GPWA Times Magazine - Issue 2 - October 2007

29 The remote gaming license is split into 4 classes: Class 1 Class 1 Remote Gaming License shall be a remote gaming license. Class 2 Class 2 Remote Gaming License shall be a remote betting office license or an online betting exchange office license. Class 3 Classs 3 Remote Gaming License shall be license to promote and/or abet remote gaming from Malta. Class 4 Class 4 Remote Gaming License shall be a license to host and manage remote gaming operators, excluding the licensee himself. All classes are subject to a maximum gaming tax cap of 200,000 Euros per year. Source: Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority “ On average, the LGA re- ceives two applications monthly. However, the month of August was record breaking for the Authority where around 40 ap- plications were received during the month. —— ssf — Kristy Spiteri Malta Lotteries and Gaming Authority ’’ InterCasino also had to hire and train new employees in Malta to replace the staff lost to the move. “We’ve been really impressed with the staff in Malta. Great people, real quality and fantastic work ethic,” said Marcus. But the most difficult and time-consuming task was to physically move the server and computer equipment that runs and Shipping the equipment overseas was out of the question, because it would have forced the online casinos to go dark for five weeks during the move. “What we did, essentially, was to build a backup of our backup,” said Marcus. InterCasino, alongside its software contractor CryptoLogic, designed and built a replica of the company’s entire gaming server. InterCasino spent nine months preparing and testing the equipment, rewriting software along the way to ensure it met Maltese gaming legislation. To avoid any possible delays, the decision was made to deliver the equipment by pricey air freight instead of by ship. “Funny story: The week we were going to deliver the equipment happened to be a week-long public holiday in Malta when the entire Maltese customs operation shut down,” said Marcus. “We had to make sure the air freight got there before Malta closed down. Those are the kind of pitfalls where things could go wrong, but the Maltese officials could not have been more helpful.” On Aug. 25, the switch was flipped, instantly transferring InterCasino from Curaçao to Malta. “We kept our fingers crossed,” said Marcus. “The preparations and testing obviously paid dividends because players did not even realize we had switched. In one hand of blackjack, a player’s first card may have been dealt from Curacao and the second dealt from Malta. The switch was instantaneous.” Days later on Sept. 1, InterCasino became the first online casino to advertise on British television. The commercial aired at 9:01 p.m., one minute after the U.K. Gaming Act of 2005 came into force. “We were determined to be the first,” he said. Pentasia’s Vella said companies considering moving to Malta need to plan well ahead. “The whole process can take about six months. Shipping equipment to Malta is quite easy, or you can buy everything here, but everything still has to be imported onto the island,” said Vella. Marcus echoed his sentiments. “It was a much smoother process than we expected, but if we had not planned the move so carefully, there is no way we would have been online and (advertising) on-air” by Sept. 1, said Marcus. “The big lesson we learned is you have to preplan.” MALTA Riding high at the top of the White List | GPWA TIMES