The Malta Gaming Authority has published a White Paper proposing major reforms to Malta’s gaming legal framework. The reforms would repeal the existing legislation and replaced it by a single primary Act called the Gaming Act together with subsidiary legislation covering horizontally the main areas of regulation as well as a series of directives and guidelines issued by the Malta Gaming Authority as the single regulator of this sector.
The changes would include replacing the current multi-licence system with system in which there will be two different types of licenses – a Business-to-consumer (B2C) licence and a business-to-business licence (B2B) – covering different types of activities across multiple distribution channels. Taxation would be streamlined into one flow with two main layers and It also would exempt B2B licensees from gaming tax.
The new law would also, according to the MGA, broaden the regulatory scope to increase MGA oversight. It would also widen the MGA’s powers under the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments on anti-money laundering and funding of terrorism obligations.
The proposed law would strengthen the player protection framework by formalizing the mediatory role of the MGA’s player support unit and would segment the Key Official role into various key functions within a licensed activity, requiring approval, for direct scrutiny and targeted supervisory controls, thereby raising the bar for persons of responsibility within a gaming operation.
The changes would allow new and more effective processes for criminal and administrative justice, including the allocation of appeals from decisions of the authority to the Administrative Review Tribunal and the introduction of a distinction between administrative and criminal offences.
The framework would also introduce the concept of administration to protect an operation in distress and, if necessary, to assist the winding down of an operation, thereby protecting jobs and player funds.