terms of their licenses.
Operators who wish to receive a license from the MGA must undergo a thorough vetting process, and this is designed to ensure only the best operators become licensed. All potential license holders must be established within the European Economic Area, and all key persons involved with the operation must be named.
In order to receive a license, the MGA must be satisfied that:
- Operator’s are capable of running a sustainable gambling business;
- The operator has a valid business model;
- The operator will comply with all regulatory requirements associated with the type of license they’re applying for.
There are two main licenses which the MGA issues, and these are a B2B Critical Supply License, and a B2C Gaming Service License. The MGA also issues permits, which are a one-off type of license, designed to be used for single events.
The B2C Gaming Service License is the type of license that online casinos need to hold, and this license carries a wide variety of terms and conditions. Like most regulators, the MGA requires all games to be tested by a 3rd-party testing house to ensure their fairness. An operator’s hosting services must also be housed with a reputable company to ensure their reliability and security.
Operators must also have rigorous responsible gambling measures in place, both the protect undderage gamblers, and those with gambling problems. Operators should offer players a range of tools to help players manage their gambling, and this includes setting limits, and the ability to close accounts/request self-exclusion. Licensees are continually monitors, and the MGA are unafraid to take action against any operator who is found not to be meeting their license conditions. This ‘action’ can be delivered in the form of a warning, a financial penalty, or the revocation of a license.
Top MGA Licensed Casinos
Some of the world’s biggest and most popular online gambling brands hold a license from the MGA. You can view our recommended casinos which hold an MGA license below:
How To Check If a License is Valid
All operators who receive a license from the MGA must list details of their license on their website. A seal must also be displayed (usually in the footer area of the website), which links directly to the MGA’s website.
To allow players to check themselves whether a site is licensed, the MGA maintain an up-to-date list of licensees. This can be found here.
The Authority also maintain a list of unauthorised URLs – and this is designed to show players sites which are unlicensed, even when they claim to be. The Unauthorized URLs list is found here.
MGA Complaints Procedure
The MGA is known for being one of the most player-friendly gambling regulators in the world, and they actively accept and investigate player complaints. If you have a complaint against an operator licensed by the MGA, in the first instance, you need to try and resolve the dispute directly with the operator in question.
If you are unable to do so, you can lodge a formal complaint with the MGA from their Online Gaming Support page. Once the Authority has received your complaint, they may request identification from you, along with additional details. They will then investigate your complaint, and you will be notified once they have reached a decision.
Malta Gaming Authority Contact Details
Address: Building SCM 02-03, Level 4, SmartCity Malta, Ricasoli SCM1001, Malta
Phone: +356 2546 9000
Email: [email protected]