The Maltese gaming licence is the most common one for Canadian online casinos, and perhaps the safest. The reason the Malta Gaming Authority – MGA – is the preferred licence to obtain for most casinos, is because this tiny Mediterranean island is the biggest iGaming hub in Europe. It is here that most of the big online casino companies have their headquarters, and the same goes for a lot of game providers. Another reason is that the MGA is one of the few gaming authorities that not only issues a licence for providing gambling products in Malta, but also from Malta. That way a casino can use this licence to offer real money gameplay to all other countries within the EU and EEA that are considered unregulated, meaning they don't have to have their own gaming licence to offer to casinos based abroad. A lot of the casinos also use this same licence for their other markets all over the world, including Canada.
Until recently Malta Gaming Authority offered four different types of licences for online casinos. The particular licence that the casino needed to get depended on what types of games they wanted to offer. This got a bit complicated, because of so much innovation with different types of games, and how they were offered, so now it's down to only two different types of licences. A casino can now hold either a license to offer casino games or sports betting, or both.
The objective for every gaming licence is to regulate the casino industry, that is, to make sure they behave and operate as they should. This is done not only by setting out the rules for what a casino can and cannot do but also by actually monitoring that all casinos follow the rules and regulations. The MGA is well known for doing thorough controls of their license holders, and these can be both scheduled and unscheduled.
Some of the rules a casino has to follow are not set by the gaming authority, but rather by local laws or directives such as the ones issued by the EU. However, one of the rules featured in the MGA licence is that a casino has to follow the applicable laws of the jurisdiction they are in, which would be Malta and the EU. This is why the MGA can control everything from the marketing to players KYC documents.
Even if they are supposed to check and regulate "everything", there are always some areas the gaming authorities are extra thorough and strict about, and for the MGA, that is Responsible Gaming, Anti Money Laundering and Fair Gameplay.
Over the past few years, responsible gaming has become a big thing in iGaming. To combat the ever-growing problem of gambling addiction, casinos operating under the MGA licence now have to offer several different options for a player to reduce spending at the casino. Limits for deposits, wagering and time spent on the site should always be available, and something a player can set on his or her own account without having to contact customer support. Self-exclusion should also be available, and all casinos have to encourage their players to play responsibly and be informed about the applicable age limit (most often 18+) for real money gameplay.
The rules for Anti Money Laundering is not something the MGA has come up with on their own, as these are the rules set out by the EU directive regarding Anti Money Laundering. This directive is not just for preventing money laundering, but also for stopping players funnelling money to terrorist organizations. This is why the MGA is very strict about all money transfers to and from casino accounts, and it is also why you will be asked to verify your account.
As soon as you play a game of chance at an online casino with an MGA licence, you can be sure that all games are fair. The casinos are obliged to use a Random Number Generator (RNG) to ensure that all winnings are completely random. This also ensures that the casino, or employees at the casino, cannot impact who is winning or not winning. That way you always know that your chances of a big win are the same as everyone else's.
Address: Malta Gaming Authority
, Suite 1 Level 3
Mriehel, Birkirkara, BKR3000
Phone: +356 2546 9000