Fifth casino licence in the cards for Malta
Malta is quite a small country of approximately 316 square kilometers, and contains four casinos within its territory. These four casinos are Portomaso Casino, Casino Malta, Dragonara Casino and Oracle Casino. However, there may very well be a new fifth casino sooner than later, once the government plan that is impending is accepted. Still, any suitors will need to comply with some rules.
Yesterday, the official governmental newspaper of Malta, known as the Malta Gazette, released an RFP that concerns a “concession to open and operate a casino in Malta.” Malta’s Privatization Unit (PU) is the one supervising the entire procedure, and has stated that any and all submissions are to be made before the deadline of noon on the 7th of April.
Furthermore, many other milestones have been set in order to render the procedure easier, such as a cutoff date (scheduled for the 1st of March) in case there are any demands for clarification. All the answers to such pleas will be made until the 17th of March. This will provide candidates with around two weeks to hand over their final submissions.
The PU has mentioned on its website:
The Privatisation Unit, acting on behalf of the Ministry for the Economy and Industry , is hereby inviting Prospective Proponents to submit Proposals for the opening and operation of a casino in Malta. Prospective Proponents are reminded that for the opening and operation of a casino in Malta, the Successful Proponent must, in addition to holding the Concession, also hold a valid Casino Licence issued by the Authority in terms of the Gaming Authorisations Regulations.
The proposals have to be made by the companies themselves, if they are registered within the EEA (European Economic Area). Whoever ends up obtaining that permit will need to be entirely owned by that company. It is necessary for the casino to be constructed in a touristic spot, which is designed by the country’s Tourism Authority. however, there are two spots that are out-of-bounds right now, and they are Gozo and Comino, which are two tiny islands in the country’s 21-island archipelago.
Whichever firm is selected as the licensee should present proof that they are able to cover all the costs (including a fee of $13.2 million). On the bright side, this fee can be paid over the course of three years. The casino also has to provide 225 gaming devices and 15 gaming tables.
The Maltese authority has faced some backlash for a while now, specifically in ties to the murder of Daphne Caruana Galizia, a journalist, back in 2017, when the investigation into the murder pointed straight at the MGA. The newly-appointed CEO Carl Brincat has been trying to tie up the loose ends and setting things straight with the authority.