For the last three months, the European Commission have been stalling on a new Malta gambling law. In a breakthrough, they’re finally ready to go forward in a restructure of the regulatory system. With so many site owners and operators based in Malta, how will this impact the affiliate space?
What does the Gaming Act entail?
Before we get ahead of ourselves with the potential effects of this act, let’s take a look at what exactly will change. Right now, there are several classes of licences which makes this system more complicated than it really needs to be. The new system would have just two of these options, one being for B2B sites and the other for B2C sites.
For example, a site for a slots software developer would fall into the B2B licencing category and an operator site would fall into the latter category.
This is the first time the gambling regulation will have changed in 14 years, so it seems like such a change is long overdue. If we think back to the way the casino market was back in 2004, we can see why this change would be required. The online gambling sector has boomed in this time and Malta has become a real hotbed for these brands to be headquartered.
Impact in the UK
For sites already anchored to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), this will mean a few changes are in the works. The MGA will have more powers to fight against money laundering, the finance of terrorism and other financial flows that impact casinos. This may mean that existing operators will have more diligence to do with regards to knowing their customer and where their funds come from.
For those looking to be granted a licence, this process should be streamlined. Making the switch to operator from affiliate should also be easier, as the licencing process would be simplified.
This should also make the licencing process quicker, as it will take less time and research into each individual licence request. This may mean that we see more operators opening up with this licencing authority as they push to bring more brands under their umbrella.
Malta as a growing territory
Malta is one of the most important gambling hubs in the world, as they have pushed to bring more operators to their shores. The gambling industry makes up around 12% of the annual GDP of the country, so it’s big business here.
This is likely to grow further with the introduction of the new Gaming Act, which will come into effect as of the 1st of July. With licenced being processed faster, more operators will be able to get involved and contribute more to this economy.
They’re also planning for cryptocurrencies to make up more of their overall economy. They’re planning real ways for it to come to the fore in the coming years. This is ideal for casino and sports betting operators that want to deal in this currency.
Many more operators are also locating to Malta, as Brexit has an impact on Gibraltar. This has caused rumours about the likes of Bet365 moving their head offices to Malta in the future.
It seems that the Maltese government have put themselves in a real position of power with this new regulation. It will be easier for operators to gain their licence, which is ideal for smaller operators or affiliates that want to bridge that gap. This speedier process will be sure to have a massive impact on the gambling industry around the world.