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Fantasy Sports (Exemption) regulation

A Legal Notice issued by the Minister for Competitiveness and Digital, Maritime and Services Economy after consulting with the Malta Gaming Authority titled “Fantasy Sports (Exemption) Regulation, 2016” makes clear the Maltese position in regards to Fantasy Sports games. As of the 1st of August 2016 fantasy sports game operators are exempted from the requirement of obtaining a remote gaming license in order to be able to operate. This position has been adopted by the Malta Gaming Authority in anticipation of the overhaul expected to be presented to Parliament towards the end of the year whereby it is being proposed that skill games be specifically regulated and it can therefore be expected that fantasy sports games be considered to be skill games.

The Legal Notice covers ‘Fantasy Sports’ or ‘Fantasy Sports Game’ defined within the regulation as games played for money or money’s worth whereby the winning outcome is determined predominantly through the skill or knowledge of the player, and where the results are determined by the accumulation of statistical results of the performance of a number of individuals in sporting events.

Although being exempted from a licencing requirement and further exempted from paying any gaming taxes, Fantasy Sports game operators are still required to notify the Malta Gaming Authority prior to commencing activities and due diligence documents of the persons operating the business will need to be submitted. Once satisfied, the Malta Gaming Authority will issue a dynamic seal in favour of the operator providing the necessary consent to the operator to offer Fantasy Sports Games through a legal entity established in Malta, persons present in Malta or servers hosted in Malta.

It is important to note that games which provide for players betting on the forecast of the score, point spread or any other future occurrence of one or multiple events are not be considered as fantasy sports games.

The Legal Notice brings an end to speculation on the subject and ushers in a welcomed, simplified, procedure for online businesses offering fantasy games, further strengthening Malta’s position in the online gaming sector.

If you require further information please feel free to contact Claudio Caruana.