Online Casinos in Malta pretty much means most of the online casinos you will ever come across. If you are reading this and live in Malta then I don’t need to say much at all as there is a 95% chance that you either work in the online gambling industry or at least know a few people who do.
Malta is the world capital for the online gaming industry. Stepping out of the Malta international airport the first thing you see is a big office building which plays host to Evolution Gaming (as well as Microsoft and a couple of other tech companies). Walking around Valetta you will pass the offices of a few gaming companies whilst walking through the shopping street in Sliema you are likely to see Aspire Global offices housed above the Next clothing shop.
Take a walk from Sliema to Paceville and you will see offices of Quickspin, a swimming pool sponsored by Leo Vegas and walk past countless other industry giants. Your final stop however is likely to be the amazing Dragonara Casino, perhaps the most significant land casino in the whole world! The Dragonara puts the commercial uber casinos in Las Vegas to shame due to it’s idyllic setting and historically important location.
The top online casinos in Malta
About the Malta Gaming Authority MGA
The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) also regulates local casinos in terms of the Gaming Act, Chapter 400 of the Laws of Malta. There are four licensed casinos operating in Malta: Casino Malta, Dragonara Casino, Oracle Casino and The Casino at Portomaso.
Although casinos are licensed by the MGA, the licence is conditional on a concession which can only be granted by the Government. Casinos are also subject to the scrutiny of the MGA’s inspectors on a daily basis in order to ensure that the games are run fairly and according to law.
The Gaming Act 1998
To make provision in place of the Kursaal Ordinance for the licensing of the Casinos, for
the regulation of casinos and gaming therein by the Lotteries and Gaming Authority and for
the purposes connected therewith or ancillary thereto.
30th April, 1998
7th August, 1998
ACT X of 1998, as amended by Acts XXIV of 2001 and III of 2004; Legal Notice 425 of
2007; Act XV of 2011; and Legal Notice 426 of 2012.
ARRANGEMENT OF ACT
Part I Preliminary 1-2
Part II Concessions 3-4
Part III The Authority and Inspectors 5-13
Part IV Grant of Casino Licence 14-20
Part V Operation of Casino 21-32
Part VI Provision of Money for Gaming 33-36
Part VII Financial 37-41
Part VIII Offences 42-48
Part IX Miscellaneous 49-52
2 CAP. 400.] GAMING
Short title. 1. The short title of this Act is the Gaming Act.
2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires –
“authorised game” means a game specified by the Authority
under article 29 to be an authorised game for the purposes of this
“authorised machine” means a machine used for the purpose of
gaming as specified under article 31(1);
“Authority” means the Lotteries and Gaming Authority
established under article 9 of the Lotteries and Other Games Act;
“casino” means such premises in relation to which the Minister
has granted a concession under article 3;
“casino employee” means any receptionist, dealer, chef de table,
cashier, supervisor, watcher, machine engineer, manager, or any
other person who, in the view of the Authority, is involved in the
gaming operations of a casino;
“casino licence” means a licence granted under article 15;
“chips” means any tokens used or capable of being used in a
casino in the conduct of gaming in the place of money and
approved for this purpose by the Authority;
“gaming” means the playing of a game of chance for money or
“gaming equipment” means any electrical, electronic or
mechanical device, cards or any other thing, other than chips, used,
or suitable for use, in connection with gaming;
“gaming machine” means any machine which is constructed or
adapted for playing a game of chance or chance and skill combined
as may be prescribed by the Minister;
“inspector” shall have the same meaning as is assigned to it in
article 2 of the Lotteries and Other Games Act;
“junket” means an arrangement the purpose of which is to induce
any person, selected or approved for participation therein on the
basis of his ability to satisfy a financial qualification obligation
related to his ability or willingness to gamble, or on any other basis
related to his propensity to gamble, to come to a licensed casino for
the purpose of gambling and pursuant to which, and as a
consideration for which, any or all of the costs of transportation,
food, lodging, and entertainment for the said person is directly or
indirectly paid by a casino licensee;
“Minister” means the Minister responsible for finance.
GAMING [CAP. 400. 3
Concession to open
and operate casino.
3. (1) It shall be lawful for the Minister to grant concessions
to persons to open and operate casinos.
(2) A concession under this article shall be granted for such
consideration including the payment of any sums of money to the
general revenues, for such period and upon such terms and
conditions as the Minister thinks fit.
(3) The grant of a concession under this article shall not
dispense any person opening or operating a casino from the
requirement of any licence by the Authority under this Act.
(4) Notwithstanding the other provisions of this article, the
Minister may from time to time designate a company owned wholly
directly or indirectly by the Government as the Government Casino
Operator and such company shall, whenever the Minister so directs,
take over the operation of a casino owned directly or indirectly by
the Government whenever the person to whom a concession has
been granted to run such casino for any reason abandons such
concession or has his licence revoked or suspended under this Act.
