Over the past years Malta has successfully established itself as a serious and well-regulated European jurisdiction for online gaming. The Fenlex Group has been involved in the industry since 1998 well before 2004 regulations came into force. Our gaming expertise has been built over the years and we offer a complete end-to-end solution: from licence application to ongoing operational support.
A success story
Today, Malta’s remote gaming sector is a success story even though online gaming was hardly ever heard of in Malta before the late 1990s. In fact, our company, together with Fenech & Fenech Advocates, was instrumental in the introduction of the industry into Malta, by proposing and presenting the concept, on behalf of UK-based clients who wished to set up operations in Malta, to the Government in the late 1990s. The Government was very receptive to our approach. Indeed in a very short period of time, after in-depth discussion with the Ministry of Finance, the Public Lotto Department as well as the Malta Financial Services Authority, a framework was set up to licence and regulate the industry. Within six months our clients were in operation, and others soon followed in their footsteps.
The first licences were issued for bets received telephonically but recorded digitally. One of our first remote gaming applicants, also pre the 2004 regulations, required more bandwidth than the Island could offer at the time. The business developed rapidly together with all related services. As the business developed, regulation moved to create a much stronger environment for player protection imposing mechanisms on operators that allowed players greater control on how they interacted with operators. These same mechanisms can now be found in most, if not all, regulations introduced throughout the rest of the EU.
In 2017, the Skill Games Regulations were published following a public consultation that was carried out in 2015, defining fantasy sports as controlled skill games. In that same year, the Malta Gaming Authority issued a white paper to future-proof Malta’s gaming legal framework, including incentivising areas which have been identified as key for the continuing growth of the sector such as Business-to-Business operators, decreasing unnecessary regulatory burdens by streamlining processes and reducing burdens which are not conducive to the regulatory objectives and moving towards automated reporting, facilitating adherence to regulatory obligations and strengthening the Authority’s oversight. The new regulations have been brought into force and become effective as of July 2018. More information on the new regulations may be found here.
The Malta Gaming Authority is also working on a Sandbox project to allow the use of Crypto Currency and DLT within the gaming environment. It has issued a white paper and consultations documents in this regard.