Malta Gaming Authority Brings Blockchain Sandbox Reforms

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) issued a document looking to apply major reforms to the gaming industry in regards to the use of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. The authority aims to bring new standards for game developers for accepting crypto payments, use of digital wallets, deposits, and the calculation of exchange rates.

The overhaul looks to change the current multi-license system to a more bespoke Business-to-Consumer (B2C) license and a Business-to-Business (B2B) license.

MGA is looking to accept games hosted fully or partially in a blockchain environment. Distributed ledger technology (DLT) verification will determine if the game is fair and truly random. This is important in electronic gambling to protect customers and support anti-money laundering (AML) measures which are in line with the EU 4th Anti-Money Laundering Directive.

Implementation

MGA is hoping to ease the implementation of the legislation by using a sandbox environment to test games which will be available to game developers. The final version of the environment is due to be rolled out to developers by 30 April. Only recently, Kik App was looking to collaborate with Unity Technologies to gain a wider adoption of its Kin cryptocurrency in the industry. The new legislation and layers of administration hope to bring security to jobs and player funds, while still allowing for innovation and development in the industry.

Strengthened powers

Increased regulatory powers will provide strengthened supervision for areas which are a higher-risk profile to help combat money laundering and funding of terrorism. Automated reports will instill adherence to regulatory obligations. The MGA wants to stop manipulation of markets and encourage operators to monitor sports betting and report suspicious bets. More effective processes such as those dealing with appeal decisions will hope to streamline procedures for administrative and criminal offenses.

These proposals are supported by various public consultations, technical studies, and economic impact assessments, in conjunction with those of the National Anti-Corruption Task Force of which the authority is an active participant. The streamlining of taxation by exempting B2B licensees from gaming tax will increase Malta’s competitiveness in these services.

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