Cost of a Malta gaming license for your casino

So you are looking for a Maltese gambling licesne. This document goes over the costs and processes in order to obtain the license.

NOTICE

Malta is not the cheapest jurisdiction to obtain a casino license in, if you are looking for a more affordable license then we suggest taking a look at a Curacao gambling license which is better suited to tighter budgets.

Why Malta?

Malta is part of the European Union which makes it a very attractive jurisdiction to obtain a gambling license in. It comes with tax incentives and an expert work force.

What this document covers

This document covers the end to end application process with the Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”) as well as an overview of the related prices for the setup and the maintenance of a gambling company in Malta.

  1. Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) license types
  2. Malta gambling license application process
  3. Malta Gaming Authority fees
  4. Gaming Tax as Applicable by the MGA
  5. Share Capital Requirements
  6. Administration services
  7. Key official Services
  8. On-going operation
  9. Financial Audit
  10. How long does it take to get the Malta gambling license

Malta Gaming Authority license types

The Malta Gaming Authority offers four types of remote gaming licenses:

  • Class 1 – a remote gaming licence (examples of Class 1 licences would include casino-type games and online lotteries) whereby operators manage their own risk on repetitive games. It is also possible to have a Class 1 on 4 licence whereby the Class 1 licensee operates its games on the software and in certain cases through the equipment of a Class 4 licensee;
  • Class 2 – a remote betting licence (an example of a Class 2 licence would include fixed-odds betting) whereby operators manage their own risk on events based on a matchbook. It is possible to have a Class 2 on 4 licence whereby the Class 2 licensee operates its games on the software and in certain cases through the equipment of a Class 4 licensee;
  • Class 3 – a licence to promote and/or abet remote gaming in or from Malta (an example of a Class 3 licence would include poker rooms and peer-to-peer (P2P) gaming). It is also possible to have a Class 3 on 4 licence whereby the Class 3 licensee operates its games on the software and in certain cases through the equipment of a Class 4 licensee;
  • Class 4 – a licence to host and manage remote gaming operators, excluding the licensee itself, whereby software vendors provide management and hosting facilities on their platform. In essence this is a business to business (B2B) gaming licence.

Malta gambling license application process

In order to prevent any unnecessary delays in the process, our clients will undergo a pre-application process together with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). This will ensure the quality of the application and will be followed by the actual application process that consists of a number of steps:

  1. 1) The MGA will conduct a fit and proper exercise by assessing all information related to those involved in financing and management and on the business viability of the operation. In addition the MGA conducts integrity investigations with national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.
  2. 2) The MGA conducts an in depth financial analysis of the applicant’s business plan. It is expected to include a detailed forecast of the operation together with details pertaining to marketing and distribution strategies, HR planning, and growth targets.
  3. 3) Operational and Statutory – The applicant is examined on the instruments required to conduct the business. This process includes examining the Company’s incorporation documents, the games, the business processes related to conducting the remote games, the rules, terms, conditions, and procedures of the games, the application architecture, and the system architecture.
  4. 4) The MGA will inform the applicant that the application was successful and will invite the applicant to implement onto a technical environment in preparation for going live. 60 days are allowed for the applicant to complete such operation. Within those 60 days, the applicant may request an external systems audit where the live environment will be examined against the proposed application. Once the certification process is completed, a five-year license will be issued by the MGA.
  5. 5) Once the licence is issued, an independent third party will be contracted by the MGA to perform a number of compliance audits of the licensees operation throughout the first and the third year of operation.

Malta Gaming Authority fees

Description Fee
Fee for a new licence of any class €5,000.00
Application fee for the renewal of any class €5,000.00
Systems Audit €2,500.00
Compliance Audit €3,500.00

Annual licence fee

The annual license fee is paid to the MGA, previously this was a fixed fee for any class however as of 2018 this fee is changing as follows.

