Malta Looks To Revise and Simplify Gambling LawsLuke Haward, CDC Gaming Reports · March 20, 2018 at 2:02 pmThe Maltese Parliament has heard a motion to consider new legislation which seeks to conflate all current gambling law into one single legal document known as the Gaming Act. The Honourable Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation, announced the motion and noted that the expectation is further industry growth of 4% as a result of this new bill coming into force.This is a major move, as it would, if accepted, repeal all existing legislation on gambling and replace it with a single Act of Parliament. There would also be some “subsidiary legislation,” chiefly concerned with technical directives and guidelines issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA).The main intent here is to reduce bureaucracy and the costs associated with it, as well as to assist in clarifying existing regulations and ensure that there are no contradictions across existing legislation. In the past there have been cases where gambling operators have struggled to navigate the regulatory issues under the MGA. This new draft would aim to reduce any such challenges.One major proposal included within the Gaming Act is a change to licensing arrangements. Instead of a multi-tiered system, operators would apply simply for either a business-to-consumer license or a business-to-business license. The latter would be made free of any gaming taxes, which is obviously appealing to operators. The MGA notes that one improvement sought in the bill will be a strengthening of the player protection framework in place through “formalising the mediatory role of the MGA’s Player Support Unit.” The bill looks to improve and integrate the MGA’s Player Support Unit to be more responsive and better equipped to provide said support. The new bill will also require segregation of player funds by law, and look to be “moving towards a unified self-exclusion database across both remote and land-based delivery channels”.The Executive Chairman of the MGA, Joseph Cuschieri made the following statement following the submission of the new bill: “This bill contains draft proposals which aim to bridge the regulatory gap between various gaming verticals and channels, including new technologies serving as a platform to future proof gaming regulation, whilst ensuring that customers enjoy a consistent level of protection.”.The government’s hope with this new bill is that it will improve regulatory powers and allow for betting consumer protection, with an enhanced focus on “evidence based methodologies”.