When European iGaming licenses are mentioned, Malta is generally one of the first jurisdictions – if not indeed the very first, that comes to mind. After all, the jurisdiction has been offering gaming licenses for a long time and was one of the first jurisdictions to do so, not only in Europe but in the entire world. This trailblazing jurisdiction is still one of the most advantageous options out there, for several reasons.
Advantages of a Maltese Gaming License
Some of the most prominent and most often mentioned pros of a Maltese gaming license are:
- The low gaming tax in the jurisdiction;
- Higher level of both economical and political stability than in many other jurisdictions;
- The license has an excellent reputation worldwide;
- Excellent infrastructure of reliable, high level service providers, telecom, IT and English speaking/multilingual workforce, as well as many gaming industry specialists already living in Malta;
- Malta is a member of the European Union, meaning the services provided can be offered to clients all over the EU without restriction.
- Malta is party to a large number of double taxation treaties.
- The country also boasts an advanced technical capability as a whole, being at the forefront of fintech legislation and blockchain legislation as well, as well as relatively low labor costs for the local workforce.
List of requirements for a Maltese Gaming License
The requirements for a gaming license in Malta are defined by the regulator, the Malta Gaming Authority. THere are 2 different classes of gaming licenses in Malta: the Critical Gaming Supply License (or the B2B License), which is a business-to-business license, and a Gaming Service license, which is a business-to-consumer license, for which the games offered are divided into 4 different types. The types are:
- Type 1: Games of chance that are played against the house, where the outcome is determined by a random generator, for example roulette, blackjack, baccarat etc.
- Type 2: Games of chance that are played against the house where the outcome is not generated randomly, but determined by the result of an event, where the operator is able to manage his own risk by managing the odds that the player is offered.
- Type 3: Games of chance that are not played against the house, and thus the operator is not exposed to a risk, but instead generates income by taking a commission or fee based on the stakes of the prize. Includes played player against player. For example poker, bingo and betting exchanges.
- Type 4: Controlled skill games.
Depending on the type of games offered, the required minimum issued and paid up share capital requirements vary.
The minimum for games of type 1 and 2 is €100,000 and the minimum for games type 3 and 4 is €40,000. In cases where multiple types of games are offered, the cumulative share capital requirements will be a minimum of €240,000.
In addition, all directors, officers and owners of the license-seeking company have to undergo a suitability assessment, known as a ‘Fit and Proper test’, which includes information from both national and international regulatory bodies and enforcement agencies, as well as bank references and notarized copies of passports belonging to all owners or applicants.
During the application process, an in-depth financial analysis of the company’s business plan is also conducted, and various corporate documents, such as policies and procedures, game rules, terms and conditions etc. will be examined. A compliance and software audit is also performed.
A registered office in Malta is required for the company to be eligible for the license, as is at least one director and a company secretary.
Worth knowing about the license
The license is issued for 5 years at a time, and regular compliance reviews of the operation, performed by independent 3rd parties chosen by the regulator (at the license holders expense) are required during this time. Should the license holder fail to meet these requirements for a compliance review, the license may be suspended or terminated ahead of time.
Due to the complexity of the licensing procedure and the relatively high costs for the license we generally recommend a Maltese gaming license for larger and more established gaming companies, rather than entrepreneurs.
How ClearSky Network can help those interested in a Maltese Gaming License
The ClearSky Network team has years of experience with Maltese gaming licenses, the regulator issuing them and the entire licensing procedure. We have an excellent network in Malta, and as a result we are able to assist not only with incorporating companies in Malta and everything required to obtain a gaming license there, but also with everything you may need for your company afterwards.
Some popular services, often required by Maltese gaming license holders, include:
- Introductory services to banks and payment providers;
- Introductory services to other service providers;
- Commercial advice and consulting;
- Consulting related to commercial transactions, M&As etc.;
- Key function services;
- Auditing and compliance consulting;
- Due diligence.
Contact us today to start your journey towards a licensed Maltese gaming company.