Malta vs Curacao: which gambling license is better?

Launching a successful online casino brand is impossible without a gambling license. It is a special permit that gives the right to conduct gambling activities, including video slots, lotteries, table games, sports betting, etc. The presence of a license indicates that the operator uses proven software and always pays out players’ winnings. Both Malta and Curacao licenses are very respected in the industry. In this article, we are going to compare them side by side and find out which one is better to choose in 2021.

Malta: 4 classes of gambling licenses

Malta was the first country in the European Union to be granted the right to issue licenses for online casinos. In 2001, a regulatory body called Malta Gaming Authority was created. It not only legalizes gambling establishments, but also develops new laws and regulations. The licenses for gaming services in Malta are divided into four classes:

  1. Class 1. For casino games which use random number generators. This includes video slots, roulette, blackjack, etc.
  2. Class 2. For betting on sports and other events.
  3. Class 3. For player to player games where operators receive only a commission (bingo, poker, etc.)
  4. Class 4. For supplying gambling software.

A license obtained from the Malta Gambling Authority allows a company to enter the European gambling market.

Pros and cons of the Malta gambling licenses

The Maltese licenses have a good reputation among casino owners due to the country’s favorable financial laws. Below we list the advantages and disadvantages of these permits:

Pros Cons
Stable regulatory environment High tax rates
Reliable protection of players and operators Long registration procedure
AML and CFT policies Some financial transactions must be conducted on the Malta’s territory
Multiple gambling licenses  


Now let’s take a closer look at the advantages of the MGA licenses:

  1. Stable regulatory environment. Gambling activities are regulated by a government body that maintains close control over the gambling market.
  2. All players and operators are legally protected. Malta’s jurisdiction provides legal protection not only to gamblers, but also to gambling business owners.
  3. Anti-money laundering. Since its inception, the MGA follows EU directives, including those related to AML/CFT. The Authority makes every effort to prevent money laundering.
  4. Multiple licenses available. Operators can apply for multiple licenses. A license is issued for a period of 10 years.

In comparison to Curacao, Malta has higher tax rates and license fees. Submitting an application takes more time and is considered quite complicated. Another disadvantage of the Maltese licenses is that some gambling transactions must pass through Malta.

Despite its disadvantages, the MGA license offers a number of benefits and therefore attracts many entrepreneurs. If you wish to obtain it at the lowest cost possible, please contact our experts. We provide consulting services and help operators complete the paperwork for conducting legal gambling business online.

Curacao: the most cost-effective license

From a legal standpoint, the island of Curacao is part of the Netherlands. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea north of Venezuela. Curacao is the first country in the world to legalize gambling. Operators can receive a complete turnkey documentation solution, together with hosting services and ready-to-use IT infrastructure.

In general, the Curacao license is the most affordable one for the vast majority of casino owners. Firstly, the tax system is more attractive and easy to understand than in Malta. Secondly, the licensing procedure itself is relatively straightforward. You can obtain a Curacao license in a very short time.

Pros and cons of the Curacao gambling license

Before you apply for a license, we recommend you to familiarize yourself with all the advantages and disadvantages of this jurisdiction:

Pros Cons
Low cost of obtaining a gaming license Almost all Curacao permits are sublicenses
Simple application process In some EU countries, as well as in North America, restrictions are in place
Solid reputation in the industry There may be some issues when opening a bank account

So, these are the reasons you should opt for a Curacao license for your online casino business:

  1. Low cost. The jurisdiction offers attractive license fees and a tax system.
  2. Easy application process. Obtaining a license in Curacao is much easier than in Malta.
  3. Good reputation among players and operators. Many renowned gambling sites hold a Curacao license.

Perhaps the main drawback of the jurisdiction is that all of its permits are sublicenses. Opening a bank account for a casino is a more complicated process, and in some countries there are restrictions on gambling ads.

For a long time, the regulator had had a bad reputation. Due to the low prices and tax rates, it had become a magnet for shady gambling companies, and several license holders had been involved in high-profile fraud cases. Later, the jurisdiction strengthened controls and audits, which significantly decreased shadow economic activity.

It takes 4-6 weeks to get a Curacao license. In Malta, the process is longer and takes 3 to 6 months.

Malta and Curacao gambling licenses: what is better?

To sum up, both jurisdictions provide great licensing conditions for slots, table games and other online gambling activities. The gambling industry in Curacao has been steadily evolving since 1966. The government grants only one type of license which covers sports betting and casino gambling. This country would be an excellent choice for those who seek to obtain a license in the shortest time possible.

On the other hand, the Malta Gaming Authority offers many more possibilities to operators. High standards of anti-money laundering supervision and comprehensive financial legislation make the Maltese license very trustworthy. Besides, it is the cheapest license in the EU.

Still not sure which license to choose for your online casino? Take advantage of our experts’ advice. You will get detailed answers to all your questions about casino and sports betting licensing in your country.

Nov 29, 2021