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The Maltese Parliament has given its nod for the third and final reading of the new Malta Gaming Act.
The Act will provide more powers to Malta Gambling Authority (MGA) as the supervisor of all gaming activity in the country. It will monitor compliance and perform enforcement functions to better achieve regulatory objectives and in line with concurrent developments in anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism.
The new Act will segment the role of a Key Official within a licensed entity into various key functions for direct scrutiny and targeted supervision controls.
In addition, the player protection framework will be supported by the formalisation of the MGA’s Player Support Unit which will act as a mediator between aggrieved players and operators.
More effective processes for criminal and administrative justice, consumer protection standards, responsible gambling measures, identification of suspicious sports betting transactions and objective-orientated standards to encourage innovation and development are all covered in the Act.
“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,” the MGA said.
“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 Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri said: “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 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.”
Source: European Gaming Industry News