Category: iGaming

Posted on

E&S Group at this year’s SiGMA Expo Conference

Categories iGaming, Malta, E&S Group, SiGMA

E&S Group at this year’s SiGMA Expo Conference

This year, SiGMA Expo is marking its 5th edition of its annual iGaming convention at the MFCC in Ta’ Qali. Dubbed ‘The World’s iGaming Village’, today SiGMA represents Malta’s largest iGaming event, gaining popularity among many foreign gaming companies which have settled in Malta’s booming economy. In fact, the number of iGaming companies that choose Malta is increasing. In 2017, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) received 220 applications from remote gaming companies applying for a licence.

Malta is undoubtedly the iGaming hub of Europe with many companies selecting it over other jurisdictions. This is reflected in SiGMA’s attendance, with around 12,500 attendees flying in from 80+ countries around the world. The venue selected is MFCC, Malta’s biggest events and conferences building. It is expected that around 400 companies are set to showcase their services at the exhibitors stands, with 200 speakers in line to discuss the various issues and advancements that have been made within this space.

E&S Group is joining other leaders in the industry at SiGMA. A group of delegates will attend this year’s event happening between the 27th – 30th November.

Kindly get in touch on [email protected] should you wish to schedule a meeting.

Read More
Posted on

Nordics Blockchain Summit returns to Estonia

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, E&S Group, Regulation, Conference, Moontec18

Nordics Blockchain Summit returns to Estonia

Moontec is an internationally recognised Nordic event, devoted to blockchain technology and its implementation in various industries and is proudly hosted in Tallinn every year.

When Estonia started building its information society about two decades ago, there was no digital data being collected about its citizens. The general population did not have internet access or even devices with which to use it. For this reason, it took great courage to invest in IT solutions and take the information technology route within that scenario.

Since this decision was taken in 1997, the best step-by-step implemented e-solutions have made Estonia one of the world’s most developed digital societies. With the application of e-Governance, e-Tax, X-Road, Digital ID, I-Voting and e-Residence this Nordic country is moving towards real-time economy and industry 4.0.

At the end of October, ‘WePower’ the Estonia based energy company announced the successful delivery of a landmark; a nationwide pilot project in conjunction with transmission system operator, TSO Elering.

Representing a significant step forward in the digital energy sector, the initiate will convert energy consumption and production data onto the blockchain on a national scale. This is the first research and development project that aims to eventually enable consumers to purchase green energy directly from producers, with all relevant information stored on the blockchain.

Estonia benefits from 100% countrywide smart meter coverage and a data sharing platform called Estfeed, which allows customers to download and share their data with whoever they choose. This made the country the ideal location for such a pilot, as it already had much of the required infrastructure in place and fully functioning.

The interest towards blockchain in Estonia has never been higher. The momentum is shifting from a focus on learning and exploring the potential of the technology, to identifying and building practical business applications. Today, many tech companies started investing in blockchain Research and Development, yet they have no clear guidelines on its effectiveness.

This year’s Moontec, held between the 26th and 27th November, is dedicated to finding answers to the biggest challenges faced by blockchain nowadays, such as regulation, application in real-world practice and market adoption.

E&S Group team is attending the event to talk about the use of blockchain technology in the legal, iGaming and logistics industries. In order to make the system work on a European scale, the representatives of the Blockchain Island community should connect with the specialists from the Digital Nation, allowing the blocks to build an effective network.

Meet us in Tallinn on between the 26th and the 28th November. Please send an email to [email protected] to arrange an appointment or contact our team members directly: Yuliya Khrenova and Rick Goddard.

 

Read More
Posted on

Malta is an attractive option for Foreign Direct Investment

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Malta, Technology, DLT

Malta is an attractive option for Foreign Direct Investment

According to a report by EY, Malta has continued to retain its attractiveness for foreign direct investment (FDI), particularly due to its welcoming and progressive fiscal and regulatory framework.

Whilst blockchain and DLT sector is in its infancy, it along with the already established iGaming sector is stimulating the interest of international investors resulting in a market boom. The EY Annual Attractiveness Survey 2018 for Malta points to a promising future for one of the EU’s smallest member states.

In the International Spotlight

Despite Malta’s small size, it has recently been thrust into the international spotlight for its fast-growing economy that is attracting talent from all over the EU and beyond. This is a sentiment that is clearly reflected in how international investors consider the island, as the level of FDI has stayed consistently high over the last few years.

