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Malta has defied the odds to become a world leader in the online gambling industry. Since the early 2000s, this small island nation in the heart of the Mediterranean has established itself as a global iGaming hub, attracting some of the industry’s largest and most influential companies.

At the same time, the popularity of online gambling has expanded rapidly, becoming a billion-dollar global industry, and bringing new economic development to Malta.

The success that Malta has achieved isn’t through luck, but rather preparation meeting opportunity. Through careful planning and the right strategy, the nation has earned its reputation as a leader of the industry.

In this article, you’ll learn about Malta’s strategic approach to gambling management and how it’s helped the country become such a success.

How online gambling came to Malta

Today, the online gambling industry is worth billions of dollars, and a growing number of countries have established regulations on how online casinos and sportsbooks can operate. However, it certainly wasn’t always like this.

Back when these sites first emerged, they were completely unregulated. Players had to put their trust in gambling sites, so they were difficult to access and use for most people.

Recognising the potential of the online gambling industry, Malta set out to draw up regulations for how it should be controlled. These regulations aimed to make the experience safer and more enjoyable for players while also ensuring online gambling operators were held accountable.

Online-gambling.com/malta/ has more information on the best Malta online casinos.

The Malta Gaming Authority

To properly regulate the iGaming industry, the government first had to create an independent body capable of assessing, licensing, and reviewing online gambling platforms.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) was established in 2001 to aid to the government in enforcing gambling regulations and ensure fairness and transparency.

The MGA is responsible for the licensing process and is responsible for controlling the gambling industry within Malta. Aside from this, it also offers licenses to iGaming services based overseas, ensuring they fulfil the requirements set out in their regulations.

This helps create a stronger and safer global iGaming industry, protecting players and establishing clear guidelines for operators to follow.

A flexible approach to casino legislation

The Malta Gaming Authority offers several different types of online gambling licences, allowing a wide range of different gambling platforms to thrive.

Any site offering games of chance that can be played for real money must be licensed to operate within Malta, and many countries have similar legislation in place. The licensing process is highly thorough, as player safety and trust are paramount.

Applicants to the MGA licence must be vetted and carefully assessed, including information on business plans, available capital and the technical information of the site and the games it offers. All online casino Malta platforms need to prove that games are fair and that financial regulations are complied with.

Despite the rigorous nature of this process, one of the reasons for Malta’s success in iGaming has been its willingness to take a flexible approach to casino legislation.

Adapting to new technologies

Regulations need to adapt and change with the times, or else new technologies could disrupt the market and put players at risk. The Malta Gaming Authority has always seen technology as something we should be working with rather than against.

As disruptive new tech such as live casinos, virtual reality and faster payment processing has emerged, the MGA has ensured that regulations make provisions for them.

As technology such as AI and blockchain is developed further, Malta will be at the forefront of gambling regulations, ensuring that technology is used in a way to benefit the players.

Changing based on consumer needs

Consumer needs and trends change all the time in business, and it’s another important area for regulations to focus on if they want to stay ahead.

In the iGaming industry, casino platforms have gone from being desktop-only and offering downloadable games to now being fully compatible with mobile devices. Most players now access online casinos Malta from a mobile device, and regulations have had to adapt.

The licensing process for the MGA now includes details on mobile risks and how Malta online casino platforms need to consider how consumers log in and play. Regulations should change over time to reflect current consumer trends, keeping the MGA licence up to date.

Incentives for iGaming businesses in Malta

The Malta online casino industry has become so successful partly due to the excellent legal framework. However, some of the success can also be credited to the advantages iGaming businesses enjoy from being based in Malta. The island is home to hundreds of companies in the industry, and these amount to around 12% of the country’s total GDP.


In Malta, iGaming platforms pay a 5% tax rate on all gaming revenue. This is on top of the licence fees paid annually to the MGA, but it’s still a lower tax rate than that offered by other jurisdictions. The tax rate is a big benefit to both the operators and the island. It helps draw new operators in, providing an incentive to base their headquarters on the island.

Online casino in Malta faces lower costs, ensuring they can enjoy greater profits while still operating legally and safely. At the same time, the country benefits from greater tax revenue which goes towards improving the quality of life for those that live there. It means that even those that don’t work in iGaming benefit from the industry.

Highly skilled workforce

Malta has been home to some of the biggest companies in iGaming for nearly two decades, with a lot of economic development occurring in that time.

The arrival of the industry on the island has seen the availability of highly skilled and tech-focused talent grow significantly. As a result, companies based on the island have an excellent talent pool to choose from.

Aside from being a benefit to companies that come to Malta, the availability of great jobs is an excellent advantage for the nation’s population. As a result, it has an unemployment rate lower than many other countries within the EU.

Access to the European market

Perhaps the biggest benefit that Malta has to offer online casino platforms is access to the European market. A Malta Gaming Authority licence gives online casinos in Malta the ability to operate legally across most of the continent, a market that is highly lucrative.

Malta had the first movers’ advantage in that it was one of the very first countries to legalise online gambling. However, it’s maintained its advantage by offering things that others couldn’t and updating its regulations in the face of new technologies, challenges and changing consumer trends.

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