Last week reportedly saw the Parliament of Malta pass legislation via a third reading that will institute new rules for the regulation of licensed online and land-based gaming operations while additionally strengthening the ability of the Malta Gaming Authority to enforce these updated standards.
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According to a May 9 press release from the Malta Gaming Authority, the new Gaming Act ratified by the 67-member body the previous day is due to come into force for Malta-licensed iGaming providers from July 1 before becoming applicable to counterpart land-based operators from January 1.
The regulator explained that the updated Gaming Act will strengthen its ‘supervisory role’ in order to ‘elevate the jurisdictional profile of Malta from a regulatory perspective’. It detailed that this is to specifically involve enforcement and compliance duties in the realms of player protection, anti-money laundering and administrative and criminal justice while moreover giving it increased oversight powers and the ability to intervene in a ‘proportionate manner’.
“This is a very important milestone for the Malta Gaming Authority,” read a statement from Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer for the Malta Gaming Authority. “The new law establishes very robust compliance and enforcement powers and structures and lays the necessary foundation to continue to strengthen player protection.”
The Malta Gaming Authority declared that the new Gaming Act is to also require licensed operators to name ‘key officials’ for numerous corporate roles that will be subject to ‘direct scrutiny and targeted supervision controls’ while designating its Player Support Unit as the official mediator between providers and aggrieved customers.
Furthermore, the regulator proclaimed that the new rules have been designed to strengthen responsible gaming measures and the means by which licensed entities report suspicious sportsbetting transactions while introducing ‘objective-orientated standards’ to encourage development and innovation.
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Finally, the Malta Gaming Authority stated that the fresh legislation is now being scrutinized by fellow member states of the European Union under the auspices of the Technical Regulation Information System process while it has begun liaising with already-licensed operators in order to produce ‘guidelines on the application and interpretation of the new laws and policy’.
Silvio Schembri, Financial Services, Digital Economy and Innovation Parliamentary Secretary for Malta, reportedly revealed that the coming years will see the Malta Gaming Authority periodically review the success of the new rules before advising Ministers ‘on the attainment of its objectives mainly focusing on consumer protection and integrity’.
“I would like to thank the Malta Gaming Authority for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward as well as for identifying areas for further and continuous improvement,” read a statement from Schembri.