Posts

Malta Gaming Authority grants licence for Casino Malta

downloadOlympic Entertainment Group (OEG) has been licensed by Malta Gaming Authority on behalf of owners Eden Leisure Group meaning that Casino Malta is ready to make waves on the island.

Newly opened Casino Malta with its staff of 175 full timers is the largest casino on the island. The full compliment of the €12 million worth investment is expected to grow, with ambitious plans to set even higher standard within the market.

The casino offers the latest slots and table games as well as modern designed large lounge bar area and weekly live music events.

Ian and Kevin De Cesare, owners of Eden Leisure Group said: “We are delighted to finally open our doors after several years in the process. We are lucky to have great operator partners in our businesses from Olympic Entertainment to our hotel operators InterContinental Hotel Group to together will ensure that the industry is grown rather than cannibalised from other operators. The synergies of significant hotel accommodation, an existing entertainment business and great partners is, what we hope is a tremendous winning formula.”
casino_malta2

MGA to propose new regulations on digital games of skill with prize

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is planning to propose new regulations governing digital games of skill with prize.

MGA-Joseph

Joseph Cuschieri – Executive Chairman at Malta Gaming Authority

The Maltese regulatory body conducted public consultations, that shown the need of creating new regulatory framework concerning games that “are very predominantly and/or totally influenced by the skill of the player (and a negligible element of chance)”. The Authority learned, that such games should be regulated in a different way and distinguished from some of the types of games of chance.

Amongst others, the most relevant provisions will include subjects such as extending the scope of regulated games with prize including “pure skill games”, clarifying the definitions of different games, adopting various monitoring instruments and extending some of the functions and responsibilities of the Authority.

Detailed information, as well as the received feedback, can be found in the position paper posted on the MGA’s website here.

The official proposal is expected to be introduced to the Government in a few months.

 

 

Maltese Responsible Gaming Foundation launches National Gambling Helpline

Founded in 2014 in Malta, The Responsible Gaming Foundation, has launched a National Helpline.

The project aims to serve all the individuals who need help regarding problems related to gambling – not only the addicts themselves, but also their families or significant others. Anyone in need can call a freephone 1777 or go on Responsible Gaming Foundation’s website www.rgf.org.mt using an easily accessible chat. All the information will be considered as confidential and the callers will have an option to stay anonymous.

Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Officer-Operations of Malta Gaming Authority, said “Everyone knows the importance of the gaming industry in Malta, and this is why we should continue to help it grow and be stronger, however this cannot be done without help for those who fall into the gambling addiction.”

“One of the main reasons for the inception of the Foundation was the introduction of this call centre so as to cater for gambling problems”, added Mr Farrugia.

Maltese Parliamentary Secretary for Economic Growth, Jose Herrera, said: “Gaming is a hobby, but when it starts taking over someone’s life it can have very dire consequences.” Mr. Herrera also touched on an importance of carrying out education campaigns for schoolchildren to instil them into a responsible attitude towards gaming.

Ms. Lorraine Mifsud, Call Centre Manager, elaborated on the goals of the newly created service. She defined gambling addiction as a disease “which brings along other life difficulties such as mental health problems, psychological, physical and also social problems.”

Now, the 1777 Helpline is available from 8am till 8pm. The hours are planned to be extended for 24/7 in the near future.

Featured photo: TVM

Exclusive EGBA interview with Chairman of MGA, Joseph Cuschieri

During SiGMA15 conferences, it is possible to see the most important people in the iGaming industry. Joseph Cuschieri, The Malta Gaming Authority’s (MGA) Executive Chairman and SiGMA15 speaker, gave an  gave an exclusive interview to the European Gaming and Betting Association (EGBA).

The interview talks over the evolution of the regulatory environment of iGaming through the past ten years, as well as the relevance of consumer protection. Mr Cuschieri also tells about his plans concerning the the review of MGA’s consumer protection policies.

