In its first attempt to differentiate between games of chance and games of skill, the Maltese legislator has, through the recently published legal notice, L.N. 271 of 2016, set
out an exemption from the requirement to obtain a Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”) licence for Daily Fantasy Sports (‘DFS’) operators.
The L.N. defines Fantasy Sports as “a contest played for money or money’s worth whereby the winning outcome is determined predominantly through the skill or knowledge of the player, and where the results are determined by the accumulation of statistical results of the performance of a number of individuals in sporting events, but shall not include the forecast of the score, point spread or any other future occurrence of one or multiple events, and for the avoidance of doubt, the definition of a “bet” as defined in the Act shall not be applicable.”
Under the skilled based licensing framework, the MGA are welcoming such operators to voluntary notifying the MGA by simply completing the ‘Fantasy Sports Notification Form’. After vetting of standard due diligence required for a licence application and a fraud management procedure of the operator, the MGA can
grant a formal recognition to the operator, which recognition will effectively serve as seal of security to players and other service providers. Such formal recognition will assist the operator with the application to be submitted to the MGA when the Skill Games License will be made available for Licensing, which is anticipated early first quarter of 2017 with application already being submitted.
In view of the continuous evolution and development of different types of games, the MGA is of the opinion that the ideal manner in which to categorise gaming activities is by means of a subjective assessment, on a case-by-case basis, which should, however, be conducted on the basis of a series of objective criteria.
Why would a DFS operator seek to be regularised by the MGA?
1. First EU country to license Digital Games of Skill including Fantasy Sports
2. Skilled based legislative framework approved by the European Commission
3. First EU license for the ’Daily Fantasy Sports Sector’
4. Licensing of a Full white Label solution
5. Forward-looking and pro-business approach by the Regulator
6. EU Member and member of Euro Zone
7. Malta has a very attractive fiscal regime
8. License fees are transparent and known in advance
9. Already part of a strong online gaming jurisdiction
10. Licensing framework will provide users the peace of mind that the product is genuinely based on their skill rather than chance and guarantees Player Protection and safeguards the interest of the operators
11. Ability for Established financial services institutions, including payment gateways.
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