Malta Refuses to Abandon Bill 55 despite Mounting Pressure

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Malta is gearing up for a battle to prevent the EU from interfering in its iGaming laws. The tiny country, which covers an area of just 316 square kilometers, is home to more than 300 gambling companies that employ roughly 10,000 people and it is widely viewed as the capital of the iGaming industry in Europe and arguably the world.

Related: Malta to Protect Its iGaming Industry from Foreign Claim with Bill 55

European Countries Protest New Gaming Laws

However, the gambling authorities and governments in Germany, Austria and Holland are objecting to the nation’s Gaming Bill 55. The bill is designed to assert Malta’s control over its own gambling industry, and it is being argued that this contravenes EU laws that aim to prevent the operation of offshore gambling sites.

In short, Bill 55 will protect Malta-based gambling operators that possess an MGA license from being hit with enforcement actions by foreign governments and international regulators.

Related: Germany's GGL Expresses Concern over Malta's Controversial Gaming Law

Malta Stands Firm

The latest objections to the bill have come from Holland’s KSA gambling authority.

This law undermines Dutch jurisprudence and that of other E.U. member states. The law [prevents] consumers seeking justice in their place of residence; a right guaranteed in EU treaties. As a result of the law, the Dutch court would no longer be able to rule in disputes of Dutch consumers against these companies from Malta.

StatementKSA Official

Holland recently revamped its iGaming regulations in an attempt to normalize the market and prevent people from playing with offshore operators.

However, Malta seems determined to maintain control over its gambling industry, which has become essential to the country’s economy. The country’s authorities have explained that Bill 55 will only be used if there is international legal action is planned that “conflicts with or undermines the provision of gaming services in Malta”.

They are arguing that central to the European constitution is the freedom to provide business services, and as such, while Malta is a member of the EU, it is also a sovereign nation, and the bill is entirely legal.

Related: European Commission to Probe Malta's Bill 55

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