To start off with, the fact that all existing legislation isgoing to be repealed and replaced by one single piece of legislation, means nomore duplication of controls, less confusion and a more hassle-free processwhen it comes to obtaining a licence or any aspects dealing with compliance. Atpresent, operators may choose from four different classes of licenses, however,should such reforms take place, companies will benefit from a simplified and amore streamlined licensing procedure, with only two types of licences availablefor both remote and land-based operators – (i) the gaming service licence, whichwill include a Business to Consumer licence to provide or perform such servicesand; (ii) critical gaming supply licence, which will include a Business toBusiness licence to provide or manage such supplies. In this way, operatorswill no longer be required to go through the tedious process of constantlyhaving to apply for different licences to offer a different type of game, orprovide different types of services.
1Another proposed change, which will surely be beneficial to the operator, isthat regarding licence lifespan, which will be extended from five years to tenyears, thus reducing the need for constant renewal. However, such change willbring about regular and more stringent supervision on licence holders, whichmeans that operators must keep everything in check and up to date on a regularbasis. The proposed regulations will also introduce the ‘limited duration’licence, which duration will be determined by the MGA, provided that suchlicences are not issued more than four times in any one calendar year. As thename itself implies, such licence is intended for a short period of time,ideally to be employed in a disaster recovery scenario, such as cyber attacks,natural disasters or any technical failure that may arise. The draft law alsoincludes new licensable activities in order to help the MGA in keeping an eyeon all the activities taking place within the gaming sector. For instance, keysupplies to B2C operators, such as gaming software and platforms will now belicensable and closely scrutinized.
Therefore businesses providing suchsupplies must carefully check whether their activities will be licensable ornot, and make sure that they comply with all the new necessary requirements.2Other than that, people occupying a key function within a gaming operator, suchas those responsible for the overall management and supply of gaming services,marketing, finance, compliance and IT, will also be required to obtain apersonal licence. In doing so, the MGA will be capable of holding each andevery person person directly liable with respect to his/her individual area ofresponsibility.
This imposes a greater burden on people working within gamingoperators, since if someone occupying a key role is found in breach of the law,it’s not the company which will be answerable but the individual himself. Therewill also be some changes with regards to the types of games that require alicence – non-profit games, tombolas and advertising lotteries will beclassified as Low Risk Games, and will only require a permit instead of anormal licence. There will be three types of low risk games: (i) Non-profitgames; (ii) Commercial communication games; (iii) Limited commercial communicationgames. Moreover, under the proposed law, operators will no longer be requiredto obtain a licence to operate amusement machines, however, such machines mustbe registered with the MGA against a nominal fee.
1 Benjamin Reedman, ‘PracticalGuide: Significant Changes Introduced by the Malta White Paper on Reforms tothe Gaming Legal Framework’ (21 November 2017)