Playing of games
4. Subject to the requirement of any other licence under this
Act or any other law and to the other provisions of this Act, where a
concession has been given by the Minister under article 3, or where
the Minister has directed a company as therein referred to operate a
casino, then, notwithstanding the provisions of any other law, it
shall be lawful during the period of such concession –
(a) for the person to whom such concession has been
granted or for any person to whom such concession
has been assigned in accordance with the terms and
conditions thereof, or for the company so directed, to
permit the use of the premises specified in the
concession as a casino for the playing therein of such
games of chance for money or money’s worth and for
such stakes as may be specified in the casino licence
and to encourage the playing therein by such persons
of any such games for any such stake; and
(b) for any person to take part therein in any such game
for any such stake.
THE AUTHORITY AND INSPECTORS
5. The Authority shall carry out the functions assigned to it
by the provisions of this Act or of any other law or of regulations
made thereunder and shall perform such other functions as the
Minister may from time to time assign to the Authority by order in
writing and considered appropriate by the Minister in relation to
the operation of this Act or of any other law.
4 CAP. 400.] GAMING
Functions of the
6. The functions of the Authority shall be –
(a) to supervise the operation of casinos;
(b) to issue licences to own and/or operate casinos under
(c) to issue licences to the casino employees, including
the managers thereof, and junket leaders, proposed to
be engaged by a casino licensee to work in relation to
(d) to inquire into the suitability of –
(i) casino owners and operators, licensees or
persons nominated as proposed casino licensees;
(ii) the employees, including the management and
junket leaders, proposed to be engaged by the
(e) to regulate by licence the importation, supply and
maintenance of gaming machines and gaming
equipment for casinos;
(f) to advise the Minister on the making of regulations, in
accordance with the provisions of article 50, on
matters relating to the control of casinos or of the
operation of casinos, or, generally to gaming in
(g) to perform any of the functions that is or may be
assigned to it by this or any other law.
Proceedings. 7. Deleted by Act XXIV. 2001.80.
Inspectors. 8. Deleted by Act XXIV. 2001.80.
Identity cards. 9. Deleted by Act XXIV. 2001.80.
L.N. 426 of 2012.
10. An inspector may at any time upon production of his
legally valid identification document enter and remain in casino for
the purposes of –
(a) viewing gaming;
(b) observing any of the operations of the casino or,
generally, of gaming;
(c) ascertaining whether the operation of the casino or,
generally of gaming, is being properly conducted,
supervised and managed;
(d) ascertaining whether the provisions of this Act are
being complied with; and
(e) in any other respect, exercising his powers or
performing his duties.
11. (1) An inspector may for the purpose of ascertaining that
the provisions of this Act are being complied with and that the full
amount of tax under this Act is being paid –
(a) require any person whom the inspector believes, on
reasonable grounds, to be in possession or have under
GAMING [CAP. 400. 5
his control any gaming equipment or chips –
(i) to produce the equipment or chips to the
inspector for inspection or testing; or
(ii) to attend before the inspector at a reasonable
time and place specified by the inspector and
there to answer such questions, or to supply such
information, relating to the equipment or chips
as the inspector specifies;
(b) require a casino licensee or a person acting on behalf
of a casino licensee –
(i) to produce to the inspector for inspection such
book or document in his custody or control
relating to the operation of the casino as the
inspector specifies; or
(ii) to attend before the inspector at a reasonable
time and place specified by the inspector and
there to answer such questions, to supply such
information, or to produce such book or
document, relating to the operation of the casino
as the inspector specifies;
(c) inspect or test any gaming equipment or chips or
inspect such book or document, and take copies of, or
make notes in relation to, such book or document,
relating to the operation of the casino as the inspector
(d) direct a casino licensee not to use any gaming
equipment or chips that the inspector considers to be
unsatisfactory for use;
(e) receive and, if the inspector thinks fit, investigate a
complaint with respect to any aspect of the operation
of a casino and to make a report of the result of such
investigation to the Authority;
(f) call to the inspector’s assistance –
(i) another inspector; or
(ii) a casino employee who, in the belief of the
inspector, is competent to assist the inspector in
the exercise of his powers or performance of his
(g) require any person entering or to be found at a casino
to produce identification documents.
(2) A requirement under subarticle (1)(a) or (b) or a direction
under paragraph (d) of the same subarticle shall be made by notice
in writing or orally as the inspector deems fit in the circumstances.
(3) An inspector shall be present in a casino at the opening and
closing of any gaming table, when any adjustment is made to the
table float, when the count of money and tokens is undertaken, and
at the opening and closing of any gaming machine and to verify
6 CAP. 400.] GAMING
(4) Any person who, without reasonable excuse, hinders or
fails to assist the inspector in the discharge of his duties under
subarticle (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
(5) An inspector shall make a report on the exercise of his
functions under this Act to the Authority.
Powers of the
12. (1) Without prejudice to any power exercisable by virtue
of the preceding provisions of this Act, the Authority may at any
time serve on a casino licensee a notice requiring him, in such
manner and within such reasonable time as may be specified in the
(a) to produce for inspection by or on behalf of the
Authority books or documents relating to the casino,
as specified in the notice which the Authority
reasonably requires to inspect for the purpose
specified in of article 11(1), and
(b) to furnish the Authority with information relating to
the premises as specified in the notice which the
Authority reasonably requires for that purpose.
