Malta to Introduce New Gambling Initiatives


Malta to introduce new gambling initiatives – to be first EU state to permit casino gaming on cruise ships within territorial waters.

Malta continues to strengthen its position as a high-quality, responsible jurisdiction in online gaming and continues to attract further investment and create jobs in that sector.

Malta will in fact become the first global jurisdiction to regulate digital games with prizes and the first EU state to allow casinos on cruise ships within its territorial waters. Finance Minister, Tonio Fenech said that the new initiatives would be introduced in early 2013.

Malta became the first EU state to authorise online gaming in May 2004 and has since led the way. This has led to Malta becoming a very attractive destination for online casino and sports book operators, currently servicing approximately 10 per cent of the world’s internet gaming market.

All gambling activity in Malta is managed by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), which was established in 2002 and has built an internationally recognised legislative framework. New measures would ensure the professional supervision of the LGA and could be replicated throughout global jurisdictions. Countries such as Italy, France, Belgium, Denmark and Spain have used Malta as a benchmark to establish their own regulatory frameworks.

Minister Fenech said that the LGA acquired a reputation of being one of the most serious regulators on the land-based sector in a short span of time.

Remaining competitive and at the front of innovation in gaming regulation, Malta will be the first to regulate digital online games with prizes, which will be licensed and supervised by the LGA. This niche sector fits perfectly between the growing digital and online gaming sectors throughout Europe.

Malta is also set to be the first EU state to permit casino gaming on cruise ships within its territorial waters – the aim of which is to create another reason for the cruise line industry to invest in Malta and to convince more overnight cruise ships to moor overnight in Maltese ports.

To support these initiatives and ensure they are effectively relayed to investors, the government will establish the Malta Digital Entertainment Foundation. The foundation will promote Malta as an ideal local for digital entertainment, digital gaming and online gaming industries.