The Malta Gaming Authority has released its Interim Performance Report for the period between January to June 2022. A review of the Authority’s accomplishments for the first half of 2022 is provided in the report, together with a description of the Maltese gaming industry’s performance over the same period. The latter provides a medium-term outlook towards the future, as well as an analysis outlining important statistics for the land-based and online gaming industries.
- During this period, 16 compliance audits were conducted together with 114 desktop reviews, accompanied by an additional seven AML/CFT compliance examinations that were initiated by the MGA on behalf of the FIAU. Additionally, the Authority issues a warning, cancelled a licence, as well as suspended another authorised entity, following information which emerged from compliance audits, compliance reviews and formal investigations Furthermore, the MGA issued a total of seven administrative penalties as well as two regulatory settlements, with a collective total financial penalty of €85,000.
- Enforcement measures were also issued by the FIAU to an additional four licensees, ranging from written reprimands to administrative penalties, with an emphasis on remediation measures, based on the breaches identified during examinations carried out in previous years, including by the MGA. In total, these amounted to just over €386,567.
- Based primarily on reducing the risk of money laundering or funding terrorism, the Fit & Proper Committee determined that four individuals and entities did not meet the Authority’s fit and properness criteria, while an additional two applications were rejected by the Supervisory Council.
- A total of 626 criminal probity screening checks were undertaken on personnel, shareholders, ultimate beneficial owners, key individuals, employees, and businesses from the land-based and online gambling sectors.
- In the first half of the year, 22 interviews with prospective money laundering reporting officers (MLROs) and key persons carrying out the AML/CFT function were carried out, with the aim of determining the knowledge and suitability of each candidate.
- A total of six letters of breach were issued by the MGA’s Commercial Communications Committee (S.L. 583.09), out of which five operators were deemed to have violated the Commercial Communications Regulations.
- In its efforts to safeguard players and promote responsible gaming, the Authority assisted a total of 2,578 players who requested assistance, covering the majority of the cases received during 2022 and the spillover from 2021.
- A total of 22 cases of websites having misleading references to the Authority were investigated, while a total of 13 notices were published on the MGA’s website with the aim of preventing the public from falling victim to such scams. Furthermore, an additional 18 responsible gambling website checks were conducted, and five observation letters were issued.
National and International Cooperation
- Between January and June 2022, a total of 122 alerts on suspicious betting were sent to the industry. Following correspondence of these alerts, the Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism received a total of 16 new suspicious betting reports.
- Enforcement agencies, sports governing bodies, integrity units, and other regulatory authorities made a total of 23 requests for information, specifically in relation to the manipulation of sporting events or violations of sporting regulations. Subsequently, 10 of these requests resulted in the exchange of data. In addition, 278 allegations of suspicious betting from licensees and other interested parties were received.
- The Authority participated directly in 12 separate investigations into sports rules violations or manipulation of sporting competitions during the time under review. In addition, the Authority also participated indirectly in another investigation.
- The Authority sent 64 requests for international cooperation, the majority of which related to requests for background checks as part of an authorisation process. Furthermore, the Authority received a total of 36 requests for international collaboration from other regulators.
- Up to the end of June 2022, a total of 84 official replies were issued, providing feedback on the regulatory good standing of our licensed operators to the relevant authorities asking for this information.
- In total, during the first six months of the year, the MGA received just over 100 requests for information from other local regulating authorities and governing bodies.
The MGA will publish a full-year industry performance report during the second half of 2023, when it publishes its Annual Report for the financial year ending 31 December 2022.