Consultation Finds Industry Support for Lower Minimum RTPs

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced that it is lowering the minimum return to player (RTP) rate for random number generator games, such as online slots, from 92% to 85% in order to bring it in line with the land-based sector.

According to the regulator, the change will allow operators and suppliers to offer games in jurisdictions with high taxes alongside Malta without the need to make significant changes to the games for each market.

MGA is set to lower the minimum RTP to 85%

Throughout May, the MGA carried out a closed consultation on the change and asked a number of industry stakeholders about the effects of the proposed change. According to the Authority, the idea was broadly supported but some respondents said that the ideal RTP threshold is still roughly 92% while others would have it set as low as 75%. There were also two respondents who said that there should not be a minimum.

Furthermore, one respondent believes that even if the RTP requirement was removed, then operators would still need to keep it relatively high in order “to avoid risks relating to the well-being of customers, as the market conditions will force the industry to maintain an appropriate RTP standard.”

Respondents also believe that only a few specific games would have an RTP as low as 85%. However, by applying different rates to different games and regions, operators would be able to provide an “optimal playing experience.” All operator respondents said that they would lower the RTP for some games.

Operators also said that they believe developers are likely to create games with lower RTPS in order to remain competitive in jurisdictions with high taxes. For example, Germany looks set to introduce a 5.3% turnover tax on online slots, which some stakeholders have said will result in significantly lower player returns. However, according to suppliers it will take several weeks to implement the changes.

The MGA said, “The proposed change to the minimum return threshold will provide flexibility to operators that would be free to apply various RTPs as desired based on, inter alia, market conditions and competition levels.”

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