Malta's Gambling Industry: New Law Streamlines Licensing System and Boosts Regulatory Powers
After months of waiting, the European Commission has approved a new gambling law proposed in Malta’s parliament, which is set to come into force on July 1. The new law will completely overhaul the country's current gambling industry regulations, offering operators a simplified licensing system.
The old multi-tiered licensing system will be replaced by just two categories: one for the business-to-business market, and the other for operators focusing on the business-to-customer arena. This change in regulations will make it easier for operators to apply for a license and will also help authorities to keep track of those who operate outside the law.
The new law is expected to boost Malta's economy and its reputation, which has been damaged recently by its lack of co-operation with Italian Mafia investigations. The new regulatory regime will also help bring Malta’s regulatory regime in line with the current iGaming landscape and demand for iGaming services, which could lead to a rapid growth in the nation's gambling industry, which currently accounts for 12% of annual GDP.
Aside from introducing a simplified licensing system, the new Gaming Act provides the Malta Gaming Authority with extensive regulatory powers and enforcement functions, enabling it to implement stricter rules and tools for countering money laundering, terrorist financing, and other illicit financial flows often associated with the gambling industry. It is important to note that providers of B2B services will be exempt from taxes under the new regulations, aiming to turn Malta into an even more attractive tech hub.
The new regulatory regime will come into effect from July 1, 2018, for remote gambling operations, and from January 1, 2019, for land-based businesses. The Kindred Group, one of the largest online gambling operators in the world, has welcomed the new measures, stating that it will reduce the number of licenses it needs and save a lot of administration for both operators and the regulator.