Gaming in Malta

Malta was the first European country to regulate remote gaming in 2004.

The European Court of Justice referred to the Maltese gaming law framework as being ‘sophisticated’ and it’s reputation and success with the i-gaming market is internationally recognized. Its membership in the European Union positions it to benefit from the application of common market principles, with free movement of goods and services being the most fundamental. Malta also offers low official fees and gaming taxes, which, coupled with its advantageous European onshore business environment, provide very favorable conditions for setting up. The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (the ‘Authority’) is the independent and efficient regulatory body responsible for the licensing of gaming operators in Malta.

There are currently four (4) licences applicable in Malta. The type of licence shall depend exclusively on the type of gaming activity carried out. The licences are as follows:-

Class 1 Remote Gaming Licence:

Applies for operators who offer games which are based on repetitive events and the gaming risk is managed by the operator. This type of license covers casino table style games, lotteries and slots. Since the licensee bears the full risk of the gaming activities conducted, the winnings are therefore guaranteed by it.

Class 1 on 4 Remote Gaming License:

An online gaming license for all types of games of chance and games of skill operating on an existing Class 4 licensee.

Class 2 Remote Gaming Licence:

The license covers operators who manage risk based on a singular event using markets. This license covers the traditional fixed odds betting and some forms of pool betting.

Class 3 Remote Gaming Licence:

This license is for operators who organise player to player games but they do not partake in the risk and receive only a commission. This license is suitable for betting exchange providers, pools and poker rooms.

Class 3 on 4 Remote Gaming Licence:

A licence to promote and abet gaming from Malta. For operators who promote or abet gaming from Malta on an existing Class 4 licensee.

Class 4 Remote Gaming Licence:

This license is for software vendors who intend to host and manage remote gaming operators having any class of the above. They cannot partake in the gaming risk and can only receive a commission.

Malta currently hosts approximately 10% of the world’s most profitable online gaming operators, boasting an attractive taxation framework that is built around the categories of different classes. This taxation framework is operator-friendly, capped at €466,000 per anum. Malta’s corporate tax regime is also immensely beneficial, and it generally provides an effective corporate tax rate of only 5% on distribution of dividends to shareholders.

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