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 will not exceed fourteen days. The Authority will be performing checks on the area which will be utilised for the poker tournament, including all access points. Further checks include the conditions of the tournament, such as the maximum number of participants, registration fee and estimated prize-pool, the rules of the game, control of access arrangements and security. The Authority will also require documentation relating to parties supplying critical services, including those on behalf of whom the tournament may be organised.
An application for a poker tournament shall be submitted on the appropriate forms by the casino licence holder, and the application must be submitted at least thirty days before the commencement of the poker tournament.
Persons performing work in relation to a poker tournament must hold a casino employee license as provided in the Gaming Regulations, or a Poker Tournament Dealer License issued in terms of the new Regulations. Unlike casino employee licenses, Poker Tournament Dealer licenses are not tied to a specific casino license holder and are valid for a year.