Malta Remote Gaming Law Amendments Announced

Dr. Silvana Zammit | Published on 02 May 2016

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By means of the publication of Legal Notice 131 of 2016,[1] the Minister for the Economy, Investment and Small Business together with the Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”), have announced amendments to the Remote Gaming Regulations.[2]

It is expected that the introduction of these amendments, in particular, the introduction of the MGA monitoring system, further strengthens Malta as a jurisdiction of choice and excellence for remote gaming purposes.

Below is a non-exhaustive list of the major changes.

MGA Monitoring System for Malta Remote Gaming Operation

The MGA shall have the right to require a licensee to connect its systems to a monitoring system operated by the MGA and to maintain such connection at all times.[3]

Amongst others, the MGA may use said monitoring system for:

  1. receiving reports or statements which licensees are obliged to submit to the MGA;
  2. monitoring and receiving information relating to the games and gaming operation, including player, game and financial data;
  3. investigating whether the licensee is compliant with any law, licence conditions or AML obligations; and
  4. compilation of statistics, analytics and research.[4]

Any information collected by the MGA through the monitoring system may be made available to the public.[5]

Malta Remote Gaming Operator's Commission and Fees Disclosure Duty

A licensee shall be duty bound to disclose to all players any information relating to commission or fees held by the licensee or charged to the player.[6]

Malta Remote Gaming - Average Return to Player

Licensees who offer games using repetitively generated random selections for determining winning combinations, in other words, licensees using a “random number generator” (RNG), must ensure pay outs averaging 92% (or more) of the monies wagered by players.[7]

In calculating the applicable percentages, transactions which took place from the 1st January 2015 onwards shall be taken into consideration.[8]

Qualifying Shareholding in a Malta Remote Gaming Operation

The definition of “qualifying shareholding” has been expanded for Remote Gaming purposes.

Currently, a qualifying shareholding means a direct shareholding in a company which represents 5% or more of the share capital issued by such company or of the voting rights attaching to said share capital or which makes it possible to exercise a significant influence over the management of the company.[9]

On the coming into force of the amendments, a qualifying shareholding shall mean a direct or indirect shareholding in a company which represents 5% or more of the share capital issued by such company or of the voting rights attaching to such share capital or which makes it possible to exercise a significant influence over the management of a company, provided that where the rights held as to the percentage of votes, to profits available for distribution and to rights to assets available for distribution on a winding up in respect of such holding are not identical, the highest percentage figure shall be deemed to be the percentage of equity holding held.[10]

 

[1]

Government Gazette of Malta No. 19,561 – 22.04.2016 (hereinafter the “Legal Notice”).

[2]

Subsidiary Legislation 438.04 of the Laws of Malta (hereinafter the “Regulations”).

[3]

Legal Notice regulation 5, adding regulation 61(1) to the Regulations.

[4]

Ibid. adding regulation 62 to the Regulations.

[5]

Ibid.

[6]

Legal Notice regulation 5, adding regulation 49A to the Regulations.

[7]

Legal Notice regulation 3, adding regulation 46A to the Regulations.

[8]

Ibid.

[9]

Lotteries and Other Games Act, Chapter 438 of the Laws of Malta, article 2(1).

[10]

Legal Notice regulation 2, amending regulation 2 of the Regulations.



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