The EY survey suggests that one of the most-praised factors is the favourable regulatory environment with a ratio of 85% of FDI companies and investors stating this as one of their deciding factors. The survey adds that other recent regulatory developments such as the blockchain and crypto acts play a big part in the popularity of the country as a jurisdiction of choice.

“Business investors increasingly believe that Malta is keeping pace with regulatory changes in competing jurisdictions while simultaneously providing investors with the potential to exploit competitive advantages in both European and global markets,” the survey says. According to 56% of investors that took part in the survey, the current business environment offers significant international advantages.

Shortage of labour

For a country with such a healthy economy and industries, finding the right labour is an important part of sustainable success. The EU-wide issue of labour-shortages has not escaped Malta with the Maltese government stating that they need to import a significant amount of foreign labour to meet demands. 64% of respondent’s mention challenges in recruiting staff with investors believing that technology-wise, the right skill sets are present to keep up with the pace in technology.

Malta was the first EU state to regulate the online gaming market back in 2004. Since then, Malta’s iGaming industry has grown exponentially and it is now considered as one of the leading remote gaming jurisdictions in the world. Over the last 15 years, the sector has experienced continuous growth and in 2017 alone, it generated an estimated EUR 1.1 billion to the countries gross value.

iGaming continues to grow

The sectors growth does not show any sign of slowing down and over the next five years, as 69% of respondents believe, iGaming still will be an important factor in Maltese growth. This is followed by the tourism and leisure sector (48%), payments and fintech (45%), and digital media and games (42%).

When it comes to already adopt innovative technologies, areas such as Big Data and analytics (27%), cloud computing (55%), mobile (24%), IoT (14%) and process automation (22%) came out on top. Blockchain and DLT came in at 5% with investors expecting it to rise to 36% over the next three years.

The survey concluded:

“Positioning the island at the forefront of innovation, while remaining true to the principles and values that the country has grown accustomed to, will be even more relevant going forward than ever before.” 

E&S Group has worked hard to position itself at the forefront of Malta’s disruptive industries. With experts skilled in areas such as blockchain, DLT, crypto, IoT, iGaming, and more, we are able to assist with all legal, financial, and regulatory matters relating to setting up and operating a business within Malta. To find out more, contact a member of our team today by sending an email at [email protected]

Read More
Posted on

E&S Group Announces Participation in KSU Fresher’s Week 2018

Categories Tax, iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, ICO Legal Service, Law, E&S Group, University, Technology, Tokenomics, DLT, KSU, Corporate Services

E&S Group Announces Participation in KSU Fresher’s Week 2018

As Malta continues to stride towards solidifying its reputation as the ‘Blockchain Island’, E&S Group is proud to announce its participation in the KSU Fresher’s Week 2018 at the University of Malta.

Held in between the 1st-5th of October 2018, the KSU Fresher’s Week gives new students the opportunity to meet not only each other but also businesses involved in the sectors they may one day wish to work in. E&S Group will have a stand at the event where students are invited to come and meet the team, network, make contacts for future internship opportunities, and learn about the range of services the company provides. Students will also be able to get their hands on merchandise and enjoy a range of games and competitions throughout the week.

E&S Group is a boutique law firm, located in the heart of St Julian’s. Whilst based in Malta, their client portfolio has a global reach across multiple sectors and disciplines. As Malta’s cryptocurrency and blockchain sector continue to increase, so does the demand for special legal professionals with an interest in these emerging industries.

Lawyers and accountants with experience and knowledge in ICOs, cryptocurrency, and blockchain technology are in demand, and as the sector is still in its infancy, this demand is set to grow exponentially. E&S Group is looking to inspire, educate, and develop the talents of potential digital market participants, as well as to attract the island’s brightest professionals to a sector that is set to revolutionise the local, and international economy.

E&S Group provides a range of services including ICO Legal Services, Corporate Services, iGaming, International Tax Planning, Financial Planning, Tokenomics, and more. If you are a student willing to work in one of these fields in the future, be sure to stop by the E&S Group stand to say hello!

Read More
Posted on

Online casino operator launches token sale

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Technology

Online casino operator launches token sale

One of Europe’s biggest social casino games, KamaGames has announced it is moving into the world of blockchain and cryptocurrency. The news came this week that they are set to launch their own KamaGames Token that is designed to make life easier for its 100 million + players.

