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Gambling License Malta: Malta Lotteries and other Games Act

Gambling License Malta: Malta Lotteries and other Games Act

PART IV – ESTABLISHMENT AND FUNCTIONS OF THE LOTTERIES AND GAMING AUTHORITY

9. (1) There shall be a body, to be known as the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, which shall consist of a Chairman and four other members.

(2) The Chairman and the other members of the Authority shall be appointed by the Minister for a term, being not more than three years, as may be specified in the instrument of appointment, but the members so appointed may be re-appointed on the expiry of their term of office.

(3) The Minister may designate one of the other members of the Authority as Deputy Chairman and the member so designated shall have all the powers and perform all the functions of the Chairman during his absence or inability to act as chairman or while the Chairman is on vacation or during any vacancy in the of f ic e of chai rman. Th e Mini s te r may a l so, in any of the circumstances mentioned above in this subarticle, appoint another per son to act as chai rman and in such case, the foregoing provisions of this subarticle shall apply in respect of such person.

(4) A person shall not be qualified to be appointed or to hold office as a member of the Authority if he –

  1. is a Minister, Parliamentary Secretary or a member of the House of Representatives;
  2. is a judge or magistrate of the courts of justice;
  3. has a financial or other interest in any enterprise or activity directly involving games or gaming, or in a licensee, which is likely to affect the discharge of his functions as a member of the Authority;
  4. is an undischarged bankrupt;
  5. has been convicted of an offence punishable by imprisonment for a period of six months or more;
  6. has been found guilty of an offence under this Act or any other Act relating to lotteries or gaming or of an offence against public trust.

(5) Subject to the provisions of this article, the office of a member of the Authority shall become vacant –

  1. at the expiry of his term of office; or
  2. if he resigns; or
  3. if any circumstances arise that disqualify such member from holding office as a member of the Authority; or
  4. if he is removed from office in terms of this article.

(6) A member of the Authority may be removed from office by the Minister if, in the opinion of the Minister, such member is unfit to cont inue in off ice or has become incapable of proper ly performing his duties as a member.

(7) If a member resigns or if the office of a member of the Authority is otherwise vacant or if a member is for any reason unable to perform the functions of his office, the Minister may appoint a person who is qualified to be appointed as a member, to be a temporary member of the Authority. Any person so appointed shall, subject to the provisions of subarticles (5) and (6), cease to be such a member when a person has been appointed to fill the vacancy or, as the case may be, when the member who was unable to perform the functions of his office resumes those functions.

(8) Any member of the Authority who has any direct or indirect interest in any contract made or proposed to be made by the Authority, not being an interest which disqualifies such member from holding office as a member of the Authority, shall disclose the nature of his interest at the first meeting of the Authority after the relevant facts have come to his knowledge. Such disclosure shall then be recorded in the minutes of the Authority, and the member having an interest as aforesaid shall withdraw from any meetings at which such contract is discussed. Any such disclosure shall be communicated to the Minister without delay. Where the interest of the member is such as to disqualify him from holding office as a member of the Authority, he shall report the fact immediately to the Minister and tender his resignation.

10. (1) The Authority shall be a body corporate having a distinct legal personality and shall be capable, subject to the provisions of this Act, of entering into contracts, of acquiring, holding and disposing of any kind of property for the purposes of its functions, of suing and being sued, and of doing all such things and enter ing into al l such t ransact ions as are incidental or conducive to the exercise or performance of its functions under this Act, including the lending or borrowing of money.

(2) Without prejudice to the provisions of article 58, the legal and juridical representation of the Authority shall vest in the Chief Executive:

Provided that the Authority may appoint any one or more of its members, officers or employees to appear, sign or otherwise act in the name and on behal f of the Authori ty in any judicial proceedings and, or in any act, contract, instrument or other document whatsoever:

Provided further that in respect of any matter falling within the functions vested in any Directorate by the Authority, the legal and judicial representation of the Authority shall also vest in the head of such Directorate and in such member, officer or employee of the Authority, as the Authority may appoint or authorise for the purpose.

(3) Any document purporting to be an instrument made or issued by the Authority and signed by the Chief Executive, or by a head of a Directorate in relation to any matter falling within the functions vested in the relative Directorate by the Authority, shall be received in evidence and shall, until the contrary is proved, be deemed to be an instrument made or issued by the Authority.