(2) If without reasonable excuse any requirement imposed in
relation to a casino by a notice served by virtue of subarticle (1) is
not complied with, the casino licensee shall be guilty of an offence
under this Act.
13. Without prejudice to the provisions of the Professional
Secrecy Act, any information disclosed to an inspector, the
Authority or any member, officer or employee of the Authority, and
any document produced in pursuance of articles 11 or 12 shall be
secret and confidential and may not be disclosed or produced other
than for the purposes of this Act or any prosecution for an offence
against this Act or an offence committed against or in a casino.
GRANT OF CASINO LICENCE
14. No person may open or operate a casino unless he is in
possession of a licence by the Authority.
Grant of casino
15. (1) It shall be lawful for the Authority by licence to
authorise a person to open and operate a casino in Malta.
(2) The Authority shall not issue such licence to a person
unless that person is a company registered in Malta and unless it
appears to the Authority that –
(a) the relevant voting share capital of the proposed casino
licensee is owned, directly or indirectly, by a person or
persons of integrity;
(b) the director or directors of the company or of any
affiliate thereof are persons of integrity;
GAMING [CAP. 400. 7
(c) the proposed casino licensee has the financial means
and expertise available to operate the casino and to
fulfil all its obligations under this Act.
(3) A casino licence remains in force for up to ten years and shall
be subject to the annual payment of a licence fee. Subject to
compliance with the provisions of this Act, the licence, unless it is
sooner surrendered or cancelled, may be renewed by the Authority.
A casino licence shall, in all cases, be conditional to there being a
concession by the Minister in favour of the licensee in accordance
with the provisions of Part II of this Act.
(4) The casino licence shall be in a form approved by the Board
(a) shall specify inter alia:
(i) the date of its issue;
(ii) the date of its expiration;
(iii) the name of the licensee;
(iv) an address in Malta specified by the licensee for
the service of documents on the licensee;
(v) the address of the casino;
(vi) the maximum number of tables that can be
operated under the licence;
(vii) the maximum number of machines allowed to be
used under the licence;
(viii) the minimum opening hours;
(ix) such other particulars relating to the casino as
the Authority considers necessary; and
(x) such other particulars as may be prescribed;
(b) shall identify the area or areas by reference to plans
designated to be the casino.
(5) (a) A licensee shall within fourteen days of any change in
the ownership of any share capital of the company or
of its affiliates and of any change in the management
or Board of Directors of the company or of its affiliates
inform the Authority of such change.
(b) If pursuant to any change as is referred to in paragraph
(a) a situation is brought about that had it existed at
the time of the application for the licence, would have
disqualified the company from obtaining a licence in
accordance with subarticle (2), the Authority shall by
notice inform the licensee accordingly and if the
situation shall not have been remedied within one
calendar month from the notice to that effect by the
Authority, the Authority shall revoke the licence:
Provided that the Authority shall not issue a
notice as aforesaid later than three calendar months
after being informed by the licensee of the change in
accordance with paragraph (a).
(6) Failure to comply with the provisions of subarticle (5) shall
8 CAP. 400.] GAMING
constitute an offence against this Act.
(7) A licence under this article may not be assigned.
Casino licence fee.
16. (1) The Authority shall, on the basis of the costs incurred
by itself in carrying out its functions under this Act, determine the
casino licence fee, in the casino licence, for the purposes of this
(2) The casino licence fee is payable in advance to the
Authority on behalf of the Government on each anniversary of the
licence by the casino licensee.
(3) Determinations and variations under sub-article (1) shall not
be made at intervals of less than twelve months.
Surrender of casino
17. (1) The casino licensee may surrender the casino licence
at any time by giving notice in writing to the Authority not less
than one year prior to the date of the surrender of the licence.
(2) The surrender of any casino licence shall not dispense the
person surrendering the licence from any obligation incurred under
articles 16 and 37.
(3) If the casino licensee surrenders the casino licence without
giving the notice specified in subarticle (1), the gaming equipment
and machines to be found in the casino shall be forfeited to the
Authority on behalf of the Government.
casino licence –
18. The Authority may order the cancellation of a casino
licence on any of the following grounds:
(a) any director or manager of the casino licensee is
convicted of an offence against this Act or of theft,
receiving stolen property, fraud or any crime against
(b) the casino licensee contravenes a provision of this Act
or is in breach of a licence condition;
(c) the casino licensee knowingly or recklessly supplies to
the Authority information that is false or misleading in
a material particular;
(d) the casino licensee fails to fulfil the licensee’s
financial commitments when they become due and
(e) the casino licensee fails to maintain the formal gaming
reserve as specified in article 39;
(f) the licensee is being wound up; or
(g) the Authority is satisfied that the casino licensee is
not, or has ceased to be, a suitable person to be the
licensee of a casino.
casino licence –
19. (1) Where a ground for cancellation of the casino licence
arises under article 18, the Authority, by notice in writing, shall
request the casino licensee, and may request any other person who
in its opinion has an interest in the licence, to show cause, within
GAMING [CAP. 400. 9
such period, being not less than twenty-one days after the issue of
the notice, as is specified in the notice, why the casino licence
should not be cancelled on such ground as stated in the notice.
