Malta Gambling License

Among gambling entrepreneurs, Malta is known as one of the most trusted jurisdictions, providing a regulatory framework for such businesses of gambling as remote gaming, sports betting, amusement games, casino gaming, gaming devices, and various lotteries. The Maltese gambling industry was legalized a centenary ago and since then it has constantly evolved by responding and adapting to the changing needs of the industry and building on the existing know-how. The country offers regulatory clarity, sound business infrastructure, and governmental support, as well as ensures fairness and safety for the market participants.

PACKAGE «COMPANY & GAMBLING LICENSE IN MALTA»

100,000 EUR

Application for a remote gaming license within Malta Gaming Authority

  • Company formation in Malta
  • Assistance in the formation and declaration of the authorized capital of the company
  • Collection and drafting required documentation and application forms
  • Drafting business plan (excluding financial projections)
  • Drafting company’s policies required by Malta Gaming Authority
  • Drafting technical requirement documents
  • Review of online content from a legal perspective
  • General consultation on the license and application
  • Selection of employees for key functions
  • Malta license application state fee (€5,000)

Advantages of Having a Maltese Gambling License

Malta Gambling License

Malta is a free-market economy offering all the benefits of a convenient and respected EU jurisdiction, only with smaller operational costs. If you’re looking for a way to enter the EU market, including the most prosperous countries, bear in mind that Malta’s gaming license grants EU passporting rights allowing licensees to offer gaming services in other jurisdictions of the EEA. It means that you won’t have to establish physical office branches or apply for a new license in every EEA country where you intend to conduct your business. As long as you hold Malta’s gaming license, notifying relevant national financial authorities will suffice which is more cost-effective compared to obtaining a license in more wealthy European jurisdictions.

In Malta, the Gaming Tax is only 5% which is levied on the gaming revenue generated by the operator from the gaming service provided in a year. Gambling entrepreneurs can take advantage of over 70 international agreements on the elimination of double taxation which guarantee that income generated from gambling activities isn’t taxed twice in two different countries. The Withholding Tax in certain cases isn’t imposed on interest, royalties, dividends, and proceeds from liquidation. Although generally companies are subject to Corporate Income Tax at the rate of 35%, non-resident shareholders can receive a refund of most of this tax, which significantly reduces the effective tax rate. Depending on such factors as the type of the company’s income, the tax can be reduced to 0-10%.

Malta’s companies can also take advantage of the exemption from the audit. For instance, a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd) can be exempt from audit if its maximum annual turnover doesn’t exceed 80,000 EUR or a proportional amount if the accounting period is other than 12 months, and the company’s shareholders meet the criteria of qualifying shareholders. Availing of this exemption is relatively easy – a company has to submit an application to the Malta Business Registry (MBR) within 6 months from the end of the accounting period to which the exemption should apply.

Gambling Regulations in Malta

Maltese law uses the term “gaming” to refer to all gambling and gaming activities. Pursuant to the Gaming Definitions Regulations of 2018, gaming is defined as an activity consisting of participating in a game of chance or a game of skill, offering a gaming service, or making a gaming supply. An operator provides a gaming service when it makes a game available to players for direct or indirect and solo or joint participation as an economic activity.

The Maltese gaming industry is mainly regulated by the Malta Gaming Act of 2018, the purpose of which is to ensure that the gaming sector is held in the public interest, as well as promote sustainable gaming, economic growth, innovation, and the development of Malta as a center of excellence and expertise for gaming-related competencies. It also covers such aspects as the gaming authority, audit, protection of minors and other vulnerable people, and responsibilities of players.

The following pieces of subsidiary legislation fall under the Gaming Act of 2018 and accordingly provide regulatory clarity:

  • Gaming Authorisations Regulations
  • Gaming Commercial Communications Regulations
  • Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations
  • The aforementioned Gaming Definitions Regulations
  • Gaming Player Protection Regulations
  • Gaming Premises Regulations
  • Gaming License Fees Regulations
  • Gaming Tax Regulations
  • Social Causes Fund Regulations
  • Retention of Data (MGA) Regulations

Pursuant to the Malta Gaming Act of 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is responsible for the regulation of various sectors of the gaming industry, including land-based and remote gaming sectors. It ensures that licensed gaming operations are fair and transparent to all players, prevents crime, and corruption, detects money laundering and terrorist financing and protects vulnerable society members.

