The Malta Gaming Authority (the 'MGA') has issued a new directive, The De Minimis Games Directive, Directive 3 of 2019 (the "Directive") which aims to exempt small lotteries and/or raffles from the regulatory regime, which would otherwise be applicable.
This Directive sets out the precise meaning of a de minimis game, as described in the Gaming Authorisations Regulations (Subsidiary Legislation 583.05 of the Laws of Malta) (the 'Regulations"). The significance of the classification as a de minimis game is that such game falls within the exemptions contemplated by the Regulations, and therefore, does not require a licence. The Directive has come into force on the 1st February 2019, and defines a de minimisgame as a game which satisfies the following criteria cumulatively:
- A lottery or raffle-type game;
- The value of the stake to participate in the game is not more than €1;
- The value of the prize is not more than €100; and
- The result of the game is not based on the outcome of another game.
The Directive goes on to provide that each person or organisation cannot organise more than 10 de minimis games in any calendar year, and that no more than 2 de minimis games may be organised in any calendar month.
This Directive will certainly serve to facilitate the organisation of small fundraising lotteries and raffles so common in Maltese society, and which hitherto required formal administrative approval by the MGA, creating delays and added costs to what is intended to be very low-risk social gaming, predominantly for charitable causes.
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.