To see Mr Cuschieri on stage, apply for SiGMA15 here and choose the conference number 4, “World Regulatory Brief”.

To read the full interview, click here.

 

Malta Gaming Authority overhauls requirements for Key Official function

As a result of Malta Gaming Authority overhauling its regulatory framework governing the gaming industry, requirements for Key Official function will be strengthened. By doing so, the Authority aims to enhance the compliance capability of the licensee which, according to MGA, “has become a more critical feature of the MGA’s fit and proper assessment”.

Quoting MGA website, the Key Official (KO) “is the liaison person between the Authority and the licensee”. The online guide further explains, that “the designated official must always keep abreast of all the operations being undertaken by the licensee. The KO must be a director of the licensee and must be physically present in Malta”.

The Authority’s goal in this field is to “ensure that an operator has sufficient compliance capability and competence allocated to the right official who will in turn enhance the systemic compliance performance of its licensees”.

Besides the fit and proper guidelines, MGA will undertake other regulatory measures. The Authority’s goal is to “ensure a consistent and transparent approach in its regulatory outreach in the interests of all stakeholders and customers alike”.

For more details, see the Fit and Proper Guidelines available here and the consultation on the Key Official fitness and propriety requirements here.

You can also meet Malta Gaming Authority representatives at their stand during SiGMA15, by applying to the event here.

BetConstruct licensed by Malta Gaming Authority

BetConstruct, London-based developer and provider of gaming software has been awarded by Malta Gaming Authority with a Class 4 Remote Gaming License. The license allows the company to deliver their sportsbook product to Maltese operators.

Chief executive of BetConstruct, Vahe Baloulian, comments on the MGA approval – “The Malta Gaming Authority is one of the most preferred global remote gaming regulators with focus on fair and transparent gaming. Being granted this license once more validates BetConstruct’s standing in the gaming industry and our commitment to the highest standards of service.”

“The license from MGA will further enhance our ability to serve existing and future partners, including those wishing to operate under the white label arrangement.” – Baloulian said.

Earlier on in July, BetConstruct’s gambling services were also approved by the UK Gambling Commission and the Alderney Gambling Control Commission. The MGA license strengthens the company’s position on the European markets and opens new possibilities for further expansion.

To meet BetConstruct personally, register for the SiGMA15 here.

The power of statistical analysis in Gaming

In statistical theory, we refer to ‘power’ as the strength, reliability and the level of confidence of a research study, but in business terms, power refers to the strength of your data to challenge your competitors – the strength of your data to take a competitive advantage. Realistically, both of them are directly related to each other.

Business Intelligence is nowadays commonly used in various industries, including gaming companies. As a result, a number of pertinent questions are often cited; “Why is there all this fuss about Business Intelligence and statistical analysis? Why is there so much focus on data? What is the main benefit of staying ahead of your data?”

Statistician Vincent Marmara

Statistician Vincent Marmara

I remember the days when I stared working in the gaming industry in 2006. This industry was relatively new, with few companies based in Malta. We compiled statistical reports to analyze several methodologies on customer acquisition. Acquisition campaigns were always on top of the agenda. As things evolved, it became harder to acquire new players. More efforts were required and, as a result, customer acquisition became more expensive. Sophisticated marketing campaigns were adopted to target the right niche customers. In most cases, these trends were the result of statistical analysis as well.

Fast forward nine years: things look different today. The focus has shifted on retention, not merely acquisition. Operators need to address two fronts: consolidate their customer database while simultaneously run campaigns to reactivate dormant customers. To do so, they must realize that with the data they already have, the need to make assumptions can be reduced once that data is properly analyzed. Furthermore, they need to realize that the faster that data is analyzed, swifter action can be taken to prevent losses.

