MGA publish new fees and taxes ahead of New Gaming Act. (Part 1)
The end of 2017 saw Malta publish the Legal Notice 409 of 2017, titled the “Gaming Licence Fees Regulations”, which amended the Remote Gaming Regulations (S.L. 438.04).
The regulations, which were brought into force as from 1st January 2018, sets the scene to the introduction of the new Gaming Act, which is expected to come into force in the summer of 2018. The phasing in, to the new Gaming Act, is more prominent as although this regulation falls under the current legal framework (Remote Gaming Regulations of 2004), it also defines the new license categories (Type 1 to Type 4) which were expected to be defined in the new Gaming Act. The new licensing framework and ‘taxation’ framework (the latter previously defined as variable license fees) were originally published as part of the July 2017 Public Consultation document on the new Gaming Act.
The public consultation exercise, which was spearheaded by the MGA seems to have had an impact on the final framework, as some ‘taxation’ fees were adjusted and lowered, whilst the novel concept proposed as part of the Public Consultation document, that is allowing start-ups to enjoy from a 6-month exemption on compliance contributions (formerly termed as gaming taxes), has been extended to 12 months as published in the Gaming Licence Fees Regulations.
The regulations set the Compliance Contributions (previously termed as gaming taxes) per license Type, which will come into force as from 1st July 2018. The regulations also set minimum and maximum amounts per license Type which were not present in the proposed fees in July 2017, whilst the compliance contributions for License Type 1 changed compared to the July 2017 proposed fees. Some minor adjustments were also made for Type 2 and Type 4 licensees as some of the applicable gross gaming revenue bands were broadened, thus effectively slightly reducing the tax burden for the higher revenue generators.
Following these amendments, the fees (Compliance Contributions) for the four License Types are set out as follows:
A transitory period is envisioned for current licensees to continue paying in accordance with the current regulations up until 30th June 2018 making the new licence fees effective as of 1st July 2018. New licensees will be subject to the requirements of the New Regulations and new set of Compliance Contributions, even during the said transitory period.
For current licensees, a reconciliation will be carried out to calculate the difference between the fees paid under the old regulations for the first six months of 2018 and the fees to be paid for the remaining six months under the new regime.
Any excess provisional payments made by licensees will be carried forward and available for set-off through a tax credits equivalent. Licensees that would have paid less than the amounts due are then required to pay the difference by 20th October 2018.