Utilising Ethereum

The Kama token will utilise blockchain technology and Ethereum cryptocurrency and KamaGames expects to sell around $25m of tokens. The tokens will be available as in-game chips that are sold as a bulk block at a low price. These chips will then grow in value each day and users will be rewarded for not touching the tokens- if they do this, they can expect them to grow in value up to 11 times.

CEO of KamaGames, Andrey Kuznetsov has stated that it is not an investment in cryptocurrency, but rather an investment in in-game currency as the tokens cannot be phased out. For this reason, the launch is classified as a token sale, not as an initial coin offering (ICO).

Kuznetsov said; “This is a way for our players to buy in-game currency more cheaply. We are not looking to raise funds.”

The company added that cryptocurrency is becoming a lot more popular in the sector and with players, stating that users of their services had been requesting such payment methods for some time.

Utility token concept

These new tokens will work in the same way as a standard utility token and can be exchanged for in-game currency as long as the user has a KamaGames player account. Users are then able to use their account by using their chips, as well as discounts, bonuses and other services that KamaGames will make exclusively for token holders.

Token holders can expect an increase in value of the tokens, equivalent to 11 times, which is guaranteed. The tokens can be purchased via local fiat currency or with Ether. The exchange rate on the tokens will increase 25% each month during the first 36 months, and at a linear rate after that.

This news just goes to show how cryptocurrency can work wonders in the iGaming and online gaming world. As users of such services are already very used to transacting online, the concept of cryptocurrency does not come as a big adjustment to them and therefore, they are keen to utilise new and improved ways of making payments, as well as being rewarded.

 

E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

For more information click the link.

Read More
Posted on

Malta and the FATF- fighting money laundering and terrorism financing

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Regulatory, Malta, Technology, Trading, Regulation, Exchanges, DLT

Malta and the FATF- fighting money laundering and terrorism financing

Over the last decade, the island of Malta has firmly established itself as a leading jurisdiction for various sectors such as iGaming, financial services, and now, cryptocurrency and blockchain. This is due in part to its stringent approach to issues surrounding anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism procedures, including its adherence to the EU 4th Anti Money Laundering Directive, as well as being an active member of the international Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

The FATF is an organisation that is tasked with setting the global standards for AML/CTF as well as acting as a guardian of the financial system in terms of financial crime and illicit activities. Every four months, they release a list of non-reputable jurisdictions which are defined as those that have serious deficiencies in their AML/CFT legislation, or who are not cooperative. This list of so-called ‘rogue states’ is meant to guide cooperative countries when it comes to who they should do business with, and who requires more enhanced levels of due diligence and other verification processes.

The most recent list, published in July, includes Democratic People’s Republic of North Korea, Ethiopia, Iran, Pakistan, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Syria, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia and Yemen. Deemed as no-reputable jurisdictions, entities are advised to exercise caution when handling financial businesses with them. Notably, most countries on the list are in the grip of some kind of conflict so it could be that the governmental infrastructure is not available to enforce such regulations in an efficient manner, rather than them simply refusing to cooperate.

Malta’s Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) uses each report as a guide to decide what kinds of businesses or individuals should be able to conduct financial businesses within the country. Malta is also an active member of the intergovernmental FTAF as well as adhering to the EU 4AMLD, meaning it takes a strict approach to due diligence on companies and obliged entities operating in the country.

E&S Group works with a wide range of clientele from every corner of the world, and as such, we undertake all necessary due diligence, enhanced due diligence, and know your customer processes as a standard. We are also able to advise our customers on creating the proper, compliance procedures to ensure that their business and the people that they do business with are in line with national and international AML/CFT requirements. Contact us today at +356 2010 3020 or by email on [email protected]

Read More
Posted on

eSports Forum Launched in Malta

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, Technology, esports

eSports Forum Launched in Malta

Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, Silvio Schembri has announced the launch of a new strategy that will seek to further encourage the development of the eSports sector in Malta. This comes hand in hand with plans to host the very first eSports international tournament in September.

In a press release, Schembri stated that over the next few months, the video gaming sector will receive a big publicity boost:

“We firmly believe that Malta, with its current gaming ecosystem and Home of Gaming Excellence credentials, will provide the ideal landscape for eSports athletes, business, and tournaments to thrive”

He added: “We want to encourage training programmes, boot camps, and development courses on team leadership and physical wellness. In fact, through Gaming Malta, we’re working to host the first eSport international tournament.”