The MGA conducts, inter alia, the following regulatory activities:

  • Keep under review all regulated practices and operations, as well as the performance of the gaming sector
  • Provide the relevant information and guidance to the public
  • Ensure that gaming services are advertised fairly and responsibly
  • Receive and investigate complaints by players and assist and promote timely, fair, and competent resolution of disputes between players or players and operators
  • Request, collect, compile, and maintain records of all relevant data
  • Ensure that the persons conducting gaming business are fit and proper and suitable to carry out their functions
  • Grant any license,  approval,  recognition, or other authorization for gaming business activities
  • Prevent, detect, and ensure the prosecution of any offense against the regulations

In line with the responsible gaming objectives of the Gaming Player Protection Regulations, a gaming operator must provide sufficient evidence to the MGA to show that the following objectives are being satisfied according to the means specified by the MGA:

  • Proper controls, policies, and procedures must be in place to prevent gaming by minors
  • Proper controls, policies, and procedures must be in place to protect vulnerable persons
  • The interests of all players must be adequately safeguarded and players must be provided with information on any resources they may have if they feel aggrieved by a decision of the authorized person
  • All information relevant to the gaming service must be readily available to players
  • Information related to responsible gaming must be readily available to players
  • Tools must be  readily  available to empower players or any other persons to control their use of gaming services and to safeguard themselves from the effects of problem gaming
  • Marketing and advertising activities of the gaming service are fair and in accordance with the Gaming Commercial Communications Regulations and any other applicable regulatory instrument or law

Most gaming operators looking to be licensed in Malta must also take note of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 1994 and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations of 2018 as they’re required to create internal policies and take other measures to combat and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. The rules include know-your-customer (KYC) policies, reporting suspicious activities, and performing a business risk assessment. The MGA is responsible for collecting, processing, and analyzing relevant data required to enforce the regulations.Malta Gaming Authority – licensee register

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Malta

capital

Capital

population

Population

currency

Currency

gdp

GDP

 Valletta 519,562  EUR $32,912

Types of Malta Gambling Licenses

A gaming license is required whenever a Maltese or EU/EEA company intends to offer a gaming service from Malta, to a Maltese person or through a Maltese legal entity. The MGA is responsible for the issuance and renewal of Malta’s gaming licenses.

Malta’s gaming licenses are categorized as follows:

  • Gaming Service license
    • A business-to-consumer (B2C) license to offer or carry out a gaming service
  • Critical Gaming Supply license
    • A business-to-business (B2B) license to supply and manage the material elements of a game
    • A business-to-business (B2B) license to supply and manage the software, whether as a standalone or as part of a system, to generate, capture, control, or otherwise process any essential regulatory record and/or the supply and management of the control system itself on which such software resides

Pursuant to the Gaming Definitions Regulations of 2018, the term “critical gaming supply” or “critical supply” is defined as a material supply that is indispensable in determining the outcome of a game or games forming part of the gaming service, and/or an indispensable component in the processing and/or management of essential regulatory data.

B2C and B2B licenses have the following types:

  • Type 1 – games of chance played against the house with the outcome determined by a random number generator (RNG); it includes casinos, slots, scratch cards, lotteries, secondary lotteries, and virtual games
  • Type 2 – games of chance played against the house through a Matchbook, including fixed-odds betting
  • Type 3 – games played in a peer-to-peer manner (player vs. player) which include poker, betting exchanges, and bingo
  • Type 4 – controlled skill games, including fantasy sports betting

In order for a game to be licensable in accordance with the above-described framework, the following criteria need to be met:

  • A stake to enable participation
  • The predominance of chance
  • A prize of money or money’s worth

GAMBLING LICENSE IN MALTA

Period for consideration
7–12 months Annual fee for supervision 10,000 – 25,000 €
State fee for application
5,000 €
Local staff member Required
Required share capital 40,000 – 240,000 € Physical office Required
Corporate income tax 5 % Accounting audit Required

Blocked zones for Malta

Afghanistan, Algeria, American Samoa, Angola, Australia, China, Ethiopia, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Malaysia, Morocco, Syria, Tunisia, Turkey, USA

Red zones for Malta

Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Christmas Island, Croatia, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Gibraltar, Greece, Ireland, Isle of Man, Italy, Jersey, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, Curacao

Annual License Fees

According to the Gaming License Fees Regulations, all licensees are obligated to pay the compliance contribution, payable for each and every license period, and the non-refundable fixed annual license fee, payable in advance for the 12 running months following the issuance of the license and every anniversary, throughout the duration of the license.

