Best casinos with a Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) licence
We bet that every online casino veteran out there has come across Malta’s Gaming Authority’s (MGA) licence at some point when visiting online casinos from abroad. The MGA, which officially issues Malta’s gaming licence, was founded in 2001 when online casinos made their first breakthrough in Europe. The MGA is the governing body that regulates all forms of gambling in Malta, and the MGA licence that it issues is widely considered the most prestigious licence of the world.
Many players, providers, banking operators, and industry experts recommend sticking with online casinos that hold the MGA licence, and for valid reasons. Although Canada has started with its own (regional) licences as well, it’s fair to say that there’s still a lot of work to be done before they get to the same level of authority as their counterpart from Malta.
Malta Gaming Authority: the world’s most prestigious licence
The Malta Gaming Authority is the official legislative body that governs all online gaming operations in this tiny country part of the European Union. The MGA initially opened its doors in 2001 as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) and at the time the authority was one of the first organisations to start regulating online gambling activities in the world, giving them a major advantage over other gambling authorities. In 2015 LGA rebranded itself as the Malta Gaming Authority that most of the online gambling minded people will have heard of. Over the last decade it has managed to expand to a global reach.
MGA’s key responsibilities
Today, Malta Gaming Authority is the official regulator of most forms of gambling related activities in Malta. This concerns land based gambling venues as well as online business. The online domains that MGA regulates include casinos, slot games, tournaments, sports betting, virtual sports, and even B2B events. In order to give you full understanding of what this authority does, we have included a list of their most important tasks:
- Licencing online gambling operators.
- Monitoring operators that hold a MGA licence.
- Combating illegal operators.
- Safeguarding the fairness of all casino games offered by operators..
- Protecting users’ funds by making sure that the bank accounts and payment options are secure.
- Meeting players’ rights by taking care of customer complaints.
- Overseeing the overall promotion of responsible gaming.
- Protecting vulnerable users, including underage players.
- Collecting gambling related taxes on behalf of the Maltese government.
- Ensuring that the gambling and gaming sector contributes to Malta’s economy in a positive way.
What to expect from a MGA casino?
MGA is considered a top reputable gambling regulator that has lived up to its mission of upholding a fair, legal, and responsible gambling environment for players. This significantly improves the safety of players in Canada and other countries joining a MGA casino. Although a casino’s years of experience, and thus reputation, also affect the overall experience, with a MGA casino, you should be able to count on:
- A prestigious licence that sets out strict requirements for the operator.
- A safe and encrypted gambling platform.
- Fast and efficient customer service by operators.
- Industry-approved technological solutions.
- Random and fair games as well as fair gaming results.
Are MGA casinos considered safe?
Yes. Casinos that hold a MGA licence are generally considered to be the among the most reliable and trustworthy options available because they are continuously audited by the Malta based authority. This is why they need to adhere to the strict rules and regulations applied by the MGA at all times. If they fail to do so, they risk losing their licence which has a major financial impact on any website that offers online casino games as many of them are stock listed. A licence from the MGA is therefore considered a sort of assurance that players are (better) protected against frauds, data breaches, and cyber attacks.
Player protection first
Casinos that work with a MGA-licence support fair gaming, which should be an obvious thing, but is actually not considering the amount of dodgy casinos out there. Don’t get us wrong, the industry has rapidly developed in recent years and improved it’s image, but every now and then we still come across websites we consider unreliable. The main responsibility of a regulating institution like the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is ensuring the consumer’s protection. In order to do so, every applicant will go through a strict evaluation before a licence is eventually granted. This includes the company’s background history, web security and financial position.
Financial funds securely stored
This brings us to the next topic as your financial data is also protected, apart from your personal data we pointed out above. Any online casino will need to ensure that the money is protected from cyber-attacks and that transactions are made via secured connections. A casino must guarantee the protection of the player’s credits, deposits, withdrawals, and other financial data. Funds belonging to the players must be kept in a different bank account than the liquidity account, making sure your money isn’t affected in case of financial problems at the casino.
The importance of fair gambling
Licences of the MGA casinos cover a large range of games of chance, but there is one thing they all have in common: fairness needs to be met at all times in order to maintain a licence. The MGA, with help of independent organisations that is, constantly monitors that games are performed in a random and fair way. This includes the usage of the Random Number Generator (RNG) which stands for random results that can’t be affected by the casino, player, and provider. The only constant factor in random games is randomness itself.
When an online operator obtains a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority, they agree to take full responsibility in case anything goes wrong in their business operations. Please note that casinos have the responsibility to warn players about the risks of gambling, but that it’s the player who is responsible for his or her behaviour. A casino will need to promote responsible gaming and make sure the player can set limits in his or her account.
Our selection of MGA casinos: checked and hand picked
The casinos listed on this page give you the ultimate casino experience as they’re all licenced by the MGA and available for players from Canada. All of the casinos have been tested and approved by skilled casino professionals that have a lot of experience with online gambling in Canada and have dealt with licences from all over the globe. The licence, however, is one of the many performance metrics we go through when picking our casinos. In addition to a MGA licence you can also count on casinos that are:
- Owned by a trustworthy company: of course, if they weren’t, they wouldn’t have obtained a licence as strict as this one, but still; being able to compare a website with some other brands owned by the same operator gives us a better idea of what to expect — especially when it comes to newer websites.
