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MGA: National Betting Exchange & Esports Skins Betting

Date Posted: April 26, 2017

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is working on changes that can improve its regulation process this year. Part of the improvements is a national betting exchange that can help sportsbook operators. MGA will also be studying the skin betting industry. Skin betting is a trending gambling activity that allows players to wager in-game items for a popular esports game.

The plans for a national betting exchange and esports skins betting are expected to make Malta a stronger hub for the iGaming industry.

National betting exchange

Joseph Cuschieri delivered last week a speech in a Malta Financial Affairs conference. He announced the plan of the MGA to create a national betting exchange that will not only be for MGA license holders.

In an online sportsbook, bettors usually bet against the bookie on the site. When a bettor wins his bet, it is the Bitcoin sportbook that will need to pay for the win. This means bettors who place their bets and win at Cloudbet or Pinnacle will receive payments directly from the platform.

A betting exchange, on the other hand, will have bettors place wagers against each other. The exchange will allow a bettor to be a bookie where he can set his bet and odds for it. If one bettor wins, those who bet against him will be paying for the win instead of the sports betting site.

Online bettors benefit from an exchange because it opens new doors to different betting opportunities. The market often offers better odds than others sportsbooks. Online sports betting site operators will also benefit from exchanges where they can earn five percent as commission on the winnings of a bettor. This allows the operator to hedge its bet.

Cuschieri has yet to reveal any other details regarding the national betting exchange, including the commission rate for the exchange. There is also no set date as to when MGA will plan to launch the exchange.

Skin betting industry

Cuschieri also said that the gaming industry in the country contributed about €56.3 million in direct taxes and €120 million in gaming-related activities. The industry even gave about three thousand people in Maltese a livelihood.

This is why MGA needs to be proactive in finding any threats to the industry and make the most of any possible opportunities. Part of the MGA plan on future proofing the industry is to make the regulation office flexible and easily adapt any new market demands or technological advancement.  This is why the office is studying the skins betting industry.

Skins are an in-game item for esports games such as Counter-Strike to customize a player’s weapon. These items hold real value since anyone can buy and sell these for virtual currency. There are betting sites that let a player gamble with the skins.

UK Gambling Commission previously expressed concern over esports betting due to the growing skins betting activity. The UKGC chairman said that the industry could be harmful to minors. With this, MGA is looking into skin betting scene at this time to get a better understanding of the industry.