The Maltese Gaming Authority (MGA) has begun the first part of its plan to amend gambling regulations in the country to accommodate Virtual Financial Assets (VFA) and the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT), also known as blockchain technology.
In the first stage of the plan, the MGA will be open to applications by gambling operators to use DLT technology, either directly or through third party companies, though the approval to take part in what the MGA calls its Sandbox Framework depends on applicants having the correct licence.
The new regulatory framework was originally announced in October, as part of the MGA’s goal of being at the cutting edge of gaming technology and regulation. According to the Chief Executive of the MGA, Heathcliff Farrugia, there had been a significant rise in interest among gaming operators to utilise both VFAs and DLT in their businesses.
The new regulatory arrangement will continue until October 2019, but could then be expanded if deemed successful. The Framework is also subject to amendment over time, in order to respond to new developments or updates in the technology or regulatory fields.
At the same time, MGA has also revamped its Licensee Relationship Management System (LMRS) to permit new and existing operators to apply to use DLT assets as part of a new licence structure.
The Framework was developed in response to the 2018 decision by the Maltese Parliament to update its gambling laws, which included a broadening of the powers of oversight held by the MGA, and greater freedom to intervene in the gambling industry where appropriate.
Image sourced from Pixabay.