11. The functions of the Authority shall be –

  1. to issue a National Lottery licence and licences to operate other games and to supervise the operation of licensees to ensure that licensees comply with the terms and conditions of their licence and with the provisions of this Act and of regulations made under this Act and with any applicable directives issued by the Authority in terms of this Act or regulations made thereunder;
  2. to issue permits to sellers of games forming part of the National Lottery in terms of article 36;
  3. to inquire into the suitability of licensees and the main suppliers thereof, and to ensure that those involved in the operation, promotion or sale of authorised games operated by such licensees are fit and proper persons to carry out their functions relative to such games;
  4. to ensure that licensees publish the rules of the authorised games operated by them in terms of their licence in such manner as may be deemed appropriate by the Authority;
  5. to use all powers vested in it by this or any other law to ensure that games and gaming are kept free from criminal activity, and to prevent, detect and ensure the prosecution of any offence against this Act, other than an offence arising under any provision of Part VIII;
  6. to ensure that authorised games are operated and advertised fairly and in a responsible manner and in accordance with the law;
  7. to regulate by licence the manufacture, assembly, repair, service, placing on the market, distribution, supply, sale, lease, transfer, making available for use, hosting and operation of relevant gaming devices, and to ensure that they are secure and satisfactory for the use for which they are intended;
  8. to supervise, attend and validate the draws of the National Lottery and of such other authorised games as it deems necessary;
  9. to receive and investigate complaints by consumers relating to games;
  10. to advise the Minister on new developments, needs and risks in gaming and to make such proposals as may be deemed necessary or expedient to respond thereto;
  11. to advise the Minister on the making of regulations;
  12. to issue directives it is authorised to issue in terms of this Act or of any other law or of regulations made thereunder;
  13. to perform any other function as may from time to time be assigned to it by this Act or any other law or by regulations made thereunder.

12. (1) The Minister may in relation to matters that appear to him to affect the public interest, from time to time give to the Author i ty di rect ions in wr i t ing of a general character, not inconsistent with the provisions of this Act, on the policy to be followed in the carrying out of the functions vested in the Authority by or under this Act, and the Authority shall, as soon as may be, give effect to all such directions.

(2) The Authority shall afford to the Minister facilities for obtaining information with respect to its property and activities and furnish him with returns, accounts and other information with respect thereto, and afford to him facilities for the verification of information furnished, in such manner and at such times as he may reasonably require.

13. (1) Subject to the other provisions of this Act, the affairs and business of the Authority shall be the responsibility of the Authority itself but save as aforesaid, the executive conduct of the Authority, its administration and organisation and the administrative control of its officers and employees, shall be the responsibility of the Chief Executive of the Authority, who shall also have such other powers as may from time to time be delegated to him by the Authority.

(2) The Authority may exercise its functions through Directorates which may be established by it from time to time and, for such purpose, i t may vest in each of the Di rectorates so established, and subject to the overall supervision and control of the Chief Executive, such of its functions as relate or are ancillary to the matters for which the said Directorate is responsible so as toenable the said Directorate to give effect to the policies of the Authority and to otherwise discharge effectively and efficiently the functions of the Authority in its respective area of operation.

(3) Each of the Directorates so established shall be headed by a person who shall either be a public officer detailed for duty with the Authority or an employee of the Authority or a person detailed to work for the Authority in accordance with an agreement made between the Authority and a public or private undertaking, in either case having adequate experience and knowledge in the area of operation of the said Directorate.

(4) The Authority and each of the Directorates may exercise any one or more of their functions either directly or through any of the Authority’s officers or employees or agents or through an agency authorised for the purpose, or through any other person with whom an agreement for the performance of any one or more of such functions has been entered into: Provided that nothing in this subarticle shall authorise the Authori ty to cont ract out any of i ts regulatory or l icensing functions, although the Authority may contract out any other of its funct ions, or procure from any person any services, for the purposes of carrying out its regulatory or licensing functions.

