Malta, a small country part of the European Union, as well as the British Commonwealth, is well-known for housing a huge number of gambling companies, due to its lucrative tax-breaks for gambling companies, and the ease of setting up operations. While the Maltese Government has come under criticism for allowing so many casinos to operate from their territory, the industry is strictly regulated by country’s main regulator, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, and this ensures Maltese casinos offering players around the world online casino games are fair, honest and legal.
About the Lotteries and Gaming Authority
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority is the main regulatory body that issues licenses to online casinos operating out of Malta, and the organization has built a strong reputation for itself by rigorously auditing all new license-applications, to ensure laws are abided by. The Authority was founded after Malta passed the Lotteries and Other Games Act of 2001, and today, the regulator offers four types of gaming license, depending on the activities offered by the website in question.
Licenses awarded by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority last for five years, unless explicitly agreed otherwise, and continual checks are undertaken by the Authority to ensure its licensees are sticking to the license agreements. This includes, notably, aspects like Responsible Gambling, secure protection of player data, as well as operating within the legal scope of any countries where the casino site accepts players.
Casinos Regulated by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority
Today, there are over 500 online casinos with a Lotteries and Gaming Authority license, and some of the larger online casinos awarded a Maltese license include: Royal Panda, Best Casino, Mr. Smith Casino, Thrills Casino, Vera & John, LeoVegas, Next Casino and Comeon Casino.
Rules, Regulations, and Provisos of a Lotteries and Gaming Authority License
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority instil two regulations to their licensees, which include the Remote Gaming Regulations Act, as well as the Rate of Taxation on takings generated by junket regulations. The rules within the regulations are fairly standard, and include topics such as Responsible Gambling, licensing of staff, prevention of money laundering, as well as a comprehensive list of authorised technology – notably software providers and games.
Some key parts of the licensing agreement state:
The Maltese regulator is also strict on casinos who renew their licenses each year and ensure that all license holders are regularly reviewed to ensure they maintain the high standards the Authority expect. This is shown in their ‘cancellation warning’ message on their website.
You can view a full list of the requirements the Lotteries and Gaming Authority preside over new casinos here.
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority make is very easy for players to submit any complaints, either with casino operators, software providers, or individual casinos themselves and the first point-of-action is for players who wish to submit a complaint is here. This form asks a few personal details and takes the core of the complaint, after which a representative of the Authority will be in touch to discuss the complaint in further detail, and escalate it where necessary.
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority do ask that players use all other avenues available first before contacting them, and this generally means players should work their way up the hierarchy of the casino’s support team first.
Checking a License is Valid
Much like the UK Gambling Commission, casinos who hold a Lotteries and Gaming Authority license must make clear on their homepage they hold a valid license, and this includes linking directly to the Lotteries and Gaming Authority website. If in doubt, you can check the status of a casino for yourself simply by heading to the main website of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and using the ‘lookup a license’ function.
Contacting the Lotteries and Gaming Authority is relatively easy and you can find their contact details, alongside working hours below:
- Address: Building SCM 02-03, Level 4, SmartCity Malta, Ricasoli SCM1001, Malta
- Email: Via webform on website
- Live Chat: Support staff are on-hand using the ‘chat now’ function on any webpage on the official site during office hours.
- Telephone: +356 2546 9000
- Opening Hours: 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (excluding public holidays)