I tend to compare this situation with an epidemic. Currently, I am reading a PhD in Mathematics (Statistics) in the area of Epidemiology and I describe such a case in the following way. In the field of epidemics, one of the major models is the ‘SIR’ model, where ‘S’ refers to the susceptible number of individuals acquiring an infection, ‘I’ is the number of infected individuals and ‘R’ is the number of recovered or dead individuals. The gaming industry works I a similar fashion. A population of active customers may be ‘susceptible’ to stop playing. Along their active gaming lifetime, customers might start to reduce their gaming activity due to several crucial reasons (‘Infected’) and hence, the gaming companies have two options in this scenario. The company either decides to ‘do nothing’ and hence, the customers move into the inactive group (they die out) or else they try to strengthen their gaming activity, thus saving (‘Recovering’) them from stopping to play.

This scenario is very similar to an epidemiological model. Statistical models, together with sophisticated techniques, which may include both a ‘Frequentist’ and ‘Bayesian’ approach, are the right solution in such cases. One needs to find the solution to cure the ‘Infected’ customers to recover them and save them from turning to the inactive group. The solution is to run sophisticated analysis to determine the main factors that are hindering players from strengthening their activity, or at least keeping their gaming activity consistent. Following the acquisition of such information, one will then develop the right statistical models to be able to predict the ‘infected’ group of customers.

This is why there is a need for live statistical analysis together with the need to analyze current datasets. This is the reason why statistics provides power and competitive advantage, based on good statistical and mathematical models, carrying a high power of accuracy.

To summarize it all, a significant number of gaming companies today do not realize that they have priceless information that is being overlooked. The answers to their biggest issues are likely hidden in their data already. Operators may not need to reinvent the wheel to remain competitive. They only need to look closer to home: to analyze and make best use of the data accessible to them.

 

Who is Vincent Marmarà?

Vincent Marmara is a Statistical Consultant and Researcher by profession. He obtained his first degree in Statistics, Operational Research and Mathematics at the University of Malta.  He later advanced his studies by obtaining Masters of Science in Statistics at Sheffield University, UK.  Currently he is reading for a PhD in Mathematics (Statistics) at the University of Stirling, Scotland, and also forms part of the research staff at the University of Stirling, UK.  He was entrusted with numerous research projects both at a national and international level.  He led research groups and analyzed data to a high level scientific extent.  One of his main research projects involved modeling missing data in surveys and in other research areas.  Mr. Marmarà has 9 years experience in the iGaming industry as a Business Intelligence Analyst. At present he is one of the partners and co-owner of the statistics research company, Sagalytics. Furthermore, he has been part-time lecturing Statistics and Mathematics at the University of Malta since October 2010. Moreover, he is the President of the Malta Statistics (MSTOR).

Vincent occupied several key important roles such as, member of the faculty board of science, Deputy CEO and Chief Regulatory Officer within the Malta Gaming Authority. During his term at the gaming authority, he was directly responsible for reducing the licensing process time by half.

Patrick O’Brien: the role of bitcoin in online gaming

Gambling is a lucrative business, and online gaming represents a major and rising segment of that business – about 10% presently. H2 Gambling Capital, a firm that monitors the online gaming industry, estimated its global market value to be about $30 billion in 2012. In addition, the company projects the industry to realize a 9.13% compound annual growth rate all the way to 2015.

Therefore, the growing popularity of online gaming has necessitated the industry to reach further for more convenient and better payment systems. One such scheme that makes it easier for individuals to make more bets is the introduction of various crypto-currencies, of which Bitcoin has emerged as the favorite. Although this type of payment is faced with some hurdles, it has shown no signs of backing down from its revolutionary mission to enhance how things are done in the online casinos and gambling rooms.

Every country worldwide can be reached via the Bitcoin payment network and no other payment system can confidently boast of that. Coinometrics and others have approximated that about 40 per cent of Bitcoin network transaction volume is associated to payments for web-based gambling. Currently, more than 150 online casinos and gambling sites accept only Bitcoin as their preferred method of payment. Some of the leading Bitcoin gaming sites include Satoshi Dice, bitZino, and Seals with Clubs. And, the use of Bitcoin for online gambling is continuing to grow rapidly.

