The online gambling industry is growing more impressive by the day with new online casinos and sports betting sites popping up on a regular basis.
Before you get too excited about new online gambling establishments, there are a few things to consider, including licensing and regulation.
The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most reputable gambling regulators in the world and there are plenty of reasons to avoid non-MGA licenced operators.
10 reasons to steer clear of non-MGA online casinos and gambling sites
1. Trust and transparency
Above anything else is the trust you can have in a brand, and it builds up by many factors that non-licenced by MGA online casinos fail to meet at all times.
With an MGA licensed gambling site, you will be playing at a reputable online casino brand adhering to strict rules and regulations. According to The Law Reviews, the MGA oversees 10 per cent of the online gaming companies in the industry.
These licensed MGA online casinos are open and transparent in regard to their licensing and security measures in place, leaving no room for doubts or fear of safety issues which could be the main problem if you choose a non-MGA licensed casino. The MGA is a widely recognised gaming authority that strives to provide clarity on all issues regarding licensing.
2. Player protection
It is extremely important to feel safe as a player, and there are many reasons why a non-MGA gambling site might not do that for you.
Since early 2000, Malta has focused on establishing itself as a serious and well-regulated European remote gaming jurisdiction. The Maltese government supports the proper licensing and regulation of online casinos in an effort to increase player protection. At various online casinos that lack the proper licensing from the MGA, you won't have the same security in place.
In fact, the option of player protection drops when playing at an unlicensed online casino. The MGA is dedicated to ensuring player data is kept safe and not misused. The licensed MGA brands are monitored around the clock to ensure they adhere to data protection and other safety measures. Non-MGA gambling sites cannot guarantee the same level of protection, leaving you as a player at risk.
3. More region availability
Online gambling operators with the proper licensing from the MGA will be accessible in a wide variety of regions and countries. The MGA licence is recognised globally and accepted in various regions allowing players access to online casinos and sports betting sites legally in these countries.
Non-MGA sites will work outside the legal framework and will be blocked in various regulated markets and regions. To ensure access to a legal online casino, it's better to opt for an MGA licensed gambling operator.
4. All-in-one licence
Each gaming authority has different rules and regulations in place in terms of licensing. Many will require operators to apply for separate licensing for each different type of gambling they wish to offer.
MGA licencees will be able to provide players with all types of gaming, including sports, online casinos, and lottery, with a single licence. This gives you instant access to more variety instead of a limited selection you might find at a non-MGA online casino.
5. Higher value
To compare a non-MGA licensed casino and one that is licensed by the Maltese regulator, you will see lots of advantages to the second one.
If you take a look at the Curacao licensing procedure, you will find that it's a lot easier to apply and obtain a licence. On top of that, the Curacao licensing procedure is a lot cheaper. The downside is that because of this, these easily acquired licences are not of high value. Whereas an MGA licence is difficult to obtain and quite expensive, which immediately increases its value. Apart from being of higher value, it is also more recognisable.
What adds to the value is that companies licensed with the MGA are audited regularly throughout the year. During the audits, checks are done to ensure the operators comply with the different laws and regulations of Malta.
The Malta licence and ownership documents are checked, deeper checks are done into human resources, company structure and all financial assets, including player funds, taxes and budget, are all a part of the auditing process. There are thorough reviews on the information technology used, such as access control, information security, incident response, backup and business partners.
All game management procedures are checked, including the game systems, client work policy and game RNG. An investigation is done on player complaints, commercial interactions, websites, terms and conditions and gaming apps. Focus is also placed on the measures implemented to protect players, minorities, problem gamblers and other vulnerable people.
6. Reliability and variety
The majority of online game providers prefer to work directly with reliable gambling jurisdictions such as the Malta Gaming Authority. For this reason, you will find that online casinos with MGA licensing will have more variety to choose from than non-regulated sites or those without MGA licensing.