For a class 1, 2 or 3 license the annual fixed MGA fee is €25,000 and for a class 4 license €10,000. If a licensee has multiple classes of licenses (1, 2 or 3) the annual combined fixed fee is calculated on Gross Gaming Revenue:

Revenue Fee
Fee for a new licence of any class €5,000.00
-5Mln EUR €25,000.00
5mln – 10mln EUR €30,000.00
+ 10mln EUR €35,000.00

Compliance contribution

The MGA has introduced this new fee which is based on Grosse Gaming Revenue and has minimal annual contributions which differ per class:

Class 1: Annual Compliance contribution – Minimal fee €15.000, Max €375.000 Rate
For every euro of the first €3,000,000 1.25%
For every euro of the next €4,500,000 1.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 0.85%
For every euro of the next €7,500,000 0.70%
For every euro of the next €10,000,000 0.55%
For every euro of the remainder 0.40%
Class 2: Annual Compliance contribution – Minimal fee €25.000, Max €600.000 Rate
For every euro of the first €3,000,000 4.00%
For every euro of the next €4,500,000 3.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 2.00%
For every euro of the next €7,500,000 1.00%
For every euro of the next €10,000,000 0.80%
For every euro of the next €10,000,000 0.60%
For every euro of the remainder 0.40%
Class 3: Annual Compliance contribution – Minimal fee €25.000, Max €500.000 Rate
For every euro of the first €2,000,000 4.00%
For every euro of the next €3,000,000 3.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 2.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 1.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 0.80%
For every euro of the next €10,000,000 0.60%
For every euro of the remainder 0.40%
Class 4: Annual Compliance contribution – Minimal fee €5.000, Max €500.000 Rate
For every euro of the first €2,000,000 0.50%
For every euro of the next €3,000,000 0.75%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 1.00%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 1.25%
For every euro of the next €5,000,000 1.50%
For every euro of the next €10,000,000 1.75%
For every euro of the remainder 2.00%

Gaming Tax as Applicable by the MGA

  1. Class 1 – €4,660.00 per month for the first six months and €7,000.00 per subsequent month;
  2. Class 1 on 4 – €1,200.00 per month;
  3. Class 2 – 0.5% on the gross amount of all bets accepted;
  4. Class 3 and Class 3 on 4 – 5% of real income;
  5. Class 4 – No Tax levied for the first six months of operation, €2,330.00 per month for the subsequent six months, and €4,660.00 per subsequent month for the entire duration of the licence

Share Capital Requirements

When incorporating the company on Malta, the MGA requires that companies operating a class 1 or 2 license have a share capital of €100.000. For class 3 or 4 license holders this amount is €40.000. Companies applying for multiple licenses amounts will be cumulative.

An idea of corporate setup fees for a Maltese gambling company

Description Fee
Incorporation Fee (This includes name reservation, customer due diligence process, M&As, Share Register, VAT application, income tax application, excl. MFSA Registration Fee) €1,200.00 – €2,000.00
Registered office (optional) €500 – €1000.00
Corporate Director (optional) €1,000.00 – €2,000.00
Company Secretary €500 – €750
Annual Compliance (KYC) Maintenance €250 – €500
Management Fee Package €3,000.00 – €5,000.00
Assistance opening a bank account €1,000.00 – €2,000.00

Administration services

Description
Book Keeping
Legal Administration
The legal and financial administrational services will be charged against the applicable hourly rates which may vary from €60 to €250 per hour, depending on the experience of the employee involved.

The above fees are per class of license.

Typically the fees will include assistance with the drafting of the business plan, financial prognosis, and system documentation.

Key official Services

A Key Official is a natural person, approved and licensed by the MGA to act as a main point of contact towards the said authority on behalf of the gaming company licensed in Malta. Key Official services cost on average €1,000 per month. This will also include the preparation and submission of the player liability reports of the company, gaming tax reports, the quarterly returns, completion of any other returns due by the company (such as questionnaires/consultation papers) to the MGA amongst other duties generally incumbent upon directors by application of the law.

On-going operations

If preferred a service provider can assist with the on-going daily financial and legal matters of the company. The type of service will depend on your personal preferences and below is an example of the services a gaming company may expect to be made available to them:

  • Filing of the annual returns
  • Preparing and processing bank transactions
  • Preparation of bookkeeping and related annual financial statements
  • Company VAT(quarterly), annual tax and tax refund filings
  • Payroll services
  • Mini One Stop Shop (Moss) VAT compliance
  • Preparation of dividend warrants
  • Certification of documents
  • Legal administration (e.g. drafting/reviewing contracts or agreements)
  • Liaising with the auditors
  • Residency applications and opening of bank accounts for employees

We would recommend negotiating fixed monthly fees to cover the above services allowing you to budget appropriately.

