The Malta Gaming Authority continues its statutory tradition of public transparency with the release of an Interim Performance Report that covers the period of January to June 2022. Among the authority’s activities covered in the report are administrative actions such as license warnings, suspensions, and cancellations as well as a compilation of statistics covering the online and land-based gambling business in Malta.
During the first six months of 2022, the MGA conducted 16 full compliance audits as well as over 100 desktop reviews as well as seven AML/CFT compliance examinations. The compliance audits resulted in one warning, one license cancellation, and one license suspension. Particular entities were not noted in the topline report.
Two regulatory settlements and seven administrative penalties were issued totaling collective levies of €85,000.
Violations and Penalties
The Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) is a government agency established under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act, the unit works closely with the gaming authority. The FIAU carried through on issues discovered by the MGA and other authorities in previous years and in the first half of 2022 it took four actions affecting licensed entities. The emphasis was on remedial action rather than punishment and included written reprimands as well as administrative penalties of about €386,567.
More than 625 criminal probity screening checks were done on various people and businesses in the land-based and online gambling sectors. The Fit & Proper Committee determined that four individuals or entities were not qualified and two other applications were rejected outright by the Supervisory Council.
A total of 22 potential money laundering reporting officers (MLROs) were interviewed during the first half of the year. About half a dozen actions including letters of breach were issued for Commercial Communications Regulations by the MGA’s Commercial Communications Committee.
The MGA looked into requests for assistance from 2,578 players, which covered some spillover from 2021. No topline ratios of findings were provided in the announcement.
Nearly two dozen websites claiming to hold a license or making other misleading references to the MGA were investigated. Just over a dozen notices were published on the Authority’s website to warn players of potential pitfalls.
Of the 18 responsible gambling website checks conducted, only five “observation letters” were issued.
Within the reporting period, suspicious betting reports feedback was functional with 122 alerts issued resulting in 16 new suspicious betting reports.
Other entities made about two dozen requests for information about violations of sporting regulations or manipulation of sporting events and ten of those requests facilitated an exchange of data. Licensees and other interested parties submitted 278 allegations of suspicious betting.
Source: The MGA Issues Interim Performance Report for January – June 2022, European Gaming, January 10, 2023