Poker Tournament Regulations Published

By means of LN 380 of 2016, entitled the Poker Tournament (Locations) Regulations, new regulations have been published in terms of the Gaming Act. The rules are applicable to those operators in the land-based casino sector and establish the procedures and parameters to be followed by casino license holders in organising large scale poker tournaments […]

Written By Stephen Balzan

On November 19, 2016
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By means of LN 380 of 2016, entitled the Poker Tournament (Locations) Regulations, new regulations have been published in terms of the Gaming Act. The rules are applicable to those operators in the land-based casino sector and establish the procedures and parameters to be followed by casino license holders in organising large scale poker tournaments and festivals, when such events are organised outside the casino gaming area. 

Poker tournaments and festivals may be organised by casino license holders in areas that are next to, or adjoining the casino premises, or part of the same complex, and shall be subject to prior approval from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA). The approval given by the MGA will be temporary and the duration of the poker tournament shall not exceed fourteen (14) days.  The application must be submitted not later than thirty (30 days) before the commencement of the poker tournament.  The application must be accompanied by an application fee of €300, while the MGA will charge a daily inspection fee of €700. 

The application form 

The application form should include the following information: 

  1. The name of the tournament;
  2. The location of the extended area, including distance from the casino;
  3. The dates in which the extended area is proposed to be used as a gaming area;
  4. Detailed plans and diagrams of the extended area, including all entrances, exits and registration areas;
  5. Details of any entity supplying a critical service relating to the poker tournament, or on behalf of whom the tournament is being operated, and certified true copies of any contracts with any entity supplying such a service;
  6. The maximum number of participants, the registration fee, the established prize pool and rules of the game, the security and vigilance and control of access arrangements in place and the maximum number of additional tables used in the casino for the duration of the poker tournament and
  7. The list of persons permitted to work in the casino or in the approved extended area during the poker tournament, together with their role and a reference to any license held by that person  authorizing such person to perform such work. 

Poker tournament dealer license

A person may only work in a casino or in an approved extended area for the duration of the poker tournament if he is in possession of a poker tournament dealer license issued by the MGA in his name or an equivalent authorization issued by the Government or the competent authority of an EEA Member State.  An application for a poker tournament dealer license must be submitted to the MGA not later than 30 days before the commencement of the poker tournament in which the work is intended to be carried out.  The license is valid for one year and is renewable. An application fee of €115 applies.  The same fee applies for a renewal of the said license. 

How can we help? 

ACT is in a position to advise, assist and lead our clients throughout the whole process of obtaining a gaming license and setting up a business in Malta. Over the years, we have gained an in-depth experience of what is required to ensure that the process runs smoothly, and has built a methodological approach to the process in order to ensure that clients can effectively apply for and obtain a license within the shortest possible time frame. 

We provide the following services amongst others: 

  • Assistance throughout the licensing process and continuous regulatory advice
  • Company formation services including setting up of bank accounts
  • Work and residence permit applications
  • Accounting and back-office support
  • Tax support and advice
  • VAT compliance and advice

How can we help?  

For further information, please contact one of the firm’s tax partners, Stephen Balzan on [email protected] or Elaine Camilleri [email protected]. ACT can help you understand the changes to the tax rules and how these can impact your business.  

Apart from its offices in St. Julian’s Malta, ACT operates from a second office in Gozo, which is situated in the capital city of Victoria.  For an appointment in our Gozo office, please call on 00356 21378672 or send us an email on [email protected]. 

Disclaimer: This article contains general information only and is not intended to address the circumstances of any particular individual or entity. ACT, by means of this article is not rendering any accounting, business, financial, investment, legal, tax, or other professional advice or service. This article is not a substitute for such professional advice, nor should it be used as a basis for any decision or action that may affect your finances or your business. Although we endeavour to provide accurate and timely information, there can be no guarantee that such information is accurate as of the date it is received or that it will continue to be accurate in the future. Before making any decisions or before taking any action that may affect your finances or your business, you should consult a qualified professional adviser. ACT shall not be responsible for any loss whatsoever sustained by any person who relies on this article.