New Gaming Act Implementation Postponed to 1st August 2018

Thea Leigh Massa co-authored with Silvana Zammit | Published on 19 Jul 2018

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New Gaming Act Implementation Postponed

The implementation of the new Gaming Act has been pushed back to the 1st of August 2018, postponing the implementation by one month. A detailed analysis of the new Act can be found in one of our publications entitled: Changes and Challenges of the New Gaming Act.

The reason for this postponement resulted from a Detailed Opinion being issued by a Member State to the European Commission including further comments on the proposed legislation which would require the review and implementation of amendments by the legislator and regulator. According to Directive (EU) 2015/1535 Member States must inform the Commission of any draft technical regulation prior to its adoption, which the Maltese legislator had abided by and the draft Gaming Act together with the subsidiary legislation and regulations were submitted to the European Commission on the 14th of March 2018, triggering the standstill period. Starting from the date of notification of the draft, a three-month standstill period – during which the notifying Member State cannot adopt the technical regulation in question – enables the Commission and the other Member States to examine the notified text and to respond appropriately.

However, if following the review of the draft legislation by the European Commission and the Member States, it appears that there may be impediments to the free movement of goods or to the free provision of Information Society services or to EU secondary legislation, the Commission and the other Member States may submit a detailed opinion which has the effect of extending the status quo period by an additional three months for products and by additional one month for services. In the event of a detailed opinion being issued, the Member State concerned has to explain the action that it intends to take in response to the detailed opinion.

In the case of the new Maltese Gaming Act it appears that a detailed opinion was issued by Poland with regards to the Gaming Authorisations Regulations. The Gaming Authorisations Regulations set out the new licensing system based on business-to-consumer services and on business-to-business services, which require an authorisation by the MGA or another EU regulatory entity. In such a case, the Maltese legislator must take into account the detailed opinion and reply to it, explaining the actions it intends to take in response. For example, it may:

  • propose revoking the draft text

  • give justification for retaining it

  • propose amending certain provisions so that they are compatible with EU law.

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