In light of recent remarks being shared by sections of the media, the Malta Gaming Authority is taking the below opportunity to provide clarity, accuracy and transparency with regard to the recent amendments to the Gaming Act, commonly referred to as Bill 55.
The legislator’s intention behind the introduction of Article 56A is to enshrine into law the long-standing public policy of Malta in relation to the gaming sector.
It is important to note that the Maltese law does not create additional or separate grounds for refusing to recognise or enforce judgments to those already established under EU regulations (Regulation (EU) 1215/2012). It is simply an interpretation of the ordre public grounds for refusal envisaged in said EU regulation.
Moreover, the scope of the amendments enacted into law is highly restricted, and the law does not preclude any action whatsoever from being taken against a licensee. Therefore, not every judgment relating to the operations of gaming operators with a Maltese licence would be in violation of Maltese public policy.
Article 56A sets out cumulative elements that must first be fulfilled before it can be triggered.
The provisions shall only be applicable when the action – taken by an operator against a player, or a player against an operator – conflicts with or undermines the legality of the Maltese framework, and is related to activity which is lawful in terms of the Gaming Act and the other regulatory instruments applicable to the Malta Gaming Authority’s licensees.
The Maltese gaming framework, in turn, is in full conformity with EU law and is based on the freedoms afforded to an entity established within the internal market.