Year of change sees Malta MGA bolster its enforcement capacity

Publishing its 2018 annual report and financial statement, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) details that it has effectively implemented a number of key directives strengthening its regulatory oversight.

During 2018, the regulator focused on strengthening its anti-money-laundering (AML) supervision under the guidance of a revamped ‘Gaming Act’ framework, which established stricter AML procedures alongside further provisions on player protection standards and responsibilities.

Enforcing new Gaming Act responsibilities, the MGA details that it has placed a stronger emphasis on ‘effective enforcement’, which saw the regulator issue 16 ‘Notices of Reprimand and 73 Notices of Breach.

During the course of 2018, the MGA would suspend four licences and cancel a further eight incumbents, with the Maltese authority issuing a total of 139 fines on operators.

Closing 2018 accounts, the MGA details that it received a total of 209 license applications, of which 93 were processed, eight rejected, and with the remainder still under ongoing review.

Further initiatives saw it launch a ‘Commercial Communications Committee’ helping its regulatory oversight review breaches of conducted and operator reviews.

During the year, a total of 14 cases were evaluated, out of which seven decisions determined that there had been a breach of the regulations.

Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive of the MGA, said: “2018 was a remarkable year for the Authority, predominantly because of the coming into force of the new law on the 1 August 2018. The new framework strengthened the MGA’s supervisory role, specifically in the areas of compliance and enforcement, enabling it to focus efforts on areas which present a higher risk profile.”

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