Malta is Cleaning Up its Regulation ModelPublished October 9, 2022 by Lee R
Pioneering Malta is seeking to forge a leadership role in regulation.
Pioneer jurisdiction Malta is updating its responsible gambling rules.
The news that Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is preparing to introduce “detailed player protection guidelines for licensees” is based on the new opening of a consultation on the subject.
New Categories to Address
The closed consultation took place last week introducing five new broad categories of harm that licensees will be responsible for honoring and maintaining compliance with.
The MGA defines the session as a review of “licensees’ obligations regarding their responsible gaming policies and procedures and the introduction of five markers of harm that must be considered by licensees when determining effective measures and processes to detect and address problem gambling”.
The new session comes on the heels of an expert review of existing player protection directives, combined with MGA research and the work of its Responsible Gaming Unit.
Licencee Response Window
The consultation has not been made public yet, pending an MGA licensee response period which extends until October 14th. Responses to proposals will be recorded and integrated as amendments to the Malta Player Protection Directive.
The MGA re-emphasised the procedural requirement of licensees to draw up an agreed-upon procedures report detailing further protocols for holding player funds and
maximum projected winnings.
MGA’s Work This Year
The MGA model is so far effective, and the MGA is proactively improving upon it. In its annual report published last month, MGA revealed only seven licences had been canceled in 2021, with no licenses suspended. This was a strong improvement over 2020s 14 cancellations and three penalties.
MGA seems to have found a common ground by issuing more penalties during 2021, giving operators a chance to learn and adapt.
Coming In Line for 2021
It has not been fully smooth sailing for the MGA. The jurisdiction was placed on the Financial Action Task Force FATF grey list for gaming jurisdictions deemed vulnerable to deficiencies in certain money laundering controls, a list which MGA was removed from in 2021 in a big win.
Malta’s Internal Clean-up
Within the space of a year, Malta was able to effectively fulfill an action plan presented to them by the FATF for improving practices.
The points include emphasising the value of keeping effective owner information, accompanied by directives regarding enhancement and definition of the role of Malta’s Financial Intelligence Unit.
The renewed vigilance to get off the grey list has spurred a proactive response in Malta which should pervade the entire industry and make all gaming and registration processes safer for licensees and players.