MGA: Digital Games of Skill - The Paper

| Published on 07 Jan 2016

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The Malta Gaming Authority (hereinafter “MGA”) has published a position paper (hereinafter “Position Paper”) with respect to digital games of skill with a prize which are offered through means of distance communication.

Malta Gaming Authority: Digital Games of Skill - The Paper

The Position Paper, Digital Games of Skill, which can be accessed here, seeks to outline the MGA’s stand with regards to the element of skill. In this regard, the MGA held that skill games with a prize but without an element of chance or with a negligible element of chance, that is, games the outcome of which is dependent purely upon the skill of the player, should not be subjected to a licensing obligation.

That said, the MGA held that skill game operators and their gaming activities should fall under the remit and competency of the MGA and be subject to certain standards in order to ensure a safe environment for the consumers. In this regard, it should be noted that the MGA excluded “social games” from the scope of the Position Paper. Whilst emphasizing that “social games” shall be subject to a separate analysis in the future, the MGA defined such games as:

“games of varying degrees of chance and/or skill which may be played for free or against payment, or for free but subject to the possibility of paying for additional functionalities or other advantages within the game, but which do not offer the possibility of winning a prize of money or money’s worth.”

Further to the above, the Position Paper outlines that games the outcome of which, although mainly accidental, is also influenced by a degree of skill (such as poker) shall remain subject to a licensing obligation. However, this requirement should reflect the risk posed by such an operation and as such must be differentiated from games of chance. In this respect, the Position Paper outlines that regulatory intervention should not go beyond what is necessary to ensure that consumers are safeguarded.

With the expected overhaul of gaming regulation, the MGA has outlined its intention to review its position on digital games of skill should the need arise in the future.


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