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Online casinos take Maltese retreat

Thursday 30th August 2007

Ahead of the introduction of the UK Gambling Act on September 1st, Malta has received a flood of applications from online casinos and gaming sites to relocate their companies to its shores.

As many as 27 international gaming firms, including Intercasino, William Hill, Playboy Casino and Virgin Games will be setting up operations in Malta by the end of the month, so that they can continue to offer online poker and casino games.

The move comes as gambling companies will now only be allowed to advertise within the UK if they are based within the European Economic Area and the Gambling Commission's approved 'white list' areas.

At present 84 internet gaming firms are licensed on the island. A letter of intent has been issued to 76 others and 36 companies are still awaiting a response to their licence applications from Maltese authorities.

"Malta's becoming the natural hub of online gaming," Mario Galea, chief executive of the Lotteries Gaming Authority, told the Malta Times.

"Our regulations are very much in line with the EU's, and we have shown that we are capable of protecting operators - so it won't be long before the physical operations move to Malta," he explained.

Source: News

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