New regulations on the operation of amusement machines and gaming devices will come into force on March 15 and 16 respectively, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority said this afternoon.

It said two directives supporting the Gaming Devices Regulations, namely, the Gaming Parlours No Objection Certificate Directive for the purposes of MEPA permit processing, and Locations for Gaming Parlours Directive, containing amongst others, the parameters for gaming premises and the type of control mechanisms required, have also been published.

The LGA said there will be two licensing frameworks. The first to reguate amusement machines (which do not provide any reward to players), the second to regulate gaming devices. The frameworks are based on the principles of player protection and the protection of the vulnerable and minors.

Amusement Machine Regulations

The Amusement Machine Regulations feature the Class 1 Licence for operators who manufacture, assemble or provide amusement machines, while Class 2 covers the hosting by any person, in any venue of amusement machines.

Details of the licensing structure can be viewed in the LN 74 of 2011 or on www.lga.org.mt

Gaming Devices Regulations

The Gaming Devices Regulations include a definition of gaming devices.

The authority said the regulations include limitations on the maximum bet, the maximum prize and a return to player of at least 85 per cent.

The rules provide that each establishment cannot host more than 10 gaming devices per premises. They cannot serve food and drink, and the opening hours can only be between 11 am. and 11 p.m.

Each operator will be required to have a self-barring facility so as to ensure that players who wish to exclude themselves from playing on such devices are given the immediate opportunity to do so.

Gaming halls cannot be licensed if they are within 75 meters of places of worship, schools and playgrounds.

Entrance to minors shall be prohibited.

An applicant wishing to have gaming premises approved for eventual use, shall be required to be compliant with the Locations for Gaming Parlours Directive and shall be required to obtain a ‘no objection certificate’ from the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, prior to submitting an application with MEPA. Any license shall be valid for one year. Details of the licensing structure can be viewed in the LN 75 of 2011 or on www.lga.org.mt

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