Maltese Gaming Authority exposes online casino providers falsely
claiming to hold MGA license.
world, there are many online gambling licensing jurisdictions. The
majority of them are located in Europe or South America. The rest are
mostly regulators that only work with locally run operations (a.k.a.
ring-fenced markets). Among the industry’s international licensing
authorities, European iGaming regulators in Malta and The
UK are undeniably the most respected.
When visiting a
new online gambling site for the first time, educated players will
scroll straight to the bottom of the main page just to see where it’s
licensed. When a website boasts the certified seal of the Maltese
Gaming Authority (MGA), it reflects an air of responsibility upon
the operator. But what happens when that certification is a lie?
False License Claims of Online Casino Providers
In recent years,
false license claims have become more and more common, especially
where the MGA is concerned. The situation has gotten so bad that the
Authority has been forced to publish one notice of denial after
another, all stating the exact same fact – that “the MGA has
no connection with” whichever operator they’ve caught
most recently trying to pass off a false logo as a genuine license.
The most recent investigation revealed false claims of licensure by vulcan-pllatinum.com. The MGA published its findings in mid January with this swift and unassuming statement:
“The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is hereby declaring that it has no connection with vulcan-pllatinum.com. Any reference to the MGA and/or gaming licence/s said to be issued by the Maltese Authority, as stated by vulcan-pllatinum.com, are false and misleading.”
investigation into the matter reveals that the domain’s ownership
is protected, in accordance with internet privacy laws. However, it
can be traced back to Panama – surprise, surprise!
Panama is one of
several South American jurisdictions where, as far as iGaming
regulation is concerned, anything goes. So long as operators pay all
the local government fees in a timely manner, and do not accept
players from within Panama, they can pretty much do whatever they
want. Apparently that includes falsely claiming to be licensed in a
much more reputable jurisdiction.
Other False Claims of Online Gambling Licenses in
Who else is
boasting an erroneous seal of the MGA? The list is quite extensive,
but no doubt, incomplete. I can only imagine how many websites have
yet to be identified. Scroll down to the next section to learn how
you can verify an MGA license on your own.
First, here is the list of operators Malta’s regulators have already caught boasting a fake license. this list is current as of February 21, 2020. This link contains the MGA’s Updated List.
That’s a relly
long list – 76 (to date) online gambling sites caught falsely
claiming to hold a legal MGA license. The obvious question is – how
do you know if a license is legitimate?
First of all,
look at the domain name and see if it appears suspicious.
365-bets.com? That’s clearly an attempt at stealing the
famous Bet365 name, as is Bet365virtual.com. How about
1xbet.co and casino-1xbet? So close to the real
1xbet.com, but nope – not the same place. If something seems
off, go with your instainct.
down and look at the liceinsing info provided. Anyone can steal an
image and post it on their website, but listing the actual license
number – that’s tracable. Take Royal Vegas Casino for
example. It’s been licensed by the MGA for over a decade. It boasts
the MGA logo, as well as the license number, MGA/B2C/167/2008,
of its parent company, Digimeda Ltd., in the copyright
You can confirm
the validity of this license by visiting the website of the Malta
Gaming Authority. The first link provided is a Search of the MGA
Licensing Registry. You can search by parent company name, URL,
and more. If that sounds too complicated, try this…
Copy the license
number provided by the website, then go to Google, paste it into the
search window, and follow it with the text site:mga.org.mt
In the case of
Royal Vegas Casino’s license, it would lok like this:
Press enter, and
you should get a search result linking to the MGA’s page for that
license. It takes less than a minute to run this search, thereby
verifying the legitimacy, or illegitimacy, of an online casino
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