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Malta moves to completely overhaul existing gaming laws

The Malta Gaming Authority has announced in a consultation document that all current gaming laws are to be overhauled and consolidated into one comprehensive law. 
The paper includes a draft of the proposed new Gaming Act which aims to guide the regulator, operator and the courts in applying a cohesive law. 
The drafted piece of legislation consolidates a number of existing gaming related laws and subsidiary legislation and directives, empowering the MGA to oversee the industry in a more effective manner and create a "centre for gaming".
The Consultation Paper’s objective is to conclusively set the standard for the regulation of gaming, both land-based and remote. 
The legislation addresses a number of issues, including the increased technology convergence between online and land-based gaming, the promotion of technological, channel and game neutrality in addition to removing duplication controls. 
Parliamentary Secretary for Digital Economy Silvio Schembri said this morning that a number of public consultations, and research initiatives had been conducted before the new law was drafted. Schembri adds: “The new legal framework will create an environment where consumer protection, compliance and best practices are at heart.”
The gaming industry has eagerly been awaiting a legislatory overhaul, mainly due the simplification of the licence classes applicable currently. The Draft Law states that the licence period would be extended from five to ten years.
The Paper would replace the current multi-licence system with just two forms on licence - business-to-consumer and business-to-business. Moreover, it is also being proposed that gaming taxes would be entirely overhauled, whereby B2B operators would be exempt from paying gaming tax. 
This new, modernised regulatory approach seeks to combine strict licensing, monitoring and enforcement powers with the need for a competitive market in which those who obey the rules are allowed to thrive. The government hopes the move will enable Malta to be at the forefront of the global gaming economy.
A five week consultation period will be held for stakeholders before the draft legislation is moved in Parliament.


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