When looking at the gaming licences held by New Zealand online casinos, you’ll frequently see mention of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). That’s because, while based on a tiny Mediterranean island at the southern end of Europe, the MGA’s gaming licence covers multiple territories across the world, including New Zealand. Malta also happens to be the main hub for many iGaming businesses in Europe, including online casinos, game providers and other business to business (B2B) companies providing tech solutions to various entities wanting to get a better overview of their data, how they can improve their marketing and other related things.
Online casinos wanting to take on players based in New Zealand can apply for an MGA licence, so they can offer real money gambling services not only in Malta and the European Union (EU) but also much further afield – across the whole world, or anywhere that doesn’t specifically prohibit the use of online gambling via offshore companies. New Zealand is one such case.
The MGA recently changed its licencing structure from four different kinds of licences to only two. This is because there was so much innovation within the industry that it became really hard to categorise certain game types to only one of the four categories. Now, however, there is a clear distinction, with one covering online casino games of all types, from online pokies to bingo, blackjack and live casino (to name but a few), and another covering sports betting activities. So, any company wishing to licenced by the MGA can now opt for a casino gaming licence, a sports betting licence or both. This covers every possible outcome and there’s no cross over between the two – at least until some genius comes up with something that completely blurs the lines.
The main goal of the MGA is to regulate any part of the casino industry that falls within its remit. Essentially, this is to ensure that every MGA licensed company behaves exactly as it should do in terms of both the law and the way it treats its customers. Therefore, the MGA is known around the world for rigorously testing, judging and forcing compliance with its rules though legal prosecutions, heavy fines and regular scheduled and unscheduled visits to company offices.
The MGA also ensures that the online gaming companies follow both local laws within Malta and the further reaching laws set by the European Union. So, while the MGA has little control over the laws themselves, they can make sure that companies brandishing its licence are not breaking the law regarding high level fraud and money laundering (more on this below) as well as forcing companies to obey rules on marketing and to get Know Your Customer (KYC) documents to prove a player’s source of income and other things related to international crime.
As with most regulators, they really should be checking absolutely everything possible, but due to the amount of players and transactions occurring every second around the world that becomes an impossible task. Therefore, the MGA has prioritised the following areas as of super importance, especially when tackling the biggest problems within the industry: Responsible Gaming, Anti Money Laundering (AML) and Fair Gameplay.
There has been a huge shift in the iGaming industry within the last few years and now any online casino worth its weight in gold will be pushing responsible gaming at every turn. This is to ensure that companies are not taking advantage of vulnerable players. These can include under 18s (which is illegal, of course), online gamblers with potential or well known problems with addiction and players who are susceptible to sneaky marketing tactics or unfair promotions. To tackle these problems, there are strict rules in place for how gambling services can be promoted, and players should have complete control over how much they can deposit during any given timeframe, how much time they spend onsite and how much they are allowed to wager in a given session. Another option for players struggling to control their gambling is self-exclusion, whereby they inform a casino or multiple casinos to block them from the site(s).
Anti Money Laundering (or AML as it’s often referred to within the industry) is a worldwide problem with implications far beyond the world of online casinos. Money laundering by nefarious individuals and groups has been show to sponsor terrorism and criminal gangs in various places around the world, and casinos are one area that groups target in order to clean their illegal money. This is why you will be required to supply documents and to verify exactly where your income has been obtained. It’s not something done to annoy you or to get information out of you, but ultimately to protect all the players at a casino. Again, the MGA is extremely hot on this, which is why all licenced online casinos in New Zealand will need certain documents from you.
When playing at an online casino, you expect the rules to be the same every time you play a certain game and for the chances of you winning to be the same. To ensure that this happens and that figures and calculations cannot be manipulated by a third party (or an online casino employee, for example), all MGA licenced casinos have to have their RNGs (Random Number Generators) verified by the authority to ensure fairness and that every player in every session has the exact same chances of winning. Because of this, you have as much chance of winning, say, the Mega Moolah jackpot as anyone else in the world. This is a good thing, we’re sure you’ll agree.
Address: Malta Gaming Authority
, Suite 1 Level 3
Mriehel, Birkirkara, BKR3000
Phone: +356 2546 9000