Malta looks to strengthen regulatory framework for online gambling sites.
A press release issued on Tuesday by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) confirms the likelihood of stronger regulations to govern the jurisdiction’s online gambling industry. Parliament is preparing for the initial reading of a new gaming bill that would effectively replace existing regulatory framework with higher standards and other technical directives.
In perhaps the longest run-on sentence I’ve read all year, the press release announces…
“The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri announced that a motion has been presented in Parliament for the first reading of a new Gaming Bill which will seek to repeal all the existing legislation and replace it with a singular primary Act of Parliament, together with subsidiary legislation covering horizontally the main thrusts of gaming regulation as well as a series of technical directives and guidelines currently being consulted on by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) for eventual publication and rollout by the regulator once the Act comes into force.”
Stronger Regulatory Compliance for Maltese Online Gambling Sites
The purpose of the new gaming bill is to give the MGA more power and resources to proactively regulate the island’s abundance of online gambling licensees, protecting their consumers all over the world. The bill focuses on existing methodologies proven effective in other jurisdictions, such as the UK.
The bill’s primary goal is to give the MGA the flexibility necessary to do its job in a faster, more circumferential manner. Its supporters believe it will remove a lot of “red tape” from the process. Doing so will promote a safer, more responsible, player-friendly online gaming market.
“This Bill marks a major step in streamlining and encompassing the governance of all gaming services offered in and from Malta and across all channels under the competence of the MGA,” explains the Hon. Schembri.
“The Government wants to ensure that the gaming industry continues to be run responsibly, fairly and free from criminal activity, so that the Maltese jurisdiction provides a safe and well regulated environment where the industry can also develop and innovate,” he continues.
Raising the Bar for Malta Online Casino Sites
Malta takes its regulatory responsibility very seriously. The small island nation is home to more than 300 gaming licensees, most of which operate multiple internet gambling websites. To continue attracting businesses, the MGA needs to maintain the superior reputation it’s earned over the years. Thus updating the current regulatory framework to meet modern technologies and player protection policies is a must.
“We hope to remove any red tape by increasing efficiency and flexibility for the Regulator, whilst improving the robustness of the current framework and focusing regulation on outcomes”, says the Parliamentary Secretary of Finance.
He is adamant that this new gaming bill will further elevate the jurisdiction’s distinguished reputation in the global iGaming community. He estimates that the Maltese gaming sector will expand by another 4% following its passage and implementation.
Some of the bill’s highlights include:
– Reduction in gaming licenses to two types; Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Consumer (B2C), with gaming tax exemption for B2B licensees.
– A regulatory approach based on meeting objectives, rather than prescriptive.
– Broader regulatory scope, promoting equal oversight and intervention.
– Increasing efficacy of administrative and criminal offense processing procedures.
– Stronger player protections through the MGA Player Support Unit.
– Unwavering enforcement of segregating player funds.
– Unified self-exclusion database for players of all Malta-licensed online gambling websites.