Malta Watchdog Proposes New Blockchain Gaming Guidelines

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published proposed guidance on using distributed ledger technology and cryptocurrencies within the nation’s online gaming space.

The document – which is currently open for feedback – explains the need to protect consumers, prevent money laundering and other crimes and protect Malta’s reputation, saying the criteria set out in the paper will inform a planned regulatory “sandbox” environment. Ultimately, this sandbox could result in new regulations for Malta’s remote gaming ecosystem.

Notably, companies that want to accept cryptocurrencies will have satisfy a range of conditions, including that the cryptocurrencies provide financial and technological value, that they can be traded on exchanges with a “competitive market capitalization” and that they are integral to the company’s use case.

The regulator says it will evaluate each cryptocurrency and provide final approval over whether a company can utilize them in their businesses. Similar conditions apply to custom tokens, says the document.

As part of the sandbox, games hosted by an operator must use a distributed ledger to “maintain the transparency and prove the fairness of these games.”

The MGA states:

“For the duration of this sandbox, the MGA will accept games that are hosted fully or partially on a blockchain environment, provided that the operator shall ensure that the gaming service is not unduly disrupted by such operational setup.”

The guidelines further specify how AML procedures should work, noting that game operators must plan for “the risks which may arise, or be exacerbated by, the use of cryptocurrencies or custom tokens as a funding method.”

Anyone interested in providing feedback should email the MGA by April 30, 2018.

Malta image via Mazzard Photography/Wikimedia Commons

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