A guide to the Malta online gambling license

Thinking of opening an online casino or betting platform in Malta? Here is all you need to know about the Malta online gambling license.

Why do I need a license?

We recommend that any entity wishing to operate an online casino or online gambling, hold the relevant license. The advantages of licensing include being able to obtain a bank account, payment processing accounts and settlement accounts. It also creates credibility and trust between the operator and the player- something that is essential in a competitive market.

If you operate without a license, you are breaking the law and can face fines or even a prison sentence. Furthermore, the damage to your reputation will be irreparable. Fast Offshore does not offer assistance to any client wishing to operate outside of applicable laws or regulations.

What are the requirements for a Malta online gambling license?

Each jurisdiction has specific requirements for those wishing to obtain an online gambling license. These generally include providing proof of who the applicants are, where they live, and that they do not have a criminal record. Additionally, they will need to provide Random Number Generation certification and details of software providers.

Malta is one of the most stringent jurisdictions and has a solid reputation. This makes the licensing procedure a little more in-depth than other places. 

Other requirements include passing a “Fit and Proper” test, filling key function compliance roles, and providing a detailed business plan. Details of all gaming software systems used must be provided and all operations and gaming server hosting must be in Malta. There are ongoing considerations such as compliance and software audits that must be completed periodically.

What kinds of licenses are there?

Malta previously had several different kinds of online gambling licenses. You applied for one, or several depending on the games and services you wanted to offer. This was a complicated and costly process. Thankfully the Malta Gaming Authority streamlined the application process and now there are only two options. Operators can choose from a B2C license or a B2B license, depending on whether they are offering games to clients, or services to other providers.

Is it hard to get a Malta gambling license?

Getting a license is hard in every jurisdiction as authorities want to be sure the operator is reputable. There is a lot of time and paperwork involved as well as meetings with regulators to explain the business and how it will operate. KYC and Due Diligence procedures need to be put in place along with responsible gaming and underage gaming policies. 

Malta is an EU Member State and is bound by the 5th AML Directive, regulating the risk of money laundering and terrorist financing. Operators in Malta need to adhere to these rules or risk significant penalties. License holders must conduct due diligence, enhanced due diligence and to be wary of PEPs. They must also be aware of sanctions and adverse media checks, as well as passing them at the application stage.

The Malta license takes around 12-16 weeks to acquire, as long as all documents are in order.

What’s the cost?

A Malta license is not one of the cheapest out there. Our turnkey package starts at around EUR 70,000 depending on the nature of the business. This includes the corporate structure, license, payment and settlement accounts as well as other matters that may arise during the process. 

What about taxes?

In Malta, there is a 35% corporate tax rate. Malta utilises a full imputation company taxation system where corporate profits are taxed at 35% but dividends distributed to shareholders are entitled to a tax credit that is equal to the tax on the profits out of which the dividends are paid. This can bring the effective tax rate down to as low as 5%. But each case is different and it really depends on the corporate structure and situation of each entity. In addition to this, Malta has a multitiered compliance contribution which is calculated on the gross gaming revenue.

If you want to open an online casino or gambling platform in Malta, contact us today for expert advice.