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Malta became the pioneer in regulating online gambling among European Union (EU) member states, which led to a large-scale exodus of online betting companies into this country.

The nation of course has great affection for bookmaking that makes remarkable contribution to economy, but are there any inhibitions about their country people playing online betting? Let’s examine Malta’s complete betting environment.

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Flag of Malta

History of Betting

Between Sicily and Northern Africa, Malta stands as a Mediterranean island. It was previously part of British Commonwealth and now it is an independent state.

Malta has a long history of gambling. Ic-Cippitatu was one of the earliest games that people bet on. This game was popular across the island and it attracted people from all walks of life ranging from young to old with different prizes.

By the end of the 17th century, lottery game was introduced in Europe and filtered into Malta. [1] The government decided to put some control measures on this game and in 1922 brought Lotto Act. Lotto regulations were mainly based on Italian lotto. The lotto wasn’t suspended during the World War II but shortly after, in 1948, Malta National Lottery (MNL) was established. It caught international attention and attracted revenue from overseas as well, with draws broadcasted live via a radio station weekly.

Gambling in the country continued to be very popular and really took off on the internet. The primary licensing of online betting pages was done under the Public Lotto Ordinance.

The law was then amended in accordance with the Lotteries and Other Games Act of 2001.

Then, in 2005, the Remote Gaming Regulations legislation was enforced. The new rules allowed gambling operators to apply for four licenses depending on their business types. These are:

  • Class 1, covering casino-type games, skill games, and online lotteries.
  • Class 2, covering fixed odds betting, pool betting, and spread betting.
  • Class 3, covering peer to peer gaming and betting exchanges.
  • Class 4, which is for software vendors.

In Malta, several advantages await gaming companies that are keen to place their operations there. The most remarkable advantage is the low taxes and licensing costs. Moreover, the Lotteries and Gaming Act (LGA) allows these firms to advertise in UK.

Presently, there is controlled gambling in Malta. Around the country, horse racing is a major crowd puller with on course betting and bookmakers regulated by the Malta Racing Club. People who want to bet online have no significant constraints and can gamble with both local businesses licensed by the LGA and international ones.


Major bookmakers accept subscribers from Malta. Some of the bookmakers that offer sign ups to Maltese citizens are:

Almost all firms accept Maltese citizens. The country’s two major spoken languages, however, are English and Italian hence most companies make their websites compatible with both.

Wooden gavel and flag of Malta

Deposit Options

Maltese citizens are among the European Union countries and have quite liberal laws that allow them to choose freely between different payment methods when making payments into their accounts in betting. A few of the options they can go with are:

Sports in Malta have not been immune from British influence. The horse culture began, when the British arrived in 1800s, and the horse racing sport was established in Marsa, with its first races starting to be held in 1868.

Horse Racing industry was affected when Britain exited the country as most of thoroughbreds and jockeys also left. Yet the Maltese found a way out thought introducing the sulky races (an equivalent of Chariot racing). Malta’s Marsa track has a large number of enthusiastic fans who can place their bets there through on course bookmakers.

Like most parts of Europe, Malta is a country where football is enjoyed by many. Playing it to while away their time, the British forces in the country in the mid-nineteenth century established this sport’s popularity which is now catered for by the Malta Football Association in terms of league and competitions.

As little as the size of the nation is, it currently has over fifty clubs scattered among four leagues although at a much lower standard than elsewhere in Europe with the Maltese being passionate players where majority of citizens support either top English or Italian clubs.

The Maltese rugby team has performed very well, considering the fact that they have only been in existence since the start of the new millennium. At present, they sit at number 44 out of 102 teams globally; a commendable position given their size and lack of rugby heritage.

Tony Drago, a retired professional snooker player, can be regarded as one of the most famous athletes of Malta and another former Australian footballer called Kevin Muscat is also connected with Maltese descent.

The Future?

The Maltese economy is heavily dependent on the internet gambling industry, and its attractive tax system has drawn many betting companies to it. The future seems bright for both online gambling and bookmaking in Malta as the government does not seem to be changing their relaxed stance on these activities; besides, most web-based sportsbooks accept gamblers from there.


[1] Gaming History in Malta – Independent

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