The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has launched the first of two phases of its sandbox framework for the acceptance of Virtual Financial Assets (VFAs) and the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) within the Gaming industry as of the 1st of January of this year. This implies that the MGA will be accepting application that involve the use of Distributed Ledger Technology (DLT) both directly and through third-party service providers. This will apply both to current license-holders as well as from new applicants for an MGA license.

According to the MGA, this phase is planned to last for a period of ten months which may be extended further at their discretion.

Meanwhile, the MGA has also made amendments to its Licensee Relationship Management System in order to allow for this new sector. These changes will allow for: new operators to apply for approvals for the use of DLT assets as part of a new license application; existing licensees to apply for approvals for the use of DLT assets through the application type; and existing licensees participating in the sandbox environment to report VFA player liabilities through the monthly Player Funds Report. Licensees will also be required to report any failed return transactions relating to any invalid deposits.

As a prerequisite for participation in the Sandbox Framework, the MGA requires the applicant to be a holder of the relevant MGA license. Moreover, all other regulatory requirements, particularly the VFA Act and subsequent regulations, must also be adhered to.

This move by the MGA should open up the gaming sector even further, catering for an interesting and diverse overlap between the already successful industry in Malta with the country’s newfound regulatory regime catering for the introduction and legislation of VFAs and DLT.