Malta Gaming Authority Announces Major Overhaul Of Maltese Gaming Law

This article was written by Dr. Michael Psaila and Dr. Andrea Theuma.

The Malta Gaming Authority ('MGA') has just published a new consultation paper proposing major reforms to Malta's current gaming legal framework. The proposed overhaul aims to repeal all the existing gaming legislation currently in force by replacing the latter with a singular primary Act of Parliament entitled the Gaming Act, which will empower the competent Minister to publish regulations and grant powers to the MGA to publish directives and issue rulings as well as guidelines and policies, thereby ensuring timely and flexible interventions, especially in relation to technical specifications and processes.

In rethinking its approach, the new regulatory framework is underpinned by a number of innovative, forward-looking regulatory objectives seeking to encourage and protect the development of new potential gaming sectors whilst promoting the enhancement of i) best-in-class consumer protection standards, ii) responsible gaming measures and iii) a risk-based approach to render licensing and monitoring processes more effective and efficient. It sees the MGA building on areas of strength, rationalising others and expanding its regulatory competence and powers. In its aim to not overburden the industry, streamlining supervision and modernising the existing gaming framework, the MGA's top priority is to be more agile in its decision-making and decreasing unnecessary regulatory burdens which are not conducive to the regulatory objectives, whilst concurrently strengthening supervision and focusing the regulator's efforts on the areas which present a higher risk profile.

These proposals, besides reflecting the knowledge which the MGA has garnered from years ofexperience regulating the sector, are the direct result of various public consultations, technical studies and economic and financial impact assessments. Most importantly, they seek to address the ever evolving problem of increased technology convergence between remote and land-based gaming whilst ensuring effective regulation, irrespective of technology advances and development of new business models. In proposing technology and game- neutral forms of licensing gaming activities, one of the main changes proposed by the MGA is to replace the current cumbersome 'multi-license' system with a system comprising of two different types of licenses – a Business-to-Consumer (B2C) licence and a Business-to-Business (B2B) licence – which will cover different types of activities across multiple distribution channels. This 'simplification' in the MGA's licensing system is expected to allow the MGA to allocate more of its resources to ongoing compliance monitoring of the licensee's activity.

Other changes being proposed by the MGA include: 

The consultation period in respect of the proposed new legal framework will close on 23rd August 2017.

Should you require further information on legal assistance on any matters relating to Gaming law, please do not hesitate to contact Dr. Michael Psaila, Dr. Andrea Theuma or Dr. Luke Mizzi


This document is intended exclusively for information purposes and does not constitute legal advice or in any manner create a lawyer-client relationship. Further advice should be sought before taking or refraining from taking any action in connection with any matter treated herein.