The Maltese Parliament has approved the passage of a Bill that will allow the courts in Malta to refuse the recognition and enforcement of foreign judgements related to the online gambling sector.
The Gaming Amendment Bill, tabled before Parliament in April, has now been approved by George Vella, Malta’s President, and its provisions have been written into the existing Gambling Act.
The Bill, and now also the Act, now prevents enforcement actions against Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) licensed operators if such action conflicts with or undermines the provision of gaming services in Malta. In addition, enforcement cannot be undertaken if the action made by operator relates to an authorised activity lawful under the Gambling Act.
This effectively means that Maltese courts will refuse recognition and enforcement actions in Malta by foreign betting and gaming regulators.
With Malta being the base for many iGaming developers and operators that are active in European and global markets, as well as others further afield, the Maltese government maintains that with the MGA licence enabling Malta-domiciled business to offer services throughout the European Union due to the principle of free movement of goods and services, this latest move is entirely legitimate.
Other European regulators argue that this creates a legal loophole, creating opportunities for operators that are unlicensed in their countries. To be continued, obviously…!