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  • Malta Gaming Authority establishes a new Sports Integrity Unit Get in touch

Malta Gaming Authority establishes a new Sports Integrity Unit

30 August 2019


The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced the establishment of a new Sports Integrity Unit as part of an initiative to increase focus and resources towards the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions.


The Sports Integrity Unit’s role will be made up of the collection of intelligence and information relating to suspicious betting and will serve as an intermediary with local and foreign regulatory authorities such as; law enforcement agencies, betting monitoring systems, sporting bodies and gaming operators. In this way irregular and suspicious betting activity can be checked. Furthermore, the Unit will be liaising with other Directorates within the MGA to apply various policy initiatives, such as bringing into force the provisions at law relating to addressing apprehensive betting activity by gaming operators to the MGA, signing agreements and deepening collaboration with entities having similar objectives and otherwise establishing a culture of cooperation amongst industry stakeholders to tackle the worldwide problem of corruption in sports.


The Unit will be managed by Senior Executive Antonio Zerafa as Sports Integrity Officer. Mr Zerafa has been at the MGA for 4 years and has held various positions within the Criminal Probity Screening Department within the Enforcement Directorate and serves as Secretary to the MGA’s Fit & Proper Committee. He read for a Degree in Criminology from the University of Malta, wherein he is a Visiting Lecturer, a master’s degree in Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption Studies from the University of Portsmouth, and is currently reading for a PhD in Law and Criminology with a focus on gaming-related crime at the Sheffield Hallam University.


The Gaming Authority’s CEO, Heathcliff Farrugia stated: “Having a dedicated Sports Integrity Unit is vital for the MGA’s statutory objective to ensure that gambling is free from crime, specifically the manipulation of sports competitions. The MGA is committing to cooperation with stakeholders to the extent permitted by law to act against a pervasive phenomenon that threatens the integrity of both the sports and the betting industries.”


The Malta Gaming Authority is thus declaring that in order to ensure that the Gaming Commercial Communications Regulations (S.L. 583.09) are being abided by, the Authority has set-up a Committee (Commercial Communications Committee). The main objectives of the Committee are assessing the commercial communications brought to its attention and reviewing any possible breaches.


In addition, the Gaming Authority also issued the Commercial Communications Guidelines (the “Guidelines”), as part of the MGA’s priority of placing the safety of players and responsible gaming at the top of its regulatory agenda.


The Guidelines are aimed at giving realistic guidance to any person offering licensable game/s and to persons who collaborate in any way or provide any service, including any marketing or promotional service, to or on behalf of such persons.  The Guidelines are intended to serve as guidance on the interpretation of the Regulations and should not be considered to be a substitute for the relevant laws and regulations. They reflect the MGA’s intended effect of the Regulations, but neither constitute new rules nor bind the MGA or the Committee on the manner in which they will decide upon any commercial communication complaint.


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