Prospective Changes to the iGaming Regulations

MEDIA ROOM

Malta’s outstanding reputation as an iGaming destination attracts numerous companies with a pursuit to engage in this thriving industry. The MGA’s (Malta Gaming Authority) sound reputation as a regulator, coupled with the credibility of the licence it authorises, are strong indicators of Malta’s ambitions in this sector. In a recent interview, Joseph Cuschieri, the MGA’s executive chairman, while reaffirming Malta’s status as a pioneer in the onset of online gaming, stated that Malta is also at the forefront of other noteworthy jurisdictions regulating this dynamic industry.

This standing in the international field can be further reaffirmed upon the upcoming legislation proposals, which from the MGA’s chairman’s overview, are set to bring about a major overhaul in the way the licensing authority approaches applications for the licensing and regulation of such businesses. The process to amend the legislation is likely to start in the coming weeks, with a consultation process in September, which will then be followed by a final bill being presented in parliament. Upon its approval, the legislation will be published and operative. The timeframe proposed and expected to reach such state is March 2017, which while for some it may be a short timeframe, in this industry it can be seen as the modus operandi of the business in question, a timely manner to address the fast-changing regulatory landscape and the dynamics of this innovative industry.

Put simply, the proposed legislation will seek a different approach to address decisions being taken by the MGA, this being a risk based approach. This will see a lesser emphasis being given to the channel and medium of the game while highlighting the fairness of the game as a key to achieve players’ protection. In this process, Cuschieri revealed that we, as service providers, and our clients, who are seeking to obtain a gaming license from the MGA, will see a reduction in the classes of licenses from four (a. remote gaming licence; b. a remote betting licence; c. a licence to promote and/or abet remote gaming in or from Malta and; d. a licence to host and manage remote gaming operators.) to two. These two licenses will basically be a B2B (business to business) and a B2C (business to client)

The idea of setting up a gaming company in Malta is attractive for a myriad of reasons. Besides the credibility and reputation of Malta and the MGA, this may be further enhanced through a simplified process of obtaining a license.