Beware of Illegal Online Gaming Sites, Says MGA

Published October 12, 2022 by Brett C

Beware of Illegal Online Gaming Sites, Says MGA

The MGA has uncovered at least 18 sites operating illegally in the country. Now it has gone full-throttle to raise public awareness about these illegal sites.

The MGA (Malta Gaming Authority) is one of the world's leading authorities for licensing and regulating operators. The Malta Gaming Authority has a multi-purpose set of objectives, notably:

  • Protecting the rights of players
  • The prevention of criminal activity in gaming
  • Maintaining the integrity of casino games and gaming devices
  • The protection of vulnerable individuals and minors from gambling
  • The promotion of responsible gaming practices in a secure environment

As an official government-approved licensing regulator, the MGA features a licensee register and an enforcement register. Parliament empowers this regulatory body to regulate all gaming activities in Malta. It is also regarded as a highly respected licensing authority around the world.

Caution Is Advised After Illegal Gaming Sites Reported

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) recently issued a warning notice about 18 domains, several of which are owned by the same online gaming operators. The list of companies includes 4 Crowns Casino of the Netherlands and 24Pokies (an Australian iGaming operator). The MGA warning was prominently displayed on its website, cautioning against using these websites for iGaming purposes.

These operators and their subordinates are knowingly offering gaming services to customers illegally. The notice was posted on Friday, 7 October 2022. According to the details of the notice, none of these 18 websites has been approved by a licensing authority to offer gambling services to players in Malta. Therefore, they are in breach of existing gambling legislation.

The regulator explained its position as follows:

The MGA would like to remind consumers not to utilise services provided by an entity unless they have ascertained that the entity in question is authorised to provide such services by the MGA. The gaming regulatory framework obliges authorised persons to comply with strict legal requirements in the interest of consumers,

The list of illegally operating websites includes the following:

Stern Warning from the MGA

The Authority advises members of the public that the MGA has not duly authorised the entities to provide gaming services to anyone in Malta as required by Regulation 3 [Gaming Authorisations Regulations. (S.L. 583.05)]. Therefore, the companies that operate the websites referred to above violate the regulation mentioned above and in Article 13 of the Gaming Act (enshrined in Chapter 583, under the Laws of Malta).

The MGA advises players not to use services offered by sites unless these sites are verified, and the MGA authorises such services. The gaming framework requires that authorised persons comply with all legal requirements. Unlicensed entities' activities are unregulated. Additionally, they don't provide the requisite safety nets, making it risky for players to transact with them. Any online gaming operator found in contravention of the regulatory framework directly infringes on article 14 of the Malta Gaming Act.

A brand-new set of player protections was announced last week, detailing guidelines for licensees. The matter was discussed as a close consultation hearing after the MGA launched a weeks-long enquiry.

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