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A Guide to Malta Online Casinos, Bonuses and More
The smallest of the European Union member states, Malta has set itself apart with its progressive approach to gambling laws and regulation. A member of the Commonwealth, Malta has cultivated a thriving gambling industry, mostly thanks to the robust legal framework regulating these activities.
There are four land-based casinos in Malta, serving the island’s population of under half a million citizens. Over the last decade, several betting outlets have sprung up around the country, and there has been an uptick in participation in international lotteries as well.
Local lotteries are also extremely popular, and data collected in 2017 suggests that it is the most popular gambling activity, generating most of the €128 million spent that year on gambling. Online gambling is also seeing a slow but steady rise, possibly thanks to the influx of online gambling operators relocating to the sunny locale to take advantage of the welcoming business environment.
Is Online Gambling Legal in Malta?
Online gambling is legal in Malta. In fact, most kinds of gambling are permitted in the country thanks to the far-reaching legal structures in place to regulate them. Malta was the first EU member state to introduce regulation specific to online gambling – up until then, countries did not have any laws that handled the evolving sector directly but rather used older gambling laws.
Initially, all gambling in Malta was regulated via the Public Lotto Ordinance. This was then overhauled in 2001 in the Lotteries and Other Games Act. In 2004, the Remote Gaming Regulations came into force, and these set out the framework for the licensing of gambling activities.
There were four classes of license that could be acquired, depending on the type of game involved, and one specific permission for software operators. It was this piece of legislation that put Malta on the map in terms of online gambling.
In 2018, the New Gaming Act came into force. This shifted the focus from product-based definitions used in the Lotteries and Other Games Act to be more thematically driven, prioritising themes like player protection, tax and authorisations.
The four license classes were condensed into two – business-to-business and business-to-customer – streamlining and simplifying the licensing process. The Malta Gaming Authority has been given the power to issue permits and certificates, though the extent of this power has not been outlined fully.
Operating licenses are now valid for ten years instead of five, and the gaming tax has been replaced with a range of licensing fees. The Act also makes provisions for stricter monitoring of operations, more robust protection of the player and of public interest by preventing crimes such as money laundering, fraud and the financing of criminal enterprise.
How we Review the Top Malta Casinos
All players deserve a gambling experience of high quality, and with all the brands out there, it can be hard to find a casino that offers that. Gambling Metropolis collected some of the finest brands in the business, so you don’t have to do all that hard work! The team follows a strict set of criteria when recommending casinos to our readers.
Safety & Security
At the top of our priority list are safety and security, always. When you are depositing at an online casino, you want to know that everything is being handled securely and above board. The same goes for your personal data. Gambling Metropolis will only recommend casinos that prioritise player safety at all times.
There are a lot of factors that contribute to a casino’s product, and the welcome bonus is one of the most influential. It can set the tone for a player’s whole experience at and online casino, and we always want our readers to have the best experience. Only fair and reasonable welcome bonuses are included here.
You want to be completely confident when it comes to using your hard-earned cash. We make sure that the casinos we recommend all handle transactions swiftly and professionally, and offer a range of reliable and recognised payment methods.
All players want to have their winnings in hand as quickly as possible. Casinos that understand this will likely also offer a better overall player experience. Only casinos that offer speedy, secure payouts are included in our toplist pages.
Having a mobile version of a casino is pretty much standard these days. We test each casino’s mobile product and give our appraisal of its range, choice and performance in our reviews.
It’s essential for players to know that there is a team ready to help if something goes wrong at an online casino. As part of our review, we check what help channels a casino brand provides, when these channels are available and in what languages, and more. We include all of our findings in each casino’s review page.
Established Game Providers
If you want quality games, you should look for quality game developers. At any online casino, the game software will be the most significant factor influencing fair and random play, so we want to make sure that only the best studios are represented at the brands we review.
A reputable casino will only host games that have been independently verified, and we will never recommend a brand that uses unlicensed providers. The software created by their providers puts players at higher risk of all kinds of trouble, so we recommend avoiding them at all costs.
Licence and regulations
You can rest assured that Gambling Metropolis will only display casino brands that hold reputable and legitimate operating licenses from proper regulators. Not all online casinos are licensed, and this can spell problems for players, which is why we think players are much better off sticking with licensed brands.
A licensed operator has to abide by standards set by the licensing authority. These include essential player protection, fairness standards, crime prevention and more. By playing at licensed casinos, you are guaranteed a safer experience that protects you, your data and your transactions.
Playing With Real Money – Can You Deposit Euro at Malta Online Casinos?
