The MGA The Med’s Gaming Jurisdiction
The small island in the Mediterranean located between the Italian island of Sicily and the North African coast has had a long and rich history. The island has been very a strategic point in some of the region’s most bloody of times. Now it is one of the world’s most respected gaming regulatory jurisdictions. Once part of the British Empire the now independent country still uses English as its official language. This may be one of the reasons that the gaming commission has some many online casinos on its books. The Malta Gaming Authority (formally the Lotteries and Gaming Board) came about as a rebranding. They had some issues and a bit of a reputation for being a slow responder to player issues. They did however always get round to replying and they had a great record for actually solving problems. A lot of player’s grievances got sorted in the players favour. The only problems were the tardiness of responding. The authority recognized this and increased staffing levels to compensate. Then came the new image and they haven’t looked back. The mission statement is ‘To regulate competently the various sectors of the gaming industry that fall under the Authority by ensuring gaming is far and transparent to the players, preventing crime, corruption and money laundering and by protecting minors and vulnerable players.’
The Website Is Quality It Bodes Well
Visit the MGA website and the class shines through. Regulating all aspects of Malta’s gaming industry, from 2004 they have become one of the world’s preferred remote gambling regulator. It’s easy to see why the industry likes to work with the MGA. The rules and regulations are strict but straight forward and understandable. The tax burden is reasonable and the MGA has a great mediation record. So much so that they are an authorised alternative dispute resolution organization for the UKGA. This is a great recommendation for both the operators and the playing public. The level of information available on the MGA website is one of the highest. Yes the home page is a bit of corporate marketing they like to be a bit grandiose in their mission statements and objectives. But look a bit deeper and you get a lot of useful information regarding licensees. The MGA also likes to debunk a lot of fraudulent claims made by some very dodgy casinos. They will regularly list those that use their name and claim to be regulated by the MGA. They also have teeth and use them. Many times in the past licenses have been rescinded for infractions of the rules and when this happens the fact is reported and hushed up.
Why Malta Though
Malta has had its ups and downs as far as the economy is concerned. Since joining the EU it has pushed its way up in the gaming industry. Malta hosts some of the biggest live dealer studios for the biggest names in online gaming software. It regulates a huge number of the top tier game developers and the casinos that use them. Why? Well the Maltese government saw the writing on the wall and have offered a number of rather attractive incentives to businesses and their employees. There are of course hoops that need to be jumped through. But the package offered to remote gambling businesses is quite impressive. Employees get reduced rates of personal income tax. There are exemptions for income coming from patents. Dividend refunds and double taxation relief there is the Re-domiciliation Act along with a few others all in all Malta is doing its best to attract gambling business. The authority has a reputation for straight dealing and a distinct lack of bureaucracy. The country as a whole has become something of a Mecca to the i-Gaming industry, it is plowing a lot of time and effort into sustaining the growth.
The Future Looks Maltese
The MGA whether you like it or not are global players in the online regulation field. They currently have over 250 companies with something in the region of 460 licensees on their books. They have instigated reforms after many questions and complaints were raised. They have set up the Gaming Academy bringing together a number of educational assets to further the growth of the industry. They are committed to the online gaming industry for sure. They are constantly looking to further the industry and integrate the separate markets.
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Building A Better Reputation
As said before the MGA has had a bit of a poor rep for dealing with complaints in the past. This has snowballed with some reviews into really putting down the authority. We don’t think they were that bad. They have definitely improved. They are the only regulatory body that has a live chat for one thing. That right you can talk to someone from the support staff in real time. They do still encourage the player to sort disputes with the casino first. That is the norm for any jurisdiction. Let’s face it some you can’t even email! There is still a lot of trash talk online that has lingered around from the early days. Yes the MGA or as they were known LGA they were quite bad for a while. Some have said merely a rubber stamp. We think this is a little harsh but not too far from the truth. However the quality of service has greatly improved and the latest overhaul has stirred things up some more. The fact is as long as they keep moving forward it has to be a good thing. This industry is growing and changing at a very fast pace keeping up with it is a challenge. In an industry that has been plagued with regulatory bodies that have little or no use the MGA is making a good go of it. We need to look to the future and not keep reading ten year old posts about a fledgling authority and using them as our guides.