Significant advantages for gaming groups

In Malta, one gaming license can cover a number of companies (minimum 2 operational entities and one holding company as the parent), each of them then being authorised to operate as an MGA licensee.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) predominantly offers two types of licences, either a business-to-customer (B2C) license to provide gaming services, or a business-to-business (B2B) license to provide a critical gaming supply, such as the provision and management of software or material game elements.

'Corporate Group Licence'ultimately sought to simplify the process of licensing groups of gaming companies in Malta as a leading online gaming jurisdiction.

Under gaming law, Corporate Groups may apply for a B2C corporate MGA licence, whereby the whole group of companies would be classified as 'the Licensee'. This applies as long as the group's parent entity exercises at least 90% of the control over the other bodies corporate in the same group (whether by way of shareholding or voting rights).

Nominal holder of the Corporate Group Gaming license

The company designated as the nominal holder of the group licence is vested with the primary responsibility to pay the relevant dues to the Authority and to satisfy information and reporting requirements in terms of applicable regulatory instruments.

Once a licence is awarded, several 'gaming verticals' (meaning categories of products that require specific safeguards per vertical) can be offered under the same licence. These verticals require prior approval, in order to ensure that they are offered in a manner which adheres to the law and regulatory objectives, owing to their differing characteristics and the distinction between these product categories.

Core Advantages

The four main advantages of an MGA Corporate Group licence are the following:

  • 1. One licence covers a number of entities (minimum two), each of them being authorised to operate as MGA B2C licensees.
  • 2. Further companies, residing in the EU/EEA, can be added to the group under the same corporate licence.
  • 3. Only one annual licence fee is payable to the MGA.
  • 4. Only one set of appointments for the key functions, required by MGA (such as Key Compliance, MLRO, internal audit, legal affairs and data protection), are necessary – avoiding a duplicate of roles and thus streamlining the group team and decision making.

Highlighting additional benefits

The 'Corporate Group Licence' is beneficial for groups with a gaming service licence that would like to provide critical gaming supply services solely within their group, as this would mean that a B2B licence is not required. Although, should the critical gaming supply services be provided to third parties, a B2B licence is required.

The Group Licence also means that the provision of services from one entity to another (within the same corporate group) would be considered as carried out by the Licensee, and not as outsourcing.

Kresse Law and its advisory arm KME Consulting, specialised among others on gaming consultancy, advise clients in a comprehensive manner in relation to their Gaming License applications with MGA, and also with the structuring of their corporate set-up as well as related tax, HR, recruiting and real estate matters.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.