The annual license fees are payable in advance and non-refundable, and sometimes vary depending on the license type:

  • Gaming Service license
    • Type 1-3 – 25,000 EUR
    • Type 4 – 10,000 EUR
  • Critical Gaming Supply license
    • Operators supplying and managing the material elements of a game
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 5 mill. EUR – 25,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 10 mill. EUR – 30,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue exceeds 10 mill. EUR – 35,000 EUR
      • If the company has a Type 4 license – 10,000 EUR, irrespective of the annual revenue
    • Businesses supplying and managing software to process regulatory records, etc.
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 1 mill. EUR – 3,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue exceeds 1 mill. EUR – 5,000 EUR

How to Establish a Gambling Company in Malta

Before applying for a gaming license in Malta, you should first open a local company. The incorporation process of a Maltese company is relatively quick, provided that all the required information and documents are in place. One of the most common legal structures of a business in Malta is a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd). You can register a new company within 3 months and even entrust the process to an attorney by signing a power of attorney if you don’t wish to travel to Malta.

Requirements for a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd):

  • Its name must end with the words “Private Limited Company” or the word “Limited” or its abbreviation “Ltd”
  • At least one company director
  • A company secretary
  • 1-50 shareholders who don’t have to be local residents of Malta
  • The possession of the minimum authorized capital as per gaming regulations
  • A local registered office address

To establish a new company in Malta, you should take the following steps:

  • Verify and reserve a unique and compliant company name (valid for 3 months)
  • Find office space in Malta and obtain a legal address where the Maltese authorities will deliver legal documents
  • Hire a company director, secretary, and an AML officer
  • Open a local bank account
  • Transfer minimum share capital required for your type of gaming activities
  • Pay company registration fees (245-1,750 EUR depending on the value of authorized share capital)
  • Submit an application for company registration along with the required documents to the MBR
  • Obtain a certificate of registration from the MBR
  • Register the company with the Commissioner for Revenue (CFR) for tax purposes

Ensure that you have the following documents prepared for submission:

  • A Memorandum of Association
  • Articles of Association
  • Notarized photocopies of the passports of shareholders and directors
  • Form BO1 contains details of the identification of the company’s beneficial owners
  • Proof of locally registered office address
  • Proof of transferred share capital

Advantages

Reputation as a reliable gambling jurisdiction

Over 70 international agreements on the elimination of double taxation

4 types of different gambling licences

Possibility to apply fully online

Requirements for License Applicants

Malta Gambling License Malta’s gaming licensing framework is based on the principle of an open window, which means that the number of licenses that can be granted by the authority is unlimited, and gaming operators can apply for a license at any time (except for the National Lottery license). Only legal persons established in Malta or the EU/EEA with all business operations and, where applicable, game servers located in Malta can apply for and hold a gaming license granted by the MGA.

If the applicant is a corporate body, it can apply for a license either for oneself only or for its corporate group. In the case of applying on behalf of a group, all references in the relevant regulations to an applicant refer to each and all members of the corporate group, and when such license is granted, each member of the corporate group and all of them jointly and severally are considered a licensee. Companies having or applying on behalf of a group are required to have the minimum share capital in any one of the entities forming part of the licensee.

