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Why Play at MGA Casinos in Canada?
There are many good reasons to play at licensed online casinos and those with a MGA licence in particular.
Known for its stringent regulatory standards, the Malta Gaming Authority ensures a safe and fair gaming environment.
This includes a fair chance of winning, secure payment methods, transparent terms and top-notch customer service.
Let’s have a closer look at some of the key advantages of playing at an online MGA-licensed casino.
The MGA Licence is Reliable
It is beyond dispute that the MGA is one of the most reliable licensing authorities in the gambling industry.
Since Malta became the first country to regulate online gambling in 2004, it has set the standard for others to follow.
Today, many of the most reputable and well-known casinos operate with a MGA licence. The organization is known for its strict and structured regulations.
Openness, fairness and honesty are its pillars. The body also regulates casino games and gambling forms, such as poker tournaments and virtual sports.
MGA Casinos are Safe and Secure
MGA-licensed casinos prioritize player safety and security. They typically employ robust encryption technologies to safeguard players' personal and financial data.
Additionally, they have strict identity verification procedures in place to prevent underage gambling and fraudulent activities.
In the event of disputes or issues, players can rely on the Malta Gaming Authority to mediate and ensure a fair resolution.
Games are Fair
At MGA casinos, all players have a fair chance of winning. Their operators are required to use certified Random Number Generators (RNGs) in their games. This means that outcomes are truly random and not manipulated in favour of the house.
In addition, operators must provide clear information about the Return to Player (RTP) percentages and the rules of the games. Through regular audits and inspections, the MGA ensures that games meet fairness standards.
Secure and Diverse Payment Options
The MGA takes several steps to ensure that licensed operators offer a diverse range of secure payment methods.
During the licensing process, it verifies the payment methods that operators plan to offer, ensuring they are legitimate and secure.
They also encourage operators to enhance user experience, which includes offering local payment methods.
For players who prioritize the diversity and safety of payment methods for deposits and withdrawals, an MGA casino site is a safe choice.
Access to the Best Games
While the MGA does not dictate the specific games that operators must offer, it encourages them to provide a diverse selection to cater to various player preferences.
This means that at most MGA casino sites, players will have access to plenty of games. This, of course, includes slots, table games and live dealer games.
Many MGA online casinos are among the most popular ones, offering a varied library of quality games from the best providers.
Responsible Gambling at MGA Casinos
The MGA places a strong emphasis on promoting responsible gambling and ensuring that licensed operators provide a safe and supportive environment for players. Some of the key measures to promote responsible gambling are:
Player Protection Measures
MGA casinos offer self-limitation tools like self-exclusion, deposit limits, and time-out periods to help players manage their gambling habits.
Information and Resources
Players can easily find information about the risks associated with gambling and how to gamble responsibly.
This includes resources and links to organizations that offer support for players dealing with gambling-related issues.
Detailed age checks to verify the age and identity of players will be carried out during the registration process.
MGA-licenced casinos must ensure that no underage individuals can access gambling services.
Advertising and Marketing
Marketing and advertising materials do not target vulnerable or underage individuals.
Also, casino bonuses and promotions are transparent and will not encourage irresponsible gambling.
Support and Assistance
Malta-licensed casinos provide adequate support for players who may be experiencing gambling-related issues.
Staff Training and Education
Staff members are trained to identify signs of problem gambling and to interact appropriately with affected players.
Monitoring and Identification
MGA casinos will monitor player behaviour for signs of problem gambling.
How to Recognize an MGA Casino
Players can easily recognize an MGA-licensed online casino by checking the website's footer. There, they should find the MGA logo and a licence number.
To verify the licence, players can click on the logo or licence number, which usually redirects to the MGA's official website.
Then, they can search for the casino's name to verify its licensing status and review any additional information about the operator.
Eligibility Criteria for MGA Casinos
What does the Malta Gaming Authority expect from its licensed online casinos? We’ve listed 10 key compliance conditions:
Applicants must provide a comprehensive business plan. This must outline their operational model plus projected costs and expected profits.
Casinos must demonstrate sufficient financial resources. They must prove they can operate effectively and pay out winnings.
Operators must keep player funds separate from operational funds to protect player balances.
Games, especially those based on RNGs, must be tested and certified for fairness by approved testing laboratories.
Information about RTP percentages must be transparent and accessible to players.
Responsible gambling tools and policies must be implemented. Deposit limits and self-exclusion options must be available to players.
Robust age verification processes must be in place to prevent underage gambling.
Ensure data protection measures to safeguard player data in compliance with applicable laws, such as the GDPR.
Implement secure transaction methods, using encryption technologies like SSL, to protect financial data.
Anti-Money Laundering (AML) Compliance
Develop and implement policies to prevent money laundering and terrorist financing. This must be in line with local and international AML regulations.
Implement Know Your Customer (KYC) procedures to verify the identity of players.
Terms and conditions must be clear, transparent, and easily accessible to players. Especially regarding bonuses and withdrawals.
Marketing and promotional materials must be accurate and not mislead players.
