Casino Concession - Malta

Concession to Operate a Casino in Malta

 

 
Casinos in Malta have a long history which incrementally became a component of the Maltese entertainment culture. Their operations have increasingly involved the use of technology, high investment and an innovative management approach to the market. This offers the potential for both market and product development on the island, whilst ensuring that gaming is kept within the parameters of being an entertainment activity for consumers. The casino industry in Malta currently employs over 1000 people.
 
Attendance at Casinos is directly related to tourism, with sales peaking in August, although local attendance to the casinos has retained if not increased its importance to local casino operators. The inflow of young iGaming professionals registered in Malta in the last years is clearly not to be overlooked, providing a solid base of returning customers with expertise in live tables. Moreover, regular clients are also attracted from Malta’s neighbouring regions. Overall, the Maltese casino model is considered to be an urban/touristic one.

The Government in line with its plans to activate the Maltese economy and expand the tourism sector launched an Expression of Interest (EOI) on 24th May 2013 for a concession to operate a casino in Malta. The closing date for the submission of the EOI was 1st July 2013. The objective of the EOI was to bring forward interested parties in expressing interest in the operation of a casino in Malta. A Competitive Process through a Request for Proposals (RFP) was conducted following the EOI Process. The RFP was issued on 31st July 2013 with a closing date for the RFP submissions being 12th September 2013.

Whilst the EOI and the RFP did not limit Proponents to particular zones or localities, the Privatisation Unit gave preference to areas close to tourist facilities. Hence, Proponents had the faculty to recommend the location of their proposed casino in any locality in Malta, provided that the proposed opening and operation of a casino at the selected locality or zone is not prohibited or limited to some extent or other by any applicable law. Nevertheless, the zones allowable for the concession of a Casino Licence is subject to public policy, and any and all applicable environment and planning legislation including  structure and local plans issued by the Malta Environment and Planning Authority (MEPA) and/or any other policies issued by any other competent authority.

The Casino Concession is to be granted under the Gaming Act following the successful conclusion of a Competitive Process. A person may only open or operate a casino if it is in possession of a licence issued by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority.  However, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority may not issue such licence to a person unless that person is a company registered in Malta and unless it appears to the Authority that:

  • the relevant voting share capital of the proposed casino licensee is owned, directly or indirectly, by a person or persons of integrity;
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  • the director or directors of the company or of any affiliate thereof are persons of integrity; and
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  • the proposed casino licensee has the financial means and expertise available to operate the casino and to fulfil all its obligations under the Act.

A casino licence remains in force for up to ten years and will be subject to the annual payment of a licence fee. Subject to compliance with the Act, the licence, unless it is sooner surrendered or cancelled, may be renewed by the Authority for a further term, up to ten years, provided the casino operator is in possession of a valid concession from the Government of Malta.​