The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the year 2019 ending on the 31st of December. This report is an overview of the regulator’s work and performance throughout the year. Additionally, it includes a summary of the performance of the gaming industry in Malta during 2019 and what to expect in the near future.
These are the key highlights on the annual report:
- 14 licences have been cancelled and 11 suspended. 20 warnings and 89 notices of breach have been issued. 23 administrative fines have been imposed on Maltese operators due to regulatory breaches.
- 89 applications for gaming licence were received, of which 44 have been rejected or withdrawn and 53 are under review, which includes applications received in 2018.
- 15 people and companies were deemed unfit by the Fit & Proper Committee as per to the MGA’s probity standards and on the basis of eliminating risks associated with money laundering or terrorism funding.
- 48 audits have been conducted by the MGA’s Compliance and AML function.
- 69 international cooperations have been requested by the MGA and 58 received as part of the criminal probity assessment.
- 1300 screening assessments regarding criminal probity have been carried out.
- The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit has been revised and an MOU signed with the Malta Police Force to curb money laundering and corruption.
- The number of companies licensed by the MGA stands at 294 as of December 2019.
Chief Executive Officer of the MGA, Heathcliff Farrugia stated that 2019 has been a challenging, yet rewarding year for the Maltese regulator. The focus on compliance and enforcement has intensified. It has prevailed throughout the year and returned tangible results.
This very focus has also resulted in MGA restructuring for better fulfilment of its objectives. It has played a pivotal role in the setup of the Sports Integrity Unit, which is committed to curbing manipulations in sports competitions.
As a matter of fact, this unit has already collaborated with major international sports bodies in its first months to fight against betting-related corruption and uphold the integrity of sports.
Such collaborations top the list of agendas in 2019 and will continue to be priorities in 2020 as well. Local as well as international collaborations would definitely be the determining factors to tackle crime, corruption and money laundering in gambling and betting.