Despite the increase of game providers, there is also the chance to gain access to games in more regions. Curacao-licensed online casinos provide access to select game providers, including Real Time Gaming, Rival and Betsoft. You will find, however, that a select range of games is restricted in particular countries. At an MGA licensed online casino, you can enjoy access to more industry-leading game providers, including NetEnt, Microgaming and Evolution. There is also less chance of stumbling across gaming restrictions.
A great thing about fewer restrictions on games is that you have access to the best and most popular games of all types. This includes the latest online slots, table games, live dealer variants and progressive jackpot games.
7. More payment options
A non-MGA regulated gambling brand will most likely give you less payment options than a licensed one. With an MGA regulated online casino, you can pick and choose from a great range of payment methods. The main reason is that there are no legislative restrictions on certain payment mechanisms for MGA licensed operators, increasing your chances to pay with credit cards or eWallets if you prefer. The range of payment methods available will be determined by the different gambling operators. However, the chance of more payment methods and accessibility will increase with MGA licensed operators.
You can thus pick and choose between traditional and less-traditional payment methods - including card payments, eWallets and more. If more variety in trusted payment methods is what you're after, then the MGA licensed online casinos will not disappoint.
8. Responsible gaming is a priority
With many non-MGA sites or even those licensed by other top regulators, you will find a decrease in responsible gambling options. Many will not have the option of self-exclusion provided by top organisations such as GAMSTOP or ROFUS. The focus on responsible gaming continues to increase as the numbers of problem gaming rise.
To fully enjoy the experience in a responsible gaming environment, you want to play at a regulated online gambling site that promotes responsible gaming with all the best tools and resources in place. This includes account limit options and the opportunity to self-exclude if need be.
9. Bonuses and promotions
Some regulatory bodies will limit the option of bonuses and promotions. If you take a look at Sweden, for instance, there is a limit on the bonuses and promotions available. This can often mean no welcome bonuses, no-deposit bonuses and other rewards. Some regions might even restrict your options to a welcome bonus only or no welcome bonus but only regular promotions for loyal players.
With MGA licensed operators, you can indulge in a great range of bonuses and promotions, including non-deposit new player offers, which can range from small cash bonuses to free spins.
If you're a player that prefers to play with a bonus boost, then an MGA licensed online casino is the way to go. With MGA licensing, operators have more freedom in their bonus and promotion offers. This means you can look forward to claiming welcome bonuses, regular daily promotions and access to loyalty programmes.
All the promotional offers available will, of course, vary from one MGA gambling brand to another. The important thing is that there will be more options, whereas other regulatory bodies will restrict the bonus options available.
10. Safety above all else
As a player, you don't just want access to the most variety; you want to know that you're playing at a secure site dedicated to your safety. With non-MGA online casinos, the trust factor may vary. The MGA licence immediately provides a level of trust mainly due to it being sanctioned by the EU.
The main reason for the instant rise in trust is because of the EU and its high standards in place for online gambling. As such, you can immediately feel safer when registering at an MGA licensed online casino.
Non-MGA operators don't always have the same level of trustworthiness and approval.
As such, they can easily disappoint in terms of security and player safety. For the best and most secure betting experience, it's recommended to opt for an MGA licensed gambling site.
MGA casinos vs non-MGA casinos
Casinos with licensing from the Malta Gaming Authority are almost always on the top recommendations lists. The main reason is that MGA operators are instantly recognisable and more trustworthy due to the EU oversight. Player safety and security remain the top priority where this is not necessarily a guarantee with unlicensed or non-MGA gambling sites.
With an MGA online casino, you can look forward to more variety in payment methods, games and software providers. There is also a bigger selection of promotions and easier access across a wider number of regions. Where non-MGA regulated sites or unlicensed operators might have more restrictions in place from the types of games available to the bonus offers you will be able to claim.
The Malta Gaming Authority is a reputable gaming authority that oversees a large range of gambling companies you can find on the web today. Online casinos with MGA regulation come highly recommended due to increased safety and more variety.
Disclaimer: Play responsibly. Players must be over 18. For help visit https://www.gamcare.org.uk/.