 

Patrick O'Brien, Director of Communications, EXANTE

Patrick O’Brien, Director of Communications, EXANTE

Placing bets on Bitcoin

There is increased interest in the use of Bitcoin in the iGaming industry because of its many advantages. Even though Bitcoin gambling currently represents a small percentage of the revenues from the iGaming industry, the stakeholders are burning their fingers to see that its use becomes more prevalent because of its many benefits.

The online gambling industry faces the following key challenges.

  • Inability to effect real-time payments in both directions
  • How to establish a payment system that is borderless
  • How to incur minimal fees for transactions
  • Difficulty in keeping client privacy beyond the gambling environment

Bitcoin, created in 2009, is a decentralized digital payment method employing peer-to-peer networking to allow irreversible transactions without involving any middle men. Bitcoin was developed as a reaction to centralized monetary authority, dwindling financial privacy, as well as paramount legacy infrastructure.  So, could it be the best bet for the iGaming industry?

 

 

Here are some key benefits that Bitcoin brings to the online gaming world.

  1. Very low fees

Bitcoin is regarded as a co-efficient type of crypto-currency. The major benefit arises from the cheap cost of effecting a Bitcoin transaction. Because it is relatively inexpensive to carry out a single transaction, an increased number of sports betting companies, online casinos, online poker rooms, online bingo sites, and others are placing their bets on Bitcoin as the preferred payment option. Bitcoin’s reasonable transaction prices also enable the industry players to offer low commissions and therefore attract more gamblers.

  1. Freedom in payment

Bitcoin is a revolutionary payment system that allows gamblers to make transactions without worrying about geographical constraints. With Bitcoin, online poker gamers can play anywhere in the world, at any time. Online casinos and gambling rooms do not need to worry about rescheduling for bank holidays or other limitations that may hamper convenient transactions.

Bitcoin enables people in countries not reached by the common payment methods such as Visa, MasterCard, and PayPal to engage in online gaming freely and safely. So, it is able to provide payment solutions to some places in the globe without banks or controlled by the traditional payment networks. Consequently, Bitcoin is proving to have the ability to open up the world’s extensive unregulated gambling markets.

  1. Quick payment

Contrary to the traditional payment methods that normally take hours or days for a transaction to be effected, Bitcoin transactions, however, are normally far faster. With Bitcoin, payments can be instantaneous making it possible for real-time gambling transactions to be made in both directions.

  1. Irreversible transactions

When customers make payments using credit cards or even bank payments, the sender normally can reverse or “chargeback” the payment. Therefore, this increases chances of fraud that can deteriorate the developments of the iGaming industry. Bitcoin is the only means of payment that the sender cannot be able to reverse the payments made.

  1. Discreet

One of the reasons why Bitcoin is increasingly getting the attention of the online gambling world is because its purchases are discrete. If a user does not want his or her personal information to be known, it will never be disclosed. More so, the purchases cannot be traced back to him or her. Furthermore, no third-party is able to interrupt Bitcoin transactions or enact freezes on Bitcoin accounts.

As much as the personal information is kept anonymous, all finalized transactions are available for everyone to see. Thus, this encourages information transparency. The public address of the sender will be visible without revealing his or her personal details. Additionally, anyone can verify transactions in the Bitcoin block chain to ascertain their authenticity. Since Bitcoin is built on a network that is cryptographically secure, any individual, entity, or government cannot manipulate its protocol.

Challenges facing Bitcoin

Although Bitcoin has been singled out as the innovation that will spread the wings of online gambling, a number of challenges still stand in the way of its complete adoption by the industry, and one would understand why. Here is a description of the key ones.

  1. Regulation

As the digital currency has started to penetrate into the mainstream and get exposure, several gaming companies have come under increased scrutiny from the cautious regulators. Regulation is good because it assists in taming some unfair practices in the market. Therefore, there needs to be a resolution of the issues that the regulators deem as risky for Bitcoin.

