In April 2004 the Malta Gaming Authority announced the new Remote Gaming Regulations had entered into force. Through this system, the Maltese government ensured that the regulations would offer protection to the players, limit excessive bureaucracy and red-tape and hence enhance Malta’s reputation as a reputable financial services jurisdiction.
At PKF Malta we are at the forefront in the offer of professional services to both major and small operators including start-ups. Using our extensive web of contacts we can assist you to interact with other operators to increase your market potential. Our in-depth expertise in all aspects of gaming is based on a fundamental understanding of the industry and on the specific needs of our clients.
The adoption of the Skill Games Regulations in early 2017 is noteworthy as these have brought into effect a specific regime of rules targeted at the regulation of skill games with prize capable of being converted into money or money’s worth and offered by means of distance communication. In this regard, PKF Malta offers the necessary assistance in the completion of the application procedure for the newly introduced licensing requirement.
At PKF Malta we are primed to provide advice that goes beyond simple conventional licensing requirements and pride ourselves in providing a one-stop-shop offering the following professional services in relation to Remote Gaming Licenses:
- Malta Gaming License Application
- Controlled Skill Games License Application
- Brokerage of Licenses
- Company Formation
- Office Space Allocation
- Call Centre Services
- Opening of Bank Accounts
- Payroll & Accounting
- Commissioning of Financial Audit Services
- Commissioning of Co-Location and 24/7 hosting service
- VAT & Tax Advice
- IT Testing & Payment Gateway Services
Malta was one of the first EU member states to regulate Remote Gaming through the “Remote Gaming Regulations’ (2004) and ‘Draft Amendments’. These regulations promote responsible gaming to operators and at the same time safeguard players. The Malta Gaming Authority is an independent regulatory body responsible for the following forms of gaming in Malta (online and land-based):
- Amusement Machines
- Casino Gaming
- Commercial Bingo Games
- Commercial Communication games
- Gaming Devices
- Remote Gaming
- Sports Betting
- the National lottery and other lotteries
- Non-Profit Games
A typical Maltese Gaming Corporate Structure would consist of shareholders of the Malta Holding Company ideally being non-residents, but not necessarily. The Malta Holding Company would own Malta operating companies that would offer online gaming services. Finally, the Back Office Services Company would provide services to other operating companies within the group (mainly for VAT purposes). Application forms required to apply for any of the above-mentioned licenses can be provided upon request.
Malta offers the following four classes of licenses:
Class 1: Online Gaming License
Class 2: Online betting office license or an online betting exchange office license
Class 3: License to promote and abet gaming from Malta (includes betting exchanges & poker operations)
Class 4: License to host and manage online gaming operators, excluding licensee himself
Most importantly is that as from June 2011, the application process has been harmonised into a singular stage and all applicants can submit all the required information at one go.
Malta has an excellent economic track record of sustained economic growth and political stability, and highly skilled and qualified multi-lingual professionals with high quality educational facilities. It offers high standards of health and operation that are much cheaper than most neighboring European countries.
In Malta, ICT is considered to be a pivotal activity. In fact in these last years there were major developments in e-commerce, m-Commerce and e-Government and the Maltese Government has invested heavily in the technology infrastructure and has built an e-Government framework rated by European Commission as the number one of all member states.
Competitive advantages for Malta in the ICT maintenance sector include:
- Availability of specific skills in ICT where Malta is the regional training centre for Cisco, IBM, Microsoft and Oracle
- Adaptation for Innovation is quick
- Attractive cost structures and low social security costs for employers
- Freedom of movement of labour and capital within the EU
It also enjoys a high standard of living and a financial services sector fully backed by paramount anti-money laundering standards. The Maltese regulator is the Malta Financial Services Authority (MFSA) which acts as a single licensing and supervisory authority for all financial services activity.
Most importantly Malta Offers a number of tax incentives and these include:
- Wide Double Taxation Treaty Network
- Effective Corporate Tax after refunds of 5%
- 0% withholding tax on outbound dividend payments
- Domestic relief from double taxation
- Participation exemption or full refund of tax
- Dividends repatriated to EU Member States are not subject to tax due to Parent Subsidiary Directive
- Exemption of stamp duty
Administrative and Licence Fees
(as per the second schedule of the Remote Gaming Regulations [S.L. 438.01] issued under the Lotteries and Other Games Act, Cap.438 of the Laws of Malta)
|Application Fee for new License||2,330||paid upon application for a remote gaming license|
|License Fee||8,500||per annum per license|
|Approval Fee for Transfer or Assignment of Licence||1,500||paid upon application for approval|
|Approval of Share Transfer||1,500||paid upon application for approval|
|Approval of Simple Contractual Commercial Agreements||70||per annum per contract. The aggregate amount for approved contracts shall not exceed EUR30,000 per annum|
|Approval of Complex Joint Venture Agreements||The administrative hourly fee which is predetermined and communicated prior to the commencement of the approval process|
|Systems Review||2,330||The fee paid in advance for the execution by the Authority’s approved third-party certifiers/reviewers|
(as per Fourth Schedule of the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04) issued under the Lotteries and Other Games Act (Cap. 438 of the Laws of Malta).
|Class 1 Licence||4,660||for the first 6 months|
|7,000||per months for the entire duration of the license|
|Class 1 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of a Class 4 Remote Gaming Licence (Class 1 on 4)||1,200||per month for the entire duration of the license|
|Class 2 Licence||0,5%||of the gross amount of bets accepted in remote betting operations|
|Class 2 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of Class 4 Remote Gaming Licence (Class 2 on 4)||0,5%||of the gross amount of bets accepted in remote betting operations|
|Class 3 Licence||5%||of real income|
|Class 3 Licence operating on a hosting platform in possession of Class 4 Remote Gaming Licence (Class 3 on 4)||5%||of real income|
|Class 4 Licence hosting and managing other remote gaming operators||Nil||for the first 6 months|
|2,330||per month for the subsequent 6 months|
|4,660||per month thereafter for the entire duration of the license|
|Class 4 licensee hosting and managing an operator which is not in possession of the relevant Class 1, 2 or 3 license in terms of the regulations, however hosting an EEA licensed Business to Consumer operator||1,165||per month per operator, paid by the Class 4 Licensee|
|Remote Gaming Tax Capping per licensee per remote gaming license||466,000||per annum|
Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism
Malta has implemented all EU Directives regulating the prevention of money laundering. Malta is part of MONEYVAL (the Select Committee of Experts on the Evaluation of Anti-Money Laundering Measures (formerly PC-R-EV), established in September 1997 by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe to conduct self-and mutual-assessment exercises of the anti-money laundering measures implemented in the Council of Europe countries.
Malta is not listed in any international blacklist of countries and it actively participates in initiatives adopted at international levels such as by the EU Committee on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing, the MONEYVAL Committee of the Council of Europe, the Financial Action Taskforce against money laundering and the OECD.
Furthermore, money laundering as a criminal activity and the prevention thereof are two statutory instruments under Maltese Law, namely the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, 1994, and the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism Regulations, 2008. Moreover, subject persons are also required to comply with detailed Implementing Procedures on the Prevention of Money Laundering and Funding of Terrorism published by the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU).
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