Today the Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority has published for public consultation amendments to Remote Gaming Regulations of 2004. The reason for this regulatory update is to bring Maltese regulations at par with current industry practices.

“We have always assured our licensees that the Maltese regulatory regime on remote gaming will reflect the exigencies of the industry. The update maps out our response to the ever changing landscape of the remote gaming business” says Mario Galea, CEO of The Lotteries and Gaming Authority. The fact that the original version of the regulation was just published in May 2004, but since then the industry has seen a number of changes especially in the poker and skill games markets and a new breed of business models which change the methods of interaction between licensees and service providers. The aim of the update is to broaden further the concept of game neutral and technology neutral licensing and to facilitate more the uptake of regulated intermediaries. The regulations also introduce some new concepts, such as the recognition and approval of organisations that can offer on-line support to compulsive players. Organisations that can aid compulsive on-line players are now a reality and the Authority wants to actively ensure that licensees in Malta will be able to offer reliable assistance to their players. The Authority will co-ordinate a system that allows compulsive players to bar themselves from all operators in Malta for a specified period of time.

The LGA has commissioned the Malta Remote Gaming Council for the management of the public consultation process. “We want the MRGC to lead the consultation process to stress the point that the regulatory update reflects the needs of the industry.” says Dr. Zammit Maempel, Chairman of the LGA. The Council was set up in March 2005 as a trade group involving licensees and local service providers in the remote gaming industry.

A copy of the amended Remote Gaming Regulations can be downloaded from the LGA website, www.lga.org.mt. The public consultation period ends November 16th 2005.

The Remote Gaming Regulations were published in May 2004 and since then have attracted a number of operators to Malta. Projections show that by the end of 2005, Malta will have over 100 licensed operators in various classes of remote gaming.

EUROPEANCEO INTERVIEWS LOTTERIES AND GAMING AUTHORITY CHIEF EXECUTIVE

The latest issue of the influential International Magazine, EuropeanCEO carried an interview with the Lotteries and Gaming Authority Chief Executive, Mr Mario Galea.

The special issue included a survey of the on-line gaming market in which Malta was featured as a reputable jurisdiction that regulates this industry.

The publication which is targeted to top level management and decision making executives with a circulation of more than 45,000 copies, outlined Malta’s involvement in this particular industry and its importance within the European dimension.

The article also outlines the phenomenal growth of the Maltese jurisdiction during the past year and mentions the overwhelming response of remote gaming operators to be licensed in Malta.

The report focused on the ability of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority in transcending the regulatory limitations of brick and mortar gaming, and transforming them to high-tech media.

The article stresses that as an EU member state, Malta has harmonised regulations and services with the rest of the other member states, however the island remains the only one with a complete regulatory regime for on-line gaming.

Furthermore, the feature portrays the regulations as pragmatic which focus on the importance of player protection and the promotion of responsible gaming.