The new gaming law launched on the 1st August 2018, which sought to further regulate the gaming industry to promote responsible gaming, has thus far resulted in operational consolidation, allowing operators to launch new games faster and to streamline their internal procedures under one licence instead of various. Operators feel that the new law provides for additional certainty and longevity considering the longer licence period introduced.  The new legislative framework also paved the way for the introduction by the Malta Gaming Authority of a Sandbox testing environment in which Maltese licensees can participate and be allowed to use distributed ledger technologies and accept cryptocurrencies in a controlled environment. The Sandbox, which was launched in October during the Delta Summit, will go into effect as from the 1st January of 2019.

Impacting the Industry

Dr Silvana Zammit, Partner within Gaming, ICT & Fintech department at Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates, explains that the above outlined changes have been well-received by Maltese licensees and prospective operators.  Additionally, she outlines that the new Malta Gaming Act implements stricter regulations within the gaming industry with the aim of avoiding illicit activities that may lead to money laundering and terrorist financing, as well as safeguarding the consumer, alas, requiring operators to update their policies and procedures in this respect.

Malta's Position

Dr Zammit however believes that the law, which has also facilitated licensing, is necessary for the island to be a fully compliant jurisdiction providing legal certainty and to maintain Malta's position in the forefront of the gaming industry. The Act has provided a means of assuring serious contenders within the market and consolidated the position of Malta as a serious player within the field.

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