Malta Gaming Authority Releases Brexit Guidelines for Operators

The Malta Gaming Authority has issued new guidelines for operators regarding the impact of the UK leaving the European Union. 

It applies to entities that are established in Malta and are operating in the UK or entities that are established in the UK and operating in Malta. It addresses the consequences of Brexit on current Maltese regulations but does not include data protection, immigration, employment, duty and copyright considerations. It also details transitory measures in place for operators to ensure readiness and avoid any disruption due to changes in national and EU legislation.

The note addresses three key areas.

Regulation 10 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations

Regulation 10 stipulates that any person or entity holding a Maltese license must be established within the European Economic Area. The UK’s exit from the EEA means that persons and entities established in the UK will no longer meet this criteria and are required to take measures to ensure they continue to meet this prerequisite. Measures include transferring the license to another company within the same group which requires the MGA’s prior approval. Alternatively, the entity can be re-domiciled which would require the Authority to be notified within 30 days of it taking place.

A transitory period of 12 months will apply from the date that the EU acquis is no longer applicable to the UK.

Regulation 22 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations

This regulation relates to entities having the obligation on entities that provide gaming services or critical gaming supply in, or from Malta without having a license issued by the MGA but rather another EU or EEA member state. This provision means that the MGA recognises and relies on the license issued by the other state to ensure that there are no regulatory gaps in operations. Any operators that are using a license issued in the UK to operate in Malta will have to apply for a recognition notice that will be valid for 12 months from the date of issue. Any operator that fails to make this application or continues operating with a UK license in the European Union after the UK leaves the EU is committing a criminal offence. Operators must apply for a new license either with the MGA or another EU/EEA state before the 12 months of the recognition notice expires.

Ancillary Matters

Despite the two major regulatory issues mentioned above, there are a number of regulatory clauses that will not be affected by Brexit.

Any game certificates or random number generator certificates issued to UK standards will still be valid;

  • UK licensed and regulated credit, financial, and payment institutions that will hold player funds will still be accepted by the MGA;
  • The MGA will still accept the use of UK licensed and regulated payment methods;
  • The MGA will still accept the location of certain essential components in the UK, subject to the position taken by the European Commission, the European Data Protection Supervisor, and the Information and Data Protection Commissioner in Malta.;
  • The MGA will not object to licensed operators having offices including key function holders performing their duties from within the UK.

If you are operating your iGaming business in the UK and any other EU member state, you need to make sure you are prepared for Brexit and what happens next. To discuss your individual situation, your options, and to receive important guidance from professionals, contact Fast Offshore today.