Maltese Parliament gives the green light to new Gaming Act

11 May 2018

Gaming-ActThe final part of the new Gaming Act was approved on the 8th of May by the Maltese Parliament. The Malta Gaming Authority is expected to see numerous and noteworthy benefits from the Act. Firstly, its role as a supervisor and regulator will be strengthened, making it better equipped to secure stricter compliance of all MGA license holders with the board's rules on money-laundering and financial backing of terrorism activities.

In addition, the new framework will also extend the regulatory influence of MGA along with its ability to interfere when the framework is breached. Operators licensed at MGA will go through increased security investigations and controls. Meanwhile, a more meticulous set of guidelines will be introduced to elevate player protection through MGA's Player Support Unit, which will act as the intermediary between players and operators. Several other parameters are going to be implemented towards more accurate handling of vital areas such as consumer protection, responsible gaming, and monitoring of fixed betting or "fishy" transactions.

The new Gaming Act is currently being evaluated by the Technical Regulation Information System to ensure it's aligned with the European Union Directive 2015/1535. If all things go well the new framework will be put into full effect on July 1st 2018 for online gaming operators and on January 1st 2019 for brick-and-mortar casinos. MGA's CEO Heathcliff Farrugia noted that the new laws constitute a major step forward towards reducing criminal behavior in online gaming and safeguarding compliance of all licensees as well as increased player protection.

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