LGA to set up Responsible Gaming Fund
Posted on 17th May 2012 in Gaming
The Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority is planning to create a Responsible Gaming Fund to enable it to run a campaign on responsible gaming and also help people addicted to gaming, Finance Minister Tonio Fenech said today.
Speaking during a visit to the LGA’s offices, Mr Fenech underlined the importance of the gaming industry to the economy.
He said that revenue from duty on gaming has risen by 40% since 2007 and reached €47.5 million last year.
The number of licence holders increased three-fold in three years as the gaming sector grew by 29%.
He said the sector now employed 7,000 people, of whom 4,000 worked directly with the gaming companies and the rest were in support services.
There are 60 pending applications for gaming licences.
The minister said international giant Betsons would continue to invest in Malta and would create an extra 350 jobs over the next 12 months, the minister said.
Referring to the gaming parlours which are opening all over Malta, Mr Fenech said that 25 had opened so far. He recalled how the government had closed them all two years ago until a new regulatory framework was put in place. These establishments were now tightly regulated and monitored, he said. The LGA, he added, had introduced the concept of responsible gaming, with gamers in on-land facilities also being able to self-bar themselves. 1,000 people had used this facility, he said. The barring can last for a year or six months.
The LGA would also be setting up a Responsible Gaming Fund which would fund advertising campaigns on responsible gaming and help those who had gaming problems, he said.
The matter, he said, still had to be discussed in Cabinet but it was hoped that the Fund would be set up next year. The fund would be partly supported through contributions by the gaming companies as part of their corporate social responsibilities.
Mr Fenech also denied that the LGA was offering Maltco exclusivity on more games than mentioned in the tender document, as claimed in court yesterday by a rival gaming company.