(2) The Authority shall have regard to any response made
under subarticle (1) and –
(a) where the matter is resolved to its satisfaction shall
take no further action;
(b) where, although the matter is not resolved to its
satisfaction, it considers that further action is not
warranted, it shall, in writing, caution the casino
(c) where the matter is not resolved to its satisfaction and
it is satisfied that further action is warranted, it may –
(i) by notice in writing, give such direction as it
considers appropriate; or
(ii) suspend for such period as it thinks fit, or
cancel, the casino licence.
(3) Where a direction given by the Authority under subarticle
(2)(c)(i) is not complied with within the time specified in the
notice, the Authority shall cancel the casino licence.
20. (1) No person shall employ or work as a –
(i) casino employee;
(ii) casino manager; or
(iii) junket leader,
without a licence from the Authority, wherever such licence shall
be required by any regulations under this Act.
(2) Any person who shall do anything referred to in subarticle
(1) wherever a licence therefor is required under subarticle (1),
without being in possession of the relative licence or not in
accordance with such licence shall be guilty of an offence against
OPERATION OF CASINO
21. (1) It shall be lawful for a casino licensee to require
persons entering the casino premises to pay a fee therefor. Such fee
shall be fixed by the licensee with the approval of the Authority.
(2) Such approved fee is to be clearly displayed at the entrance
to the premises. All such fees received shall be recorded.
22. (1) A casino licensee shall –
(a) maintain the facilities and amenities of the casino in a
condition to the satisfaction of the Authority;
(b) ensure that the casino is at all times properly and
10 CAP. 400.] GAMING
(c) ensure that all casino installations, equipment and
procedures for security are available and are tested,
used, operated and applied effectively; and
(d) ensure the gaming equipment and chips approved by
the Authority for use in the casino are maintained in
good order and condition.
(2) The casino licensee shall not operate the casino unless the
layout of the casino is in accordance with plans and diagrams
approved by the Authority.
23. The casino licensee shall, for the purpose of ensuring
security within the premises of the casino, install and keep in good
working order such camera and audio system, in such numbers and
locations, and which shall be monitored by such number of persons
adequately trained to be employed as professional security staff as
may be approved by the Authority.
24. The Authority shall, in the casino licence, establish a
schedule of minimum operating times for the casino setting out the
days on which, and hours during which, the licensee shall operate
the casino. The Authority may also establish the days during which
casinos shall remain closed.
L.N. 426 of 2012.
25. (1) It shall be the duty of the casino licensee to ensure that
persons entering the casino premises are identified and may at any
time request such persons to produce their legally valid
identification document or passport for inspection.
(2) The casino licensee shall cause the particulars of persons
entering the casino together with details of a legally valid
identification document or passport produced to be registered in a
register kept at the casino premises for such purpose.
from a casino.
L.N. 426 of 2012.
26. (1) A person shall not enter a casino during the hours of
operation of the casino, if the person –
(a) is requested by a licensed casino employee not to enter
the casino or other gaming premises, as the case may
be, on the ground that the person has previously
contravened the approved rules of an authorised game
or rules of conduct of gaming in force;
(b) is a person in relation to whom a court order under
article 27(1) is in force;
(c) is in the case of a citizen of Malta under the age of
(d) is in the case of any other person under the age of
(e) has asked for a ban or restriction on his own
(f) upon a request to do so by a licensed casino employee,
fails to produce his legally valid identification
document or passport; or
GAMING [CAP. 400. 11
(g) appears to be under the influence of alcohol or a drug
or is acting in a disorderly manner:
Provided that, any ban or restriction of admission shall,
under paragraph (e), have effect during the period requested by the
person concerned, which shall not be less than six months and not
more than one year. Any such ban or restriction cannot be cancelled
before its expiry.
(2) A person shall not remain in a casino during the hours of
operation of the casino if the person –
(a) when requested to do so by a licensed casino
employee, refuses or fails to produce evidence of his
(b) has been requested by a licensed casino employee to
leave the casino on the ground that the person –
(i) appears not to understand fully the nature or
consequences of gaming as it relates to the
application of the approved rules of authorised
games and the potential for financial loss;
(ii) appears to be under the influence of alcohol or a
(iii) is affecting the orderly functioning of the
operations of the casino or, generally, of gaming
whether because of the influence of alcohol or
drugs or otherwise;
(iv) appears to be disturbing the peace or affecting
the orderly functioning of the operations of the
(v) appears to be cheating, or attempting to cheat, in
the casino; or
(vi) has previously contravened the approved rules
of an authorised game or rules of conduct in
force in a casino;
(c) is a person in relation to whom a court order under
article 27 is in force.
(3) Without prejudice to the other provisions of this Act,
admission to a casino shall be at the discretion of the licensee who
shall ensure that persons who may have a problem of pathological
gambling are not given access to the gaming area:
Provided that no person shall be refused admission to a
casino by reason of his race, place of origin, political opinion,
colour, creed, sex or physical infirmity.