The regulatory framework in most countries imposes some expectations on the online gaming companies. Notably, a significant portion of the regulation raises issues with one of the most attractive benefits that Bitcoin offers to the online gaming world: anonymity.

Nonetheless, to find a solution to this issue, regulators can work hand in hand with firms that require individuals to disclose their identity before engaging in Bitcoin transactions. An example of such a firm is GoCoin, which mandates individuals to give out their identity when registering an account with them. Therefore, the risk of anonymity will be resolved if the iGaming industry accept crypto-currency payments only from players that have been identified using such platforms as provided by GoCoin.

Bitcoin regulation in the world varies substantially from country to country. Further, it is still undefined or changing in most of the countries. Whereas some countries have clearly authorized its use, others have completely outlawed or strictly forbidden it. In a majority of the developed countries, crypto-currencies are regulated under the money laundering/terrorist financing laws. Presently, Bitcoin has been publicly banned or severely restricted in only three nations: Bolivia, Ecuador, and Russia.

In spite of the regulatory policies, online gaming companies are doing their best to conform to the gambling laws and

Payments with Bitcoin

Payments with Bitcoin

make Bitcoin a preferred method of payment. A notable example is Vera&John, an online casino firm based in Malta, which caused a stir in the gaming industry by becoming the first licensed casino to accept Bitcoin in early 2014. However, things took a drastic turn after some few months when the firm announced that it will no longer be accepting Bitcoin payments. Vera&John were asked to suspend accepting the digital currency by its regulator, the Malta Gaming Authority, or risk having their license being revoked.

For the growth of Bitcoin in the gambling industry to continue, the stern watchful eyes of the several jurisdictions should not be a stumbling block. Therefore, for online gaming firms to thrive, they must be ready to endure and even compromise in some instances so that they establish lasting and profitable businesses. For example, they should be ready to adopt such platforms as provided by GoCoin to reduce the risk of anonymity in the industry.

The increasing popularity of Bitcoin as a preferred payment system seems, to date, unstoppable. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies are likely here to stay. Just like electricity, this innovation cannot be un-invented. This calls for the online gaming world to rise above the occasion and sail the growth of the industry while soberly seeking for solutions for the issues raised by the regulators.

  1. Price volatility

The price of Bitcoin constantly fluctuates because there is a limited number of coins in circulation and the demand for them increases every day. As of March 20th 2015, one Bitcoin was valued at $263.20. It was valued at $312.44 on January 1st 2015. This constant fluctuation of the value of this novice “digital dollar” makes sense since people are still experimenting with it to understand how best it works. It is because of the volatility of Bitcoin that the regulators in the industry perceive it to be risky for investments. However, as more people and businesses start appreciating the benefits of Bitcoin, its price will eventually settle down.

  • Security issues

Another issue that thwarts the growth of Bitcoin in the iGaming industry is due to fears of security. However, it is very difficult for Bitcoin theft to take place, particularly if the digital coins are kept in a secured online wallet. In early 2012, Betco.in, an online poker site, was hacked leading to the loss of 2,900 Bitcoins from player balances. Since then, no hacker has been successful in stealing such a large number of Bitcoins from gaming platforms. Therefore, this shows that the iGaming industry has improved in terms of making its architecture secure for the participants.

The future with Bitcoin

Bitcoin will likely play a bigger role in the future of the online gambling industry. Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies continue to exert a firm foothold and will continue to shape its future. As more and more people begin to understand the concept of crypto-currencies, they will want to own their own digital coins that allow them to make fast and convenient payments while ensuring their purchases are secure.

As the popularity of Bitcoin increases around the world, individuals will get ways of making use of it just like fiat currencies. And, iGaming could just be another aspect this virtual currency is employing to legalize itself as a real unit of value. However, this amazing growth of Bitcoin is being incapacitated by some hurdles, which can be amicably solved so that people can continue to benefit from this innovation. Particularly, the issues raised by the regulators ought to be scrutinized carefully and major solutions developed. So, more dialogue between the various stakeholders, operators, suppliers, regulators, and the gamblers themselves is needed so that the bright future of the iGaming industry could be realized faster – with Bitcoin, of course.

