Malta’s Parliament approves gambling laws

malta parliament gambling laws

The Parliament approved a new Gaming Act. Credits: The Malta Independent

The Parliament approves the third and final reading of the new Gaming Act, which seeks to elevate the regulator’s supervisory role.

Malta.- The Maltese Parliament approved late last week new gaming provisions that seek to elevate the jurisdictional profile of Malta from a regulatory perspective by strengthening the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) supervisory role.

The approval of the third and final reading of the new Gaming Act also wants to strengthen the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve the regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments relating to anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism.

The new framework wants to broaden the regulatory scope to increase the MGA’s oversight and to allow, in a proportionate manner, an intervention where necessary. Moreover, the new regulations are set to segment a Key Official role within a licenced entity into various key functions for direct scrutiny and targeted supervision controls, as well as it will improve player protection framework by formalising the role of the MGA’s Player Support Unit as a mediator between aggrieved players and operators. The new Act also envisages new and more effective processes for criminal and administrative justice.

The legislation is currently undergoing the Technical Regulation Information System process (TRIS), which in line with European Union Directive, it opens the Act to comments from other members of the EU. If the legislation passes without changes, it will come into force on July 1st for remote gambling operators, and January 1st, 2019, for land-based companies.

Silvio Schembri, Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, said: “I would like to thank the MGA for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward, as well as for identifying areas for further and continuous improvement. The MGA will periodically review the regulatory performance of the sector and the framework itself and will advise Government on the attainment of its objectives mainly focusing on consumer protection and integrity.”

MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia stated; “This is a very important milestone for the MGA. The new law establishes very robust compliance and enforcement powers and structures and lays the necessary foundation to continue to strengthen player protection.”