Whilst there are several challenges remaining regarding infrastructure and planning, Schembri reassured the press that the environment is being backed by government policies which will help the various projects to succeed.

Between 24th and 29th September, Malta will be host to the ‘Trojan Horse was a Unicorn’ conference which will be an important part of the Maltese digital creative arts ecosystem as well as reinforcing innovation, education, and attracting the world’s best talent.

Head of Operations and Business Development at Gaming Malta, Ivan Filletti said that eSports is going to be a big and important part of Malta’s digital ecosystem:

“The first eSports Forum will serve as an opportunity to dive deep into this fast-growing sector and Malta can serve as a catalyst between eSports and iGaming”.

The eSports sector has already experienced rapid growth over the last few years and globally the eSports market is expected to hit $1.5 billion by 2020. If Malta can position itself as a leading jurisdiction in this industry, like it already has with iGaming and cryptocurrency, then these revenues will provide a welcome boost to the already booming economy.

E&S Group has a wealth of knowledge within the iGaming, eSports and ICO sector, having worked with a plethora of local and international clientele. From setting up a company to applying for licences, our team of experts are able to guide you every step of the way.

 

Read More
Posted on

Malta announces a delay in the introduction of new gambling regulations

Categories iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, Malta, European Commission, The Blockchain Island, E&S Group, European Parliament, Technology, Regulation, Anti Money Laundering, Malta Gaming Authority

Malta announces a delay in the introduction of new gambling regulations

Malta is awaiting the introduction of its new gambling regulations, but news broke on the 28th that these would come a bit later than planned.

The reason for the delay is being cited as comments made by the European Commission and another EU Member State, pushing forward the implementation date to July 16th, and the start date back to August 1st.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) said in a statement:

“Government and the MGA shall be reviewing and taking into account the recommendations made by the European Commission and the Member States.”

According to reports, detailed opinions were forthcoming from Finland, Poland, and the European Lotteries Association- all of which must be duly considered by the Maltese government and the MGA.

The changes to the existing law were proposed back in May 2017 and the new legislation was drafted after an extensive public consultation period with key local and international stakeholders. The new Gaming Act will replace the current rules and it is particularly focussed on licensing and the provision of gambling services. Once it comes into force, it will drastically simplify the licensing system by using just two categories of license- a B2B one and B2C one.

This new act is the first revision of the nations gaming laws since 2004 and as well as simplifying certain areas, it also aims to implement stricter controls and regulations to ensure that the industry is immune from money laundering, terrorist financing and other various financial crimes that are associated with gaming and sports betting.

This news comes alongside the announcement that the Maltese Parliament has approved three acts designed to regulate the cryptocurrency, blockchain, and ICO industries. The Virtual Financial Assets Act, the Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, and the Innovative Technology Arrangement Act will seek to provide much sought after regulatory clarity, as well as providing support and encouragement for the burgeoning sector.

This is a world first and has put Malta on the map in the world of crypto and blockchain with the small EU state even being dubbed as the “Blockchain Island”.

With these new pieces of legislation for both the iGaming industry and the blockchain and cryptocurrency industry, it places Malta at the forefront of these disruptive and progressive global industries.

E&S Group can help operators within both industries set up their operations in Malta. We can assist with opening a company, applying for applicable licenses, adhering to regulations, and providing tax planning and associated services. To find out more, contact us on +356 2010 3020 or by email on [email protected]

Read More
Posted on

Why you should open a company in Malta

Categories Residence, iGaming, Blockchain, Cryptocurrency, ICOs, Malta, Law, Bank, The Blockchain Island, E&S Group, Regulation

Why you should open a company in Malta

Choosing a jurisdiction to operate in, or a new location for a branch of your existing company can be a difficult prospect. Each country has its own pros and cons and knowing which one is best suited to your needs can be difficult to decipher.

The small island of Malta has long been a hub for iGaming, financial services, corporate services and fintech. Recently it is making a prominent name for itself in the field of cryptocurrencies and related industries. So why should you consider setting up base in Malta? What benefits does opening a company in this small, EU Member State afford?