SiGMA meets with Hon. Jose Herrera

When asked whether he thinks that Malta can lay claim to the title of the Silicon Valley of remote gaming, the Hon. Dr. Herrera starts off by reminding how Malta established itself a major player in the industry in just fifteen years, partly thanks to its competitiveness in offering the type of financial services remote gaming companies seek.

The basis of Malta’s success can be found in the quality of the human resources available locally. In fact, the gaming the industry employs approx. 8,000 people, not counting the variety of secondary services used by gaming companies, including marketing and data hosting. The effect this has on the Maltese economy is significant. Gaming contributes to 10% of the GDP, two-thirds of which is accounted for by remote gaming.

Moreover, the igaming industry injects more than €50 million annually to the national coffers through direct taxation. The Hon. Dr Herrera reassures companies and potential investors that Malta takes the needs of the igaming industry very seriously. There are currently discussions underway between the LGA and the industry on the possibility of setting up an Academy of Gaming, which will provide specialised training courses in igaming to supply the industry with the skilled workforce it requires.

Besides investing in the local workforce, the Maltese government intends to set up Gaming Malta, an organisation tasked exclusively with the mission of promoting Malta abroad as an igaming hub and attract quality investment to the islands. Its objectives will be focused exclusively on promoting the igaming industry in Malta and encouraging more companies to establish themselves in this country.

The Hon. Dr Herrera emphasises that Gaming Malta will not impinge on the regulatory aspect of the business, an aspect which will remain firmly within the LGA’s scope. The two institutions will therefore complement each other, and igaming companies will be able to benefit from more personalised attention to their needs. This situation parallels what has already been done very successfully with Malta Enterprise, which focuses on attracting foreign business, and the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) which regulates the sector. In the course of the interview, the Hon.

Dr Herrera also touched upon the role of the Responsible Gaming Foundation. This institution has two main scopes: to help various NGOs in Malta using funds donated by gaming companies, and also to embark on education campaigns that raise awareness about illegal gambling and help vulnerable people who are who are addicted to gambling. Furthermore, during the past months The LGA has initiated a number of consultations with the industry in order to identify and address a number of key priority areas warranting special focus. These include amongst others, the administrative collaboration with other gaming jurisdictions, tackling cross-border regulatory & operational challenges, the development of policy in consonance with other related sectors (e.g. ICT, communications), evolving social considerations in regulatory practices, fraud prevention, consumer protection and fighting match fixing in sports are to be actively pursued.

To this effect the LGA has embarked on a reformist strategic exercise identifying key objectives and policy updates for the coming years in order to propose to the Maltese Government a number of initiatives which primarily include a new regulatory framework to be launched in 2015. This new framework is intended to revamp and consolidate all gaming activities under one law. The need to overhaul and consolidate the gaming regulatory regime in Malta is long overdue when one considers the developments which took place over the last decade particularly in consumer demands, technology and the broader regulatory landscape globally.

Therefore, the consolidation, restructuring and re-scoping of the Maltese gaming regulation is expected to give both the LGA and the operators more legal certainty, consistency, and clarity. It will also modernise the Maltese gaming regulatory framework to a model which is growth focused, innovative and cutting edge. Malta’s success as a gaming hub is attributed to a number of factors which make Malta a distinctive gaming jurisdiction of international status. The package of incentives includes a robust ICT infrastructure, an English speaking population, a strong education system and a regulatory framework that focuses on consumer protection, fairness of games, strict compliance and the prevention of money laundering and other crimes.

The remote gaming industry in Malta has a bright future ahead and should maintain a positive growth trend through the efforts by the present government, together with the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and the private industry. When asked if he thinks that Malta still has potential to grow its reach in the igaming market or whether a saturation point is imminent, the Hon. Dr Herrera replied that there is still a lot of scope for expansion left and that an outreach program has been set up to entice more investors from Asia and South America to move their operations to Malta.