Power of court to
27. (1) Where any person is convicted by a court of an offence
which in the opinion of the court is of such nature, or where the
circumstances under which it was committed were such that it is
undesirable that the person so convicted should be permitted to
enter a casino, the court may in addition to any other power under
any other law make an order prohibiting the person convicted from
entering a casino as specified in such order, for such period as may
12 CAP. 400.] GAMING
be specified therein.
(2) The Authority as well as all casino licensees shall, as soon
as practicable, be notified with such order by the Registrar of
(3) The casino licensee shall keep a list of the names, together
with any other available identification details of those persons, in
relation to whom a court order has been made as provided in
(4) A casino licensee shall make the said list available for
inspection by the Authority and by inspectors.
Enforcement. 28. (1) A person who is –
(a) a police officer; or
(b) for the time being in charge of the casino; or
(c) an agent or an employee of the casino licensee,
may, with such assistance as is necessary and reasonable and using
such force as is necessary and reasonable, cause any person who,
under article 26, may not enter, or remain in, the casino:
(i) to be prevented from entering the casino; or
(ii) to be removed promptly from the casino as the
(2) A person who, without reasonable excuse, obstructs or
hinders a person in the exercise of a power conferred on the latter
person under subarticle (1), shall be guilty of an offence under this
(3) The casino licensee who, knowingly or recklessly, permits
to enter, or fails to remove from, the casino a person who is not
entitled to be in such premises by virtue of the provisions of article
26, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
29. (1) The Authority shall, in the casino licence issued or to
be issued under this Act, specify the game or games to be
designated as authorised games for the purposes of the Act.
(2) The Authority may at any time alter the list of the
designated authorised games and the approved rules of a game as
specified in the casino licence.
(3) In carrying out its functions under subarticles (1) and (2),
the Authority shall seek the agreement of the casino licensee
Gaming in the
30. The Minister may, after consultation with the Authority,
make regulations specifying in a general manner the terms and
conditions according to which gaming is to be conducted in a
casino. The Authority may in a casino licence specify in a
particular manner terms and conditions, being terms and conditions
not prohibited by regulations, according to which gaming is to be
conducted in a casino.
GAMING [CAP. 400. 13
Use of machines
by virtue of
31. (1) The Authority shall, in a casino licence, specify the
number of authorised machines that may be installed and kept for
use on the casino premises, and may in the licence subject the
keeping of such machines to any conditions as may be specified by
the Authority in the licence.
(2) Subject to any limitation in the concession granted by the
Minister under article 3 the Authority may, either on its own
initiative or upon a request by the casino licensee, upon the renewal
of a casino licence, vary the number of, and the terms and
conditions regulating, authorised machines permitted to be
installed in the casino:
Provided that the Authority shall not refuse the request
made by the casino licensee under this subarticle unless there are
reasonable grounds for such refusal. The acceptance or refusal of
any such request shall be made in writing.
32. (1) No gaming machine of any description shall be kept
for use in a casino –
(a) contrary to the conditions specified in the casino
(b) without the machine being registered in accordance
with any regulations issued under this Act and in force
from time to time.
(2) If any gaming machine is kept for use in the casino in
contravention of subarticle (1), the casino licensee shall be guilty
of an offence under this Act.
(3) Any person who manufactures, imports, keeps or supplies a
gaming machine for use as a casino under this Act shall, without
prejudice to any other liability under any other law, be guilty of an
offence under this Act:
Provided that the Minister may, under such conditions as he
may deem appropriate, give a permit for the manufacture of gaming
machines for export, and any machines manufactured in accordance
with such a permit shall not be deemed to be manufactured in
contravention of this subarticle.
(4) If, in any proceedings for an offence under subarticles (2)
and (3), it is proved that a gaming machine was on the premises of
a casino, it shall be presumed, unless the contrary is shown, that the
machine was kept on the premises of the casino for use on those
PROVISION OF MONEY FOR GAMING
33. It shall not be lawful for the licensee or any person acting
on his behalf or under any arrangement with him, to make any loan
or otherwise provide or allow to any person any credit, or release or
discharge on another person’s behalf, the whole or part of any debt:
14 CAP. 400.] GAMING
(a) for enabling a person to take part in gaming at a
(b) in respect of any losses incurred by any person in
gaming at a casino.
articles 1713 and
1716 of the Civil
34. (1) Article 1716 of the Civil Code shall not apply with
respect to a game lawfully played in a licensed casino.
(2) The provisions of article 1713 of the Civil Code shall not
prejudice the right of the casino licensee to recover a debt arising
from the acceptance of a cheque in accordance with article 35 and
which is subsequently not honoured.
35. (1) Subject to any regulation made by the Minister or any
directive that may be issued by the Authority, a casino licensee or
any person acting on his behalf or under any arrangement with him
may, if he has reasonable grounds to believe that a cheque will be
honoured upon presentation, accept a cheque and give in exchange
for it cash or tokens for enabling such person to take part in the
gaming as long as –
(a) the cheque is not a post-dated cheque; and
(b) the cheque is exchanged either for cash to an amount
equal to the amount for which it is drawn, or it is
exchanged for tokens at the same rate as would apply
if cash, to the amount for which the cheque is drawn,
were given in exchange for them.
(2) Where the conditions set out in subarticle (1) are fulfilled,
the giving of cash or tokens in exchange for a cheque shall not be
deemed to be contrary to the provisions of article 33.
(3) Where the casino licensee or a person acting on his behalf
or under any arrangement with the licensee, accepts a cheque in
exchange for cash or tokens to be used by a player in gaming, he
shall, not more than two banking days later, cause the cheque to be
delivered to a bank for payment or collection.
36. A person may, with the consent of the casino licensee, and
not later than thirty minutes from the end of a gaming session
redeem any cheque accepted from the person by the casino licensee
during that gaming session by presenting at the cash desk of the
(a) an amount of money, or
(b) chips the face value of which is, or
(c) any combination of cash and chips, or
(d) where more than one cheque is being redeemed, a
consolidating cheque for an amount,
equivalent to the amount for which the cheque or cheques are
drawn, or the sum of the amounts of the cheques, to be redeemed.
GAMING [CAP. 400. 15
37. (1) The licensee shall pay to the Authority on behalf of the
Government the rate of tax based on the total gross takings of all
games played at the casino specified in the Schedule without the
deduction of any expenses of any kind whatsoever, but subject to
the following provisions of this article. The licensee shall not later
than the seventh day of each month, effect payment to the
Authority of the tax due in respect of the preceding month.
(2) For the purpose of determining the sums due to the
Authority under subarticle (1), the gross takings or gross losses, as
the case may be, on all games of chance shall be those resulting at
the closing of the casino each day, but the casino licensee shall be
entitled to set off any gross losses on such games incurred during
any two months against gross takings on such games made during
the same months:
Provided that where a casino remains open for twenty-four
hours in a day the closing of the casino for the purposes of this
subarticle shall be deemed to be 8 a.m.
(3) The gross takings or losses on all games of chance shall be
calculated at the closing of the casino each day and duly appointed
representatives of the Authority shall be entitled to attend the
making of such daily calculation for the purpose of verifying the
same and, moreover, to attend at the playing of all games at the
(4) The licensee shall further pay to the Authority on behalf of
the Government such rate of tax on the casino entrance fee as may
be specified in the casino licence.
(5) For the purposes of subarticle (2), the term “two months”
means periods of two months, ending at the closing of the casino on
the last day of February, April, June, August, October and
December of each calendar year and does not include any time after
the closing of the casino during which the business of the casino,
commenced on the last day of the relevant two months’ period, is
continued or concluded.
38. (1) Upon the grant of a casino licence, the Authority may
require the casino licensee to take out a bank guarantee issued by a
bank or by a credit or financial institution licensed in Malta in
favour of the Authority on behalf of the Government in an amount
not exceeding the gaming reserve and subject to such terms and
conditions as may be specified in the licence. Such bank guarantee
shall remain valid until the expiration of one year after the
expiration of the licence.
(2) The casino licensee may forfeit such bank guarantee in
favour of the Authority in any of the following cases:
(a) upon the surrender of the casino licence under article
(b) upon cancellation of the casino licence by the
16 CAP. 400.] GAMING
Authority under article 18;
(c) upon breach of any of the conditions in respect of
maintenance of facilities in terms of article 22;
(d) in settlement of any liability of the licensee with
respect to a fine imposed under Part VIII of this Act.
39. (1) Upon the grant of a casino licence, the casino licensee
shall establish a formal reserve in an amount to be fixed by the
Authority which will protect the casino against a run of gaming
losses and therefore ensure that punters are paid out after a large
win and which will provide comfort that the casino licensee has
adequate financial resources to carry on the business of casino
gaming to acceptable and proper standards and without imminent
risk of closure or liquidation.
(2) The gaming reserve shall be in the form of a deposit held
with a bank established in Malta and or any other security held on
the licensee’s behalf by such bank acceptable to the Authority. The
casino licensee shall cause the bank to confirm existence of such a
reserve to the Authority, as and when requested by the Authority,
and in any case annually upon every anniversary of the licence.
(3) Should it be necessary for the reserve to be drawn upon, the
casino licensee shall immediately inform the Authority and shall
restore the reserve within two months and shall thereupon cause the
bank to confirm its restoration to the Authority.
40. (1) Without prejudice to the provisions of the Prevention
of Money Laundering Act, and of article 50, the Minister with the
concurrence of the Minister responsible for justice may by order
provide guidelines for conduct by a licensee, inspectors or the
Authority in relation to certain transactions that may give rise to
suspicion of money laundering, and may in particular provide that
the provisions of article 12(1) of the Prevention of Money
Laundering Act shall apply with regards to a casino with such
modifications and adaptations as may be specified in the Order.
(2) Where an inspector or a casino employee has reason to
suspect that a transaction or a proposed transaction could involve
money laundering, he shall act in accordance with regulations made
under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, and any regulation
made under this Act, applicable thereto.
Exchange control. 41. It shall be lawful for a casino licensee, upon authorisation
granted by the Central Bank of Malta and subject to such
conditions as may be specified in such authorisation, to provide
facilities for the exchange of foreign currency on the casino
GAMING [CAP. 400. 17
L.N. 425 of 2007.
42. (1) Any person guilty of an offence against this Act, shall
on conviction be liable to a fine (multa) of not less than six
thousand and nine hundred and eighty-eight euro and twelve cents
(6,988.12) and not more than two hundred and thirty-two thousand
and nine hundred and thirty-seven euro and thirty-four cents
(232,937.34) or to imprisonment of not more than two years or to
both such fine and imprisonment:
Provided that where the person so found guilty is the
director, manager, secretary or other similar officer of a company
or other undertaking the said person shall, for the purpose of this
article, be deemed to be vested with the legal representation of the
same company or other undertaking which accordingly shall be
liable in solidum with the person found guilty for the payment of
the said fine:
Provided further that where the Attorney General in the
sanction issued in accordance with article 48, certifies that the
offence will be adequately punished with a fine (multa) of not less
than two hundred and thirty-two euro and ninety-four cents
(232.94) and not more than six thousand and nine hundred and
eighty-eight euro and twelve cents (6,988.12) the applicable
penalty shall be a fine (multa) of not less than two hundred and
thirty-two euro and ninety-four cents (232.94) and not more than
six thousand and nine hundred and eighty-eight euro and twelve
(2) The fine referred to in subarticle (1) shall be recoverable as
a civil debt in favour of the Government by the Chief Executive of
(3) The provisions of the Probation Act and of article 21 and of
articles 28A to 28I of the Criminal Code shall not apply with
respect to offences referred to in subarticle (1).
42A. (1) The Authority may, with the concurrence of any
licensee or holder of a permit issued in terms of article 36 who
contravenes a condition of his licence or, as the case may be, of his
permit, or any directive issued by the Authority in terms of this Act
or of regulations made thereunder and applicable to such licensee
or, as the case may be, to such permit holder where such
contravention amounts to an offence against this Act, impose
administrative penalties or sanctions upon such licensee or holder
of a permit as an alternative to proceedings in Court.
(2) For the purposes of subarticle (1), where the Authority
decides to exercise its powers thereunder, the Authority shall enter
into an agreement in writing with the offender whereby the said
offender pays a sum which shall not exceed two hundred and thirtyfive
thousand euro (€235,000.00), as the Authority shall determine,
and upon the signing of any such agreement between the Authority
and the offender, all criminal liability of the offender under this
Act, with regard to the offence or offences in relation to which the
agreement has been entered, shall be extinguished:
18 CAP. 400.] GAMING
Provided that any such agreement and the provisions of this
article shall be without prejudice to the power of the Authority,
where applicable, to cancel or suspend the licence held by the
offender in terms of the provisions of this Act relating to
cancellation or suspension of the relevant licence.
(3) The provisions of subarticle (2) shall apply also in any case
where the offender has been charged before a Court in relation to
the offence, but before final judgement has been given in the case.
(4) Any sum due by virtue of an agreement entered into in
terms of subarticle (2) shall be due to the Authority as a civil debt.
The Authority shall not enter into an agreement as is referred to in
subarticle (2), unless such agreement is accompanied by the
payment of the sum due or by an adequate and sufficient security
for its payment.
Use of counterfeit
43. (1) It shall not be lawful for a person to use, or have in his
possession, in or outside a casino –
(a) chips that the person knows are counterfeit chips; or
(b) cards, dice or coins that the person knows have been
marked, loaded or tampered with.
(2) Whosoever shall contravene the provisions of subarticle (1)
shall be guilty of an offence against this Act.
Forgery. 44. (1) It shall not be lawful for a person –
(a) to forge or counterfeit any chips or other tokens to be
used in a casino licensed under this Act, or a licence
used for the purposes of this Act; or
(b) knowingly to utter counterfeit chips or knowingly utter
a forged or counterfeit licence.
(2) Whosoever shall contravene subarticle (1) shall be guilty of
an offence against this Act.
Persons gaming to
be present at
45. (1) No person shall take part in gaming at a casino –
(a) if he is not present on the premises of the casino when
gaming takes place there;
(b) on behalf of another person who is not present on the
premises at the time.
(2) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subarticle
(1) or who aids or permits any other person to contravene such
provisions shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
46. (1) Every person who in any premises not licensed under
this Act or under the Lotteries and Other Games Act or in
contravention of the provisions of this Act or any regulations made
thereunder or in breach of any condition imposed in any licence
issued under this Act, takes part in any game of chance played for
money or money’s worth; or permits the use of any place for or
encourages any such game; or wilfully prevents any Police officer,
lawfully authorised to enter into any place suspected of being used
as a gaming house, from entering into such place or any part
GAMING [CAP. 400. 19
thereof, or obstructs or delays any such officer in so entering, or, by
any bolt, bar, or other contrivance secures any external or internal
door or means of access to any such place; or uses any means or
contrivance whatsoever, for the purposes of preventing, obstructing
or delaying the entry of such officer into any such place or any part
thereof; or although not taking part in any unlawful game, shall be
a partner of any player at any such game; or who is present while
any such game is being played shall be guilty of an offence against
(2) In addition to any penalty under any other provision of this
Act the money and effects representing the stakes as well as the
instruments and articles used in gaming in contravention of
subarticle (1) and any money found on any person committing an
offence under that subarticle shall be forfeited in favour of the
(3) Subarticles (1) and (2) shall not apply in respect of any
game lawfully played in terms of the Lotteries and Other Games
Act or any other law.
this Act to be tried
by Court of
47. The Court of Magistrates shall be the competent court to
take cognisance of offences against this Act.
48. No proceedings for an offence against this Act shall be
commenced without the sanction of the Attorney General.
49. (1) No person shall issue or cause to be issued any
(a) informing the public that any premises in Malta are
premises on which gaming takes place or is to take
place as a casino; or
(b) inviting the public to take part as players in any
gaming which takes place, or is to take place, in any
such premises, or to apply for information about
facilities for taking part as players in any gaming
which takes place, or is to take place, in any such
(c) inviting the public to subscribe any money or money’s
worth to be used in gaming on such premises or to
apply for information about facilities for subscribing
any money or money’s worth to be so used; or
(d) inviting the public to take part as players in any
gaming which takes place, or is to take place, in any
casino outside Malta or to apply for information about
facilities for taking part as players in any gaming
which takes place, or is to take place, outside Malta:
20 CAP. 400.] GAMING
Provided that such restriction on advertising shall not apply
to advertisements published, displayed or broadcasted outside
Malta for distribution or circulation outside Malta or to advertisements
as described in subarticle (1) which are displayed in
locations frequented mainly by tourists and are to include airports,
seaports, hotels and holiday complexes but shall not include bars
(2) subarticle (1) shall not apply to:
(a) the display in a casino in respect of which a concession
has been granted by the Minister, and a casino licence
has been issued by the Authority, under this Act, of a
sign or notice indicating that gaming takes place, or is
to take place, in the casino, whether the sign or notice
is displayed inside or outside the premises; or
(b) the publication of a notice in the Gazette where the
notice is required to be published under this Act; or
(c) any advertisement authorised by the Authority relating
to non-gaming activities held at a casino.
(3) Any person who contravenes the provisions of subarticle
(1) shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.
Power to make
50. The Minister may, on the advice of the Authority, make
regulations for carrying out the provisions of this Act and, without
prejudice to the generality of the provisions of the foregoing, may
by such regulations –
(a) regulate the issue, suspension and cancellation of a
(b) regulate gaming, and stakes at a casino;
(c) regulate junkets and prescribe the rate of taxation
applicable to takings generated by junkets;
(d) regulate the use of machines at a casino;
(e) prescribe the records and accounts to be kept by a
(f) prescribe in relation to the gaming reserve referred to
in article 39;
(g) prescribe anything that is to be prescribed under any
other provision of this Act; and
(h) reg ulate the operations of casinos on a voluntary basis, on board
aircrafts and cruise ships re g istered in Malta and, or other
cruise ships which berth in a Maltese port and determine
the tax and licence fees which shall apply to such
operations as w e l l as determine which provisions of this Act
shall either apply or not apply for such operations:
Provided that for the purposes of this paragraph the term
cruise ship sh a l l mean a passenger ship used for pleasure
voyages with a minimum of t h re e ports of call in three
different jurisdictions which may or may not include
Malta, having its own amenities, that include lodging
GAMING [CAP. 400. 21
facilities for all passengers, and a minimum capacity of
one hundred and fifty (150) passengers:
Provided further that cruise ships, which shall be given an
authorisation to operate their casinos while they are berthed
in Malta, shall solely allow passengers who are
registered for such a voyage to board such ship during
Provided further that ferry boats used for transporting
passengers and, or cargo shall be excluded from this
Use of hotels for
51. The use of any part of a hotel for the running of a casino
licensed under this Act shall not, for the purpose of the
Development Planning Act, be deemed to be a change of use.
52. Nothing in this Act shall prejudice the operation of, or
shall be deemed to substitute or to derogate any of the provisions
of, the Lotteries and Other Games Act.
(1) The casino licensee shall pay to the Authority on behalf of
the Government the following rates of taxation:
(a) Table Games:
(i) On total gross takings of all table games played
at the casino a sum equivalent to thirty-six per
(ii) On the gross takings generated by junkets
approved by the Authority and in accordance
with any regulations applicable thereto, on all
table games dedicated to the junkets a sum
equivalent to fifteen per centum (15%).
(b) Gaming Machines:
(i) On total gross takings of all gaming machines
played at the casino a sum equivalent to forty
per centum (40%).
(ii) On the gross takings generated by junkets
approved by the Authority and in accordance
with any regulations applicable thereto, on all
gaming machines dedicated to the junkets a sum
equivalent to twenty-five per centum (25%).
(2) The tax calculated under item (1) hereof shall be assessed
separately and no set-off for any tax or for any loss under any one
paragraph shall be allowed.