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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
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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

California could legalise sports betting in 2020 ballot

Niji Ng

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California could legalise sports betting in 2020 ballot
Photo Credits: Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press
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Alex Padilla, Secretary of State in California, has said that the processes to include sports betting legalisation on the 2020 ballot in California has been started. Russell Lowery, a political consultant, is pushing the proposal.

The proposal would require 585,407 signatures collected by February in order to get included on the 2020 election ballot. It would expand tribes’ rights over certain games but would also expand competition for them as it would clear nontribal cardclubs to take sports wagers.

“This proposed measure would bring Vegas-style gaming to nearly 100 locations and urban areas throughout California,” said Mark Macarro, chairman of the Pechanga Band of Luiseno Indians. “This is not in keeping with California’s longstanding policy of limited gaming, and we will vigorously oppose this measure.”

“The tribes are in no rush,” added lobbyist David Quintana, who represents tribal gaming groups such as the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians near San Diego. “Our first priority with sports wagering is to ensure that brick-and-mortar casinos are protected,” he assured.

 

Source: focusgn.com

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Compliance Updates

Novomatic obtains Granada license

Niji Ng

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Novomatic obtains Granada license
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Novomatic, the Austria-based international gambling company, has obtained casino license in Granada, Spain. The license will allow the company to operate a casino for the next 15 years.

The new casino is expected to generate 200 new direct jobs and. The authorities are happy to co-operate with the new project as the new facilities will be integrated into the tourist complex of Monachil, which already has a hotel with spaces for events and celebrations, sports areas and restaurants.

The location (the municipality of Monachil in Sierra Nevada – a mountain range in the province of Granada) will contribute to the promotion of tourism in the area, which was one of the key requirements in the bidding process.

 

Source: intergameonline.com

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Compliance Updates

Battle Passes vs Loot Boxes: Which is legally more acceptable?

Niji Ng

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Battle Passes vs Loot Boxes: Which is legally more acceptable?
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Two attorneys, Greg Boyd and Sean Kane, has launched a new book that offers insights into video game law, titled Video Game Law – Everything You Need to Know about Legal and Business Issues in the Game Industry.

The duo is talking in this article about the legal angles surrounding Loot Boxes and Battle Passes.

“The book has 12 chapters and it’s really aimed at the general video game audience,” says Greg Boyd who co-chairs the interactive entertainment group at Frankfurt Kurnit alongside Sean Kane. “We deliberately didn’t write a textbook in the hardcore sense of a textbook used in a law class.” Instead, each chapter of the book covers a legal topic in the video game world whether it’s game ratings, gambling, or licensing, something Kane specialises in.

Considering that an entire chapter is dedicated to gambling and video games, I asked whether we could see a similar situation play out with Battle Passes, a recent trend in video games that offer in-game rewards for completing specific milestones or in-game challenges. The way Battle Passes are designed seem to be specifically counter to loot boxes where players might not even know what kind of prizes they will win.

“People think of loot boxes as rolling a die, but the fact is that the die can be different for different players is pretty revelatory for some folks…and at a certain level maybe that feels a smidge unfair if it’s not disclosed,” says Boyd about loot boxes. “Battle Passes strike me as a substantial improvement.”

“I generally agree with Greg,” says Kane. “A lot of states allow you to win an item – pay to win an item. So, it’s based on your skill, your knowledge, your abilities. So, under that law, Battle Pass I think are much, much better…The way that most battle passes are set up I think are kind of state-of-the-art in the industry. And they shouldn’t have a reason to have regulators questioning them.”

“It’s much better than a black box mechanism where you don’t know what you’re going to get if anything,” adds Boyd. “And not to say that those are impermissible, but the battle pass systems are an improvement certainly in disclosure and are likely to hold up better under scrutiny.”

While this is an informal conversation on the topic, it’s interesting to get an opinion on Battle Passes as more and more games adopt them. Games like Rocket League and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds have announced battle pass systems following the success of the programme in Fortnite Battle Royale. It is probably not a coincidence that both PUBG and Rocket League were flagged by the Dutch Gaming Commission for their loot boxes.

So are battle passes the future of the video game industry? Fortnite certainly has found success with the system and as Boyd and Kane say in our conversation, Battle Passes are in a stronger position against regulations.

 

Source: usgamer.net

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