A licensee must possess the following minimum share capital when registering a gaming company:

  • Gaming Service license
    • Type 1 and Type 2 – at least 100,000 EUR
    • Type 3 and Type 4 – at least 40,000 EUR
  • Critical Gaming Supply license – at least 40,000 EUR
  • Companies with multiple types of licenses are required to meet the above share capital requirements cumulatively, the cap of which is 240,000 EUR

Gaming Service licensees offering Type 1, 2, and 3 games are obligated to meet the AML/CFT requirements which stipulate the following rules:

  • Appointing an AML officer who is approved by the MGA through the holding of a Key Function Holder (AML) license and is also approved by and registered with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU)
  • Creating internal AML/CFT procedures and policies to detect and report activities related to money laundering and terrorist financing
  • Creating customer-due-diligence (CDD) and know-your-customer (KYC) procedures

Gaming license applicants are required to prepare the following documents:

  • Incorporation documents
  • Notarized copies of passports for all owners
  • A criminal record certificate (no more than 3 months old)
  • Proof of the passed Fit and Proper Test
  • Original bank references of all shareholders (no more than 3 months old)
  • A detailed business plan
  • A compliance and software audit
  • Details of all gaming software used
  • Third-party agreements

The Process of Applying for a Gambling License in Malta

Applications for a gaming license can be submitted through the MGA’s Licensee Portal, by selecting the New License Application option. Applicants can apply by logging into the Portal and following the process steps. The Portal provides a timeline that allows users to follow the status of their requests in real-time, ensuring efficiency and transparency. The entire process can take 7-12 months, depending on the quality of the application. Any incomplete applications are set to a one-time ‘incomplete’ status for 60 days. If a complete application isn’t re-submitted within this period, the authority rejects and closes the application off.

The key milestones of the application process are the following:

  • The applicant completes the Fitness and Properness Test and AML due-diligence procedures
  • The applicant pays a one-time non-refundable license application fee which is 5,000 EUR for all types of licenses
  • The applicant uploads all the relevant documents to the MGA’s Licensee Portal
  • Gaming license applications are immediately assigned to the Authorisations team, and the applicant receives an official confirmation email acknowledging the receipt of the application
  • The applicant is invited to hold a systems audit in a staged environment, whereby the actual games that would be offered and the entire technical setup is audited by an independent auditor, selected by the applicant and approved by the MGA
  • Once a positive audit report is submitted to the MGA, the authority issues the awaited gaming license

Following the issuance of the new license, licensees are given 60 days to start operating. Regardless of the start date of operations, license fees, compliance contributions, and Gaming Tax are due from the date of issuance of the license. To start operating, the licensee has to submit a Declaration of Go-Live application at least 2 days prior to the go-live date indicated in the declaration. The application can be found in the Licensee Portal.

Regulated United Europe will be delighted to support you in incorporating a company and obtaining a gaming, or gambling, license in Malta. With dedicated legal advisors, tax experts, and financial accountants at your side, you will find the incorporation and application processes easy, frictionless, and transparent.

Also, lawyers from Regulated United Europe provide legal services for obtaining a crypto license in Europe.

Diana

“Malta is recognized as a trustworthy location known for its secure commercial landscape, political steadiness, and favourable tax rates. Contact me and I will assist you in establishing your business in Malta.”

Diana Pärnaluik

SENIOR ASSOCIATE

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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Yes, gambling activities are licensed in Malta. With a well-established regulatory network in place, Malta is one of the most trusted jurisdictions for online gambling licensing and regulation. Business activities of license holders include remote gaming, sports betting, amusement games, casino gaming, gaming devices, and various lotteries.

To obtain a gambling license in Malta, applicants must complete the following steps:

  • Establish a Maltese company and fulfill certain requirements (having a registered office, appointing directors, providing a business plan etc.);
  •  Complete the Fitness and Properness Test and AML due-diligence procedures;
  •  Pay a one-time non-refundable license application fee of 5,000 EUR (the same amount applies for all types of licenses);
  •  Upload all the relevant documents to the MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) portal;
  •  Hold a systems audit in a staged environment with an independent auditor.

After completing the evaluation process, the MGA makes a decision on the license application. If approved, the applicant is granted a gambling license.

Malta's gambling license allows operators to legally conduct online gambling activities in accordance with the regulations set by the MGA. The license grants authorization to operate various types of online gambling, such as casino games, sports betting, poker, and others. It ensures that the operators adhere to strict standards of player protection, fair gaming, and anti-money laundering measures.

The entire process is expected to take 7-12 months, depending on the quality of the application. Any incomplete applications are set to a one-time ‘incomplete’ status for 60 days. If a complete application isn’t re-submitted within this period, the authority rejects and closes the application off.

