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.