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More than a thousand people self-excluded themselves in Malta’s casinos in 2017, data by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) reveal. To be precise, 1393 people submitted requests to be barred from Malta’s casinos and other land-based gambling venues in 2017.
This marks a 9 per cent increase from 2016 when 1277 such requests were received. MGA data also revealed that more than 50 per cent of the self-exclusion requests were for a six-month period and most of the rest were for one year. Interestingly, one request was for a lifelong self-exclusion from brick-and-mortar gambling facilities.
Every gambling operator holding a license from the MGA is required to offer a self-barring option to its customers under the Self-Barring Directive of 2011. The island nation’s self-exclusion programme is among the tools adopted by local regulators to minimise the negative effects of gambling.
According to the MGA report, around 76 per cent of the individuals who opted for self-exclusion last year were Malta nationals. A number of non-Maltese casino patrons and customers of the island nation’s other land-based gambling venues submitted self-barring requests, as well. Italians represented 4 per cent of the latter group, following by Syrian, Bulgarian, Romanian, and Somali customers who each represented 2 per cent.
The MGA found that players choosing to self-exclude from casinos have been getting younger over the past several years. Official data showed that while 35-45-year-olds were most likely to request self-barring in 2015, 18-24-year-olds and 25-34-year-olds accounted for nearly half of the requests submitted last year. Male casino players remained the predominant group of self-excluded customers in 2017, accounting for 71 per cent of all requests.
As mentioned above, online gambling operators are, too, required to provide their customers with the opportunity to self-exclude. The MGA’s recent report showed that around 790,000 self-barring requests were submitted by players and bettors gambling at Malta-licensed websites in 2017, up 5.3 per cent from a year earlier.
Source: European Gaming Industry News