When it comes to online gaming, the UK Gambling Commission and the Malta Gaming Authority are two of the most respected governing and licensing bodies in the industry.
Brexit and the possibility of a no-deal Brexit are looming, and so both bodies have responded accordingly. While the EU has accepted to grant a new Brexit extension to January 31, 2020, a no-deal Brexit could still be on the cards, as is the likelihood that the UK will not be a part of the European Economic Area.
To help those in the UK who could be affected by a no-deal Brexit, the UK government published a Brexit guide which contains a Brexit gaming checklist of sorts for gaming companies to examine and utilise. Following suit, the Malta Gaming Authority has also published some of its own Brexit guidelines to assist UK operators with a licence from the Malta Gaming Authority and those who provide their services to the country of Malta.
The new Brexit gaming checklist offered to all under the UK Gambling Commission addresses the key areas of: a gaming business’ employees; the data that they keep, use and report; the services that they offer online; and the requirements for importing hardware from the EU. With regards to what will have the biggest impact on operators who may also have stake with the Malta Gaming Authority, the sections in these UK guidelines that are of most interest are those concerning the providing of digital services to the EU.
The Brexit guide denotes that large UK-based online businesses that provide a digital service to the EU, such as the trusted and licensed online gaming platforms UK, will need to appoint a representative in the EU who will help the operator to meet the EU’s standards for online security. Furthermore, platforms that are offering licensed content outside of the UK, particularly in EEA nations, may need to acquire new copyright permission contracts.
While not as much a no-deal Brexit gaming checklist as the UK’s publication, the Malta guidelines are very clear on how Brexit will impact UK-based licensees of the Malta Gaming Authority.
The primary matter to consider is that, in accordance with Regulation 10 of the MGA’s regulations, a licence-holder much be established within the EEA. As Brexit will likely rule the UK as being removed from the EEA, all UK-based operators, from online platforms to mobile gaming platforms UK, will need to then establish themselves in the EU via re-domiciliation or by transferring their licence.
Those offering their platform and services from or to the nation of Malta will also need to abide by Regulation 22, which states that those not licensed in Malta need to apply for a recognition notice with the MGA. This is the same rule that applies to operators licensed in the EU but not with the Malta Gaming Authority – such as those only governed by the UK Gambling Commission.
Once Brexit occurs, no-deal or otherwise, gaming operators will have 12 months to move in accordance with these Brexit guidelines and regulations.
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