Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) issued a warning to the gambling companies operating from the UK, bringing to attention that they need to make changes if they want to continue to hold a valid licence. To be able to obtain and hold a gambling licence in Malta, the gambling companies must be established in the EEA which means that they have to transfer their operations from the UK.
The warning from the MGA comes after the UK government issued a piece of advice to the UK located casinos firms, asking them to check the work requirements of their employees to prevent them from being not allowed entering in the country post-Brexit.
The Brexit deadline is getting closer and the PM Boris Johnson continues the negotiations to come to an agreement that’s acceptable for all parties. However, even if not agreed, Boris Johnson promised that he will take Britain out of the EU without a deal on the 31st of October.
The MGA has reminded British operators that if this is the case, there will be issues for their licence and the legality of their business in Malta.
The Gaming Authorisation Regulations in Malta specify that to hold a licence the company must be established within the European Economic Area. This clause is contained within Regulation 10.
However, regulation 22 states that any EU licence-holder not licensed in Malta itself but nevertheless still providing services will need to apply for what’s known as a recognition licence, and this could potentially be a headache for British operators.
According to the MGA, the companies who need to establish their operation within the EEA will have up to 12 months to do so.
Operators based in Malta but operating in the UK, or those based in the UK and supplying services and supplies to Malta, stand to be severely affected. Transitionary measures, aimed at avoiding regulatory disruption, are detailed.
You can read the MGA’s guidance notes in full here.
Only last week the UK’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) issued guidance for gambling operators to prepare for a ‘no-deal’ Brexit (read more).
In addition, any recognition licences which are submitted before Brexit will be honoured as valid for 12 months. However, after this time they will need to be renewed which will either involve applying to the MGA directly for a licence or managing it through another EU country.
The body has assured companies that it will still recognise documentation issued to agreed British standards such as game certificates and random number generators. Companies are also permitted to continue to carry out key functions within their UK office without penalty.