Malta uses the European Union’s currency, which means that players in the country will be able to deposit in Euro pretty much universally at online casinos. Alongside USD and GBP, Euro is one of the most widely accepted currencies.
Players in Malta also have access to an extensive range of payment methods such as e-wallets like Neteller, Skrill and Paypal. These take the hassle out of depositing and withdrawing from any online casino.
Because many casinos are licensed in the European Union, they are obligated to be very thorough when handling transactions. Like other players, players in Malta will need to present documents that prove their identity before a withdrawal is processed. This is part of a strategy to prevent casino services being used to fund or facilitate criminal activities, such as fraud or money laundering.
Which Casino Games are Available in Malta
Players based in Malta can enjoy the full range of casino games out there. These include slots and jackpots, table games, keno, bingo, lotteries, live casino games and sports betting.
Popular Casinos Accepting Malta Players
Many casinos welcome players in Malta, and this is likely because so many of them hold Malta-issued operating licenses. If a casino does hold one of these licenses, they can provide their services to players in Malta as well as many other countries. If you are located in Malta, searching for casinos with an MGA license is the best way to go.
Among the many casinos available, we have chosen three that stand out for the quality of their products, the games they offer and the exciting experience they promise players. Check out Video Slots for all the latest slot game titles and thrilling tournaments. Head to Casumo for a relaxed, zen casino experience. Or give Guts a try for a casino brand that packs a punch. The choices are endless!
Playing Online Casino Games With a Real Live Dealer
It’s easy to understand why live dealer games are so popular and continue to draw many players. Live casino games help to bridge the gap between the convenience of online experience and the pleasant atmosphere of a land-based casino. Players can communicate and enjoy the company of other players and the dealer without having to travel to a specific destination.
Live dealer games work through live streaming, which transmits real-time video of a dealer and their in-game actions to players logging in online. All that is required is an internet-enabled device and a casino account.
Many live casino titles are variations on classic table games, which makes sense as the objective is to replicate the land-based casino environment and these are the most commonly available games at those kinds of venues. However, there have been innovations in recent years, which saw the introduction of multiple unique titles. This trend looks ready to continue on for some time!
Casino Bonuses and Free Spins
It is crucial to understand what a casino bonus entails before a player accepts it. Many casinos offer bonuses in some shape or form, but not all are created equal. At Gambling Metropolis, we thoroughly check the casino bonuses of brands we review so that readers can make the right decision for themselves.
A good bonus is not necessarily the biggest one or the most flashy but rather the one that suits the player. What a bonus involves and the terms and conditions associated with it are as important as the bonus perks themselves and players should be aware of all of these elements.
What is a Bonus Wagering Requirement?
We can think of a bonus wagering requirement as a particular restriction that the majority of casinos put in place to make sure that any bonuses and promotions are not being abused by players. A wagering requirement ensures that a player has wagered a certain amount before winnings are paid out. This prevents players from merely accepting bonuses and cashing them out, which is not profitable or fair for the casino.
On average, most casinos set wagering requirements between x20 and x50, though casinos are free to set them higher or lower. A very high wagering requirement will usually mean that you will use your winnings to work through it, and many players choose to avoid bonuses with high requirements for precisely this reason.
There is a growing trend among casinos to offer wager-free spins as part of their bonuses. This means that players do not need to wager a specific amount before they can withdraw their winnings. Always read the T&Cs carefully to determine the wagering requirements and never assume that a bonus is wager-free unless you see it in writing.
The Casino Market in Malta
At the moment, there are four land-based casinos in Malta, with most of them located in the tourist hotspot of St Julians. These are the Oracle, the Olympic, the Dragonara and the Portomaso casinos. You might recognise the Portomaso and Dragonara names as these have featured in live casino games before.
There are two age limits that gamblers need to consider when visiting a casino in Malta. Maltese citizens must be 25 years of age or older, while non-citizens must be over 18. The island has a strong tourism industry that brings in the lion’s share of the country’s wealth, so this rule seems to be in line with that. In 2018, gambling was responsible for 13.2% of the nation’s economic activity.
Online Casinos and Gambling Rules and Regulations in Malta
The Malta Gaming Authority is in charge of licensing and regulating gambling operations. It used to be known as the Lotteries and Gambling Authority when the 2001 Lotteries and Gaming Act came into force but has since seen multiple changes in its structure and scope.
In 2018, a total of 273 online casinos held an MGA license. The authority is responsible for monitoring license holders to ensure compliance, settling player disputes, investigating irregular behaviour and sanctioning operators who break the rules.