Opening a bank account is one of the steps applicants need to complete to obtain a gambling license in Malta. This action must be completed whilst establishing a company in Malta.

As long as gambling license holders adhere to the regulations and account for their activities within the scope required by the MGA, their license doesn’t have validity restrictions. However, all license holders must pay a fixed, non-refundable annual license fee, payable in advance for the 12 running months following the issuance of the license and every anniversary, throughout the duration of the license.

Some of the key benefits of choosing Malta for a gambling license are:

  • Reputation. Malta is a well-respected jurisdiction in the online gambling industry, known for its robust regulatory framework and high standards of player protection.
  • Access to EU Market. A license from Malta allows operators to access the European Union market and operate in multiple jurisdictions within the EU.
  • Taxation. Malta offers favourable tax rates for licensed operators, including a low corporate tax rate and the possibility of tax refunds for certain qualifying companies.
  • Regulatory Support. The Malta Gaming Authority provides ongoing support and guidance to license holders, assisting them with compliance and actively tackling regulatory issues.

Strict regulatory requirements and thorough evaluation process are some of the main obstacles for most applicants as they’re expected to demonstrate financial stability, integrity, and compliance with all applicable regulations. The MGA's due diligence process is rigorous and raises high standards for player protection and anti-money laundering measures, too.

That said, for reputable operators who are willing to invest the necessary resources, the benefits of obtaining a Malta gambling license can outweigh the difficulties.

Yes. One of the most common legal structures for gambling businesses in Malta is a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd). In order to establish this type of company, 1-50 shareholders are needed – all of which can be non-residents.

Yes. However, Malta’s companies can also take advantage of an exemption from the audit. For instance, a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd) can be exempt from audit if its maximum annual turnover doesn’t exceed 80,000 EUR or a proportional amount if the accounting period is other than 12 months, and the company’s shareholders meet the criteria of qualifying shareholders.

Yes, a gambling services company in Malta can have a non-resident director. However, it is important to note that certain requirements and obligations must be met by the company and its directors to comply with the regulations set by the MGA.

Yes. The MGA ensures that licensed gaming operations are fair and transparent to all players, prevents crime and corruption, and detects money laundering and terrorist financing.

Most gaming operators looking to be licensed in Malta must also take note of the Prevention of Money Laundering Act of 1994 and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations of 2018 as they’re required to create internal policies and take other measures to combat and prevent money laundering and terrorist financing.

One of the most common legal structures of a business in Malta is a Private Limited Liability Company (Ltd). Within this company structure, at least one director is required.

The amount of authorized capital depends on the class of gambling license, i.e. the gambling activities a company is conducting.

For a Class 1 license (remote gaming license), the applicant is required to have a minimum issued and fully paid-up share capital of €100,000.

For a Class 2 license (remote betting office license), the applicant should have a minimum issued and fully paid-up share capital of €100,000.

For a Class 3 license (promotion and abetment of gaming from Malta), the applicant must have a minimum issued and fully paid-up share capital of €40,000.

For a Class 4 license (hosting and managing other remote gaming operators), the applicant must have a minimum issued and fully paid-up share capital of €40,000.

Companies holding a gambling license in Malta must pay the following taxes:

  1. Corporate Income Tax (CIT)
  2. Gaming Tax
  3. Value Added Tax (VAT)
  4. Other taxes and fees: annual license fee, registration fees, administrative charges, social contributions etc.

Annual fees strictly depend on the type of license that a company holds.

  • Gaming Service license
    • Type 1-3 – 25,000 EUR
    • Type 4 – 10,000 EUR
  • Critical Gaming Supply license
    • Operators supplying and managing the material elements of a game
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 5 mill. EUR – 25,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 10 mill. EUR – 30,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue exceeds 10 mill. EUR – 35,000 EUR
      • If the company has a Type 4 license – 10,000 EUR, irrespective of the annual revenue
      • Businesses supplying and managing software to process regulatory records, etc.
      • If the company’s annual revenue doesn’t exceed 1 mill. EUR – 3,000 EUR
      • If the company’s annual revenue exceeds 1 mill. EUR – 5,000 EUR

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