The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has become the latest gambling industry body to release its guidance on how operators should cope post-Brexit.
The process of the UK leaving the European Union has been protracted and remains in a state of uncertainty despite the fact that the UK government has had over three years to negotiate a withdrawal that will satisfy all of the various stakeholders. At the time of writing, the possibility of a No-Deal Brexit or a revoking of Article 50 are both still on the table, and the uncertainty has been damaging to many industrial sectors, not least the gambling industry.
A number of UK gambling firms are registered both with the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) and with overseas jurisdictions, including the MGA, while several online gambling operators serving both the UK and European markets are officially headquartered in Malta.
In its guidance, the MGA suggests that operators should carefully study the relevant UK and EU legal frameworks in crucial areas such as data protection, immigration, employment and copyright. Of particular concern to the MGA are provisions 10 and 22 of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations. Regulation 10 states that a gambling licence holder has to be established within the European Economic Area (EEA) which will no longer include UK operators, since the UK government has not included an important freedom of goods and services Treaty in its post-Brexit plans.
UK operators will also fall outside the scope of Regulation 22, which permits companies located outside Malta to operate betting services within Malta, as long as they are regulated by a relevant body within an EU or EEA member state, and advises all UK operators to see either a license to operate in Malta or to seek recognition and licensing in another EU jurisdiction.