The Malta Gaming Authority Low Down
With remote and land-based casino services comes great responsibility. We at JackpotCity, a premier NZ online casino, know this truth and so does the Malta Gaming Authority. After receiving a greater supervisory role from the Maltese Parliament in 2018, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has been working hard to monitor licencing compliance to protect players at both remote and land-based casinos. Since the organization acquired its new echelon of influence, committees have rejected eight licenses, putting to work their efficient system of application and compliance.
What Is the MGA?
The MGA is setting the bar for stringent gambling regulations to protect customers against various pitfalls in the industry, such as gaming unfairness, crime, corruption, and money laundering. It also works to prevent addiction among players, ever aware of its role in the responsibility of keeping casinos a fun and supportive environment.
Originally called the Lotteries and Gaming Authority, the Malta Gaming Authority is the gaming control board for the country of Malta. It oversees gambling regulations in its territory for both land-based and online casino services, including B2C and B2B services. The MGA was also one of the first regulators in the world to provide legislation that regulates online gambling companies.
Parliament Lends More Power and MGA Uses It for Good
In 2018, the Maltese Parliament granted approval to the final reading of the new national Gaming Act. This act gave the MGA the ability to enhance its supervisory role, allowing the organisation to focus on compliance enforcement of the abovementioned issues, emphasizing money laundering and the funding of terrorism. Parliament’s granting of power also allows MGA’s Player Support Unit to become a mediator between victimized players and the casino operators. The Act also allows for more effective means of exacting justice against criminal behaviour.
Since the updated supervisory role on May 1 of 2018, MGA has cancelled eight licenses and suspended another four. The MGA also issued 16 Notices of Reprimand and 73 Notices of Breach throughout the last year. 139 administrative fines were sent to operators for various counts of regulatory breaches.
The MGA has also made good on its promises to monitor money laundering. Since May 1, 2018, it has performed 33 full-scope investigations into situations that regarded money laundering and financing terrorism.
MGA is also enforcing an effective screening process in their licence application system. During the “fit and proper” stage of their application process, the organisation’s committee found 63 individuals or companies unsuitable for licencing. 37 were found to not have the integrity or reputation required to fulfil the MGA’s stringent criteria, which carefully checks connections to money laundering or terrorism support.
To further empower the path to a safe and ethical gaming environment, the MGA combined forces with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU) to develop the Remote Gaming Implementing Procedures, which allows both organisations to integrate initiatives to strengthen the regulation of the gaming sector.
With all these updated regulations in place, the MGA has proved effective at removing potential threats and keeping the companies who are fulfilling ongoing requirements. While only eight licence applications were rejected in 2018, 93 were issued.
Requirements of MGA’s Licencing and How a Licence Is Enforced
Awarding licences is a job that the MGA takes very seriously, and rightly so. According to the MGA’s website, the organisation “continuously strives to maintain its reputation as a sound and robust regulator in the ongoing evolution of the sector.” For games of chance and skill games (and combinations of the two), the organisation considers basic application requirements. These requirements are 1)to be “fit and proper” to open a gaming company, 2) be prepared as a business, 3) meet the “operational and statutory requirements” required by policies of law, and 4)to be “implemented and tested” before going live.
The MGA expects all potential casinos to possess a specific and thorough business plan that details the outlook of the operation, marketing and distribution strategies, an HR plan, and growth milestones. Once the applicant is reviewed, the process involves closely examining incorporation documents, marketed games, business operations associated with the games, player rules, terms, conditions, and documentation overview.
Furthermore, compliance is mandated after going live, a factor that keeps businesses accountable under MGA. According to the MGA, a licensee must adhere to compliance audits performed by an approved service providers. Once the MGA sends out a notice, the audits must be completed within 90 days. Audits usually are scheduled after the first year of operation and whenever they are deemed necessary by the compliance plan developed by the MGA. If a company fails a compliance audit, the could face suspension or termination of licence.
The MGA Is Creating History
From a self-exclusion system to fraud prevention, the MGA has its players’ backs. As a forerunner for regulation in the industry, the MGA sets the standard for safer, more fair, and supportive gaming atmospheres. While many countries around the world, like casino online NZ, have created similar structures for casino customers, it is encouraging to see one of the forefathers of the regulation movement still evolving.