Types of Licences and Games
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) will grant an applicant with one or both of the following licences:
Gaming Service Licence (B2C)
A Business to Consumer licence to offer or carry out a gaming service.
A gaming service shall also constitute the following:
- offering, provision or operation of a gaming service; and
- hosting by a person in his premises accessible to the public, the operation or making available for use a gaming device or gaming system.
Critical Gaming Supply Licence (B2B)
A Business to Business licence to offer or carry out a critical gaming supply.
A critical gaming supply shall also constitute the following supplies:
- supply and management of material elements of a game;
- supply and management of software, whether stand-alone or part of a system, to generate, capture, control or otherwise process any essential regulatory record, or the supply and management of the control system itself on which such software resides.
Corporate Group Licence
From 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority allowed corporate groups to apply for a corporate MGA licence, whereby the whole group is deemed to be the licensee. From the group, the company designated as the nominal holder of the group licence must pay the relevant dues to the authority and adhere to the authority’s reporting requirements.
This is beneficial for corporate groups with a gaming service licence that would like to provide critical gaming supply services solely within their group, as this would mean that no B2B licence is required. Should the critical gaming supply services be provided to third parties, a B2B licence is required. This also means that provision of services from one entity to another in the same corporate group would be deemed to be carried out by the licensee, and not as outsourcing. The type of licence and type of games applied for by an applicant will determine the minimum issued paid up share capital.
Types of Games
The Maltese regulator has the authority to make the final decision on whether a game is licensable or not. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) will also determine whether a game is a skill game or a controlled skill game requiring a licence. Before applying for a licence with the MGA, you must first establish the types of games that you will be offering to players.
- Type 1: Games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is determined by a random generator, and shall include casino type games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker played against the house, lotteries, secondary lotteries and virtual sports games.
- Type 2: Games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is not generated randomly, but is determined by the result of an event or competition extraneous to a game of chance, and whereby the operator manages its own risk by managing the odds offered to the player.
- Type 3: Games of chance not played against the house and wherein the operator is not exposed to gaming risk however generates revenue by taking a commission or other charge based on the stakes or the prize and shall include player vs. player games such as poker, bingo, betting exchange and other commission-based games.
- Type 4: Controlled Skill Games which require additional regulatory supervision because of the additional risks they pose to consumers and shall include fantasy sports.
In the case of a game displaying elements which may fall under more than one of the types referred to above, the MGA shall have full discretion in categorising the game in the type it believes closest reflects the nature of the game.
Other types of games
Operators that are already in possession of a Gaming Service Licence or Critical Gaming Supply Licence and wish to offer an additional type of game do not need to go through the full gaming licence application procedure. Instead, they would be required to apply to the MGA for the necessary approval.
Gaming vertical refers to a category of products that require specific safeguards in order to ensure that it is offered in a manner which adheres to law and to the regulatory objectives, owing to its characteristics and the distinction between it and other categories of products.
The different verticals include:
b. Live casino;
c. Scratch cards;
e. Secondary lotteries;
f. Fixed odds betting, including live betting;
g. Pool betting, including betting exchange;
h. Peer-to-peer poker;
i. Other commission-based, peer-to-peer games such as bingo, but excluding pool betting, betting exchange and poker.