MGA posts guidelines on how to manage Brexit for online operators

Published by Daniel on October 18, 2019 in Industry News

MGA Guidlines Post BrexitOver the past few years there has been many big changes in the online gambling industry.  

After Brexit many were left wondering what that would mean for operators in terms of legislation.  

The Malta Gaming Authority recently put worries to bed by publishing the first post-Brexit guidelines for operators.

Post-Brexit Guidelines 

There has been many changes to when exactly Brexit will happen but the current date is set for the 31st of October 2019.  

For online operators there has been a lot of confusion and worry about what this will mean for their online gambling activities. The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) recently published their first guidance note for how operators should handle the United Kingdom leaving the European Union.  

With the current regulations all Malta eGaming licensees are required to be established within the European Economic Area, which will effectively cease in the event of Brexit. The MGA said that operators should start taking all necessary measures to make sure they are able to meet this pre-requisite.  

Transferring Licenses 

The Gaming Authority has recommended that operators transfer their Maltese license to another company within the same corporate group. This can be done under article 17 of the current Maltese regulations which governs the transfer of licenses between operators. All affected operators are required to notify the MGA of their intent to transfer the license within 30 days under this clause as they have the final say on this transfer. In preparation for the coming changes the MGA has given all affected operators 12 months to change their licenses.  

Furthermore under regulation 22 of the current Maltese eGaming regulations all operators without a license issued by the MGA are required to apply for a recognition notice of their other licenses. There applications have to be handed to the MGA. The Gaming Authority confirmed in their guidance note that all existing notices used by UK licensed operators to operate in Malta will cease to be valid after Brexit.  

However, any existing applications that have been submitted prior to Brexit will be honoured for a 12 month period. After this period these will not be renewed. They also stated that any operator with a pre-existing recognition notice from the UK will have to reapply to the MGA for a recognition notice for any other EU/EEA license that may have to be authorized in order to continue operating in Malta. Any operator or firm that fails to do so could face criminal charges for breach of MGA regulations.  

MGA opting for Minimal Impact 

The Malta Gaming Authority has stated they want to ensure minimal impact on their own regulatory efficiency as well as the ongoing business of the island’s registered operators. In the guidance note the Gaming Authority also confirmed that all UK financial institutions, licensed and regulated payment methods currently available will remain valid forms of transaction for Maltese licensed operators.  

The MGA closed off their guidance note stating that they accept licensed operators having offices and performing duties form the UK. The Gaming Authority also has no objection to operators maintaining their database equipment in the UK.