MGA Confirms Several Licences Cancelled

By Ben Hamill - June 27 2020
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MGA Confirms Several Licences Cancelled

Malta Gaming Authority CEO Heathcliff Farrugia has stated that 2019 was very challenging, but at the same time it was also a very rewarding year for the casino regulator. It was a year that saw the world’s leading gaming authority stepping up its efforts in the departments of compliance and enforcement – and a year that ultimately resulted in 14 licences cancelled and 11 more licences suspended.

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The organisation released the abovementioned statistics and comments as part of its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year ending 31 December 2019. It’s clear from the content of the latest report that the MGA is serious about taking to task those found to be in violation of the applicable Gaming Act and related responsible gaming- and integrity in sports betting regulations.

Not only were several operator licences cancelled or suspended, but the MGA also during the reported period issued 20 formal warnings and 89 official notices of breach. A total of 23 administrative penalty fines were imposed.

Cooperation With Local Police

The MGA in its latest report also reiterated its commitment toward working closely alongside the Malta Police Force and several international bodies so as to ensure the effective and ongoing implementation and enforcement of all relevant gaming laws and regulations. The organisation furthermore confirmed having all throughout 2019 held regular impromptu meetings with the local police force’s economic crimes unit.

The organisation in early 2019 signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Malta Police Force for the explicit intent of strengthening even further the ongoing cooperation between the two law enforcement entities. The MoU successfully ensured several prosecutions of criminal offences under the provisions of the Maltese Gaming Act.

International Efforts Ramped Up

But the organisation did more than just focus on local affairs and compliance. The authority towards the beginning of last year established a designated “International Affairs and Policy Function”. The mentioned function was created for the purpose of ensuring the effective exchange of information between the MGA and its international counterparts.

Efforts aimed at assisting international regulators with local on-site visits to foreign operators stationed in Malta were successfully initiated in cases where for example, operators trade under the authorities of licences jointly issued by the MGA and the relevant foreign gaming/gambling authority.

The International Affairs and Policy Function, concluded Farrugia, will remain actively in search of more effective solutions to as to ensure the early detection and ultimately the successful prevention of the manipulation of sports competitions and events. The function works hard to support the MGA’s specialised Sports Integrity Unit in the fight against betting crimes.

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