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  • BDO MALTA - Changes in licensing requirements for fantasy sports games and similar skill

BDO MALTA - Changes in licensing requirements for fantasy sports games and similar skill

08 September 2016

Josef Mercieca., Senior Tax Manager. |

As of August 1, 2016, the provision of games of fantasy sports is exempt from that required to obtain a license in terms of the Lotteries Act and Gaming and Regulation Remote Gaming, which means that such efforts can be conducted in and from Malta without the requirement of a license. The elimination of such license (until July 2016 a Class 3 license issued under the Remote Gaming Regulations (SL 438.04)) for the proposed game represents a significant savings in costs incurred by the operators of online games in offers Fantasy Sports and in particular, avoid the tedious and bureaucratic process of applying for a license, reduce compliance costs and ongoing notification and also cut the rigorous monitoring carried out otherwise by the authority of the game Malta (MGA) to authorized operators. A game of fantasy sports is played for money or the value of money contest so that the winner result is predominantly determined by the skill or knowledge of the player, and where the results are determined by the accumulation of statistical results performance of a number of individuals in sporting events. It is important to note that fantasy is a sport game different offer sports betting (where players bet on the outcome of an event or predict the score, points difference or any future occurrence of one or more events). In fact, they live sports betting is and will remain a regulated activity requiring a license class 2 issued by AMS Moreover, the Government of Malta is committed to introduce legislation to regulate certain games of skill that can pose risks increase consumer. Exemption from licensing requirement fantasy sports is a temporary measure until the proposed Regulations are promulgated Skill Games in the law. In fact, the proposed regulations have been notified to the European Commission as part of the process for MGA to roll off its licensing framework to regulate this kind of skill-based, including fantasy sports games. The proposed Regulation Skill Games are the consequences of the "digital Skill Games with the Position Paper Award" issued by the AMS in December 2015. This position paper, which was a vanguard movement by the MGA has an between games of skill involving an insignificant element activity gambling on one side (and where a formal authorization process can not be profitable vis a vis player protection desired) and, on the other hand, games of skill in which the element of chance can not be considered irrelevant and, as such, require a high level of scrutiny by the licensing authority to protect bettors. During this time period and until it was the proposed regulatory framework for skill games in force, the SMG is receiving notifications via special interests. This has been done in order to monitor these operations and assess potential risks to the consumer. Entities that offer fantasy sports can voluntarily report their operations to the MGA, and provided certain general conditions are met under the general law, the operator would be officially recognized by the AMS. Malta BDO can help with any questions about the regulation and the requirement or not a license for fantasy sports games or other games that are similar in nature.