Malta is a set of islands in the Mediterranean Sea. They're located about 200 miles east of Tunisia and less than 100 miles south of Italy.
Malta is well-known for being one of the most reputable jurisdictions for online gambling in the world. They have one of the most comprehensive regulatory setups out there, and they license sites that operate all over the world. A major benefit of being licensed in Malta is that it will get you on the white list for places like the United Kingdom, and that means that you don't need a separate UK license to offer your services to players from there.
With competitive taxes and fees, along with a reputation for only working with sites that are reputable, Malta has been able to establish itself as one of the most sought-after licensees in the online gambling world. As a result, they're often used as a model for what other countries should do with regulating the industry, especially countries with smaller populations where segregating their player pools will not be very profitable.
Four types of licenses are available in Malta. Class 1 is given for casino games, lotteries and skill-based games, and class 2 is mostly for fixed-odds sports betting with pool and spread betting tied in. Class 3 is a special class for betting exchanges, since they involve different protocol than fixed-odds situations. Finally there is a special Class 4, which is only for software companies. Because some operators have different types of gaming available, they'll sometimes have to apply for multiple licenses. These licenses are generally awarded for five-year periods after which they can be renewed.
Malta is very active when it comes to protecting their players, and that's one of the reasons why they're such a popular regulatory body. They have extremely tight regulations about what's allowed and what's not allowed regarding business practices and handling player complaints. They take complaints very seriously, and there have been multiple instances of software companies and site operators having their licenses suspended or completely revoked for not adhering to their rules. This shows that their regulations have some real bite and that they aren't afraid of enforcing their rules.
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