In light of Ireland’s planned gambling legislation, Malta, a key player in the worldwide gambling industry, has voiced serious reservations about the potential unintended effects, which it fears might lead to an increase in illegal betting. There is a concern among government officials in Valletta that the law may restrict some gambling alternatives inside Ireland, which may lead gamblers to seek out unregulated and illegal sites.

Concerns were officially voiced when Malta began using the TRISS system, which is part of the European Commission’s effort to track potential trade obstacles caused by changes to other nations’ legislation.

An important concern for the Maltese government is the Irish bill’s clause that would empower the gaming authority to limit betting periods. These constraints may be lacking in actual scientific data and legitimate reasoning, according to the officials, which is a point that the Irish Independent underlined.

More Areas of Concern

The Maltese also highlighted the lack of clarity in the definition of “relevant games” as an argument against parts of the plan that would give Ireland’s regulator the power to determine which games operators may provide. It was emphasized that these limitations might interfere with long-standing EU rules controlling service supply, which could make it harder for operators from other EU member states to launch new games in Ireland.

In addition to highlighting the difficulties of prohibition as a regulatory solution for internet gambling, authorities from Malta noted that the lack of a regulated market might unwittingly encourage people into gambling paths that are hazardous and illegal.

As a public health policy, the Irish Department of Justice justified the law by saying it would protect people from gambling’s negative impacts, particularly on young people and other vulnerable groups.

Naturally, the bill, under intense scrutiny, has garnered significant attention from major betting firms. Lobbying efforts involving James Browne, the responsible minister, and engagements with numerous charities have occurred to discuss various aspects of the legislation.

What This Means for Malta Going Forward

Malta, which is well-known for being a gambling hotspot that is home to a large number of betting enterprises, has seen significant expansion in its online gaming industry. In addition to employing almost 10,000 people, the more than 300 gaming firms on the island of Malta contribute around 12% to Malta’s GDP, according to reports from experts in the field.

For the time being, all we can do is wait to see if Malta’s involvement in the TRIS system, which the European Commission runs, resolves the current challenges.