iGaming Malta

Remote gaming has flourished in Malta over the years, however it develops in a complex legal environment. Do you need help navigating the seas of changing gaming laws to keep your company compliant? A water-tight legal strategy and risk assessment is the key to your ultimate success in the field.

Our iGaming Industry Services

E&S Group offer unparalleled experience in the realm of iGaming, offering clients a complete service in all matters related to iGaming as well as ancillary services.

iGaming Malta Licensing

The success of the iGaming industry in Malta has been the result of regulation rather than restriction of core business in this area. We guide our clients, whether gaming start-ups or established operators, through the acquisition of any the four licences issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), compliance and maintenance. We are also equipped to provide similar services with both UK and Swedish licences.

Banking solutions

Developing the right relationship with an appropriate bank is invaluable for any business. We assist our clients in finding banking solutions to suit their requirements, whether at locally-based banks or ones outside of the island.

Key Function Services

We assist clients in the appointment of key function persons related to both B2B and B2C. Such persons will be recognised as the key persons with MGA and ensure compliance with laws and regulations, conditions of the licence and directives issued by the MGA

Corporate Services Support

We provide assistance with day-to-day operations including accountancy services and payroll, VAT, AML and AML risk management, business assessments as well as advising customers on GDPR compliance tax which is applicable to all gaming companies.

iGaming Malta Information

Malta iGaming Industry Overview

Malta has, over the past decade, become a hub for iGaming companies. Through a solid regulatory regime, as well as Malta’s advantageous gaming tax benefits, Malta has developed a reputation of excellence within the Remote iGaming and Gaming Industry.

Determination of the local authorities to develop the iGaming industry resulted in the pro-active approach to ensuring efficiency, transparency and effective regulation of the iGaming in Malta. This makes Malta one of the most attractive EU jurisdictions to establish an iGaming business in and obtain a license from the Malta Gaming Authority.

iGaming Malta License

Malta is a leading EU jurisdiction for internet and remote gaming (iGaming) operations. This achievement is largely due to a comprehensive regulatory framework and tax planning opportunities for online gaming operations.

Types of Maltese iGaming Licences

An applicant can apply for one or more types of licenses depending on the type of operation. It follows that operations fall under 4 classes namely:

Class 1 iGaming Malta License

Casino type games, online lotteries – Granted to operators who assume the risk on repetitively generated games, such as casinos, lotteries and bingos.

Class 2 iGaming Malta License

Fixed-odds betting – Granted to operators who assume the risk on playable games that are played by means of bets on singular events. These include fixed odds betting and pool betting.

Class 3 iGaming Malta License

Poker networks, peer-to-peer (P2P) gaming, game portals – Granted to operators who earn a commission from the sale of remote gaming services. Examples of such are poker rooms, portals, affiliates and P2P platforms.

Class 4  iGaming Malta License

Software vendors provide management and hosting facilities on their platform – Granted to operators who earn a commission by operating e-gaming platforms (software vendors).

Remote Gaming Malta

Internet and remote-based casino and gaming operations require a licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). In brief, the application for a remote gaming licence is split into 3 sections as described in more detail below.  The application procedure  mainly  involves:

  1. The carrying out of a know-your-client (KYC) procedures by the MGA.
  2. Submission of a written application form to the MGA together with supporting documentation.
  3. Opening of a Maltese company (that will be the licensee) and a local bank account.
  4. The evaluation by the MGA of technical matters relating to the proposed gaming activities. Lastly the certification of the gaming systems and other matters described in more detail below.

Malta iGaming License Application Process

The application process is broadly split into 2 phases:

Malta iGaming License Application Phase 1

A pre-application phase whereby the MGA will run a check to ensure the application is correctly developed and all the key elements are present. The Purpose for this is to expedite the licensing process.

Malta iGaming License Application Phase 2

A second stage whereby applicants submit all the required information at one go. The MGA will assess whether the applicant is:

  • Fit and proper’ to conduct gaming business.
  • Correctly prepared for a business strategy perspective.
  • Possesses the operational and statutory requirements to meet legal obligations.
  • Has the required technical specifications in place.

COMPANY COMPLIANCE AND COMPANY MAINTENANCE

The law requires that a Gaming Company meets certain annual and ongoing obligations. As a result, the main compliance matters to take into consideration are the following:

  • The Gaming Company must register for income tax purposes upon registration. and required to submit a tax return  every
  • Submit an annual return  (detailing the company, its shareholding and officers) with the Maltese Registrar of Companies.
  • It is also required to prepare annual financial statements in accordance with the  International  Accounting Standards and to have the financial statements audited.
  • An MGA licenced gaming company must prepare interim financial statements every six months and submit them to the MGA.
  • A gaming company needs to register for  VAT and pay Maltese  VAT on certain supplies procured from Malta or from abroad. This may involve the submission of official
  • VAT forms. As a rule, a gaming company cannot recover input VAT but qualifies for some exemptions.

Other Requisites for a Malta iGaming Licence

The Remote Gaming Regulations stipulate that licenses are to have all their servers and equipment, which control the gaming operation, located in Malta. Also, the operator must appoint a company director and a key function person for the licensee. The key function person must be resident in Malta and is to act as a liaison for the operator with the Authority.

Issue of licence

The MGA issues a formal license when it obtains approval from the compliance certification entity.  An MGA licence is valid for 5 years which is renewable upon payment of a fee.

