MGA marks 2021 as ‘ground laying’ for responsible gaming in Malta


A new report has been published by the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), evaluating the regulator’s achievements by the end of 2021. 

The paper provides a breakdown of MGA’s supervisory activities, regulatory objectives and policy initiatives, as well as its performance in governing licence holders that operate across European online gambling jurisdictions.

Looking at the numbers, a total of 54 on-site compliance audits of operators have been carried out by the MGA in 2021, in addition to 230 ‘desktop reviews’. The regulator reports an overall audit coverage of 65% of its licence holders. 

Compliance audits saw 31 penalties being administered, combined with three regulatory measures to rake up a total of €176,000 in fines. Further supervisory activities saw the issuing of 64 warnings and the cancellation of seven licences. 

A further €863,000 of penalties became the result of tougher monitoring actions by Malta’s Financial Intelligence Unit (FIAU), with enforcement measures being applied to 10 licensees. 

Heightened AML risk assessments led to the MGA conducting interviews with the money laundering reporting officers of 91 licence holders in order to determine if operators are fit to satisfy their compliance duties in accordance with the markets they operate in.

Efforts to strengthen regulatory oversight were complimented by the MGA establishing a dedicated Business Transformation Team with the goal of reducing administrative hurdles and improving the efficiency of regulatory procedure evaluations. 

Dr Carl Brincat, MGA’s CEO, commented: “As an organisation, beyond continuing to ensure that we meet our day-to-day objectives, we used 2021 to start laying the groundwork for improvements that we will see in the months and years to come.

“It is a priority for us to move towards leaner and more efficient processes, to remove unnecessary bureaucracy which introduces burdens on the industry without providing added value, and to become more effective in achieving our regulatory priorities.”