MALTA BETTING LICENCES
More British Bookmakers seek Maltese
British online gambling laws
EU laws on online gambling
The Maltese System
British online gambling laws
legislation on online gaming is haphazard. Until last year, online
bets were taxed at 6.75%, making online betting in the UK uncompetitive.
While gross profits are now taxed at 15%, the UK system lacks bad debt
Also, UK residents are not prohibited from
using offshore betting sites. While a clampdown seems to be taking
place, most marketing is done on the Internet, out of the UK authorities’
While it is illegal to set up an online
casino site operating from the UK, it is perfectly legal for a UK resident to gamble on an
offshore site and for . offshore sites to be advertised.
Charity lotteries have become
a lucrative business. While legally, a lottery ticket cannot be sold
by a machine, which includes the Internet, there is a
relaxed view by regulators as to what handling tickets with a machine
Also, UK National
Lottery tickets are currently sold through established agents and not
this is changing.
The Budd Committee, set up in 2000, set out
on a comprehensive review of gaming laws and regulations and, in
its July 2001 report, made 176
the removal of the haphazard regime in the
specific regulations for online gambling.
one gambling commission for the sector.
specific taxation of all online gambling.
ensuring greater checks, controls and
However, no decision has been taken by the
British government with regards to these recommendations. The recommendations state that remote gaming
and interactive lotteries will be permitted. There will be no ban on
offshore sites but marketing restrictions will apply.
A White Paper might be imminent, which will be followed by a consultative process.
No legislation is expected to be in place before 2004 and more time will elapse before the
Gambling Commission is set up and legislation approved. The UK will be
lucky if its commission is operational by 2010.
EU laws on
The EU presently does not regulate gambling
and, in accordance with the EU principle of subsidiarity, EU Member States
are free to regulate the matter at national level. In fact, the EU
welcomes Malta's approach to attract online gambling.
However, in a number of test cases, the
European Court of Justice has held that the Treaty of Rome applies to the sector
and further considers gambling as falling under free movement of capital.
Malta's recent comprehensive legislation on online gaming
will take Britain years to emulate. This, together with Europe's
reluctance to legislate on the matter, gives Malta an edge over other
The Maltese government's economic strategy
has placed Malta firmly in the e-commerce and e-leisure
markets, exploiting a number of Malta’s advantages:
a sound legal and financial system,
a sound ICT infrastructure,
legislation on betting and e-commerce,
strong regulatory bodies,
a graduate-working force skilled in languages
low-cost business accommodation,
low transaction costs,
The focal points addressed by the Malta
Lotteries and Gaming Authority are:
despite low bureaucracy levels, to prevent
Malta from becoming an "easy jurisdiction".
to provide clear guidelines for ethical
behaviour and encourage responsible gaming and the protection of minors.
consumer protection, including providing for
independent, third-party review of gaming programmes, and ensuring that
the gaming operations maintain adequate financial resources to ensure
payment of winnings, and also easily-accessible and inexpensive settlement
to ensure that online operations continue to
restrict access only to residents of jurisdictions which permit Internet
gaming, ensure that effective mechanisms are in place to restrict access
to those of legal age, and ensure compliance with legislation covering
Internet and electronic transactions.
Malta's New Licensing Regime
for Remote/Online Gaming
Also of interest: