Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Commission Squeeze Out


04/10/2015
By Debra SaundersGoogle
In countries such as Italy, Spain, Australia, Sweden, the UK and USA there are now rules in place that control online casinos that want to offer services to citizens in their country. This started with the USA abolishing real money online gaming until further notice. This law has since loosened and now some online gaming companies are able to operate in the USA as long as they cough up large million dollar sums for licencing.

The taxation, or licencing fee so to speak, has now become a huge contributor to these governments’ GDPs; so much so that as soon as one government saw how successfully the other could control the online casinos, the big wigs took note and devised their own ways of ensuring these once untouchable virtual casinos paid their way.  New government laws and new state of the art technology means that teams of online government gurus can now strictly regulate real money gambling sites online.

For the long serving Lotteries and Gaming Authority in Malta, this trend could lead to the demise of this long standing gaming authority. Online casinos are already paying new licencing fees to newly formed online gambling control departments, why would they then need to continue paying the Maltese licencing board?

The job of the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming Authority began way back in 2001. Back then, this newbie committee; that also happened to be in a tax haven, performed so well it became an internationally recognised online gaming licencing authority. As a result, it was soon to be the go to place for online gaming licencing.

Online casinos could now operate through one trusted body. With the Maltese license issued, the online casinos could bypass any local gambling laws and legally provide gaming services over the internet on a global basis. The governments were fine with it and the public were playing poker, slots, table games and sports betting with impunity.
This all changed in 2011 when the US government shut down the network of online casinos operating within their borders. Soon the UK, Spanish and Italian governments all introduced new laws and regulations on online gambling licencing. These new laws were local laws, so if any casino wanted to target consumers in for example the UK, first that casino would need to pay £20 million for that pleasure.

Scenarios such as these are happening in more and more countries. For the online casinos, they are left with a dilemma of whether or not the cost of the license will be covered profitably enough from the revenue generated in the existing target market. If the profit margins are still high, the casino will more often than not cough up the millions needed to continue operating.

In the meantime, it seems the Maltese Lotteries and Gaming commission is likely to lose a large portion of its B2B licencing revenue. As an increasing number of online casinos begin to lose the benefits that were once so good back in the day with the Maltese authority, the more likely it is the expense of keeping the licence is no longer required as licencing on a more localised level covers their target markets. 

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