Most online casinos still have an EU license from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). But the exact development is very difficult to estimate at the moment.
Maltese Gambling Authority cuts payout percentages significantly
The well-known Maltese supervisory authority MGA announced a few days ago that the minimum payout ratio for online casino games will be significantly reduced. With this approach, the aim is to ensure that the payout ratio for online games is just as high as in land-based casinos in Malta.
As a result, it has been decided to reduce the minimum payout ratio in the MGA Casinos from the current 92% to 85%. This means that casino players in online casinos with an MGA license will statistically win less in the future than was previously the case. This is at least the case if the operators were to reduce the RTP value for all games in full. But more on that in a moment.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is the official supervisory authority for all types of gambling in Malta. The MGA not only regulates online casinos, but also land-based casinos and betting shops, among other things. In the meantime, the online gaming sector has become an important economic factor for the EU state Malta. Currently, 12% of Malta’s GDP is generated in this industry.
Why should the payout ratio be reduced?
The supervisory authority announces that the current decision was preceded by a survey among licensees and other industry representatives. Here it was unanimously decided to reduce the minimum payout ratio. There were several reasons for this decision. Many people feared that the gaming providers would no longer be able to operate profitably in view of the increased taxes and higher costs.
On the other hand, the licensing authority wants to offer providers the flexibility they need to be able to react appropriately to different market conditions and levels of competition. Too high a minimum payout ratio would be counterproductive for this.
Are gamblers losing more now?
The fact is that the minimum payout ratio for all online casino games has now been reduced from 92% to 85%. Before players complain prematurely, they should pay attention to the exact wording. It was not decided that the RTP value (= return-to-player) would have to be reduced by seven percent across the board for all games. The operators of the online casinos only have the theoretical option of reducing the minimum payout value to up to 85%.
Several online casinos have already announced that they will only slightly adjust the payout values downwards, if at all. If they were to reduce the payout quota to the specified minimum value of 85%, this would lead to a massive migration of players to unregulated providers. Of course, this is not in the interests of reputable online casinos.
In addition, the MGA announced that some operators want to use the additional income from a reduced RTP value in order to remain competitive. Therefore, one could imagine trying out new bonus concepts and thereby increasing user satisfaction.
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Meanwhile, it is still unclear at what point in time the operators of the online casinos will implement the adjustment of the minimum payout percentages. Several gambling companies have already announced that the technical adjustment will take several weeks.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) announced a few days ago that the RTP value for casino games will only be 85% instead of the current 92%. The RTP value describes the proportion of stakes that are paid out to the players in the form of winnings.
Several gaming providers have already announced that they do not want to orientate themselves towards the minimum level of 85% that will soon apply, since with such low payout values the players would migrate to unlicensed providers with higher payout percentages. It will be interesting to see whether the individual player will feel the adjustment of the minimum payout ratio in the coming weeks and months.