Malta gives final nod for the new Gaming Act
New measures to be taken in anticipation of new Act
The Maltese Parliament has waved through the third and final reading of the new Malta Gaming Act.
This step acts as a power-boost for the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), the supervisor of all gaming activity in the Malta. The MGA will observe compliance and utilise means of enforcement to better achieve regulatory aims. This will all be performed in line with concurrent developments in anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism.
The MGA stated: “The legislation is currently undergoing the Technical Regulation Information System process (TRIS) in line with European Union Directive 2015/1535, whereby the EU Commission and Member States may issue their opinions thereon.”
“In the absence of issues emerging from this process, it shall come into force on 1 July 2018 for remote gaming operators and, following a transitory period, on 1 January 2019 for land-based operators.”
The Act will divide the responsibilities of a Key Official within a licensed entity into numerous key functions for direct scrutiny and targeted supervision controls.
Additionally, the formalisation of the MGA’s Player Support Unit will be supporting the player protection framework and will serve as a mediator between aggrieved players and operators.
Hon. Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, commented: “I would like to thank the MGA for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward, as well as for identifying areas for further and continuous improvement.”
“The MGA will periodically review the regulatory performance of the sector and the framework itself and will advise Government on the attainment of its objectives mainly focusing on consumer protection and integrity.”
The Act will include increasing the effectiveness of processes for criminal and administrative justice, responsible gambling measures, consumer protection standards, identification of suspicious sports, betting transactions, and objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development are all covered in the Act.
The MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia added: “This is a very important milestone for the MGA. The new law establishes very robust compliance and enforcement powers and structures, and lays the necessary foundation to continue to strengthen player protection.”
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