Malta is one of the very few countries in the world that has codified gambling laws. Located between the North African Coast and Sicily, this is an archipelago which has a vibrant and robust gambling industry.
Gambling has been part of the Maltese way of life since time immemorial, but it was from 1964 (year of attainment its independence from the United Kingdom) onwards that the country started codifying its gambling laws.
In the early years, gambling in brick and mortar casinos was the main focus, but the dot.com boom and its subsequent impact in the gaming industry which led to the proliferation of online casinos was hugely felt in the country than any other country.
Shortly after the dot.com boom, in 2004, Malta became the first country in the world to officially recognize, embrace and regulate online gambling as it enacted a comprehensive legislative framework on online gambling.
Due to its open stance in regards to online gambling, the country established relationships with several software providers as well as online casinos that soon opened shop and established their headquarters in the country.
Today, the country is known worldwide as the ‘iGaming’ capital of the world. Players can register and play at different online casinos regulated by the country’s gaming authority, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).
2018 Gambling Laws in Malta
Gambling in Malta predates the country’s history. The earliest records of Maltese history feature the game of Ic-Cippitatu, a gambling game that was a favourite of many both the young and the old.
The direct translation of Ic-Cippitatu in English means the winner takes all. What this means is that the winner in the game of Ic-Cippitatu took all the prizes.
Though Ic-Cippitatu was played everywhere including at Royal proceedings, the game was not regulated by the authorities in any way.
It was only after the passing of the Lotto Act in 1922 that the government began to enact gaming regulations. The Public Lotto Ordinance of 1922 regulated lotteries, the only form of lotto that was played at this time was Italian lotto.
As years’ passed, regulation of gambling laws became sophisticated, in 1934 the Racecourse Betting Ordinance was enacted, the National Lottery was launched in 1948, the Kursaal Ordinance for casino betting was enacted in 1958.
Years later, the Kursaal Ordinance was superseded by the 1998 Gaming Act. The gaming authority currently overseeing all gaming activities was established by the Lotteries Act of 2001. Every piece of regulation that was enacted during these years was meant for land-based gambling.
The first move towards regulating remote gambling came in 2000. When the Public Lotto Ordinance was amended in 2000, it included a few elements on remote gaming.
The remote gambling elements covered in the Public Lotto Ordinance were soon overtaken by events and the government had to enact another new piece of legislation, the Remote Gambling regulations of 2004 which took into effect all the developments in the online gaming industry.
The Public Lotto Ordinance spelt out that it is not enough to denote remote gambling by assessing the game on its own, but the most important thing is to assess the ‘means’ by which the game is provided. By specifying on ‘means’, the Public Lotto Ordinance of 2004 enabled the MGA and the government to regulate remote gambling.
Today, remote gambling is covered by the Gaming Act which took effect on 1 July 2018 super ceding the Public Lotto Ordinance of 2004.
The Gaming Act brings into force numerous changes to the online gambling industry including regulating games of skills, games of chance as well as games of chance and skill, ushering in a new system of taxation and introducing a new two-tier licensing system.
The recently enacted Gaming Act of 2018 is not comprehensive therefore numerous subsidiary pieces of legislation are to be enacted with time.
Below is a timeline of the pieces of legislation regulating gambling in the country.
Public Lotto Ordinance Act
Racecourse Betting Ordinance
Remote Gambling Regulations
Popular Games & Betting in Malta Casinos
As one of the few countries in the world that openly embraces and regulates gambling (both land-based and remote), players seeking to play casino games in the country can expect a wide array of games despite where there are visiting Malta casinos from, i.e., whether playing in land-based casinos or playing remotely.
The following are the top casino games categories:
Slots – Malta players playing casino games at online sites can expect to find different kinds of slot games from classic slots to video slots. These slots also cover different themes from nature themed slots to sport themed slots.
Table games – At any casino, Malta players can expect to find any table game of their preference. Land-based casino, as well as online casinos, possess all the top table games.
Live casino – Almost all gambling resources come with live casino sections which feature most table and card games.
Video Poker – Nearly all casinos both online and land-based offer different video poker variants.
Nearly all casinos offer different playing methods for players. Players can play for real money, or they can try out the games for free at first playing in demo mode.
Best Deposit and Withdrawals Methods for Malta Casino Players
For players playing at land-based gambling houses, they can simply use the EUR (local currency) to wager on games. However, for players playing at online casinos, they will need to deposit their funds first using any of the accepted payment methods.
Online resources accept most payment methods including debit/credit cards, bank transfers as well as electronic wallets. Most of the payment methods that a player can use when depositing funds are also accepted upon withdrawals. The following are some of the top payment methods accepted at regulated Malta casinos:
Depositing at any of the regulated Malta casinos is often times instant. However, withdrawals can take time.
Players need to note that processing time for withdrawals varies from casino to casino. Some websites have relatively faster processing time for withdrawals while others take time.
Live Betting and Casinos in Malta
Most casinos that are regulated do offer live betting services. Players simply need to log in to the casino site in order to access the live betting service.
A short research will reveal that gambling destinations in Malta do attract a huge number of players. Some of the factors which make regulated casinos attract many players include the following.
When playing on the online betting resource, gamblers have to submit their personal information as well as banking information for those wagering with real money.
In order to protect players from fraudsters, websites secure themselves with SSL encryption technology which safeguards the personal information of players.
In addition, casinos have their servers in foreign countries. All these factors help to keep the player personal information secure.
In order for players to have confidence at any casino they are playing at, they need the assurance that they are playing at a casino which is recognized by the authorities, and a casino which acts within the confines of the law.
As most regulated Malta casinos are licensed by the MGA, players can play their favourite games knowing if they encounter any problems, they know where to report.
Everyone loves freebies, and this applies even when one is playing at a casino. Approved Malta casinos are renowned for offering players lucrative promotions as well as great Malta casino bonuses both upon completion of registration and also for staying loyal at a particular casino.
Whether one is a professional or a beginner, there are times when one needs to lodge a complaint or has suggestions to improve service at a casino.
It is in this instance that a player will seek customer support, most registered gambling websites have reliable and highly responsive customer support departments hence players prefer playing at these casinos.
Find the Best Online Casinos in Malta in 2018
There are several factors that Malta players have to consider and check for when choosing the best Malta online casinos to play at.
Some of these factors include security, licensing, online Malta casinos offering lucrative bonuses as well as responsive customer support platforms.
Some of the top gaming websites that pop up when one searches for the best Malta online casinos include:
JackpotCity Online Casino
Bet Fair Casino among others.
Players have the freedom to choose recommended Malta online casinos listed on several sites that suit their needs.
Frequently Asked Malta Casino Questions
Prospective players ask several questions regarding gambling in Malta. Some of the frequently asked questions include those described further.
Is gaming in a Malta online casino safe?
In general, yes. Most gambling websites are registered, and they are regulated by the MGA hence they are completely safe.
Do casinos in Malta have bonuses?
Almost all Malta casinos do offer promotions and Malta casino bonuses. These promotions and bonuses do cater to the needs of both first-time players as well as regular players.Regarded as the ‘iGaming’ capital of the world, the country has a robust and well-regulated gambling industry.Players looking to play either at land-based gambling houses or at online betting resources need to know that they can find almost any casino game of their choice. Player safety and security is guaranteed at most casinos hence there is no need to worry about fraudsters.