Malta regulator review
The Lotteries and Gaming Authority of Malta are a UK whitelist jurisdiction and regulate their licensees very well. Their licensees are both large and small operators, and the LGA offers a good level of recourse and player support in cases of disputes. Generally, LGA licensees are reputable operators.
Malta, a small EU country, has one of the few licensing bodies that have been white-listed by the United Kingdom (which means that holders of its licences can, among other things, advertise in the UK), making it one of the most respected and credible licensing bodies in the world. The LGA (Lotteries & Gaming Authority) offers four different classes of licenses, each of which is issued for five years and each of which requires the license holder to physically locate a significant part of the gaming operation in Malta.
That is not the only requirement, however, and license holders are strictly required to follow numerous guidelines and offer various services to its clients and players. The list includes services related to player support, payment solutions, fraud prevention, and risk management. Although some of the requirements might seem a bit harsh, they certainly lend much more credibility to the holders than licenses from many other bodies.
A closer look at the list of licensed operator shows that Malta does indeed strictly review all of its applicants and that only the largest and most reputable operators have Maltese licenses. Players that are not happy with the behaviour of a gaming operator with the license can contact the LGA directly and easily through an online form, with the LGA mediating the issue and taking lawful measures to protect the player. The list of the rights of the players is quite long and includes rights for self-exclusion, self-limitations, and protection of personal data.
Another thing that makes the Maltese body so credible is the fact that it closely cooperates with the EU bodies and even individual countries in many ways. Furthermore, it also forces the licensed operators to ask it for approval whenever a major corporate decision is about to take place, with the list including changes in the Board of Directors and mergers with another company.
With such strict rules in place, complaints are far and between, as LGA takes every possible step to protect its reputation. Its website regularly informs about misuses of the organization’s logos by rogue operators and about suspensions of its licenses. In 2012, three holders saw their licenses suspended or terminated, while one holder, Everleaf Gaming Ltd, which runs a number of online poker rooms, came under close scrutiny by the LGA and even had sanctions put in place by the body after a number of players complained about not getting their withdrawals processed by the operator. When it comes to disputes, the Maltese body can, unlike many other licensing bodies, use the backing of its government and refer cases to the Police of Malta to initiate criminal procedures.
All in all, it is clear that the Maltese licensing body represents the very pinnacle of credibility and players looking for a fair and transparent casino should know that it is impossible to go wrong by picking from the list that is available on the LGA’s website. The rules are strict, players stay protected at all times, and mediation between the two parties is almost always swift and satisfactory.