Malta Fights for iGaming

MEDIA ROOM

Malta has strongly argued in favour of the mutual recognition of gaming licences with other EU member states, i.e. the pass porting rights of a Maltese licence.

During a recent i-gaming law debate held in London, representatives of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority formed part of a panel of legal experts and regulators from Malta, France, Italy, and the UK.

The Lotteries and Gaming Authority are in favour of harmonisation, fighting against states who want to entrench the notion of state monopolies.

Joseph Borg and Trevor De Giorgio from the LGA’s Legal and Enforcement Department argued against legislation which could legitimise state-run monopolies in the remote gaming sector. The main thrust of their argument was that an open, regulated, remote gaming market ensures the adequate protection of minors, the maintaining of the game free from all forms of crime and money laundering as well as the fair delivery of the game to the player.

Malta has always argued in favour of the mutual recognition of licences with other EU member states, (i.e. the passporting rights of a Maltese licence), a fundamental freedom enshrined in the EU Treaty (namely the Free Movement of Services and the Freedom of Establishment).

The Maltese authority believes that harmonisation leads to greater legal certainty and that regulations should seek to protect players and not generate more income for the state.

During the Swedish Presidency of the EU this topic was discussed in great detail and a document was formulated. However, in its conclusions, the document stated that the BWIN decision given by the European Court of Justice justifies individual member states in taking their own positions on the remote gaming sector, including the maintaining of monopolies and closed markets.

Such a position is not in line with the position taken by Malta with respect to remote gaming and in fact the Maltese government tabled a statement to this effect during the competitiveness council meeting held in December.