Gambling Business in Malta: the European Hub or Hotbed of Crime?

Malta is considered a large European casino hub. It issues licenses for organizing remote gaming, poker tournaments, sports betting, and lotteries. A stable legal regime, clear Remote Gambling Regulations (adopted in 2004), and fiscal incentives such as low corporate taxes create an enabling environment for the development of Malta-based remote operators. With such a wide popularity of gambling sites, investors not only sponsor such projects but also play. A large number of businessmen like to spend their money in casinos like ClashOfSlots Ca. When it comes to opening a gambling business, many investors prefer to get the Maltese license due to a number of reasons:

  • Malta is ​​a member of the European Union that has adopted the regulation of the remote gambling industry at the legislative level and provides the opportunity for the free movement of goods and services;
  • Favorable tax regime, implying low taxes on gambling business;
  • Low royalties;
  • A well-regulated governing law protecting the interests of remote operators and players;
  • Strict regulations to combat money laundering;
  • Stable political and economic climate;
  • A wide range of reliable financial service institutions as well as payment gateways, etc.

However, what is the reverse side of this business? Let’s find out!

Illegal Activities with Millions’ Annual Turnover

Alongside legal gambling operators, the whole industry of illegal bookmakers and casinos appeared in Malta. Not so long ago, journalists published an investigation into the illegal gambling industry in Malta. The clandestine betting network across the island has the same cash flow as the country’s legal gambling business. The network of illegal bookmakers was uncovered after reports of the finding of about two million euros in cash during one of the police raids.

According to journalists, underground lotto bets are accepted alongside the official national lotteries of Malta – Maltco Lotteries. Illegal bets on football and horse racing can be made in public places, including bars and restaurants. According to official statistics, the total bets of the Maltese reach 130 million euros per year. The authors of the investigation suggest that the turnover of the illegal gambling market on the island may be about the same.

One of the key figures in The Shif’s investigation is the former taxi driver Melvin Theuma who has become a well-known illegal bookmaker in the country with an income of several million euros a year laundering money through the purchase of the real estate.

All this makes clear that the selection of operators with Maltese roots should be done accurately. If you want to play safely, make sure that the website has the appropriate license by checking it on the regulator’s website. Those who want to register a casino in Malta should read the following information.

Licensing Terms

Any person who is engaged in the operation of remote gambling in Malta must have a license for organizing remote/online gambling issued by the Malta Gaming Authority. To obtain a license, the applicant must:

  • register an LLC company in Malta;
  • demonstrate professional suitability and integrity;
  • provide technical and organizational means for performing operations related to remote gambling;
  • confirm the availability of economic resources and guarantee the payment of winnings and the return of collateral.

Upon applying, a one-time fee of €2,330 will be charged by MGA, as well as a one-time system audit fee of €1,770. After the issuance of the license, and each subsequent year, a fee of €8,500 is paid.

Licenses are provided for a period of five years and can be subsequently renewed for the same period. The fee for reviewing an application for license renewal is €1,500.

In Conclusion

According to the MGA’s annual report and audit for the last financial year (ended on December 31, 2020), the gambling sector grew by 15.3% to 924 million euros. The gambling sector of the country has one of the highest value-added growth rates in comparison with other sectors. According to some reports, at the end of the year, 323 companies were licensed by the MGA, including both online and land-based operators. The gaming industry has created nearly 8,300 full-time jobs, with 91.1% of these employees working online.

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