A new subsidiary legislation entitled the Poker Tournament (Locations) Regulations (S.L. 400.03) has been published under the Gaming Act (Chapter 400 of the Laws of Malta). The law is of relevance to the land-based casino sector, and establishes the procedures and parameters to be followed by casino licence holders in organising large scale poker tournaments and festivals, when such events are organised outside the casino gaming area.
Poker tournaments and festivals may be organised by casino licence holders in areas that are next to, or adjoining the casino premises, or part of the same complex, and shall be subject to prior approval from the Malta Gaming Authority. The approval given by the Authority will be temporary and which shall not exceed fourteen days. The Authority will be performing checks on the area which will be utilised for the poker tournament, including all access points. Further checks include the conditions of the tournament, such as maximum number of participants, registration fee and estimated prize-pool, the rules of the game, control of access arrangements and security. The Authority will also require documentation relating to parties supplying critical services, including those on behalf of whom the tournament may be organised.
An application for a poker tournament shall be submitted on the attached forms by the casino licence holder, and the application shall be submitted at least thirty days before the poker tournament. An application fee of €300 applies, together with a daily inspection fee of €700 for the duration of the tournament.
In order for a person to perform work in relation to a poker tournament, said person needs to hold a casino employee licence as provided in the Gaming Act Regulations (S.L. 400.01), or a Poker Tournament Dealer Licence issued in terms of the new Regulations. Unlike casino employee licenses, Poker Tournament Dealer licenses are not tied to a specific casino licence holder, and are valid for a year. Persons interested in acquiring a Poker Tournament Dealer Licence need to submit the relevant application form, together with an application or renewal fee of €115.