Efficient registration procedure

The process of opening a company in Malta is relatively quick and efficient when compared to other EU jurisdictions. By enlisting the help of a specialist advisory such as E&S Group you can have a range of different company types or structures registered correctly and with minimal fuss. Directors and shareholders do not have to reside in Malta, the share capital totals EUR1164.69 with just 20% paid up upon incorporation, and as long as all documents are in order, the company can be registered within 2-3 working days.

Great fiscal incentives

Malta offers companies a highly efficient, EU compliant fiscal regime with an extensive double-taxation network. It provides a full imputation system for applicable entities, which allows shareholders to benefit from a refund of the tax paid by the company when distributions are made to them.

Tax benefits for Maltese holding companies

A Maltese holding company can be set up to hold securities, shares and business assets such as fixed assets, real estate, investment, bank accounts, aircraft, intellectual property, and yachts. The domestic tax treatment that is afforded to the income received by such companies as well as the countries participation exemption means that those choosing to set up a Malta holding company can enjoy attractive benefits as well as an excellent conduit to and from the EU.

A sound reputation

Malta has been a fully-fledged member of the EU since 2004 and since then, the country has cemented its reputation as a hub for business and new industries. In particular, it is renowned for its vast iGaming industry, its financial services industry, and now its burgeoning cryptocurrency sector. The country is home to international banks such as HSBC, BNF Bank, and Lombard, amongst others. Malta also transposed and enforced the EU’s Fourth Anti-Money Laundering Directive and its financial services sector is regulated by the Malta Financial Services Authority.

Solid infrastructure

You can fly to any EU city within three hours from Malta International Airport and Dubai is around five hours away. The countries employee pool is fluent in English, Maltese and often Italian with languages such as French and German being spoken widely. Malta enjoys fast fibre internet, a high standard of IT infrastructure, an experienced and highly educated professional workforce, and a full range of specialist ancillary service providers.

Good quality of life

Last but not least, Malta ranks as a country with the highest quality of life within the EU. The country enjoys over 3000 hours of sunshine every year along with long, hot summers, and short, mild winters. As far as recreation goes, Malta is rich in history, culture, heritage, and many opportunities to socialise and network. Professionally, the University of Malta lectures in English and many professional and internationally recognised courses can be taken locally.

 

E&S Group is a leading law firm offering various services with regards to ICOs. Feel free to contact us directly on +356 20103020 or by email at [email protected] to find out how E&S can help you in ‘making things happen’.

For more information click the link.

Read More
Posted on

Maltese Gaming companies can follow specific GDPR guidelines presented by MGA.

Categories iGaming, Regulatory, Malta, GDPR

Maltese Gaming companies can follow specific GDPR guidelines presented by MGA.

Last Friday 4th May, the MGA released a document with specific guidelines on the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) directive which will come to effect on May 25th, 2018 by the European Data Protection Board.

The EU Commission will enforce the GDPR directive for all EU states to follow. In effect, GDPR will be the catalyst to protect EU citizens from data privacy, thus guiding organisations across the region to observe data protection laws more seriously.

What will GDPR protect?

Previously, the EU has already passed a law on the data protection act across all EU countries. However, with the advancement of technology and scandals on big corporations stealing clients’ data from social media websites, the EU has come up with better and strict laws to protect its citizens.

The GDPR law has continued to build more specific laws on to the previous legislation which holds organisations accountable for the use and retention of personal data, enhancing individual’s rights to data privacy.

MGA guidance to GDPR

As an authority, the MGA acknowledges the Gaming industry concern about GDPR – compliance and how it can impact the industry. The MGA has presented a document to the gaming industry guiding them how to proceed. Before publishing the report, MGA has consulted with the Office of the Information and Data Protection Commissioner (IDPC), the supervisory authority responsible for regulating the application of data protection legislation. However, the MGA licensees are highly accountable to ensure all gaming companies are compliant with the GDPR and the gaming regulatory framework.

The authority expects that gaming companies will use these guidelines in par with the GDPR law. These guidelines will continuously be updated through a time when practical issues might arise. Gaming companies need to also take into consideration the legal requirements required to observe by the Maltese gaming laws without bypassing the current regulation. Also, the MGA guidelines and interpretations will not harm the Commissioner decision regarding complaints and other specific data protection issue.

The MGA has concluded the interpretations which are without prejudice for other guidelines or opinions which might be subjected by the Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.

Are you looking for services with regards to the gaming industry in Malta? Click this link for further information.

 

Read More