Legal and Regulatory Compliance
Ensure compliance with all applicable laws and regulations in the jurisdictions they intend to operate.
Pay the relevant licence fees. These include a fixed annual fee and possibly additional fees based on revenue.
Ensure that the technical platform is reliable, secure, and capable of offering a smooth gaming experience.
Some technical aspects, such as the hosting of certain gaming and control systems, may need to be based in Malta.
Owners and key officials must have a clean criminal record. The MGA conducts thorough background checks.
Declare any conflict of interest and ensure that operations are conducted ethically and impartially.
How to Obtain an MGA Licence
What does an online casino need to do to obtain a Malta licence? We’ll explain the steps below.
Meet eligibility Criteria. To apply for an MGA licence, an online casino operator must meet the specific eligibility criteria explained in the previous section.
Submit an Application: This application must include detailed information about the casino's business model, games offered, security measures, and responsible gaming policies. The operator must also pay a non-refundable application fee.
Stringent Assessment: The MGA conducts a thorough examination of the application, assessing the casino's suitability for a licence. This process includes due diligence on the casino's owners and key personnel, financial checks, and technical audits of gaming systems.
Pay Licence Fees: If the application is approved, the casino must pay the requisite licensing fees. These fees depend on the type of licence and the casino's annual revenue.
Continuous Compliance: Once granted a licence, the casino must adhere to ongoing regulatory requirements, including player protection measures, anti-money laundering procedures, and fair gaming practices.
Maintaining an MGA Licence
Once granted the much-coveted licence, operators must take the following actions to keep it:
- Annual Fees: Online casinos must pay annual licence fees to the MGA. These can vary depending on the type of licence held and the casino's revenue.
- Reporting and Auditing: Licensed casinos are also required to submit regular reports to the MGA. These include financial statements and audit reports. These documents help ensure transparency and financial stability.
- Player Protection: Licensed casinos must maintain their implemented responsible gambling measures, such as self-exclusion tools. Player fund segregation and anti-fraud measures must also remain in place.
- Compliance Checks: Finally, the MGA will conduct regular compliance checks to ensure that casinos continue to meet the standards set by the authority.
Types of MGA Licences
- B2C (Business-to-Consumer) Licence: For online casinos that offer gaming services directly to consumers. It covers various types of games, including casino games, sports betting, and more.
- B2B (Business-to-Business) Licence: For software providers and platform operators that offer their products to other gaming operators. It does not involve direct interactions with end-users.
- Critical Gaming Supply Licence: For companies providing critical gaming services like hosting, payment processing, and data management to licensed online casinos.
- Controlled Skill Games Licence: For operators offering skill-based games, such as poker and daily fantasy sports.
MGA Casinos - Current Trends and Future Developments
Let’s take a closer look at MGA’s approach to current trends and expectations for the future.
Blockchain and Cryptocurrencies
Since 2018, the MGA has been actively involved in exploring and adopting blockchain and cryptocurrencies in the gaming sector with its “Sandbox Framework.”
They explored how licensed operators can safely utilize Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), smart contracts, cryptos and other innovative technologies, while adhering to regulatory requirements.
In January 2023, this was replaced by an improved policy based on the experience gained with the Sandbox Framework.
AI and Innovation
The MGA is known for its forward-thinking approach towards new technologies, including Artificial Intelligence (AI). It supports initiatives that facilitate the integration of AI in game development and ensure adherence to regulatory standards.
AI can be utilized to create more engaging content and develop smarter game algorithms that ensure fairness and unpredictability in game outcomes. The authority is also exploring how AI can be used to facilitate regulatory compliance.
For instance, AI can analyze data to detect patterns related to fraudulent activities, money laundering, or responsible gaming issues, thereby assisting the MGA in enforcing compliance among licence holders.
One of the MGA’s objectives is to promote a sustainable gaming sector that safeguards players’ rights.
To do this, the authority has launched a consultation with its licensees to collect feedback on a voluntary Environmental, Social, and Governance Code of Good Practice.
Licensees will be encouraged to actively participate and further contribute towards the development of this code.
Other Trusted Licensing Bodies
The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most well-known and reputable licensing bodies out there, but there are other equally trusted licences.
Check out our detailed reviews below and discover which licences you should look out for when signing up with an online casino in Canada.
MGA Casinos FAQ
- What is the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)?
The MGA is a licensing authority in Malta that regulates and licenses online gambling. It ensures fair play, security, and player protection, creating a safe gambling experience.
- How Does the MGA Protect Casino Players?
MGA protects players through strict regulations, fair game testing, responsible gaming measures, and dispute resolution.
- How do I recognize a Malta-licensed casino?
An MGA-licensed online casino will have the MGA logo and licence number clearly displayed in the website's footer. By clicking on the logo, you can verify the validity of the licence.
- What are the best MGA casinos available in Canada?
The list of online casinos operating with an MGA licence is long. In this article, we’ve hand-picked some of the best MGA casinos available to Canadian players.
- What are the Criteria for Obtaining an MGC Licence?
To be eligible for a Malta gambling licence, operators must meet many strict criteria. Financial stability, robust security measures and tested fair games are some of them.