Remote Gaming Services
The remote gaming sector is one of the most active and fastest growing sectors within the gaming industry.
The remote gaming sector is one of the most active and fastest growing sectors within the gaming industry. Regulated by the Remote Gaming Regulations (L.N. 176/04), an effective balance is struck between commercial realism and player rights. Malta is a relatively new jurisdiction in this field but has established itself as a successful player boasting some 250 igaming companies, over 450 licences and employing a workforce of 8,000.
Interestingly, Malta became the first EU member state to regulate Remote Gaming. The Lotteries and Gaming Authority ("LGA") has the responsibility to issue gaming licenses, ensure that licensees are fit and proper to carry out the functions relative to gaming and comply with the conditions of such licence.
- The regulatory framework affords the ‘right fit' for a multitude of operational structures with the benefit of being licenced within an EU member state.
- An efficient and relatively low cost licencing process.
- Low costs with regards office space, support services, workforce and bandwidth.
- Flexible but detailed procedures which focus on consumer protection allow for an enhanced client/operator relationship.
- Gaming tax rates are highly competitive both for startups and established operators in light of the tax capping mechanism which limits the gaming tax payable annually in respect of each license held to a maximum of €466,000.
- Corporate service providers with a highly skilled work force and charging competitive rates, acting as a one-stop shop for back office functions.
- A range of incentives aimed at facilitating investment.
- The long-term vision for the industry, now coming to fruition, has resulted in the development of clusters to make Malta a full-service domicile in every respect.
The Licencing Process
As of June 2011, the application process has been harmonised into a singular stage and applicants can submit all the required information at one go. In the application
stage the LGA assesses whether an applicant:
- Is fit and proper to conduct gaming business
- Is correctly prepared from a business strategy perspective
- Has the operational and statutory requirements to meet the legal obligations expected by Maltese Law
- Has correctly implemented what has been applied for, on a technical environment before going live
On successful completion of the certification process, the LGA issues a five year licence.
Administrative and Licence Fees
The application fee for a new licence of any class is €2,330. This fee is payable together with the submission of an application for the licence. The fee for the licence renewal (i.e. for a subsequent 5-year period) is €1,500.
The annual licence fee for any class of licence is €8,500
Classification, Taxation and Fees of Licences
There are four classes within which an operator may be licensed depending on the game risk assumed:
Taxation and Fees
Class 1 – operators managing their own risk on repetitive games (casino-type games, skill games and online lotteries)
€4,660 per month for the first six months, thereafter €7,000 per month
|Class 2 – operators managing their own risk on events based on a matchbook (fixed odds betting, pool betting and spread betting)||Fixed-odds betting: 0.5% on the gross amount of bets accepted|
Class 3 – operators promoting and abetting gaming from Malta & taking a commission from promoting and/or abetting games (P2P, poker networks, betting exchange and game portals)
|5% of real income|
|Class 4 - a licence to host and manage remote gaming operators||Nil for the first 6 months, €2,330 per month for the following 6 months, €4,660 per month thereafter for the entire duration of the licence|
Class 1 on 4 – operators managing their own risk on repetitive games (e.g. casino-type games, skill games and online lotteries) operating on a third party platform duly licensed by the LGA. Other taxes may apply.
Class 2 on 4 – operators managing their own risk on events based on a matchbook (fixed odds betting, pool betting and spread betting) operating on a third party platform duly licensed by the LGA. Other taxes may apply.
Class 3 on 4 – operators promoting and abetting from Malta & taking a commission from promoting and/or abetting games (P2P, poker networks, betting exchange and game portals) operating on a third party platform duly licensed by the LGA. Other taxes may apply.
EMCS International offers a wide range of services relative to local Remote Gaming regulations including:
- Assisting operators with the application and pre-application processes
- Preparation of all other necessary documentation
- Identifying key officials
- Preparation of business plan
- Tailored VAT consultancy
- Tax Consultancy - corporate and executive
- Ongoing support on a case-by-case basis including accounts, compliance with LGA submissions, payroll and preparation of financial statements