- Game portfolio: it’s one of MGA’s main responsibilities to check the fairness of the games, but it’s none of their concern whether a casino offers a big and varied collection of casino games or not. This is where Vernons takes a closer look.
- Overall user friendless: a trustworthy site is one of the most important building blocks of an online casino, but we make sure to check out the site’s user friendliness and design. A safe platform is important, but let’s just say that a nice looking site helps as well.
- Bonuses: the MGA makes sure to assess the bonuses when it comes to fair terms and conditions and Vernons does the same with every bonus. As not every bonus is available for Canadian users, we always make sure to only include promos that are meant for players in Canada. The good thing is that we’ve managed to get you some Vernons exclusive deals so make sure to check these out.
- Banking options: although the MGA licence is used as a global reference it is still built around the Maltese/European market, not taking into account what works well in Canada in terms of payment options. With global payment solutions such as credit cards, bank transfers, PayPal and Trustly, players in Canada should be able to move forward with pretty much every MGA casino, but most users would prefer to have some Canada specific banking options like Interac. This is what we look out for.
If you want to find all the online casinos with Malta’s gaming license, please visit our casino reviews page. We promise that finding the best MGA casinos is fast and easy if you take the shortcut via Vernon’s casino list. All of our casinos are hand picked for Canada.
MGA Licence vs other licences
As one of the first official gambling authorities in the market, they have managed to become one of the strongest ones out there. A lot of gambling enthusiasts from all over the world look for the MGA licence and many international players even prefer to play at a MGA casino than at a casino that works with a licence from their own jurisdiction. Most gambling veterans know that the Malta Gaming Authority is known for its trustworthiness and consistency and is considered a global reference.
MGA licence compared to other licences
Compared to other licences in the gaming market like Curaçao or Gibraltar, the MGA licence definitely has a more complex selection stage, with a detailed set of rules that ensure that only the best operators will pass the test. While Malta’s filters are strict, demanding, and require a lot of effort to complete, Curaçao’s licence, for instance, is considered a lot easier to obtain as an operator basically pays for its licence instead of being fully screened. Although this might be perceived as an advantage by some, the truth is, for the exact same reasons, a licence from Curaçao isn’t as reliable as a MGA licence. This doesn’t mean that every casino with a licence from Curaçao is a no-go though, but they will require some extra attention. One of the reasons a lot of casinos prefer a licence from Curaçao is that it allows them to launch crypto casinos, as opposed to the MGA.
Alternative strong casino licences
Other licences like the ones from the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), Gibraltar Betting and Gaming Association (GBGA), and the Isle of Man Gambling Supervision Commission are considered very good alternatives as these are also considered global references. This doesn’t exclude other excellent gaming bodies like the Swedish Spelinspektionen and the Danish Spillemyndigheden from being high rated authorities, but these organisations tend to be focussed on casinos from their own jurisdictions while casinos with an MGA, UKGC, or GBGA-licence have a more global reach. As a rule of thumb we would say that every casino site that holds a licence obtained from an authority in Europe is considered okay, while others (such as the licence from Curaçao) need to be carefully evaluated.
Pros and cons of MGA casinos
You should by now have a pretty good idea of some of the most important pros & cons of casinos that work with a licence by Malta Gaming Authority. To give you a clear overview of what to expect, we’ve listed some advantages and disadvantages of MGA casinos.
- Highly prestigious licence: first authority to grant licences.
- MGA licences are constantly audited.
- Lots of payment solutions available.
- Only the best casinos obtain a MGA licence.
- MGA casinos offer bonuses to Canadian users as well.
- Most MGA casinos are accessible in Canada.
- Outstanding customer support.
- Dodgy casino don’t stand a chance to obtain a MGA licence
- Recognised by most jurisdictions in the world.
- Trustworthy, but still not Canadian
- Very strict advertising rules
FAQ MGA casinos
Are casinos with a MGA licence safe?
Yes, if a casino holds a valid MGA licence one can assume this casino is safe. If it concerns a new casino site it’ll need to earn itself experience and reputation too before it can be considered fully trustworthy, but a licence definitely is an important indicator of a casino’s safety. Ideally a casino enjoys both a MGA-licence and a lot of experience.
What are the best MGA casinos in Canada?
There are quite a few casinos that hold a MGA licence, but the best ones are those that are fully accessible for Canadian users as well. Vernon has hand picked the best options for Canadian players in terms of licencing and overall service delivered.
Are casinos with a licence from Malta available in Canada?
Yes, although the licence isn’t from Canada, most websites are available to Canadian users. All the casinos you’ll find listed on our website are reachable in Canada.
Do casinos with a MGA licence offer bonuses?
They surely do. We made sure to pick all the best bonuses which are claimable by Canadian players. This includes welcome deals, cashbacks, free spins, and other types of bonuses. We constantly update this list, so make sure to check out our most recent picks.