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Compliance Updates

New Gaming Licence Fees Regulations coming into force on 1 January 2018

Zoltan Tundik

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New Gaming Licence Fees Regulations in Malta starting from 2018
Reading Time: 2 minutes

The Government has revised the Gaming Licence Fees Regulations (“New Licence Fees Regulations”) contained in the White Paper to Future Proof Malta’s Gaming Legal Framework(“Whitepaper”), whereby the fees for Type 1* games have been substantially reduced. Furthermore, start-ups will be entitled to a 1-year exemption on compliance contributions. The New Licence Fees Regulations were published in the Government Gazette. They will come into force, at very short notice, on 1 January 2018 for remote gaming operators. Subject to parliamentary time being allocated as expected and parliamentary approval, it looks likely that the Gaming Act (including regulations made under it) will come into force on 1 July 2018.

The New Licence Fees Regulations include a transitory period, until 30 June 2018, during which existing licensees will continue to pay dues in accordance with the current legal framework (Remote Gaming Regulation S.L. 438.04) (“Transitory Period”).  New licensees will be subject to the requirements of the New Licence Fees Regulations even during the Transitory Period.  As of 1 July 2018, all licensees will have to comply with the New Licence Fees Regulations.

Following the end of the Transitory Period, dues paid by current licensees in between January-June 2018 will be reconciled with the provisions of the New Licence Fees Regulations (a ‘true-up’) as follows:

(I)           Licensees that have paid more than is required under the New Licence Fees Regulations will be able to set off such amounts against future dues incurred;

(II)          Licensees that have paid less than is required under the New Licence Fee Regulations will need to pay the difference accrued by reference month September 2018 meaning that the payment must arrive not later than 20 October 2018.

In addition, under the New Licence Fees Regulations, Class 4 licensees (B2B operators) will no longer be required to pay a monthly gaming tax for every operator they supply licensed in an EEA jurisdiction (other than Malta) or another jurisdiction approved by the Malta Gaming Authority. Class 4 licensees will receive a credit for the grand total of dues they incur in excess of the provisions of the New Licence Fees Regulations during the Transitory Period.

Please do not hesitate to contact WH Partners on gaming@whpartners.eu should you require any clarification, or should you wish to discuss how these changes will affect your business.

*Type 1 gaming services means:

  1. During the transitory period, gaming services provided in terms of a Class 1 remote gaming licence; and
  2. After the transitory period, the games defined as such in the First Schedule to the Gaming Authorisations Regulations. These shall include games of chance played against the house, the outcome of which is determined by a random generator, and shall include casino type games, including roulette, blackjack, baccarat, poker played against the house, lotteries, secondary lotteries and virtual sports games.

 

European Gaming Media and Events will include special reports and briefings about the outcome of the new regulation during education sessions of our conferences.

WH Partners experts are regularly sharing compliance update at the event we organize.

After starting out as an affiliate in 2009 and developing some recognized review portals, I have moved deeper into journalism and media. My experience has lead me to move into the B2B sector and write about compliance updates and report around the happenings of the online and land based gaming sector.

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Compliance Updates

Wazdan Receives Swedish Certification, Expanding Their Reach Further Through the Nordics

George Miller

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Wazdan Receives Swedish Certification, Expanding Their Reach Further Through the Nordics
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Wazdan is thrilled to announce the confirmation of their Swedish certification, enabling them to offer their games through Swedish operators.

Confirmed this month, Wazdan is now fully certified in Sweden and have already enabled their games through their existing Swedish partners, including Kindred, Mr Green, Hero Gaming, and more.

The Swedish Gambling Authority began to accept license applications under a new law, earlier this year, in an effort to liberalise the gambling market and open it up to private actors. Before this, gambling activities were state-owned and had come under criticism from the European Commission for being monopolised. Online, however, under EU law, Swedes had been able to play at online casinos for some time, but finally, in 2018, the government agreed to follow Denmarks lead: quash the monopoly and open up the market. The Swedish Gambling Authority is the authority tasked with ensuring the legality, safety and reliability of the Swedish gaming and gambling market. Their role is to provide consumers with the tools for fair gaming by maintaining a transparent and balanced gaming market, as well as reducing the potentially harmful social effects.

