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Casino licenses

Online gambling is a popular and lucrative industry that attracts millions of players and operators from all over the world. However, not all online gambling websites are trustworthy and fair. To ensure the safety and integrity of online gambling, many countries have established their own licensing and regulatory frameworks that online gambling operators must comply with in order to offer their services legally and responsibly.

Two of the most reputable and widely recognized online gambling licenses in Europe are the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) license and the Estonian license. These licenses are issued by the respective authorities of Malta and Estonia, two small but influential countries in the European Union. Both licenses are valid for operators who want to offer their services to players from other European countries, as well as from other regions where online gambling is not legally prohibited. However, some countries may have specific restrictions or requirements for online gambling operators, so it is always advisable to check the local laws and regulations before entering a new market.

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Main Terms

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Malta Gaming Authority License

Casino license in Malta

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the gaming control board of Malta, responsible for regulating most forms of gambling in its territory, including both land-based and online gambling services. The MGA was established in 2001 and has since become one of the leading online gambling regulators in the world, with a high international reputation and recognition.

The MGA offers four types of licenses for different online gambling activities: Type 1 for casino games, Type 2 for fixed-odds betting, Type 3 for peer-to-peer games such as poker and bingo, and Type 4 for controlled skill games such as fantasy sports/. Each license has a validity period of five years and can be renewed upon application.

The MGA license has many benefits for online gambling operators, such as:

  • A secure and stable business environment that adheres to the European Union standards and principles.
  • A medium operation cost that includes a one-time application fee of €5,000, an annual license fee of €25,000, and a gaming tax that ranges from 0.5% to 5% depending on the type of license.
  • A comprehensive and transparent set of legislation, regulations, and directives that ensure fairness, transparency, player protection, crime prevention, and social responsibility in online gambling.
  • A fast and efficient licensing process that takes around 12 to 16 weeks to complete.
  • A possibility to obtain multiple licenses for different products under the same legal entity.

To obtain an MGA license, an online gambling operator must meet several requirements, such as:

  • Having a registered company in Malta or appointing a local representative.
  • Having a sound business plan that demonstrates the financial viability, sustainability, and integrity of the operation.
  • Having a robust technical infrastructure that ensures the security, reliability, and quality of the online gambling services.
  • Having a competent management team that has the necessary experience, qualifications, and skills in online gambling.
  • Having a clear ownership structure that discloses the identity and background of all shareholders, directors, and key officials.
  • Having a valid certification from an independent testing laboratory that verifies the fairness and randomness of the games and software.
  • Having a compliant anti-money laundering policy that follows the international standards and best practices.
  • Having a responsible gaming policy that includes measures to prevent underage gambling, problem gambling, fraud, and collusion.

The MGA license is widely accepted and respected by players, operators, and regulators alike. It is considered one of the best online gambling licenses in Europe and beyond.

Open the list of the Best MGA casinos!

The Estonian gambling license

Casino license in Estonia

Estonia is a country in Northern Europe that has a regulated and legal online gambling market. The Estonian gambling license is intended for companies that want to operate online gambling services such as slot machines, lotteries, sports betting, and casino games. To obtain an Estonian gambling license, a company must meet the following requirements:

  • The company must be registered in Estonia or have a branch office in Estonia.
  • The company must have a good reputation and no criminal record.
  • The company must have sufficient financial resources and solvency to ensure the payment of winnings and taxes.
  • The company must have a secure and reliable software platform that meets the technical standards and requirements of the Estonian Tax and Customs Board (ETCB).
  • The company must pay a state fee of 47,940 euros for the application and an annual fee of 31,960 euros for the license.

There are two types of licenses that a company must obtain to legally provide and operate online gambling services in Estonia:

  • An activity license for organizing gambling, which is valid for five years. This license authorizes the company to engage in gambling operations within the country.
  • An operating permit for organizing gambling, which is valid for one year and can be renewed annually. This permit specifies the type, location, and conditions of the gambling activities that the company can offer.

The ETCB is the authority that issues and supervises the Estonian gambling licenses. The ETCB also maintains a list of legal gambling operators on its website. The ETCB can revoke or suspend a license if the company violates the Gambling Act or other regulations.

The benefits of obtaining an Estonian gambling license are:

  • Access to a growing and lucrative online gambling market in Estonia and the European Union.
  • A low corporate tax rate of 20% on distributed profits.
  • A transparent and fair regulatory framework that ensures consumer protection and responsible gambling.
  • A possibility to offer a variety of online gambling products and services to customers.

The challenges of obtaining an Estonian gambling license are:

  • A high initial cost of applying for and maintaining the license.
  • A strict compliance with the technical and legal requirements of the ETCB.
  • A competition with other licensed operators in the market.

Open the list of the Best Estonian casinos!

Country specific gambling licenses in Europe

Gambling licenses are legal permits that allow online gambling operators to offer their services in a certain jurisdiction. Gambling licenses are issued by the relevant authorities of each country, and they have different requirements and conditions depending on the type and scope of the gambling activities. Gambling licenses are important for ensuring the legality, safety, and reliability of the online gambling market, as well as for protecting the consumers and preventing fraud, money laundering, and match fixing.

In Europe, there are many countries that have regulated and legal online gambling markets, and each country has its own gambling license regime. Some countries have a single license system that covers all types of online gambling products, such as casino games, sports betting, poker, bingo, and lotteries. Other countries have a multi-license system that requires operators to obtain separate licenses for each product category. Some countries also have different licenses for land-based and online gambling.

Some examples of European countries with gambling licenses are:

  • Sweden: Sweden has a dual-license system that distinguishes between online gambling and betting, and gambling that has a public benefit, such as lotteries and land-based bingo. The Swedish Gambling Authority (Spelinspektionen) is the authority that issues and supervises the gambling licenses in Sweden. To obtain a Swedish gambling license, an operator must meet several criteria, such as having a good reputation, sufficient financial resources, secure and reliable software, and paying a state fee and an annual fee. A Swedish gambling license is valid for five years for online gambling and betting, and one year for public benefit gambling.
  • Malta: Malta is one of the most popular jurisdictions for online gambling operators in Europe, as it offers a favorable tax regime, a stable legal framework, and a high level of consumer protection. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the authority that regulates and licenses the online gambling industry in Malta. The MGA offers four types of licenses: Class 1 for casino games and lotteries; Class 2 for fixed-odds betting; Class 3 for peer-to-peer gaming; and Class 4 for hosting and managing gaming operations. A Maltese gambling license is valid for five years and can be renewed .
  • United Kingdom: The United Kingdom has one of the largest and most competitive online gambling markets in Europe, with a wide range of products and operators. The Gambling Commission is the authority that regulates and licenses the online gambling industry in the UK. The Gambling Commission offers three types of licenses: operating license for conducting gambling activities; personal management license for key personnel in charge of strategy, finance, marketing, or compliance; and personal functional license for staff who work in casinos or bingo premises. A UK gambling license is valid indefinitely unless revoked or surrendered .

These are just some of the examples of country specific gambling licenses in Europe. There are many other countries that have their own licensing regimes, such as Italy, France, Spain, Germany, Denmark, Belgium, Ireland, Romania, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Iceland and later also Finland. Each country has its own benefits and challenges for obtaining a gambling license. Therefore, it is important for online gambling operators to research the legal requirements and market conditions of each jurisdiction before applying for a license.