The Malta Gaming Authority (the 'Authority') has issued a new guidance note which further clarifies the regulatory treatment of gaming "intermediaries" under the new Gaming Act (Chapter 583 of the Laws of Malta).
The Guidance Communication refers to the Gaming Authorisations Regulations (S.L. 583.05 of the Laws of Malta) and the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive (Directive 3 of 2018). The Authority notes that through the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive, if an intermediary enters into a contractual agreement with players, it will require a B2C licence. If the intermediary is being supplied with games, the supplier would also require a B2B licence.
In the case of an intermediary which undertakes registration and player deposits and withdrawals, the Authority notes that this may require a B2C licence, unless it is proven that this is only carried out for and on behalf of a licensee. If the intermediary undertakes only one of the aforementioned activities, it may be classified as a material gaming supply in terms of the Gaming Authorisations and Compliance Directive.
It is important to note that the presumption is that a licence is required, and it is up to the applicant to prove otherwise to the Authority, which in turn will then have the power to determine whether a licence is indeed required.
If the intermediary does not conduct any of the above activities, it will not require the Authority's approval, but will be treated as an additional URL. The new URL is to be notified to the Authority through the relevant form with the following details:
- The domain name owner, if the owner is not the licensee itself;
- Proof of permission for the licensee to register the domain under its own operation with the Authority; and
- A list of the services being provided by the third party (e.g. driving traffic towards the domain).
Licensees are responsible for ensuring that any engaged service providers are duly classified in terms of this Guidance and the Gaming Act. In addition, licensees must take into consideration the Authority's Policy on Outsourcing by Authorised Persons which provides further guidance for licensees with respect to contractual agreements in place with third parties.
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.