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The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has argued that the Maltese gaming framework is in full conformity with EU law after the German gambling regulator criticised a recent legal amendment.

Earlier this week, the GGL said the provisions within the law might not align with European requirements for acknowledging and enforcing foreign judgments.

However, the German regulator stressed that the ultimate decision on this matter is not within its jurisdiction.

The MGA said it wanted to provide “clarity, accuracy and transparency” with regard to the recent amendments to the Gaming Act, commonly referred to as Bill 55.

In June, the Maltese parliament passed the Bill, which then became Article 56A of the Gaming Act. It serves as a safeguard for MGA-licensed operators against player claims for damages originating from overseas.

The law states that no measures can be taken against the provision of gambling services if that action is lawful in Malta and the providers hold a Maltese licence.

Furthermore, Maltese courts are required to reject the recognition and enforcement of any foreign judgment related to an action described in this particular provision.

MGA’s intention

In its response to criticisms, the MGA repeated earlier comments that the intention behind the introduction of Article 56A is “to enshrine into law the long-standing public policy of Malta in relation to the gaming sector”.

The MGA stressed that the law does not create “additional or separate grounds” for refusing to recognise or enforce judgements to those already established under EU regulations.

“It is simply an interpretation of the order on public grounds for refusal envisaged in said EU regulation,” the MGA said.

The regulator further argued that the scope of the legal amendment is “highly restricted” and does “not preclude any action whatsoever from being taken against a licensee”.

“Therefore, not every judgment relating to the operations of gaming operators with a Maltese licence would be in violation of Maltese public policy.

“Article 56A sets out cumulative elements that must first be fulfilled before it can be triggered.

“The provisions shall only be applicable when the action – taken by an operator against a player, or a player against an operator – conflicts with or undermines the legality of the Maltese framework, and is related to activity which is lawful in terms of the Gaming Act and the other regulatory instruments applicable to the Malta Gaming Authority’s licensees.

“The Maltese gaming framework, in turn, is in full conformity with EU law and is based on the freedoms afforded to an entity established within the internal market,” the MGA concluded.

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