Malta has intentions of regulating Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) which will make them the first European country to specially regulate DFS.
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has recently announced that daily fantasy sports will no longer require a gambling license. This decision towards the skill based licensing framework is expected to attract an extensive arrival of new operators to this small Mediterranean island as well as propelling Malta into the very center stage of DFS action in Europe.
MGA stated in their press release that considering the element of knowledge and skill engaged in fantasy sports, there should be some differentiation in place for these activities compared to game of chance when licensing and regulation comes into play.
The recent Fantasy Sports (Exemption) Regulations 2016 states that “Fantasy Sports” and/or “Fantasy Sports Game” is defined as a contest that is played for money or money’s worth by which the winning results is decided solely on the knowledge or skill of the player. Also where the outcome is decided by the buildup of statistical results of the achievement of a sum of persons in the sporting event, but shall not include the projections of the score, point spread or any other prospective occurrence of one or more events, and to avoid any doubts, the definition of a ‘bet’ as explained in the Act will not be applicable.
Several US federated states have already introduced the regulatory bill and this legal notice which is similar to the the notorious UK Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement of 2006 (UIGEA) follows in these US federated states footsteps.
Valery Bollier, CEO of Malta based operator Oulala.com states that MGA’s team has foreseen a few years ago the rise of a future Skills Game industry in Europe. He went on to say that Malta proves themselves to be a hugely competitive jurisdiction due to their ability to adapt themselves quickly to the sense of history and also because of their pragmatism.
The main goal of the Maltese gaming regulator is to protect customers and they have recently been working for several months now on the licensing framework which aims to regulate skill based games including fantasy sports. The intention of this framework which is expected to be passed by the end of this year will also set the rules in determining whether a game is a “Controlled Skill Game” or a “Skilled Game”
”This legal notice is the first step in a process that will see Malta become the first major European country to offer a real skill game licence. It is therefore a very exciting moment for our industry and for Malta,” revealed Bollier. ”Malta being the first major European country to offer a skill game licence means it will attract the attention of the entire European DFS market and place itself firmly at the forefront of the DFS revolution.”