Financial Audit

Audit fees (external auditor) start at €1,500. The actual fee highly depends on the amount of activities within the company.

How long does it take to get the license?

The time frame for the application of an iGaming licence to be processed by the MGA ranges between 4 to 6 months depending on the timely and complete provision of the documentation required.

Please be aware that Malta has a VAT rate of 18% which is not included in our cost estimates.

GamblingTec – Platform as a service for Curacao Gambling Licenses

Gambling lincensing can be expensive, this is why GamblingTec.com built their platform as a service as a means to help Game Developers get their games licensed and online, and for a fraction of what it would otherwise cost.

What is GamblingTec?

GamblingTec is a platform designed to help game developers get their casino styled games infront of a paying audience without the need to go through the licensing process directly. The team behind GamblingTec have licensing, payment solutions, hardware, software, banking relationships and a Platform. All game developers need to do is integrate into the Platform to gain the benefit from all the associated infrastructure. Operators are free to offer any game in the network.

While the business is still young, many exciting innovations are in progress and over time, it will become the goto platform for indie styled games and gambling game inventions.

How will it benefit me?

If you are a game developer or potential casino operator then GamblingTec.com is a way for you to get your game or casino up and running in a licensed casino environment, quickly.

There is no need to purchase hardware or setup corporate structures that would otherwise be needed in order to apply for a gambling license. The Platform manages all aspects of your business sales and revenue and payments are made to you or the company you contracted with.

GamblingTec is integrating into third party games and as an operator, you will have a selection of games you can offer to your clients. If you have written your own game, you are free to integrate it into the platform and offer this to your customers.

What will it cost?

The service is not for free and you will spend a minimum of around €400 per month (do not quote us on this). This however is a lot cheaper than licensing your own casino directly.

Their fees are outlined here: casino game pricing

How do I get started?

To get going, visit the website, make an appointment to speak with a consultant, and from there, you are on your way to getting your game infront of a paying audience!

GamblingTec.com

I want more information

Why not read the GamblingTec Q&A with the business developer behind the project which was published on linked in?

Host your website offshore

Did you know, you can host your website offshore and it is not too difficult!

In the past offshore hosting was synonomous to things like money laundering, shady businesses and similar perceptions. But today, offshore hosting is an essential part of doing business in a global economy and there are legitimate reasons to require your servers to be in a remote location.

Host your website offshore


When you send your servers to a distant county or in the case of Curacao, island, this is called ‘offshore web hosting’. You may do this to be close to your customers, for privacy reasons, licensing reasons (such as gambling licensing) and this will vary from person to person.

Host your website offshore in Curacao

We offer hosting from Curacao, which is an off shore hosting destination with incredible connectivity to the United States and South America. We work with financial services institutions, caribbean based companies as well as remote gambling companies. Customers host with us for license reasons, Curacao’s strict privacy laws, fiscal benefits and access to a multi lingual workforce.

Why would you host your website offshore?

You may be wishing to host products and services that your home country has deamed illegal, such as a gambling website (which
is perfectly legal in Curacao). Poker, casino’s and similar offerings are banned in Asian countries, and for clients looking
to setup such a website, we would be a perfect fit.

Other reasons may be legal reasons such as what we call PE (Permanent Establishment) and in this case this would apply to
Caribbean based companies. You may wish to run an affiliate programm such as bookmaker partner programs or pharmacy affiliate programs, which few countries will host.

About our offshore offerings

We offer shared hosting, co-location hosting, dedicated servers as well as VPS servers. We operate a redundant cloud with multiple hypervisors replicating client data and on super fast hardware. Each point in our network has a failover solution such as switches, routers, servers which allows us to service hardware without the need to shut our network down, it also means that should hardware fail, our clients websites will stay online.

Need more information about offshore webhosting?

Get in touch!

How to license my gambling app

So you have developed an iOS gambling app for the app store and you are now wondering how on earth you are going to license it?

Do I need a gambling license for my app?

According to the app store, you do:

5.3.4 Apps that offer real money gaming (e.g. sports betting, poker, casino games, horse racing) or lotteries must have necessary licensing and permissions in the locations where the App is used, must be geo-restricted to those locations, and must be free on the App Store. Illegal gambling aids, including card counters, are not permitted on the App Store. Lottery apps must have consideration, chance, and a prize.

How do I license my game for online gambling?

Essentially you have three options:

  1. Apply for a gambling license in a relevant jurisdiction
  2. Apply for a white label from an existing gambling company
  3. Use a gambling games licensing service provider

We have written about costs of setting up a gambling license which you can find here: costs of a Curacao license to get an idea of what you will be spending.

To obtain a white label, you would need to find a company willing to offer this to you. It comes with certain criteria such as handing over your domain name (where applicable) and payments being settled to the whitelabel holder.

The last option is likely the best option which is to use a Gambling Games service provider. This is basically a company with pre-existing licensing, payments, etc. who offers licensing as a service. All you do is integrate your app into their API and you are ready to do.

There are some pre-requisites such as having your game tested for fairness and RNG certification to deal with however these are relatively simple to get done. We work with GamblingTec.com who offers gambling licensing as a service to game developers

Need more information?

Get in touch!

Bitcoin Casino Licensing

Bitcoin casino licensing

If you own a Bitcoin casino or want to start one, then look no further, we can help you with your bitcoin casino licensing

We work with gamlbing business in Curacao and from around the world and lately, we have been hosting more and more Bitcoin casinos. One of the questions we are asked by customers and potential customers is whether or not we can help with their Bitcoin casino licensing and how to get a license for their casino? Well, we license and host bitcoin based casinos from Curacao which is an excellent and affordable jurisdiction for your endeavors.

Do I need a bitcoin casino license?

Traditional casinos are controlled via banking relationships. Casinos that are not licensed can not accept payments. Clearly with
Bitcoin based casinos, this is not an issue since bitcoin is decentralised and while we believe less centralisation is a good thing we believe any Bitcoin casino that
opts to obtain a remote gambling license shows both good faith and accountability to their customers.

Curacao legislation fully supports cryptocurrency casinos with a few provisions one of which is that you may not convert cryptocurrency to fiat and vise versa as part of your endeavors. So if a client deposits Bitcoin, they must play their games in Bitcoin.

What will a Bitcoin license cost?

We would recommend budgeting at least €30,000 per annum to manage your licensed Bitcoin casino. Take a look at our article on the costs of a Curacao license to get an idea of what you will be spending.

Need more information?

Get in touch!

Cheap gambling license

Cheap gambling license

Is Costa Rica a good place for a cheap gambling license?

The cheapest license, which allows entrepreneurs to run a casino, is granted by Costa Rica. However this jurisdiction issues a Data Processing License and not an actual “Gambling license”. While this may at first appear to be a “cheap gambling license” option, this is a contentious point.

The problem with the Costa Rica gambling license is its reputation. While banks and payment solutions do provide services to Costa Rica based gambling companies,
they will be far and few between. The impact of this on your business will be unstable banking relationships, hard to find card processor and e-wallet solutions and
international pressude and legislation that will slowly get in your way. In our opinion, cheap is not neccessarily better.

Is Curacao a good place for a cheap Gambling License?

Curacao is an offshore zone and is a respected jurisdiction by the gambling community. We have written a number of articles on Curacao gambling licenses which we would encourage you to read. In addition to this take the time to read our article on the cost of a Curacao gambling license.

In our opinion, this is the best location to get a cheap gambling license. But be warned, there is no such thing as “cheap” as this is a highly regulated business that will demand that you comply with local and international laws.

If however you are looking for an alternative or a specialised service, we would encourage you to take a look at GamblingTec.com which offers a platform as a service which you can use to license your casino or game or unique gaming idea.

You can find further comments on cheap gambling licenses here: Quora – Cheap Gambling License

How to get your cheap gambling license?

Feel free to get in touch with us and we will happily help you along with your decision making process!