A new gaming bill has been tabled in the Parliament of Malta. On 13 March 2018, the Hon. Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, tabled a motion in Parliament for the first reading of a new gaming bill. The purpose of this new gaming bill is to repeal all extant legislation on this activity and replace it with one primary act. In time, the act is expected to be accompanied by subsidiary legislation covering gaming regulation, together with a set of technical directives and guidelines currently under consultation.
The Hon. Schembri said that the bill marked a major step in streamlining and encompassing the governance of all gaming services offered in and from Malta and across all channels under the competence of the Malta Gaming Authority. He went on to say that the government wanted to ensure that the gaming industry continued to be run responsibly, fairly and free from criminal activity. Thus the Maltese jurisdiction will provide a safe and well-regulated environment where the industry can also develop and innovate.
The bill ensures the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has all the necessary resources and powers to protect consumers and regulate the sector effectively. It will strengthen the MGA’s compliance and functions of enforcement in line with recent developments in Anti-Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism obligations. However, it also streamlines the structure, thus reducing unnecessary regulatory burdens without losing effectiveness in achieving its objectives.
Further elements in this bill include replacing the current multi-license system with just two licences, a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) licence, and a Business-to-Business (B2B) licence. Moreover, the bill includes increased protection for consumers, but also assistance for operations in distress, including support for winding down such an organisation with the least risk possible. A significant benefit is the exemption of B2B licensees from gaming tax.
Malta has become one of the leading and most respected European jurisdictions in the sector of gaming. Through this bill, Malta will retain its competitive edge in this sector, ensuring that operations setting up in Malta will enjoy unprecedented benefits for their activities.
You may view the draft bill on the proposed legislation here.