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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

Sweden has all its system go for the introduction of new laws intending internet gaming in 2019

Athira A

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Lotteriinspektionen, the Swedish regulator said that the application process for new online gambling licences in the country will commence on July 1.Consequently, the country has all its systems go for the introduction of new laws for internet gaming on January 1, 2019, irrespective of the finalisation of the regulation.

As the regulator spent a considerable time last year working on technical and general aspects for the new laws, post the collaboration with members of the wider gambling community, it is almost ready to present the updated version of the regulations.

With regard to this, Camilla Rosenberg, the Director General of the Lotteriinspektionen, said: “There will be no limit as to the number of licences it can award to operators, but all applicants must meet certain criteria set by the regulator and the government.”

Applications will be scrutinised based on how responsibly an operator can manage gambling activity, as well as their potential to provide a high level of customer protection, maintain good security, and duty of care.

However, Rosenberg also alarmed that even after the government has signed off on the final set of regulations, the law may not be clear at first, adding that the reform will be monitored to see if further changes are needed.

Rosenberg added: “The awarding of licences and the dates from which they will be valid will depend partly on the quality of the applications and when they are received by the Swedish Gambling Authority. We will make a comprehensive assessment of both the application and of the company behind the application. I would like to say that the re-regulation is extensive and will take time.”

“Not everything will be clear from day one; the entire reform will be evaluated over a three-year period. The Swedish Gambling Authority – transforming into the new gaming authority – will do its best, given the conditions we face, to make reform successful. Our aim is to be as transparent as possible and provide regular information about new details and conditions.”

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Australia

Australian gaming politician brings a change of tack in his proposal regarding slot machines

Niji Ng

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Nick Xenophon, the Australian anti-gaming politician brings a change of tack in his proposal with regard to slot machines.

Thus, South Australian state could encounter alterations in its gaming industry post the elections, as the anti-gambling activist, Nick Xenophon’s SA Best party is all set to win hands down a number of lower house seats. Xenophon announced about him delivering a preponderant anti-pokies policy the coming year which targets the Australian Hotels Association (ASA).

Xenophon’s first legislation was a thorough ban on any slot machine operations in the region, but yesterday the politician and his party put forward a new proposal pushing for a reduction of gaming machines operations in South Australian state, than halting the activity completely.

SA Best’s policy platform for the upcoming elections in March includes legislative gaming proposals to reduce operations in the region. Xenophon stated: “I suggest to you that if SA Best is in a position of power to hold the next government to account, then both Labor and the Liberals will become born-again gambling reformers in a very short amount of time.”

The new proposals recommend deterioration in the number of poker machines in hotels and clubs from around 12,100 to 8,100 by 2023 and introduce a system of AUS$1 maximum bets per spin. Meanwhile, the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) has already rolled out an advertising campaign to get South Australians to back anyone but Xenophon.

 

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Compliance Updates

Premier Lotteries Ireland adjures the Government to spare National Lottery from threat

Athira A

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The Premier Lotteries Ireland (PLI),  which provides online and in-store lottery services in Ireland, called on the country’s government to halt offshore companies that offer betting on draws.

The Irish Sun newspaper reported that PLI met with a number of ministers to discuss the issue in an effort to establish a “legislative solution to prevent damage to the sustainability of the National Lottery and Good Cause Fund”.

Companies that allow customers to bet on the outcome of a draw are spared from making a donation to good causes, but punters are still able to win jackpot prizes.

The newspaper stated that:  “PLI is pushing for a similar law that is in place in the UK whereby bets on the national draw are not allowed.”

A spokeswoman for PLI said: “The National Lottery is concerned at the growth of unregulated, offshore, bet-on-lottery operators over the last 18 months. The parasitic activities of these lotteries are posing a serious threat to the National Lottery, and in turn, the millions raised annually for good causes.”

“We urge the government to take urgent action to protect the National Lottery from this threat. The National Lottery was set up with the express purpose of raising funds for good causes.”

“There is a loophole in the current regulatory environment which allows betting on the outcome of lotteries, and offshore betting companies — underwritten by insurance policies — are exploiting this loophole.”

In response, a spokesman for Ireland’s for Public Expenditure said that it would be “engaging further” with PLI and the country’s gambling regulator “in respect of reviewing the impacts of these online betting websites on the Irish National Lottery and in examining any potential actions that could be considered to address these issues”.

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