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The Maltese jurisdiction

The Maltese jurisdiction

Malta has become the European hub of i-Gaming, licensing hundreds of gaming companies and service providers, including some of the largest and most profitable operators in the gaming industry. The Lotteries and Gaming Authority (LGA), the Malta remote gaming regulatory organisation, issues licences to gaming operators engaged in the online gaming business, offering games through distance communication, such as, casino games, poker, sports betting, P2P, lotteries, as well as gaming platforms. Remote gaming operators licenced in Malta benefit from a stable legal regime due to the robust and effective Remote Gaming Regulations (L.N. 176/04), as well as, very attractive fiscal incentives, such as very competitive corporate and gaming tax.

Over the past six years, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority has issued in excess of 330 Remote Gaming Licences. Malta’s online gaming revenues have reached 19 million Euros in 2009, up nearly 20% from 15.9 million Euros generated during the previous year. Malta’s stable political and economic climate is also a contributing factor towards the rapid growth of the gaming industry.

Malta offers very attractive fiscal regime with advantageous corporate and gaming tax rates together with an extensive network of double taxation treaties and other legislation providing relief from double taxation. The corporate licensee is subject to income tax at 35%. However, if the shareholders are not resident in Malta or if the licensee is owned by a Maltese company 100% owned by persons who are not resident in Malta, the shareholders are entitled to a refund of 6/7 of the tax paid. Therefore, effectively the tax suffered would be of 5%. Furthermore, as Malta operates the full imputation system of taxation, any tax paid by the company is imputed to the shareholders in the event of a dividend distribution, thus tax is only paid once. Furthermore, gaming tax is capped at €466,000 per gaming licence and it is either a fixed gaming tax for certain classes of remote gaming licences or tax on Real Income generated by operators.

The Malta Remote Gaming Regulations emphasizes on the adoption of anti-money laundering policies procedures, and responsible gaming and security measures for the protection of online players as well as for the gaming operators themselves.

Over the past years many international jurisdictions have been considering the liberalisation of remote gaming and opening and regulating the remote gaming market in their respective jurisdictions. Malta recognises the importance of the online gaming industry and is considering adopting further measures to make it more flexible and thus more competitive in anticipation of the worldwide changes and developments in the gaming industry.

Denitza Dimitrova

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