Compliance Audit

A Licensed Maltese operator needs to carry out a compliance audit within one year from the Licence date. Moreover, the MGA requires a second audit of the operation halfway through the lifespan of the licence.

Setting up a Maltese company

In order to apply for a licence, it is necessary to set up a Maltese limited liability company. This is the vehicle that will apply for the licence. For the purpose of MGA licencing, the MGA requires that the applicant company have a certain amount of share capital in proportion to the gaming business. The company may thus incorporate with a low share capital.  However, immediately prior to the licence issue, the MGA will request an increase in share capital. The level of minimum share capital required by the MGA depends on the licence type.

OFFICIAL MGA COSTS

Licensed gaming companies must pay certain fees to the MGA in relation to their licence and gaming operations.  The application costs, licence fees, MGA audit fee per application, are as follows:

PROCESSING FEES for iGaming Malta Companies

A one-time processing fee off  €2,330  per class payable to the MGA simultaneously with the submission of the application. This fee is not refundable irrespective of whether gaming authority issues the license or not.

ANNUAL FEES

A licence fee of €8,500 per annum per class is due to the Gaming authority.  The annual iGaming Malta licence fee is payable within 15 days from the issue of the MGA licence and due every year.

RENEWAL FEE

Upon expiration of the licence (5 years) a renewal fee of €1,500 is due per class.

SYSTEMS REVIEW FEE (COMPLIANCE FEE)

€2,500 paid in advance for the execution by the Authority’s approved third party certifiers / reviewers. There is also a Compliance Audit fee of €3,500, done after 1 year the of the gaming License is granted and every 3 years thereafter.

MALTA IGAMING TAX

A Gaming Tax is due to the MGA every month. Although the reference given to this official charge is a ‘tax’ it is different and separate from the income tax on profits due by the operator/gaming company payable to the Maltese income tax authorities. See below for information about income tax due by a limited liability company. The gaming tax depends on the applicable class:

  • Class 1 licence – €4,600 per month for the first 6 months, thereafter, €7,000 per month.
  • while a Class 1 on an existing class 4 licence – €1,165 per month.
  • Class 2 – 0.5% of the gross amount of bets accepted
  • Similarly a Class 2 on 4 – 0.5% of the gross amount of bets accepted in remote gaming betting operations
  • Class 3 –5% of real income
  • Class 3 on 4 – 5% of real income
  • Finally a Class 4 –0 tax for the first 6 months. Followed by €2,330 per month for the next 6 months and €4660 per month for the remaining period
  • Class 4 licensee hosting and managing an operator which is not in possession of the relevant Class 1, 2 or 3 licence in terms of the regulations, however hosting an EEA licensed Business to Consumer operator – €1,165 per month per operator, paid by the Class 4 Licensee

CORPORATE TAX

A Limited liability company registered in Malta is taxable on world-wide income. Companies suffer tax at a flat rate of 35% on their chargeable income and capital gains. Indeed, there is no separate capital gains tax or corporate tax. Gains realised from the transfer of shares and intellectual property and certain other intangible form part of  income. These are thus taxed at 35%.

Key Function – On both B2B and B2C licensees that operate a controlled gaming premises, shall appoint key function personnel who will be responsible for a specific task such as player support, responsible gaming, marketing and advertising, legal affairs and other areas. Each and every position irrespective of whether the same position being held by the same individual includes a fixed fee of Euro 50 per position.

The shareholders of the Maltese Gaming company can claim a refund of tax paid at corporate level. The extent of the refund depends on the nature and source of profits and on the account that pays these profits (companies allocate profits to various tax accounts). For further information about Tax Refunds and Participation Exemption regime please contact us.

E&S Group iGaming Malta Services

As we aim to provide most of the services under one roof, our experts are also equipped and experienced in assisting our clients who wish to expand to the UK and other markets. Our experienced iGaming experts will be happy to assist you in obtaining iGaming licenses in UK as well as Sweden and Estonia upon request.

We can assist clients who wish to set up remote gaming operations in Malta by providing a full range of initial and ongoing legal and support services.

  • Applying for Remote Gaming license and liaising with the MGA throughout all stages
  • Preparation of a Business Plan
  • Tax and VAT optimisation and planning
  • Company compliance
  • Key functions Services, MLRO and Compliance Officer.
  • Sourcing IT infrastructure support
  • Advice on and overseeing B2B arrangements including all IT and IP use and licencing aspects
  • Comprehensive Legal Back Up
  • License Acquisition from other Jurisdictions
  • Accounting (including Financial Reports, Monthly Reports, Monthly Management Accounts including monthly journals, General Bookkeeping procedures, Treasury management (includes payments from banks) , Payroll, Processor Reconciliations (Making sure every deposit and payout reconciles to Processors) and Bank Reconciliations, Budgeting and Forecasting
  • Full Corporate & Banking Solutions with Gaming Friendly Banks
  • Payment Solutions / Payment Processors and Specializing in Integration of Payment Solutions with Software
  • Affiliate System Software
  • Multi-Language Web Portals (Casino Management System)
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Testimonials

"According to our experience, E&S Consultancy team is made up of well-trained and skilled professionals who are always there to satisfy your business needs with reference to Maltase law. Their work is well organized and carried out in a precise and timely manner. I look forward to continuing my cooperation with E&S Consultancy."

Giorgio Crotta & Marco Compagnino - FIDINAM & Partners