Ultimately, Malta has to be a leading force in finding innovative solutions to present and future challenges facing the industry. The Hon. Dr Herrera is positive that this is already the case and, thanks to the local political consensus on the importance of the igaming industry, Malta’s success story has far from reached a conclusion yet.

Re-inventing Malta’s Remote Gaming Industry: MGA

By Mr. Joseph Cuschieri, Executive Chairman, MGA

The remote gaming industry is one of the most dynamic economic sectors in the world, generating billions in revenue for the operators quite apart from the multiplier effect it creates in other sectors servicing this industry.

As far back as 2004, Malta was the first country in Europe to identify the potential of this lucrative industry and enact the appropriate legislative framework in order to position Malta as a leading global player in remote gaming regulation. With the regulatory and financial incentives in place, the portfolio of companies setting up their operations in Malta started to grow at a fast pace and today the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) hosts a remote gaming industry which directly contributes 8% of GDP, employs more than 8,000 people and its direct and indirect economic benefits have created a multiplier effect impacting many businesses like for example property, ICT services, hospitality and corporate services amongst others.

Malta’s huge success is underpinned by a package of incentives and hygiene factors which when put together make Malta a unique gaming jurisdiction of international repute. The Malta package includes key elements such as corporate and personal tax incentives, a robust ICT infrastructure, an English speaking population, a strong educational system and a regulatory framework which focuses on consumer protection, strict compliance and the prevention of money laundering. In fact, other European jurisdictions have looked at Malta as their role model when developing their national legal frameworks for remote gaming. More than 250 remote gaming companies and 400 licenses are currently on the MGA’s books and the numbers keep growing steadily.

But what got us here won’t get us there and past successes are not a guarantee for the future. In order for Malta to stay at the top of the game, we need to innovate and re-think our strategy in a much more challenging and competitive environment. We need to rethink what Malta as a gaming jurisdiction stands for. What makes us different from the rest of the jurisdictions? What do we need to do to future proof ourselves for the next decade? To this effect, the MGA is currently undergoing a broad reform exercise targeting the way it operates, its organisational structures, processes, positioning, IT infrastructure but also the recalibration of its long term strategy so that Malta’s position as a gaming jurisdiction is consolidated and the sector keeps growing at a steady pace.

Our current legislative framework is in the process of undergoing a major overhaul in order to put in place a new legal framework which is innovative, cutting edge, growth focused and one which raises the bar in consumer protection, innovation and technology. Furthermore, the MGA is evaluating entry into new geographical markets such as Asia and Latin America where Malta can be positioned as the gaming jurisdiction of choice. The regulatory scope of gaming shall also be widened as well to include other forms of remote gaming licensing like social and digital games of skill with prize. This will ensure that Malta taps this growing market globally. Another key initiative which we will be launching soon is the setting up of Gaming Malta.

The latter will consist of an independent foundation tasked with promoting Malta as a gaming jurisdiction internationally. This move will separate the promotional activities from the regulatory function of the Authority. In the area of human resource development and knowledge, we are working on the setting up of a new Gaming Academy with the aim of building the necessary skill sets required for the gaming industry both land based and remote. This institution will have the necessary educational accreditation and partnerships to become a centre of excellence in training and development for the gaming industry. Our management ethos is based on the continuous engagement with all stakeholders to make sure that our decisions and strategic initiatives are grounded on evidence, performance, research and quality information. Our ultimate objective is to make Malta the most respected jurisdiction of choice for the gaming industry globally. The latter can only be achieved through the creation of a unique eco system which differentiates Malta from the rest whereby all the players in the industry can develop, grow and sustain their businesses within a serious and transparent regulatory environment.

I and the entire team at the MGA are very excited by the future. We have the drive and resolve to make a difference and future proof Malta’s gaming industry for the next decade.