A White Paper proposing major reforms to Malta’s gaming legal framework has today been published by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), as part of its continued bid to enhance said framework that has included the introduction of the Skill Games Regulations and changes to the Remote Gaming Regulations. Through these proposed reforms, all existing legislation will be repealed and replaced by a single Gaming Act, along with subsidiary legislation which would address the primary areas of regulation as well as a number of MGA-published directives and guidelines.
The main changes proposed include, amongst others:
- the replacing of the current multi-licence system with one containing two different types of licences – a business-to-business (B2B) licence (which will be exempt from gaming tax) and a business-to-consumer licence (B2C);
- a broadening of the regulatory scope to allow the MGA to have increased oversight of the gaming sector and to allow it to provide proportionate intervention where required;
- a widening of the MGA’s compliance and enforcement powers, a division of the Key Official role into various key functions within a licenced activity;
- a new and more efficient justice process wherein a distinction between criminal and administrative offences has been introduced (allowing for appeals from MGA decisions to the Administrative Review Tribunal);
- the concept of administration in order to protect operations that are in distress, and the assisting of a winding down procedure;
- the introduction of an automated reporting system; and
- the streamlining of taxation into one singular flow.
This restructuring of the local gaming framework is undoubtedly the biggest step that the MGA has taken in its effort to enhance the local framework so far. The streamlined licence system will be beneficial to the marketing potential of operators as it will broaden the scope for licensable activities, and shall serve to significantly reduce the monitoring effort undertaken by the MGA. This is complemented by the abolition of gaming tax in respect of B2B licence holders, which will reduce costs and effort incurred by operators. Furthermore, the consolidation of the MGA’s powers shall serve to further strengthen the legitimacy of the local industry, in turn increasing the attractiveness of the local industry. Overall, this restructuring is a welcome development, which shall serve to benefit all areas of the gaming industry in Malta.
The MGA has launched a consultation process on the White Paper for stakeholders, wherein any queries and requests for clarifications as well as feedback on the paper may be sent to the MGA at the addresses provided. The consultation period shall run until the 23rd August 2017. Camilleri Preziosi's gaming team will be submitting its views to the MGA in respect of the consultation, and would welcome the opportunity to discuss its views in advance of submitting its position paper by the indicated deadline.
The announcement of the White Paper by the MGA can be obtained by clicking here.