Malta’s Parliament has given the green light to for the third and final reading of the new Gaming Act, which shall elevate the jurisdictional profile of Malta from a regulatory perspective by strengthening the MGA’s supervisory role, specifically the compliance and enforcement functions to better achieve the regulatory objectives, in line with concurrent developments relating to anti-money laundering and combating the funding of terrorism.
This new framework increases the oversight of the Malta Gaming Authority, expanding its scope to carry out interventions where necessary. As previously mentioned, the new law will also divide the role of a Key Official into an approved entity into a number of key functions for direct control and targeted supervision controls, and will strengthen the players protection framework by formalizing the role of the MGA player support unit, a mediator between affected players and operators. The new law also provides for new and more effective procedures for criminal and administrative justice.
The new Gaming Act is pending for approval by the European Commission and European Union member states under the Technical Regulation Information System process before it can come into law. The new law is set to come into force on July 1st. “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.” MGA said on a publication on its website.
“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.“ said Hon. Silvio Schembri, the Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation.
Heathcliff Farrugia, MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, stated; “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.”