The Malta MGA Guidelines in case the UK leaves the European Union

Malta MGA

The MGA Guidelines set in October 2019 states that the purpose is to indicate the potential impact on the gaming industry operating in or from Malta. (including the transitory measures that may be availed of to ensure minimal impact on regulatory efficiency and the ongoing business). It was also stated that these guidelines only relate to regulatory matters falling within the remit of the Malta Gaming Authority, however, entities should seek advice and inform themselves of other areas that may impact business, including but not limited to data protection, immigration, employment, duty, and copyright matters. The Guidelines were divided into 3 categories 1.

1. Regulation 10 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations

Prescribes (among other) a pre-requisite that a person that holds a license must be a person established within the European Economic Area. The United Kingdom’s exit from the EU shall mean that persons and entities established in the United Kingdom will no longer meet this criterion, and thus are required to take the necessary measures in order to ensure that the entity that holds the license meets this pre-requisite.

2. Regulation 22 of the Gaming Authorization Regulations

Prescribes (among other) an obligation on entities providing a gaming service, or a critical gaming supply in or from Malta, without having a license issued by the Authority, but with a license issued by another Member State of the EU or the EEA (The EEA includes EU countries and also Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway), to apply for a recognition notice with the Authority. The purpose of the procedure is for the Authority to recognize and rely on the license issued to the operator by the EU/EEA Member State, (including) to ensure that by operating from Malta, there would be no regulatory gaps and the operations in or from Malta would be covered by the EU/EEA license and overseen by the relevant regulator.

It was stated - Following the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union, entities operating in or from Malta, on the strength of an authorization issued to them by the competent authorities in the United Kingdom will no longer be able to make use of the procedure laid down in regulation 22, and thus run the risk of committing a criminal offense. Such entities are directed to take the necessary measures which may include either applying for a license with the Authority or applying for a recognition notice in relation to any other EU/EEA license they may have, for it to be recognized accordingly by the Authority.

3. Ancillary Matters

It was also clarified that The UK's exit from the European Union will not impact a number of regulatory causes which include:

  • The Authority’s recognition of random number generator or game certificates issued according to UK standards.
  • The Authority’s acceptance of UK licensed and regulated credit, financial and payment institutions for the purpose of holding player funds.
  • The Authority’s acceptance of the use by licensed entities of UK licensed and regulated payment methods.
  • The Authority’s acceptance of essential components located in UK territory.
  • The Authority’s no objection for licensed operators having offices.(including key function holders performing their duties from the UK)