14 Oct 2019
The Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”) has published a guidance document (“Guidelines”) with respect to the impact of the United Kingdom’s (“UK”) exit from the European Union (“EU”).
The Guidelines, which provide guidance to regulatory matters falling solely within the MGA’s remit, give us an indication of the potential impact on the gaming industry operating in or from Malta. Moreover, guidance on applicable transitory measures is provided to ensure minimal impact on regulatory efficiency and the ongoing of business activity.
(i) As things currently stand, persons holding a licence must be established within the European Economic Area (“EEA”), as provided for by Regulation 10 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations (S.L. 583.05) (the “Gaming Regulations”). Following Brexit, the UK will no longer form part of the EEA; as a result, any person or entity established in the UK shall no longer satisfy this requirement. Thus, measures are to be adopted for this criterion to be adhered to. Starting effectively from when the “EU acquis is no longer applicable” to the UK (the “Effective Date”), a transitory period of 12 months is to be applicable, for any inconsistencies to be regularised by affected persons.
(ii) Regulation 22 of the Gaming Regulations, requires that entities providing a gaming service, or a critical gaming supply in or from Malta, which do not have a licence issued by the MGA, but which have a licence issued by the Authority of an EU/EEA State, may apply for a recognition notice with the MGA, so as to continue to operate without the need of having to apply for a licence in Malta.
Following Brexit, operators making use of, or intending to use regulation 22 in relation to licences issued in the UK will be affected in the following ways:
(iii) The UK’s exit from the EU will, however, not have any impact on certain regulatory causes, which, amongst others, include:
Operators are advised to also be aware of any other potential consequences resulting from Brexit, falling outside the MGA’s scope, including but not limited to data protection, immigration, employment, duty, and copyright considerations.
For more detailed information on the above, refer to MGA’s Guidelines which can be accessed here.