How will Brexit Impact Malta’s Gaming Industry?

Brexit is a highly topical theme of discussion and will undoubtedly impact the UK and those who do business with it. The wave of change is fast approaching and considering the options of a Brexit versus no-Brexit deal, both the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority have already published guidelines. The reason why the Malta Gaming Authority is publishing its own guidelines is so as to assist UK operators with a Malta license and those who provide their services to the jurisdiction.

The checklist created by the UK Gambling Commission addresses several areas. This revolves around the employees recruited by gaming companies, the data which is retained and reported, the services offered, and the necessary requirements related to importing hardware from countries within the European Union. With respect to UK operators in Malta, the area which would be most of interest is that in relation to the provision of digital services to the European Union.

In relation to Malta, UK based licensees of the Malta Gaming Authority may need to establish themselves in the European Union via re-domiciliation or by transferring their license. This is due to Regulation ten of the MGA, highlighting that a license holder must be registered within the European Economic Area.

Those who offer their services or platforms in Malta will also need to keep in mind Regulation twenty-two. Those companies not licensed in Malta will need to apply for a recognition notice with the MGA.

Once Brexit occurs, irrespective if a deal is struck or not, all gaming operators will have one year to ensure compliance with the new guidelines and regulations. 

Needless to say, Brexit has created a lot of commotion and time will tell whether several gaming operators will leave the UK to seek a more attractive jurisdiction. Whilst many would think that Malta is the natural choice for such gambling operators, there are other jurisdictions which compete. Such would include Gibraltar and Ireland who seem poised to take their share in case of any interesting movements.

What do you make of all this? Does Malta stand to benefit?

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