New Law Regulating Skill Games and Fantasy Sports

Controlled Skill Games Licences to be issued by the MGA

| Published on 30 Jan 2017

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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced today the coming into force of the Skill Games Regulations issued under the Lotteries and Other Games Act (Chapter 438 of the Laws of Malta), regulating skill games and fantasy sports services provided in and from Malta. 

Following the new regulations, the MGA also issued a public ruling allocating fantasy sports to controlled skill games and hence making fantasy sports falling within the parameters of these new regulations.

The regulations are the result of a consultation and drafting process launched in 2015 and to which Chetcuti Cauchi Advocates actively participated.

The regulations provide that a controlled skill games license needs to be obtained for skill games operations covering business-to-business supply and end-consumer services.  ‘Skill Games’ are defined as any game for money or money’s worth and through means of distance communication, the result of which is determined by the  predominant use of skill and operated as an economic activity.   The regulations also provide for a non-exhaustive list of criteria that the MGA shall use to determine whether the game in question is indeed a ‘skill game’ falling within the parameters of the new regulations.

Additionally, the new regulations include details as to the validity and term of the licence to be obtained (5 years), conditions for suspension and termination of license, the requirement for record keeping and KYC, as well as the ultimate enforcement powers of the MGA.

Controlled skill games licence holders are subject to an annual licence fee and a 5% tax over gaming revenue.

A three-month transitory period is in effect for existing operators to regulate themselves.

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