Amendments to the Remote Gaming Regulations and Publication of the Return to Player Directive

On the 22nd of April 2016, the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04) were amended through the publication of Legal Notice 131 of 2016. The amendment introduces new obligations on entities licensed in terms of the Remote Gaming Regulations.

The new regulation 46A requires that specified casino-type games offered under a remote gaming licence issued by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) shall abide by a minimum average return to player (RTP) of 92% or any such higher percentage as may be stipulated through the licence condition.

In order to further clarify the requirements established by regulation 46A, the Authority is also publishing the Return to Player Directive (Directive 1 of 2016). This Directive specifies the games for which the minimum average return to player obligation is applicable, as well as the methodology which the MGA may use to ensure compliance with such a requirement, for instance periodic checks, and / or certification.

Furthermore the new regulation 49A requires licensees to make available to the players, information related to any fees charged to the players as well as the average winnings paid out to players over a period of time. The intention of these provisions is to enhance the consumer protection measures afforded by the Remote Gaming Regulations, specifically in terms of transparency and fairness of the games.

Legal Notice 131 of 2016 also introduces the new Part XVIII on the power of the MGA to implement a monitoring system. The enactment of this new section follows the public consultation and stakeholder interaction which the MGA carried out in the previous months relating to an Enhanced Automated Reporting Platform (EARP) for Remote Gaming. The intention behind the implementation of such a platform is to, amongst other things, streamline, automate and enhance certain reporting and compliance processes, reduce complexities in investigations, and strengthen the regulatory framework. The new regulations 61 to 63 empower the MGA to operate such a platform and to connect it to the licensees’ systems, and also set out the parameters for which such a platform may be used. The stakeholder feedback received will be taken into consideration when such a system is implemented.

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