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Malta Gaming Authority Publishes its 2019 Annual Report

24 June 2020

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published its Annual Report and Financial Statements for the financial year ending 31 December 2019. The report provides an overview of the activities and work performed throughout the year by the Gaming Authority. The report also includes a detailed summary of the performance of the Maltese gaming industry during 2019 as well as a medium-term outlook into the future.

 

Key factors to note from 2019:

  • The Authority is heavily prioritising action against unregulated operators, because these operators provide a service that is entirely unsupervised and unsafe for the end consumers.
  • A study conducted by the MGA has estimated that as at the end of 2019, the total employment generated by activities in or associated with the gaming industry in Malta amounted to 11,747 full-time equivalent jobs , which is approximately 4.8% of the economy total
  • The Authority cancelled 14 licences and suspended 11. In addition, it issued 20 warnings, 89 Notices of Breach and 23 administrative fines imposed on operators following various regulatory breaches;
  • 89 applications for a gaming licence were received in 2019; 44 applications were either rejected or withdrawn and 53 licences were issued during the period under review, including licences the application for which had been received during the previous year;
  • 15 individuals and companies were deemed not to be up to the Authority’s probity standards by the Fit & Proper Committee, 12 of these decisions were made on the basis of mitigating the risks of money laundering or funding of terrorism;
  • 48 audits were conducted by the Compliance and AML function;
  • 69 international cooperation requests were sent by the MGA in 2019, predominantly as part of the criminal probity assessments. The Authority received 58 international co-operation requests;
  • 1,300 criminal probity screening assessments were carried out in 2019;
  • The Authority revised its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit, and also signed an MOU with the Malta Police Force, aimed at strengthening the fight again corruption and money laundering.

 

As at the end of December 2019, the number of companies licensed by the MGA, including both online and land-based entities stood at 294.

 

Heathcliff Farrugia, Chief Executive Officer of the Malta Gaming Authority, stated that: “Overall, 2019 was a very challenging but at the same time rewarding year for the MGA. The increased focus on compliance and enforcement which was prevalent throughout the year has yielded tangible results for the Authority.

 

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