A step-by-step explanation of Malta's New Gaming Bill

26 April 2018

The Maltese Parliament is set to pass a new Gaming Bill that is widely touted as being an essential tool in streamlining the governance of all gaming services offered in and from Malta, thereby reducing bureaucratic red tape that inhibits efficiency and flexibility for the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) in its role as industry regulator.

Throughout the past decade, Malta has established itself as a leading and reputable worldwide jurisdiction for the provision of online gaming services. Successive Maltese governments have been laying the foundations for a strong industry, back when the country joined the European Union in 2004, which saw Malta becoming the first Member State to pass comprehensive laws on remote gaming.

Ever since the initial legislation was enacted, Malta has managed to adopt a successful trajectory towards establishing an ever-growing gaming industry. New laws have been ratified, offering incentives on employment, refunds on dividends, double taxation relief and competitive national tax rates.

Here is all you need to know about this new Gaming Bill and how BDO Malta can assist you.

 

What are the objectives of the new law being proposed?

The motion was presented to Parliament following an extensive period of public consultation, which was spearheaded by the MGA, and included the participation of various industry stakeholders, the general public, and also several technical, economic, and financial experts.

  • The new Gaming Bill aims to repeal all existing laws pertaining to the gaming industry and replace it with a singular primary Act of Parliament.
  • This new Bill marks the next major step for Malta’s already thriving gaming industry because it ensures that the MGA will have all the necessary resources and regulatory powers to effectively regulate the gaming industry and protect consumers. Thus, the industry can continue to run responsibly, fairly, and free from any criminal activity, reinforcing Malta’s status as a safe and well-regulated jurisdiction.
  • Removing red tape that generally slows down the process for interested gaming start-up companies setting up in Malta will contribute an approximate 4% growth to the industry, according to estimates published by the Malta Government. The MGA will now be able to operate with increased efficiency while improving the strength of the current framework.  

More information about the major highlights of this new bill can be found here


How can BDO assist new and existing gaming companies?

The gaming industry is one of the most dynamic sectors in the Maltese economy, accounting for a staggering 12% of the country’s GDP. The remote gaming sector is constantly evolving and growing, with new regulations and procedures coming into force. As such, it is vital for existing companies and potential new investors to keep themselves abreast with this everchanging landscape.

BDO Malta has been providing its local and international clients with specialist expertise since 1978. As a member firm of BDO International, BDO Malta offers a wide range of services that include company registration and management, corporate services, taxation, accounting, administration, auditing, and gaming licensing process management.

Known as the world’s gaming capital, Malta is one of the most attractive jurisdictions for establishing an efficient and effective gaming structure.

Mr. Mark Attard, CEO of BDO Malta, explains that “We have taken several measures over the years to ensure that our service offering and operations reflect the importance and prominence of this sector to our business. Our experience ranges from providing advice during the entire application process needed to obtain a remote gaming licence, to assisting with the collation of all the necessary documentation and information that would be required by the MGA.”

Mr. Attard argues that Malta is a well-regulated jurisdiction that has successfully attracted big names on the strength of its robust regulatory frameworks and advantageous tax systems.

Despite this, he also insists that “Corporate substance is mandatory for companies to benefit from refunds and other mechanisms. New company formations require appropriate physical presence, registered employees on their books and all other requirements typically associated with the activity of the company”.

BDO Malta also supports gaming entities with their business and strategic planning, international tax planning and structuring, corporate financing and compliance matters.

 

Why is it important for you to be familiar with this new law?

The new Gaming Bill, which is still to be discussed and approved by the Maltese Parliament, will effectively overhaul the country’s gaming regulatory framework. It is expected to further strengthen Malta’s competitiveness in this area thereby helping your business to grow.

The act itself will eventually also include subsidiary legislation that will cover the aspects of gaming regulations, as well as a set of technical directives and guidelines that are still currently under consultation.

BDO Malta acts as an essential partner to interested gaming industry operatives. Our breadth of services will allow gaming companies to better understand and adapt to the new landscape that will be created by this new Gaming Bill.

We will ensure that our clients are fully compliant with the provisions of the new Gaming Bill. In addition, we will also use our technical and professional expertise to act as a bridge between the client and the Regulator, facilitating the understanding of this new Singular Primary Act.

 

If you would like to request a meeting with BDO Malta or for more information, please email us on [email protected] or call on +356 2131 3060