Gaming Licence Consulting
We are able to provide a specialized operational, administrative and financial advise for the application of a Gaming Licence under the Malta Gaming Authority.
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01 - Licence Types
Any legal person carrying out a Gaming Service or Critical Gaming Supply from Malta, to any person in Malta, or through a Maltese-registered entity, shall require a Gaming Service or Critical Gaming Supply Licence from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
A Gaming Service licence is a business-to-consumer (B2C) licence to offer or carry out a gaming service. A Critical Gaming Supply licence is a business-to-business (B2B) licence to provide or carry out a critical gaming supply.
The following services shall each constitute a gaming service:
offering, provision or operation of a gaming service; and
hosting by a person in his premises accessible to the public, the operation or making available for use a gaming device or gaming system.
The following services shall each constitute a critical gaming supply:
supply and management of material elements of a game; and
supply and management of software, to generate, capture, control or process essential regulatory record and/or supply and management of the control system itself on which the software resides.
Applicants applying for a gaming service or a critical gaming supply can offer one or more of the following game types:
Type 1 Games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is determined by a random generator, and shall include casino type games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker played against the house, lotteries, secondary lotteries and virtual sports games;
Type 2 Games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is not generated randomly, but is determined by the result of an event or competition extraneous to a game of chance, and whereby the operator manages his or her own risk by managing the odds offered to the player;
Type 3 Games of chance not played against the house and wherein the operator is not exposed to gaming risk, but generates revenue by taking a commission or other charge based on the stakes or the prize, and shall include player versus player games such as poker, bingo, betting exchange, and other commission based games;
Type 4 Controlled skill games as per regulation 8 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations.
Provided further that in the case of a game displaying elements which may fall under more than one of the types referred to above, the Authority shall have full discretion in categorising the game in the type it believes closest reflects the nature of the game.
A separate approval is required for each gaming vertical that requires safeguards in order to ensure that it is offered in a manner which adheres to the Law and the regulatory objectives:
Fixed odds betting including live betting;
Pool betting, including betting exchange;
Other commission-based, peer-to-peer games such as bingo, but excluding pool betting, betting exchange and poker.
02 - Gaming Licence Application
At application stage, the MGA assesses whether an applicant:
Is fit and proper to conduct gaming business;
Is correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective;
Has the operational and statutory requirements to meet the obligations prescribed by law and policy; and
Has correctly implemented and tested, on a technical environment, what has been applied for, before going live.
Stages of a Gaming Licence application:
1. Fit & Proper Assessment
The MGA conducts a fit and proper exercise on the applicant by assessing all information related to persons involved in financing and management and on the business viability of the operation. As part of this process, the MGA conducts criminal probity screening with other national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.
3. Operational & Statutory Requirements
The applicant is examined on the instruments required to conduct the business. This process includes examining incorporation documents, the games, the business processes related to conducting the games, the rules, terms, conditions, policies, procedures and technical documentation of the gaming and control system.
Furthermore, a licensee is subject to minimum issued and paid-up share capital requirements:
Gaming Service Licence
Type 1 – Minimum €100,000
Type 2 – Minimum €100,000
Type 3 – Minimum €40,000
Type 4 – Minimum €40,000
Critical Gaming Supply Licence
Companies with multiple type approvals are required to meet the above share capital requirements cumulatively up to a maximum required capping of €240,000.
The above mentioned components constitute the desk-based audit of the application requirements. Inconsistent and low quality applications are dropped and the respective applicant will have to re-apply.
5. Compliance Audit
The MGA mandates that after going live, a Licensee must undergo a number of compliance audits of its operations performed by an approved Service Provider appointed by the Licensee. Such audits need to be completed by the Service Provider within 90 days from the MGA’s notice.
The MGA will require the audit to adhere to the following schedule:
After the first year of operation after being licensed by the MGA; and
Any other audit depending on the compliance plan set by the MGA.
Failure of a compliance audit could lead to suspension or termination of a licence.
2. Business Plan
The MGA conducts an in-depth financial analysis of the applicant’s business plan. The applicant’s business plan is expected to have a detailed financial forecast of the operation inclusive of Cash Flow, Profit & Loss, Balance Sheet, marketing and distribution strategies, HR plan and growth targets.
4. Systems Audit
The MGA will inform the applicant that the application was successful and will invite the applicant to implement the operation onto a technical environment in preparation to go live. The applicant will be allowed 60 days to complete this technical roll-out, after which the application will be considered as cancelled and subject to re-application. At any stage within those 60 days, the applicant may appoint a Service Provider approved by the MGA to carry out a system audit. The systems audit will verify the live environment against the proposed application.
At this stage the MGA expects minimal deviation from the application. If there are significant changes to the gaming system, the applicant will have to re-apply by filing a new application.
On successful completion of the certification process, the Authority issues a ten-year licence.
List of MGA approved System and Compliance Auditors:
BDO Technology Advisory Limited
Capstone Assurance Ltd
Deloitte Services Ltd
FACT Technologies Ltd
Gaming Associates Europe
GLI Europe BV
Global Lab Ltd
iTech Labs Italia S.R.L
Kyte Consultants Ltd
MAZARS Consulting Ltd
Radix Technologies Ltd
Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology
Global Lab Ltd
03 - MGA Fees & Taxation
Any person in possession of a licence issued by the MGA shall pay the Authority the appropriate non-refundable fixed annual licence fee:
Licensees shall also pay the compliance contribution depending on the type of approval issued by the Authority:
B2C - Type 1 Gaming Services | Minimum* €15,000; Maximum €375,000
B2C - Type 2 Gaming Services | Minimum* €25,000; Maximum €600,000
B2C - Type 3 Gaming Services | Minimum* €25,000; Maximum €500,000
B2C - Type 4 Gaming Services | Minimum* €5,000; Maximum €500,000
* Minimum compliance contribution for new operators will not apply until the first financial year end of operations following licence acquisition.
** Start-Ups who qualify under the Directive on Start-Up Undertakings will benefit from a moratorium period of 12 months in which they are exempt from paying compliance contribution.
5% Gaming Tax is applied on Gaming Revenue generated from Malta based players. Determination of taxability is whether the player is established, has his permanent address and/or usually resides in Malta.
04 - Financial & Operational Activity
Other key reports required by the Authority to monitor the overall gaming activity are listed hereunder:
Audited Financial Statements
Required six (6) months after financial year end.
Management accounts for the first six (6) months of operation, submitted by the eight (8) month of the same financial year.
Industry Performance Return
Submitted on a bi-annual basis highlighting key aspects of the operation. Submission is due every six (6) months.
Gaming Tax and Player Funds Report
Highlighting information on client accounts, dormant accounts and revenue declaration.