Opening up the market is not just good for game producers, like Wazdan, it is also positive for the players. The main objective under the gambling re-regulation is to create a safer market, with particular focus placed on improving consumer protection, and game security. With this, players will be able to pause their accounts easily, and there will be increased punishments for illegal gambling activities and match-fixing.

Wazdan continues to grow in the regulated markets, with licenses including the MGA, the UKGC, Romania and Curacao. The company is also certified to offer their products in Sweden, Latvia, Lithuania and Estonia. Market expansion comes at a great time for Wazdan and their operator partners, with the company recently announcing a slew of new game title releases, including Lucky Fish, Relic Hunters™ and the Book of Faith, Lucky Reels, Space Spins, Magic Stars 5, Space Gem™, Juicy Reels, and Magic Stars 6, as well as their main game of the year, Larry the Leprechaun.

“We are excited to announce our Swedish certification, which allows us to strengthen our position in the Swedish market and expand the reach of our games through our existing operators. The Swedish certification opens up doors for our team to increase what we offer our partners, and also to develop new relationships with operators to bring Wazdan high-quality games to the Swedish players,” says Andrzej Hyla, Head of Sales at Wazdan.

Keep up to date with the latest Wazdan news at: https://www.wazdan.com

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Compliance Updates

TOM HORN GAMING Content Available In Portugal

Zoltan Tundik

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Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The award-winning, Malta-based outfit is set to expand its business reach into the regulated Portuguese market after the supplier has secured a certification to supply its content to operators in this jurisdiction.

The supplier’s Portuguese offering includes its highly popular titles such as 243 Crystal Fruits, Frozen Queen, or one of the latest additions Sherlock. A Scandal in Bohemia among many others. Tom Horn Gaming will now be able to work with both its existing and new customers who are licensed in Portugal.

Ondrej Lapides, CEO at Tom Horn Gaming commented on yet another milestone in the company’s growth strategy: ‘We have been massively pushing into new regulated markets worldwide and the Portuguese certification ticks yet another box to set our foot firmly in a market with huge business potential. We want as many people as possible to enjoy our games and we look forward to exploring more new ground in Portugal going forward.’

Currently, Tom Horn is compliant to supply its gaming products to operators in the UK, Lithuania, Alderney, Serbia, Belgium, Gibraltar, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, with a multiple new jurisdictions to follow suit.

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Compliance Updates

Missouri Gaming Commission Considers Gaming Terminals as Illegal

Niji Narayan

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Missouri Gaming Commission Considers Gaming Terminals as Illegal
Photo Source: bmmagazine.co.uk
Reading Time: 1 minute

 

The Missouri Gaming Commission has deemed the gaming terminals illegal to slow the rapid-fire spread of untaxed and unregulated slot machines in Missouri.

The lead attorney for the Missouri Gaming Commission ruled that the terminals contain functions that make them “gambling devices,” which are prohibited outside of licensed casinos.

The ruling came in response to a question by the St. James Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 5608, which asked if having one of the terminals in their facility would jeopardise the organisation’s state-issued bingo license.

After testing the machine, the gaming commission said it would.

Although the gaming commission’s findings only apply to establishments that have bingo licenses, the decision comes as state and county officials are investigating what to do about the machines.

The terminals work like slot machines. A player inserts money, selects a game and decides how much to wager. Players who win money can cash out and get paid by the store cashier.

May Scheve Reardon, executive director of the Missouri Lottery told that she fears the terminals could divert money from the lottery’s games, which generate money for public schools.

Senate President Dave Schatz, R-Sullivan, also has pushed for legislation that would prohibit the machines and strip businesses of their liquor licenses if the terminals are present.

Dave Grothaus, executive director of the Gaming Commission said there have been discussions about whether state officials, like the commission, could use their licensing powers to strip businesses of their ability to sell lottery tickets or alcohol if they have the slot machines on their premises.

“Certainly that would be an administrative tool that the state could use to address the problem,” Grothaus said.

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