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New gambling law in Malta from July 1

Niji Ng

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After a three-month standstill period in the European Commission, the new gambling law will come into force in Malta on July 1.

The act was proposed in the Maltese Parliament this spring and introduced to the EC for an obligatory review. It aims to dismantle the country’s current gambling regulatory system. The existing system grants licenses in several classes, but the proposed system will only have two categories of licenses: a business-to-business (B2B) one and a business-to-consumer (B2C) one, depending on the focus of applicants’ operations.

The new Gaming Act comes as the first revision of Malta’s gambling legislation in fourteen years and was initiated by the Malta Gaming Authority’s former Executive Chairman, Joseph Cuschieri.

Mr. Cuschieri assumed office at the island nation’s gambling regulator in the fall of 2013. Earlier this year, he was appointed CEO of the Malta Financial Authority, which required him to leave his post at the MGA. He was replaced by former MGA Chief Operations Officer Heathcliff Farrugia.

Aside from introducing a simplified licensing system, Malta’s new Gaming Act provides the MGA with extended regulatory powers and enforcement functions. The regulatory body will thus be able and expected to implement stricter rules and tools for countering money laundering, terrorism financing, and other illicit financial flows often associated with the gambling industry.

What’s Next for Malta’s Gaming Industry?

Malta has become an important gambling hub in the years since its gaming law was last revised. The nation’s gambling industry currently represents 12 per cent of its annual GDP and is poised to grow in the coming years.

The new Gaming Act is expected to facilitate the process of providing gaming services from Malta by introducing a simplified licensing process and thus boost the growth of the nation’s gaming industry even further. The new law also aims to bring Malta’s regulatory regime in line with the current iGaming landscape and demand for iGaming services.

The new regulatory regime is now set to come into effect from July 1, 2018 for remote gambling operations, and from January 1, 2019 for land-based businesses. It is also important to note that providers of B2B services will be exempt from taxes under the new regulations. That particular language in Malta’s new law aims to turn the nation into an even more attractive tech hub.

While the island nation is already home to some of the world’s largest online gambling companies, it is expected that Gibraltar’s uncertain post-Brexit future could result in industry stakeholders reducing their presence in the British Overseas Territory or leaving it altogether in favour of opening or extending their Malta operations.

Reports emerged last month that bet365 might be gearing up to leave Gibraltar and relocate its operations to Malta where it already runs business. The company denied those reports by confirming plans to expand its business in Malta but not at the expense of its Gibraltar operations.

 

Source: CasinoNewsDaily

Niji has been in the writing industry for well over a decade or so. He prides himself as one of the few survivors left in the world who have actually mastered the impossible art of copy editing. Niji graduated in Physics and obtained his Master’s degree in Communication and Journalism. He has always interested in sports writing and travel writing. He has written for numerous websites and his in-depth analytical articles top sports magazines like Cricket Today and Sports Today. Besides reporting industry headlines from all around the globe, Niji is also head of the content management team at Impressions Content Management, based in Kerala, India, which offers writing and editing services to clients around the world.

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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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