Digital Gaming Law

New Gaming Licence Fees Regulations In Malta

Digital gaming law has quickly swept over the global and local business scene, as in recent years the industry has flourished into a fast-growing and profitable one, in direct competition with the film and music industry. Digital gaming has also become a key, top-grossing intellectual property sector in Malta.

Digital Gaming Growth in Malta

The advent of mobile gaming and social gaming were pivotal in elevating the concept of digital gaming to a whole new level, providing increased easy access and mobility to players. Moreover, social networking sites have been catalysts in turning the digital gaming sphere into the thriving sector it is today. They serve as a highly popular digital gaming platform and open the sector to the general public, irrespective of age groups or social positions.

The digital gaming sphere offers something to everyone, with several genres or games coming out every day, including lifelike games, role-playing games, horror-themed games and so much more – the possibilities are endless.

While players are certainly an integral part of digital gaming, digital-gaming is a cross-disciplinary field which provides employment to numerous programmers, developers, game designers, sound designers and producers, as well as technical experts and specialists within the sector. As the sector continues to expand, various other sectors and professionals, such as musicians and artists, will be attracted towards this sector.

Malta Digital Gaming Law

On a European scale, one generally notices that the regulatory process in respect of strategies which digital gaming companies and businesses may employ in order to protect themselves and thrive in the industry is still rather rudimentary.

Malta stands as an exception; the Maltese legislator has taken a very pro-active approach in respect of Digital Gaming Law which was instrumental in turning Malta into a leading iGaming hub. Malta has seen substantial growth in the iGaming industry thanks to investment in the digital gaming sphere, as well as the maturity shown by the legislator in fostering an optimal legal and industrial environment for the digital gaming industry in Malta.

In 2009, the Malta digital gaming industry surpassed both the film and music industry. One can only expect further growth thanks to the ever growing diverse spectrum of platforms available, including box-sales, PC, console games, smartphones and tablet devices.

Legally and practically, Malta has the capacity to provide a lucrative experience to prospective digital gaming companies and businesses which seek to invest in Malta, as the already established gaming companies can attest.

Digital Gaming Law Benefits in Malta

Malta vaunts a state-of-the-art telecommunications infrastructure and a geographical position which makes it ideal to do business within the European, North African and Middle Eastern markets. Additionally, the Maltese authorities have a very pro-business attitude and offer advantageous tax rates and tax credits for expenditures which can be granted through the acquisition of tangible and intangible assets and for research and development purposes. Moreover, assistance is also granted to promising start-ups and enterprises engaged in the sector which show the potential for growth and to provide more jobs. This assistance may be used to purchase new technologies and also translates into the possibility of co-financing employee’s wages and leasing equipment and amenities.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has also been following discussions at EU level on initiatives forming part of the Digital Single Market proposal, looking into any potential impact on the digital gaming industry, from a regulatory perspective. The MGA reviewed 28 gambling laws notified by the Member States of the European Economic Area (EEA) to the European Commission via the Technical Regulation Information System in line with Directive 2015/1535. In 2017, the MGA received 25 cooperation requests from international gambling regulators, the majority of which came through the Administrative Cooperation Arrangement that is in place between gambling regulatory authorities of EEA Member States and signed in 2016. The MGA sent two formal cooperation requests within the ambit of the Administrative Cooperation Arrangement.

Our Digital Gaming Law Team

With its roots ground deeply in a country which has steadily established itself as a leading European iGaming hub, our firm seeks to take an active role in the enticing digital gaming law sector which has without a doubt grown into one of the most prosperous sectors within the jurisdiction. Our clients are highly varied and include software companies setting up gaming platforms, game designers, game developers, programmers and operators offering digital gaming services to players.

Our Digital Gaming Law team is made up of lawyers, accountants, IT consultants and tax advisers with vast expertise in Maltese corporate law, digital gaming law, entertainment law, IT law, intellectual property law and employment law. The multi-disciplinary nature of the team ensures that all aspects of the business are taken care of. As one of the pioneers to extend its expertise in the digital gaming sector in Malta, Chetcuti Cauchi’s seasoned Digital Gaming Law team is able to provide specialized advice, apply it to the various needs of the client and provide practical solutions to their problems.

We are proud to provide a vast array of services in the vigorous and fast-paced sector of Digital Gaming Law, offering legal advice and assistance in relation to:

  • application for and attainment of fiscal benefits available to the Malta digital gaming industry

  • corporate structure planning and the development or expansion of any company in the digital gaming sector;

  • gambling licensing exemptions in case of boarder-line game models;

  • compliance with national laws and regulations;

  • drafting of EULA (End-of-User License Agreement or End-of-User Software Agreement) and terms of service;

  • registration of trademarks both at a national level and at the European Union level;

  • copyright, particularly in relation to copyright infringements and consequent investigation, prosecution and consequent copyright infringement proceedings through the pursuit of cybersquatters;

  • protection of intellectual property rights like software codes; platform names; game names; character names and images and so on;

  • digital rights management systems;

  • the creation of licensing, merchandising and distribution agreements;

  • the handling of any employment issues arising in a digital game scenario;

  • advertising and marketing contracts drafting/review


Our Digital Gaming Practice

The gaming experts within Chetcuti Cauchi use their wealth of experience to provide solutions and advice to clients wishing to set-up gaming operations in Malta or set-up backup operations within any EU jurisdiction. Understanding the complexity of the industry, the team will work hand-in-hand with other experts within the firm, who will offer advice relating to Corporate and Tax, to ensure any issues which may arise will be duly dealt with.

The firm’s hands-on experience within the Gaming industry has allowed it to offer high-quality services which cover all aspects of iGaming. Our experts have also used this knowledge to provide their two-cents worth on what the future of such technologies can bring about. In fact, numerous thought-provoking articles have been published, outlining what the future can hold when such developments are embraced, rather than restricted.

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