Three Maltese operators were deprived of licenses due to non-payment of fees

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In December it became known about the withdrawal of Malta gambling licenses of three major gaming operators. This is about eGaming Lab, Morpheus Games, and M-Hub Gaming, whose permits were canceled by the Malta Gaming Authority for non-payment of mandatory license fees.

All ex-licensees owed large sums to the regulator. So, eGaming Lab underpaid €50,083, Morpheus Games —  €80,775 and as for M-Hub Gaming, the amount of debt is unknown. 

Before accepting a revocation of licenses, the MGA gave permit holders 20 days to provide an explanation of the reason for non-payment of fees. In the event that the reason turned out to be convincing, there might not have been a decision to revoke the licenses. However, companies did not take advantage of this opportunity, and therefore the body nevertheless applied a measure, which it called “the most appropriate” in this situation. Permission to provide gambling services was revoked.

Gaming companies had the right to appeal to the Administrative Review Tribunal. Such right shall be preserved only for 20 days from the moment of publication of the MGA decision. At the moment, companies are obliged to remove any mention of the regulator from their platforms, as well as licenses previously issued to them. In addition, since the decision of the Maltese authority came into force, the provision of gambling services by former licensees is now illegal from the point of view of local legislation.

Interestingly, the tough decision to revoke permits was made despite the MGA’s policy to act more leniently and impose more warnings and fines than license revocations. The body has previously proven committed to this principle and issued fewer cancellation decisions in 2021 than a year earlier.

The Maltese gaming industry does not stand still and is constantly evolving. Currently, the MGA is considering new opportunities and has recently started a closed consultation with stakeholders on a proposed new policy on the use of Innovative Technology Arrangements (ITAs) and the acceptance of virtual financial assets (VFAs) and virtual tokens.

The Maltese gambling license is still one of the most popular among iGaming operators. Brilliant reputation and gaming industry prosperity are the main reasons why it is so. Nonetheless, before applying for a Maltese permit, don’t forget to know about the expenses of obtaining it, because they are pretty high in this jurisdiction. How much is a gambling license cost in Malta? The mandatory annual fee varies depending on the license type, but in most cases, it is €25,000. The application fee in the island state is €5,000. The renewal fee is of the same amount. You need to consider whether such costs will be affordable for your business, because if not, the consequences can be deplorable.

If you need help with choosing a jurisdiction or applying for a license in any country, please contact our specialists. We will accompany you throughout the entire licensing process, providing advice on jurisdictional legislation, AML policy, design, and trademarks. In addition, our lawyers will be there in case there are any problems or delays on your way to a desirable document. 

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