MGA in reflective mood with publication of H1 2020 interim report

The Malta Gaming Authority issued 11 warnings, suspended two licences, and cancelled another seven between January and June 2020, according to its Interim Performance Report for that period. 

Additionally, the MGA issued a total of nine administrative fines, with all previously noted outcomes following information which emerged from compliance audits, compliance reviews, and formal investigations. 

The report, which also highlights major projects undertaken throughout the period, lauds a memorandum of understanding secured alongside the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit.

This, says the regulator, will bring forth ‘better co-operative instruments’ for the supervision of anti-money laundering/combating the financing of terrorism in the gaming sector. 

In order to raise awareness on AML/CFT, during the first half of 2020 the MGA organised a training session for the industry by means of a webinar. This focused mainly on common AML/CFT shortcomings, the emerging money laundering and terrorism financing threats, and typologies in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and digital ID methods, including a Q&A session with FIAU representatives.

During the first six months of 2020, the MGA’s Fit and Proper Committee held 20 meetings with a total of 132 decisions taken. The Committee issued a total of five refusals ofH1 individuals and companies, due to them being assessed as not fit and proper on the basis of mitigating the risks of ML/TF.

Moreover, the Committee issued 35 conditional verdicts whereby further information and/or documentation was required to proceed with the final decision. The remaining decisions taken during the first six months of 2020 were pertinent to procedural matters in light of the limitations imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The report also addressed that during the period of review, a consultation paper on suspicious betting reporting requirements and other sports integrity measures was published in preparation for the implementation of the suspicious betting reporting requirements.

The measures concerns B2C licensees which offer betting on sporting events to inform the Authority of any instance of suspicious betting.

The Interim Performance Report goes on to further highlight that 833 criminal probity screening tests were carried out, covering both land-based and remote gaming activities, its player support united received a total of 2,431 requests for assistance and resolved 2,433 queries, and noted that the MGA received 40 international co-operation requests and sent 25 such requests themselves.

To find out more from the Interim Performance Report, click here.