(5) Where in this Act anything is to be done by or against or with respect to the Authority, or any notice is to be or may be given by or to the Authority, any such thing or notice may also be done by or against or with respect to or be given by or to the Directorate under whose jurisdiction the matter falls by reason of a delegation of functions to such Directorate by the Authority; and for the purposes aforesaid any reference in this Act to the Authority includes a reference to the appropriate Directorate.

14. (1) The Chief Executive and the heads of the Directorates shall be appointed by the Authority after consultation with the Minister for such period as may be established by the Authority in their letter of appointment: Provided that the first Chief Executive shall be appointed by the Minister.

(2) The conditions pertaining to the qualification for the appointment of persons and to their holding office as members of the Authority in article 9 shall also pertain to the appointment of, and to the holding of office as, the Chief Executive and the heads of the Directorates.

(3) The Chief Executive shall attend such meetings of the Authority as requested by the said Authority, but shall not vote at such meetings.

(4) The Chief Executive shall be responsible for the implementation of the objectives of the Authority in the exercise of i ts functions, and without prejudice to the general ity of the foregoing he shall –

    1. assume full responsibility for the overall supervision and control of the Directorates;
    2. assign to each Directorate such duties which are by, or in accordance with, the provisions of this Act vested in such Directorate;
    3. co-ordinate the workings of the Directorates;
    4. develop the necessary strategies for the implementation of the objectives of the Authority;
    5. advise the Authority on any matter it may refer to him or on any matter which he considers necessary or expedient; and
    6. perform such other duties as

15. (1) The meetings of the Authority shall be called by the Chairman as often as may be necessary, but at least once a month, either on his own initiative or at the request of any two of the other members of the Authority.

(2) The Chairman and at least two other members of the Authority shall form a quorum. Decisions shall be adopted by a simple majority of the votes of the members present and voting. The Chairman shall have an initial vote and in the event of an equality of votes, a casting vote. Without prejudice to the other requirements of this Act, no decision shall be valid which is not supported by at least two members of the Authority.

(3) Subject to the provisions of this Act the Authority may regulate its own procedure.

(4) Subject to the foregoing provisions of this article, no act or proceeding of the Authority shall be invalidated merely by reason of the existence of any vacancy among its members.

(5) All acts done by any person acting in good faith, as a member of the Authority shall be valid as if he were a member not with standing that some defectin his appointment or qualification be afterwards discovered. No act or proceeding of the Authority shall be questioned on the ground of the contravention, by a member, of the provisions of article 9(8).

16. (1) Without prejudice to any power exercisable by virtue of the provisions of this Act or of any other law, the Authority may at any time serve on a licensee a notice requiring him, in such manner and within such reasonable time as may be specified in the notice, to produce or supply for inspection by or on behalf of the Authority, any books, documents, information or any other thing which the Authority knows, or has reasonable cause to believe, to be in the possession of, or to be known to, the licensee for the purpose of carrying out any of its functions under article 11.

(2) If without reasonable excuse any requirement imposed by a notice served by virtue of subarticle (1) is not complied with, the licensee shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

17. (1) The Authority shall, in consultation with the Minister, appoint inspectors who shall have such powers and functions as are or may be assigned to them by or under this Act or any other law or by or under regulations made thereunder. Inspectors may, in carrying out their functions and in exercising their powers, be assisted by or accompanied with such experts as the Authority may direct.

(2) Inspectors so appointed shall be officers of the Authority and shall act under the instructions of the Authority, acting through the Chief Executive.

(3) The Authority shall cause to be issued to each inspector an identity card which shall specify the name and appointment of the inspector and contain a recent photograph of the inspector.

(4) A person appointed to be an inspector shall, upon ceasing to be an inspector, return his identity card to the Authority.

