International edition
September 23, 2021

First jurisdiction globally to regulate digital games with prizes

Malta to regulate floating casinos in territorial waters

(Malta).- Malta will early next year be the first EU state to regulate casinos on cruise ships within its territorial waters, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech told the 10th anniversary conference of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority.


uch regulations will ensure professional supervision by the LGA, and create a further attraction for the cruise line industry to choose Malta and to attract more overnight stays of cruise ships in Maltese ports.

Also, early in 2013, Malta will be the first jurisdiction globally, to regulate digital games with prizes, under which the LGA will be licensing and supervising digital online games of pure skill which involve a prize. This is a niche and upcoming sector, which fits in perfectly between Malta’s growing digital gaming sector and its already established online gaming sector.

To support these initiatives and make sure that they are effectively promoted with investors, the government will be setting up the Malta Digital Entertainment Foundation in partnership with the private sector, Fenech said.  This foundation will promote Malta as an ideal investment destination for the digital entertainment industry, the digital gaming industry, and online gaming.

Giving a brief history, Fenech said that in 2001 the government designed a policy udner which it identified that Malta required a stronger and more effective regulatory regime to monitor and supervise gaming. Secondly, as part of its national strategic direction of divesting itself from commercial activities, it identified the national lottery as an area where the government’s role should be to regulate, and not to operate.

“Thirdly, we had the foresight to recognise that a small e-commerce niche in the form of remote gaming was starting to emerge with the potential of becoming a significant gaming sector – that also needed to be regulated,” Fenech said. “There has been an impressive development of the sector here, which now sees Malta not only leading gaming policy in Europe, but also having the leading gaming companies that felt confident in investing millions of euros in Malta.”

In remote gaming alone, since 2004, almost 7,000 new jobs have been created either by the regulated operators or by service providers of the licensed companies. When also adding the land-based sector, employment levels shoot up to almost 9,000.

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