MGA cancels Playbay Malta licence over ‘systemic deficiencies’

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has cancelled the licence of Playbay Malta Limited, which operates HDbets.com, after the regulator identified ‘systemic deficiencies’ in its adherence of AML/CFT obligations.

As part of the ruling, Playbay Malta will no longer be authorised to carry out any gaming operations, register new players or accept new customer deposits.

However, the regulator specified that it will be ‘required to retain and provide access to all registered players to their player accounts, and refund all funds standing to the credit of players in line with the applicable law’.

In its statement, the MGA noted that the voluntary suspension of the operator’s B2C licence for fixed-odds betting had expired on 6 September 2020, with no plan provided by the licensee ‘of when and how it intends to reactivate such authorisation’.

Earlier this year, the MGA revealed that during 2019, it had suspended 11 licences, and cancelled a further 14 ‘following various regulatory breaches’.

In its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ending 31 December 2019, the MGA confirmed that it had issued 20 warnings, 89 notices of breach and 23 administrative fines during the year as the regulator continues to crack down on non-compliance.

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