What is the Malta Gaming Authority, and why it is needed

The Malta Gaming Authority, an authority founded in 2001, is one of the most prestigious iGaming market regulators worldwide. It was a trailblazer at its time of establishment, being one of the earliest regulatory bodies of the kind.

Malta similarly was among the first countries to regulate its iGaming market activities. And MGA was an essential agency in this process. And the results speak for themselves, as since 2001, the online gambling industry grew to account for 12 per cent of Malta’s GDP.

MGA’s role in the grand iGaming market scheme

More than economic incentives, the regulations MGA provided resulted in excellent safety for online gambling users worldwide.

Although the authority only provides Business-to-Business or Business-to-Consumer services, note that all of MGA’s endeavours directly help you as a player.

The primary role of the Malta Gaming Authority is assessing both online gambling operators(B2C) and providers(B2B). Such services apply to MGA’s information analyses. A successful review eventually results in the Malta Gaming Authority awarding them with its prestigious gambling licence.

The following are the areas MGA investigates and how each assessment serves you as a player.

MGA’s three-step certification process

The assessment process starts with a fit and proper test. 

You can view it as a prerequisite for a gambling service’s good functioning. MGA will analyse all information regarding the applicant’s financial and management aspects and its operational viability. Additionally, they will collaborate with other regulatory and law enforcement bodies.

This means that you do not risk accessing unreliable services when you are using an MGA verified facility. A company that fails this first step cannot by any means be considered a viable enterprise in general, never mind a trustworthy iGaming business.

A business planning session follows. This is key for online gambling companies, of course, as MGA will review and scrutinise their expected business plans and forecasts in any given circumstance. It is one of the definite rules that never gets overlooked. This procedure also brings a layer of protection for players.

All MGA licensed operators, for instance, must keep customer and operational funds separate. And player funds’ protection measures go beyond that, as the regulatory body will ensure that all transactions are safe and enforceable.

And this is to be expected from online gambling operators. Take the case of such a company encountering financial troubles or even insolvency. Such a case is improbable, especially if it did pass the first verification procedure. 

However, you don’t want your funds going down the drain along with the service you trusted your money with. 

With MGA licensed operators, such a situation will never occur.

MGA then goes into checking the operational and statutory requirements an iGaming business must respect.

These assessments ensure that elements, such as necessary documents, operational policies and procedures, terms and conditions, and technical considerations, including gaming control systems and network and application architectures, are always up to the task.

All this process translates into the enforcement of player protection measures such as theft, underage gambling, and other lawful activities’ prevention. MGA will also make sure that the gambling results are fair and transparent.
You may consider this evaluation to account for all aspects of a gambling service fully. By using an MGA licensed casino or activity, you do not run the risk of having transaction issues, losing funds unjustly, or being wronged during your wagering.

And this is the complete desk-based licensing assessment. 

One extra step 

Once an applicant passes all three viability levels, the Malta Gaming Authority will request it to prepare for going live within 60 days.

During this period, applicants must always ask for an external systems review. This step is in the “must-do” list. 

For this, MGA uses the expertise of third-party testing and forensics agencies, such as Gaming Labs. 

And the verification will be thorough. If any glaring issues or differences from the assessment stages are found, MGA can reject the application altogether.

What MGA does after granting its licence

Compliance checks go further than that. Any service functioning with an MGA license gets reassessed yearly and needs to provide monthly reports regarding gaming taxes and player funds.

So, getting the Malta Gaming Authority licence is not a one-time deal. MGA constantly protects you by verifying and upholding its standards.

You may consider the verification process far removed from your experience as an online casino user. Still, more recent gambling legislation permits MGA to perform “mystery shopping” checks.

Previously, the authority had to assess a platform via a designated account. But as of now, MGA can verify license complacency by accessing the online gambling services as you, the player, would.

Dispute mediation and responsible gaming measures

If you must raise a valid dispute with an online casino, MGA is again on your side. The authority regulators safeguard your rights by investigating all complaints related to proper functioning.

Additionally, several alternate dispute resolution agencies, like eCOGRA, will only consider your dispute valid solely if it concerns a service accredited by the Malta Gaming Authority or other reputable licensors.

And MGA even takes it a step further. Going beyond mere legalistic procedures, the licensor enforces several responsible gaming measures.

Licence holders should look into potential damaging gambling habits and intervene promptly and suit their sites in the utmost responsible manner. 

Take the self-exclusion feature. Not only does it have to be present for MGA casinos, but it must also respect the ‘one-click-away’ policy. 

Thus, the self-exclusion tool must be available not more than one click away from a casino’s responsible gaming information tab.

Why MGA matters for the iGaming market

The strict and stellar regulation codes and the foresight the Malta Gaming Authority has proven through its practices make it a fundamental choice for many iGaming services. You will find its seal of quality anywhere. 

Of course, gambling safety and service quality go beyond the right-to-function accreditations. For this reason, there are iGaming industry experts who take an in-depth look into MGA licensed operators in an effort to guarantee player satisfaction. However, none of them will dismiss a license from the Malta Gaming Authority, nor will they consider it a drawback for the casino.

And there is a motivation for that. Not only does MGA protect you on a case-by-case basis, but the authority also strengthens the trust and etiquette of the global iGaming industry at large.

Online gambling would not be where it is now if it weren’t for the Malta Gaming Authority. This is why we all need the authority.

Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk/. 

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