Malta: IGaming – A World Of Opportunities

Malta is one of the most important gambling hubs in the world, pushing to bring more operators to our shores. The gambling industry makes up around 12% of the annual GDP of the country, so it's big business here. Many more operators are also locating to Malta, as Brexit has an impact on Gibraltar. It seems that the Maltese government have put themselves in a real position of power with this new regulation- The Gaming Act.

It will be easier now for operators to gain their licence, which is ideal for smaller operators or affiliates that want to bridge that gap. This speedier process will be sure to have a massive impact on the gambling industry around the world. 

Malta's reaction to the phenomenon of high-tech innovation and increased player interactivity has been commendable. Rather than stifling the industry by imposing penalties and straight-jacket rules, Malta set out to address the issue with a fresh outlook. Malta's Regulations are considered to be a benchmark of regulatory excellence.

Malta has reacted to gaming in a prudent yet pragmatic manner. Gaming in Malta is regulated by a legal framework applicable to gaming operators and is approached by proper regulation rather than obliteration. This approach, mingled with high levels of player protection and industry supervision, has resulted in Malta being marked as the foremost gaming jurisdiction of choice linked with professionalism, regulation and trust.

As of 1st August 2018, the Gaming Act came into force incorporating the EU Technical Regulation Information System ('TRIS') process in accordance with EU Directive 2015/1535. A number of changes have come about as a result of the new legal framework affecting both present licensees as well as future companies interested in acquiring a gaming license in Malta. 

The key changes are the following: 

  • The new Gaming Act substitutes all former gaming legislation with a single act covering all gaming services provided in and from Malta and is supplemented by subsidiary legislation, codes, guidelines and directives. 
  • The former 4 class multi-license system have been replaced by two main licenses: 
    Gaming Service license, the B2C license by means of which the Licensee is able to offer or carry out a gaming service; and 
  • Critical Gaming Supply license, the B3B license by means of which the Licensee is able to provide or carry out a critical gaming supply. 

The license period of validity has been increased to ten years from its previous duration of five years. This is welcomed by existing licensees as the extension allows for stability over a longer period of time. 

  • The new law has brought about the introduction of certification of 'material supply' by suppliers providing non-critical gaming suppliers. 'Material Supply' or 'Material Gaming Supplies' is defined as a gaming supply of such importance that any weakness or failure in its provisions could have a significant impact on the operator's; 

(i) To meet the obligations under the applicable legislation: or, 

(ii) To manage risk related to such supply; or 

(iii) To continue in business 

  • The following types of gaming supplies shall constitute material gaming supplies: 

Manufacturing, assembling, placing on the market, distributing, supplying, selling, leasing or transferring a gaming device;

Providing risk management services for the operation of a licensable game; 
2. Providing event, content and, or odds; 
3. Providing fraud management services for the operation of a licensable game; 
4. Holding and, or managing player funds; 
5. Providing services relating to customer due diligence; 
6. Providing services related to player identity verification; 
7. Providing co-location services and other managed information technology services, including cloud computing services and, or decentralised hosting protocols where the latter do not amount to a critical gaming supply; and 
8. Providing back-up and disaster recovery services. 

Taxation of gaming services have been consolidated and a gaming tax of 5% of the Gross Gaming Revenue generated by B2C Licensees is applicable and applies where gaming services are offered to any player who is physically present in Malta at such time when the game is provided. 

  • A Compliance Contribution based on the game type as well as annual revenue is applicable to B2C Licensees; 
  • B2B operators are exempt from gaming tax and required to pay fixed fees established by the new law; 
  • Key functions have replaced the all-encompassing role of the Key Official. The new law brought about the division of this role into a number of key functions and all of which must acquire MGA's prior authorisation and those responsible for key functions may only be natural persons. 

The MGA will ensure that such persons are: 
(i) Fit and proper persons 
(ii) Competent 
(iii) Ready to provide the MGA with required information. 

  • Regulations enhancing responsible gaming, underage player and fair advertising rules have also been implemented to safeguard players and the industry as a whole. 

We assist new operators to set up shop in Malta.

GMC is fully geared to assist gaming operators in their corporate, licensing and compliance requirements.

What are the reasons for relocating or opening up a new iGaming business in Malta?

  • An advantageous tax system
  • Low and competitive operating costs
  • Wide network of consultancy services for operations
  • A benchmark IT and Internet infrastructure locally
  • Customer service with an ever expanding variety of languages
  • Ample office spaces on a small island with easy reach to accommodation
  • Efficient transport system and proximity of accommodation, entertainment, services
  • Quick setups and installations of office equipment with high standards
  • Being an island with 300+ sunny days a year

Our services include:

  • Company incorporations and operational setup
  • Assistance through license application process in all classes
  • Auditing, due diligence and accountancy
  • Liaising with the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA)
  • Drafting and signing of contracts with hosts service providers and legal
  • Drawing up of contracts of service and indemnification agreements
  • Other services and contracting of 3rd parties

For additional information kindly contact GMC.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.

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