Application Process

Application Process Licences

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Applicants submit all the required information at application stage and the MGA binds itself to evaluate all information through multiple internal process streams.

At application stage, the MGA assesses whether an applicant:

  1. Is fit and proper to conduct gaming business;
  2. Is correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective;
  3. Has the operational and statutory requirements to meet the obligations prescribed by law and policy; and
  4. Has correctly implemented and tested, on a technical environment, what has been applied for, before going live.

Application stages

The MGA conducts a fit and proper exercise on the applicant by assessing all information related to persons involved in financing and management and on the business viability of the operation. As part of this process, the MGA conducts probity investigations with other national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies.

The MGA conducts an in-depth financial analysis of the applicant’s business plan. The applicant’s business plan is expected to have a detailed forecast of the operation, inclusive of marketing and distribution strategies, HR plan and growth targets.

The applicant is examined on the instruments required to conduct the business. This process includes examining incorporation documents, the games, the business processes related to conducting the games, the rules, terms, conditions, policies, procedures and technical documentation of the gaming and control system.

Furthermore, a licensee is subject to minimum issued and paid-up share capital requirements:

• Type 1 – Minimum €100,000
• Type 2 – Minimum €100,000
• Type 3 – Minimum €40,000
• Type 4 – Minimum €40,000

Companies with multiple type approvals are required to meet the above share capital requirements cumulatively up to a minimum capping of €240,000.

The above mentioned components constitute the desk-based audit of the application requirements. Inconsistent and low quality applications are dropped and the respective applicant will have to re-apply.

Once all three previous stages are successfully completed, the MGA will inform the applicant that the application was successful and will invite the applicant to implement the operation onto a technical environment in preparation to go live. The applicant will be allowed 60 days to complete this technical roll-out, after which the application will be considered as cancelled and subject to re-application. At any stage within those 60 days, the applicant may appoint a Service Provider approved by the MGA to carry out a system audit. The systems audit will verify the live environment against the proposed application.

At this stage the MGA expects minimal deviation from the application. If there are significant changes to the gaming system, the applicant will have to re-apply by filing a new application.

On successful completion of the certification process, the Authority issues a ten-year licence.

The MGA mandates that after going live, a Licensee must undergo a number of compliance audits of its operations performed by an approved Service Provider appointed by the Licensee. Such audits need to be completed by the Service Provider within 90 days from the MGA’s notice.

The MGA will require the audit to adhere to the following schedule:

  1. After the first year of operation after being licensed by the MGA; and
  2. Any other audit depending on the compliance plan set by the MGA.

Failure of a compliance audit could lead to suspension or termination of a licence.

Applicants may apply for a gaming service or a critical gaming supply licence:

Gaming service licence is a business-to-consumer licence to offer or carry out a gaming service. A critical gaming supply licence is a business-to-business licence to provide or carry out a critical gaming supply.

The following services shall each constitute a gaming service:

  1. offering, provision or operation of a gaming service; and
  2. hosting by a person in his premises accessible to the public, the operation or making available for use a gaming device or gaming system.

The following services shall each constitute a critical gaming supply:

  1. supply and management of material elements of a game; and
  2. supply and management of software, to generate, capture, control or process essential regulatory record and/or supply and management of the control system itself on which the software resides.

Applicants applying for a gaming service or a critical gaming supply can offer one or more of the following game types:

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 his or her 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, but generates revenue by taking a commission or other charge based on the stakes or the prize, and shall include player versus player games such as poker, bingo, betting exchange, and other commission based games;
Type 4 – Controlled skill games as per regulation 8 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations. Further information can be obtained here.

Provided further that in the case of a game displaying elements which may fall under more than one of the types referred to above, the Authority shall have full discretion in categorising the game in the type it believes closest reflects the nature of the game.

A separate approval is required for each gaming vertical that requires safeguards in order to ensure that it is offered in a manner which adheres to the Law and the regulatory objectives:

  1. Casino;
  2. Live casino;
  3. Lotteries and secondary lotteries;
  4. Fixed odds betting;
  5. Pool betting, including betting exchange;
  6. Poker and other commission-based, peer-to-peer games such as bingo, but excluding betting exchange;
  7. Lottery messenger services; and;
  8. Controlled skill games.

Applications for licences can be submitted to the MGA via the Licensee Relationship Management System (LRMS).

List of Approved System & Compliance Auditors

  • BDO Technology Advisory Limited
  • Capstone Assurance Ltd
  • Deloitte Services Ltd
  • eGaming Compliance Services Limted – eCogra
  • FACT Technologies Ltd
  • Finanz-Audit Limited
  • GLI Europe BV
  • Grant Thornton
  • iTech Labs Italia S.R.L
  • KPMG
  • Kyte Consultants Ltd
  • MAZARS Consulting Ltd
  • NEXIA BT Advisory Services Ltd
  • PriceWaterHouseCoopers
  • QUINEL
  • RSM Malta
  • Slovenian Institute of Quality and Metrology

The Process

 

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