The Malta Independent 24 October 2021, Sunday

Malta Gaming Authority issued €2.43 million in fines between January and June 2020

Friday, 12 February 2021, 14:49 Last update: about 9 months ago

From January to June 2020, the Malta Gaming Authority issued 9 fines to various companies for a collective value of €2.43 million; an account which includes the financial penalty meted out to an unlicensed operator in MGA’s first regulatory settlement including the confiscation of illicit proceeds in line with the renewed focus on combating illegal activities. 

This was explained through MGA’s interim performance report for the gaming industry for the period of January to June 2020. The report shows that the authority stepped up its enforcement measures as well as the issuance of fines. Adding to the €2.43 million fine, the authority acted against 11 adverts and promotions which were deemed as exploiting from the Covid-19 pandemic, and after a thorough investigation, the authority gave 11 warnings, suspended 2 licenses, and cancelled another 7. MGA also issued a total of 9 administrative fines.  

The Minister for the Economy and Industry, Silvio Schembri said that the MGA sought to further enhance its operations by enhancing data-sharing agreements with relevant stakeholders whose functions include the detection of suspicious betting activities. 

Moreover, the authority sought to enhance transparency through Notice of Breach and Sanction, which is issued by the authority to persons in breach. To this end, the enforcement process is more transparent and persons in breach are given the necessary information to make reasoned submissions before the final enforcement measure is decided and issued. Additionally, a total of 833 criminal probity screening tests were carried out covering both land-based and remote gaming activities.

“The regulatory work being done by the Malta Gaming Authority is in line with the government’s efforts to strengthen Malta amongst the best jurisdictions in the world for gaming companies and to continue protecting business in this sector. As a government, we shall pursue our work in implementing the recommendations, enhancing existing ones, which are demonstrating concretely the work done by our institutions”, said Schembri said. 

Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Gaming Authority Carl Brincat said that when faced with a multitude of challenges in the first half of 2020, regeneration was inevitable for the gaming industry worldwide. “To reduce the impact of the pandemic, new markets were introduced, and the authority ensured these were swiftly and effectively regulated. Furthermore, by regulating, enforcing, and educating the industry, the authority continues to reduce the risk of gaming-related money-laundering and the financing of terrorism. Adapting to new circumstances is not new for the authority but this pandemic not only strengthened us as a regulator, but the industry as a whole”, said Mr Brincat. 

 

 

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