Malta unveils plans to streamline licensing regime

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Maltese authorities have announced plans for a major overhaul and streamlining of the country’s licensing framework.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published a White Paper proposing major reforms, including the replacement of the current multi-licence system with a scheme in which there will be just two different types of licenses. A business-to-consumer (B2C)  licence and a business-to-business licence (B2B) would cover different types of activities across multiple distribution channels.

The reforms, presented by Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Silvio Schembri, and executive chairman of the MGA, Joseph Cuschieri, would see existing legislation replaced by a single primary Act called the Gaming Act.

Cuschieri said the current framework creates unnecessary bureaucracy, with some operators having to apply for separate licences covering verticals such as sports betting and online poker.

The White Paper, which is open for public consultation for around five weeks, states that the new Gaming Act would also exempt B2B licensees from gaming tax and strengthen the player protection framework by formalising the mediatory role of the MGA’s player support unit.

The legislation would also widen the MGA’s powers under the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments on anti-money laundering and funding of terrorism obligations.

“The new legal framework must be dynamic and future proof to allow for the use of cryptocurrency in the remote gaming sector within the coming months. We must act fast to remain at the forefront of worldwide gaming jurisdictions guaranteeing a secure hub for this industry and an efficient infrastructure that gives confidence to gaming companies setting up their operation on our shores. It is imperative that this reform leads to new policies that encourage further innovation and development within the sector.”

Schembri said

 

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