18. (1) An inspector shall, for the purpose of ascertaining that the provisions of this Act, or of any regulations made thereunder, or that the conditions of any licence issued thereunder are being complied with, and that the full amount of fees, duty, tax or any other sums payable under this Act or regulations made thereunder are being paid, have the following powers and any other powers as may from time to time be given by means of regulations made under this Act or by the Authority in consultation with the Minister, namely:

  1. to require, in writing or orally as he deems appropriate, any person whom the inspector believes, on reasonable grounds, to be in possession or have under his control, any gaming device, amusement machine, books or any other documents whatsoever related to games, amusement games, the operation of games or amusement games or, generally, gaming –
    1. to produce such gaming device, amusement machine, books or other documents to the inspector for inspection or testing; or
    2. to attend before the inspector at a reasonable time and place specified by the inspector and there to answer such questions, or to supply such information, relating to the gaming device, games, amusement machine, amusement games, books or documents as the inspector specifies;
  2. to require, in writing or orally as he deems appropriate, a licensee or a person acting on behalf of a licensee or any other person –
    1. to produce to the inspector for inspection such book or document or any other thing in his custody or control relating to the operation of games or amusement games as the inspector specifies; or
    2. to attend before the inspector at a reasonable time and place specified by the inspector and there to answer such questions, to supply such information, or to produce such book or document or any other thing relating to the operation of games or amusement games as the inspector specifies;
  3. to inspect or test any gaming device or amusement machine, inspect such book, document or records, and take copies of or make notes in relation to such book, document or records, relating to the operation of games or amusement games, as the inspector considers necessary;
  4. to direct any licensee or any person whom the inspector reasonably suspects to be in breach of this Act or any regulations made thereunder, in writing or orally as he deems appropriate, not to use in relation to the operation, promotion or sale of games or amusement games, any gaming device or amusement machine that the inspector considers to be unsatisfactory for the use for which it is intended or is not otherwise in conformity with the provisions of this Act or any regulations made thereunder;
  5. to receive and, if the inspector thinks that it is appropriate so to do, investigate a complaint with respect to any aspect of the operation of a game or an amusement game and to make a report of the result of such investigation to the Authority;
  6. to call to his assistance –
    1. another inspector; or
    2. an employee of a licensee or any person operating, promoting or selling games or amusement games, who, in the belief of the inspector, is competent to assist the inspector in the exercise of his powers or in the performance of his duties;
  7. to require any person entering or to be found at any place where a game is offered for sale, or where games are being organised or operated, or where gaming takes place, to produce identification documents and, or evidence of his age;
  8. to disable or otherwise prevent the use of a gaming device or amusement machine where the inspector considers that such gaming device or amusement machine, or any person operating or hosting such gaming device or amusement machine, is not in conformity with any provision of this Act, regulations issued thereunder or conditions of any licence; and
  9. to remove any gaming device or amusement machine and any equipment and, or software connected thereto, from their current location to another location approved and designated by the Authority for the purpose of conducting inspections, testing or examinations on such gaming device, amusement machine, equipment and, or software, and a direction given by an inspector to a licensee in terms of paragraph (d) shall be deemed to be a directive issued by the Authority in terms of this Act for the purposes of this Act.

(2) An inspector shall make a report on the exercise of his functions under this Act to the Authority.

(3) Any person who, without reasonable excuse, hinders, obstructs or otherwise interferes with, or knowingly makes a false or misleading wri t ten or oral statement or produces a false document to, an inspector, and any person who fails to assist an inspector in the exercise of his functions and powers and the discharge of his duties, shall be guilty of an offence under this Act.

19. An inspector may at reasonable times, upon production of his identity card, enter and remain in any place where games or amusement games are offered for sale, organised, operated or are otherwise made available to the public, or where gaming takes place, for the purposes of –

    1. viewing gaming;
    2. observing any of the operations of licensees, sellers or operators of games or, generally, of gaming;
    3. observing any of the operations of licensees, sellers or operators of amusement games;
    4. ascertaining whether the operation of licensees, sellers or operators of games or amusement games is being properly conducted, supervised and managed;
    5. ascertaining whether the provisions of this Act, or of regulations made thereunder, or of any licences issued thereunder, are being complied with; and
    6. in any other respect, exercising his powers or performing his duties.

20. Without prejudice to the provisions of the Professional Secrecy Act, any information disclosed to the Authority or any member, officer or employee thereof, the Chief Executive, any Directorate or any inspector, and any document produced in pursuance of the provisions of this Act , shall be secret and confidential and may not be disclosed or produced other than for the purposes of this Act, or to the police for the purposes of any investigation or prosecution of an offence against this Act or when requested to do so by a court of law in any criminal proceedings for an offence against this Act or in any civil proceedings relating to the operation, promotion or sale of any game or amusement game, or generally, to gaming.