The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has issued a white paper which aims to “future proof Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework”. The main aim of this paper could be said to address the much-needed modernisation of the current legal framework to allow the latter to be able to adapt to today’s fast paced gaming industry. Within the ambit of such a paper, which also includes draft proposed laws, it is very evident that the reform which the MGA is proposing is not a fragmented one but rather, one which seems to propose an entire re-think of the gaming industry and legislation pertaining to such, with such overhaul affecting legislation from both a substance and form point of view. An overview of the stand out proposed changes can be found below:
- It has been proposed that the fragmented nature of gaming-related legislation would be consolidated into one parent act called the “Gaming Act”, under regulations issued by the respective Minister could be issued. The proposed act would also allow the MGA to issue directives, policies and guidelines.
- Pure skill games would not be subject to pre-approval but monitoring would be retained.
- The licensing framework would be simplified into two simple licenses: a B2B license and a B2C license.
- Through a schedule to the Gaming Act, the issue of law ‘enforcement’ is addressed whereby a list of criminal offences related to gaming infringements is introduced.
- The MGA’s functions are also widened, allowing the authority to have a better oversight over licensed entities and gaming activity within its jurisdictional competence.
- Applicants are allowed administrative review to contest MGA decisions.
- Player protection is further enhanced through responsible gaming measures and through the proposal for the MGA to be registered as an ADR service provider which may be availed of by all players.
- Introduction of a corporate license. This means that approved entities within a group would be considered as joint and several licensees.
- A license issued by the MGA shall be valid for 10 years.
- Recognition of new games such as non-profit games and advertising lotteries.
- With regards to gaming tax, B2B gaming operators would be exempt from such tax and a capped gross gaming revenue tax would be applicable to B2C operators.
A full version of the white paper can be found at http://www.mga.org.mt/malta-gaming-authority-publishes-white-paper-proposing-major-reforms-maltas-gaming-legal-framework/.
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