Malta gambling license costs

5 February 2012

In order to get a gambling license in Malta, you will need to do the following:

  1. Set up a company and apply for a license
  2. Pass the inspection by the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA)
  3. Deploy the system
  4. Maintain your license

The steps mentioned above are detailed below. We can also put you in touch with a Maltese law & consulting company that will help.

Step 1: Setup a Maltese Company and Apply for a Gambling License

The initial cost of setting up a Maltese company in order to apply for an online gaming licence will amount to around 5,500 EUR, which includes:

  • Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) registration fee,
  • drafting of Memorandum & Article,
  • obtaining of stamp Duty Exemption,
  • combined register and share certificates and
  • obtaining of VAT registration.
  • Company secretary
  • Two nominee shareholders
  • Registered office in Malta

The application for the gambling license will cost an initial 2,330 EUR. This application fee is not refundable should the application fail to be accepted.

After you gather all necessary documentation and information, a law firm can file the application within two weeks. The application will take around 1 1/2 months to be processed, and then you will be given a six-month period within which to establish the business in Malta, conclude all necessary agreements and carry out the necessary testing of the set-up. After this six-month period, LGA will issue a formal licence after the compliance certificate is obtained, which normally takes two weeks.

Step 2: LGA Examination

The first stage is to conduct a fit and proper exercise on the applicant. LGA analyses all information related to persons involved in financing and management and on the business viability of the operation. LGA conducts probity investigations with other national and international regulatory bodies and law enforcement agencies. It also carries out a financial analysis of the business plan. At this step, you will need legal guidance ( EUR 11,800) and key official fees ( EUR 6,800).

For each qualifying shareholder with 5% or more interest, you will need:

  1. Application for Remote Gaming Licence (form LGA/51/2004-1)
  2. Personal Declaration form (form LGA/51/2004-2)
  3. Copy of Passport
  4. Original Birth Certificate
  5. Police Conduct Certificate
  6. Financial/Bank reference
  7. Passport-size photo
  8. Statement of Affairs
  9. Bookmaker licence (if issued in other countries)

The business plan you submit will need include the following:

  1. Overview of Business & Objectives of Operation
  2. Proposed company structure including human resources to be employed
  3. Nature of games to be offered
  4. Technologies to be used
  5. Overview of application software
  6. Three year business plan including: (i) Marketing & Sales Plan (ii) Forecast profit & loss and balance sheets (iii) Forecast cash flow statement (iv) Financing plan

Once the documents above have been successfully inspected, the instruments required to conduct your business will be examined as well. This process includes examining incorporation documents; the games; the business processes related to conducting the remote games; the rules, terms, conditions and procedures of the games; the application architecture and system architecture of the gaming and control systems.

The following documentations must be submitted at this stage:

Statutory Documentation:

  1. A Maltese Registration Certificate
  2. International Trading Company Certificate - Advanced Revenue Ruling from Inland Revenue
  3. Memorandum & Articles of Association
  4. Business Entity Information form (form LGA/51/2004-3): (i) Name of Merchant Bankers, (ii) Operating Account Number/s, (iii) Players Account Number/s, (iv) Bank Declaration of Players' funds

Company Policies:

  1. Information Security Policy
  2. Incident Response Policy
  3. User Management Policy

Company Procedures:

  1. Human Resources Roles & Responsibilities
  2. System Access Control
  3. Financial Accounting
  4. Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  5. Backup Procedures
  6. Change Management Procedures
  7. 3.7 Fraud Management Procedures: (i) Know Your Client (KYC) Procedures, (ii) Anti Money Laundering (AML) Procedures, (iii) Payout management

Detailed description about:

  1. Application Architecture - outlining player and game management modules
  2. System Architecture - outlining all hardware to be used and their function within the system
  3. Network Infrastructure - schematic including Internal System IP-numbering, DMZ etc

Random Number Generator:

  1. Whether Hardware/Software based
  2. Model
  3. Brand
  4. Copy of Test Certificate
  5. Conclusion of Certification Authority report

Specification of the Gaming System To submit following information:

  1. Name of the owner of the software
  2. Name of organisation which did the testing
  3. Processes, rules and parameters of the games

Online text/symbols:

  1. Operator Details
  2. Jurisdiction & Regulation
  3. Languages displayed
  4. Player Terms & Conditions
  5. Bonus Scheme Conditions
  6. Rules & Regulations of the Games (text)
  7. Player Registration process in screen shots
  8. Deposits & Withdrawals
  9. Data Protection statement
  10. Money Laundering reporting
  11. Dormant/Inactive accounts
  12. Complaints
  13. Social Responsibility
  14. Provision of Self Protection/Exclusion

Contracts with Business Partners:

  1. Payment Systems/Gateways
  2. Contracts with Software Providers
  3. Other Contracts with Parent/Group/Affiliate Companies

At the end of the examination the applicant is given a Letter of Intent (LOI) to operate remote gaming with the intent of obtaining a certification of compliance within six months. The applicant may then establish the business in Malta, conclude all agreements and carry out testing of the set-up. A formal licence is issued when LGA obtains approval from the compliance certification entity. A normal compliance certification procedure takes two weeks to be carried out.

A Service Provider Authorisation Form, if applicable, shall be included. This shall include the agreement with the equipment hosting provider in Malta, outlining clearly the functions and responsibilities to be carried out by such provider. A site plan of the data floor indicating the location of the equipment must be attached to the agreement. Serial numbers for all equipment installed are to be attached.

Details or copies of agreements with all third parties which may impact the licensee's gaming or control systems are also required by LGA (such third parties include the gaming software provider, all payment service providers, any odds/results provider used, and any other software partners).

  • Before certification, the Control System submission will be reviewed and tests made on the live data and procedures. Sample reports from the live system will be requested to show how the management of the betting system is conducted.
  • An assessment of the information management in the operations will be made; recommendations may be made to improve security of the players' data.
  • The backup and disaster recovery procedures will be reviewed. Change management procedures will also be reviewed.
  • The online website will be reviewed via a test account to see that the site operates in accordance with the regulations and with the operator's declared procedures (including notifying changes). The player protection measures required by LGA will be confirmed.
  • Bank account balances will be compared with online player account balances to ensure that the liabilities are sufficiently covered.
  • Routine data submitted on a monthly basis to LGA will be reviewed. Any anomalies will be investigated with the operator to ensure that correct data is available to LGA and rules relating to test data are observed. Spot checks on the odds, payout ratios, and randomness, as applicable, may be made.
  • Any agents acting for the operator will be scrutinised for probity. Copies of all relevant agreements and national licenses will be required by LGA for review and filing.
  • Staff lists and duties will be checked against the records held at LGA.

Step 3: Deployment

After the "Letter of Intent" is issued by LGA, you will deploy your system and set-up the business in Malta. You will have to pay an annual license fee of EUR 7,000 pluc a compliance audit fee of EUR 5,000.

Step 4: Maintenance

The licence is then issued for a period of five years.

Each year, you will have to pay:

  • A 5% income tax
  • An EUR 83,844 Gaming Tax ( EUR 8,987 monthly)
  • A server hosting fee (in Malta) of EUR 4,200
  • A key official fee of EUR 14,400
  • Fees for a Maltese office, secretary, and two shareholders, amounting to EUR 2,700
  • An annual license fee of EUR 7,000 (EUR 1165 for renewal)
5 February 2012

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