Malta: Remote Gaming In Malta - Our Service Offering
Last Updated: 23 January 2014

FOREWORD

In the last few years, a large number of remote gaming operators have established themselves in Malta and the Lotteries and Gaming Authority has to date issued over 400 licences. The industry is in a trail-blazing stage with several countries changing policies seeking to find a stance that addresses the balance between citizen freedom and protecting the same citizen from fraud, crime and addiction.

PwC recognises the importance of the industry to the economy of Malta and supports the concept that good governance and regulation is the solution to protecting players and particularly vulnerable groups. History has shown that protectionism generally serves the unscrupulous more than the righteous.

As the leading and largest professional services organisation on the island, with nineteen partners and over 300 staff, we provide a range of assurance, tax and advisory services to a large and varied client base, including reputable remote gaming companies that choose Malta as a base.

This document presents an overview of how we perceive a dynamic and rapidly evolving industry and the services we are geared up to provide.

We look forward to being of service to you.

Kevin Valenzia
Territory Senior Partner

REMOTE GAMING INDUSTRY - LOCAL VIEWS

Malta has rapidly evolved into becoming the gaming centre of Europe.

  • There has been a steady increase in the number of gaming providers that moved their operations to Malta since the inception of the Lotteries and Other Games Act in 2001, but more pronouncedly since the Remote Gaming Regulations were introduced when Malta joined the European Union in 2004.
  • In fact, Malta was the first EU Member State that established comprehensive legislation on remote gaming in 2004 and is currently considered by the industry to be one of the foremost tried and tested jurisdictions.
  • In the past five years the Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA) has received hundreds of applications for a gaming license. Currently there are over 400 licensees across all classes that can conduct remote gaming activities.
  • The LGA is responsible for the governance of all forms of gaming in Malta including remote gaming. The LGA has a licensing framework based on four different classes, as well as sophisticated evaluation and monitoring activities, systems and processes.
  • Apart from a stable and comprehensive regulatory framework protecting both operators and players, there are various factors which have contributed to Malta's success in attracting remote gaming operations. Some of the principal advantages include:

    • Attractive gaming licensing fees, gaming taxes and beneficial effective corporate tax rates on gaming operations
    • Rapid, efficient and relatively low cost licensing application procedures
    • Availability of an English-speaking skilled workforce and highly competitive salaries
    • Malta has a sound reputation as an ICT hub with global operators present such as IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, and Cisco Systems

ABOUT PWC - HOW WE CAN SERVE YOU

Gaming operators in Malta can benefit from industry knowledge, global resources and the reputation for quality of PwC.

  • Since Malta's establishment as a leading jurisdiction in the remote gaming sector, the local firm has developed a team of experts to service some of the larger and more renowned gaming operators that are licensed in Malta. Over the past few years, our team has gained considerable expertise in a vast array of issues that gaming operators face, across all types of gaming sectors.
  • Our firm benefits from an excellent relationship with the LGA, and we have advised the LGA in the areas of taxation, regulation, risk management and process improvement.
  • Through our Advisory line of service, we have developed a specialist team that provides assistance to the LGA, in conducting system reviews as part of an applicant's licensing process.
  • Industry experience includes some of the largest and most successful corporations in gaming today, and a large number of operators through compliance/systems reviews for the LGA.
  • Several of the gaming clients that we service operate across various jurisdictions. We are accustomed to operating as a global network working closely with our counterparts abroad, to offer a seamless service to our customers.
  • We are committed to promoting the highest quality of professional standards and practices across all of our engagements.
  • We provide assistance in evaluating operational, technology and financial performance of organisations bringing industry best practices and expertise from other industries for similar business issues.
  • The financial, operational and tactical skills of our gaming specialists, combined with the full service resources of a global network, give us the unique ability to analyse relevant information, solve complex problems and ultimately assist our clients in making sound business decisions.

PwC Malta helps organisations and individuals create the value they're looking for. We're a member of the PwC network of firms in 158 countries with more than 180,000 people. We're committed to delivering quality in assurance, tax and advisory services. Tell us what matters to you and find out more by visiting us at www.pwc.com/mt

In recognition of the continued and sustained growth of the i-Gaming sector in Malta and its requirements for high quality audit, tax and business advisory services, PwC Malta is dedicating resources and professionals to serve this industry. We have a dedicated team that specialises in this particular sector. The scale of this experienced resource pool cannot be matched by any other service provider in Malta.

OUR EXPERIENCE IN SOME MORE DETAIL

We have performed various types of engagements in relation to the gaming industry in Malta including:

  • External financial audits of a number of the larger and more mature remote gaming operators in Malta. The work covered during the external financial audit includes an in-depth review of the risks and underlying processes of the operators. External financial audit clients include Portomaso Casino, Unibet, Betsson and Tipico.
  • We have performed over 60 system reviews on behalf of the LGA, in which we review the gaming and control systems of prospective licensees to ensure compliance with relevant regulations and the LGA's policies.
  • We have actively led and participated in various workshops with the LGA in relation to identifying changes that are necessary to improve the compliance reviews performed by the Authority.
  • We have been working closely with the LGA and the industry to address VAT related regulatory aspects.
  • We have performed an analysis of player behaviour patterns in utilising credit/ debit card funds over time on behalf of a leading global bank serving major gaming operators. The task involved millions of transactions with a total value of several hundred million Euros.
  • We performed a Business Process Review and a Tax Review of the Lotteries and Gaming Authority in Malta.
  • We have reviewed the business plan and prepared the Terms & Conditions for remote gaming operators in the process of setting up in Malta.
  • We have provided direct and indirect tax related services to various gaming clients and their related entities.

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