The Gaming Commission of MaltaBy: Adam Baker, Monday December 1st 2008
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Malta first began to issue licenses to online gambling sites in the year 2000 under the Public Lotto Ordinance. Thereafter the Lotteries and Gaming Authority was constituted to license and regulate a number of gaming sectors including online or remote gambling operations. Due to the growth of online gambling, the Remote Gambling Regulations under the Lotteries and Gaming Authority were revamped in 2004 to provide for four classes of remote gambling licenses. Two of these classes relate directly to online casinos. Class 1 is for online casino operators and Class 4 is for online casino hosts and managers who are not themselves operators. Class 2 is for online sports betting operators and Class 3 is for advertisers that operate from Malta. In order to involve the licensees in the decision making process the Malta Remote Gaming Council was elected in March 2005. The Council launched an online forum to allow the licensees to voice their suggestions and concerns on legal, technical, and administrative issues.
The licenses issued by the Gaming Commission of Malta have a five-year validity. The licensees pay an initial fee of MTL 1,000 and also pay annual fees and a gaming tax of 0.5% of their turnover. The citizens of Malta are not permitted to engage in online gambling and this is an explicit condition of the licenses. The examination of new applicants is a three-stage process. The first stage, designated as "Fit and Proper", evaluates the preliminary suitability of the applicant. Crucial parameters in this stage are current litigation involved and bank references. The second stage is known as "Business and Technical Ability Assessment". This assesses both the proposed business structure and the proposed software. The final stage is the "Compliance Audit".
The Gaming Commission of Malta got a boost in September 2007, when it made the United Kingdom's "white list" of jurisdictions whose members are allowed to advertise in the British media. Jurisdictions are approved to the white list after an intense scrutiny of the guidelines and probity checks they enforce on their members. Being on the "white list" gives a boost to the traffic to the online casino since players consider it safer to wager there.
The European Gaming and Betting Operators (EGBA) is an association of the private gaming operators that operate in European Union countries. Operators licensed in the Malta jurisdiction would be expected to be members of the EGBA. The EGBA has its own set of guidelines and probity checks that all its members have to follow. These are more stringent than those required by law. This increases the comfort level for the players who wager at online casinos licensed in the Malta jurisdiction.
For more information about the Malta Gaming Commission we suggest checking out some of the following articles related to this jurisdiction:
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