Malta, the mecca in online gambling, is accused of sloppy supervision to its license-holders, which leads to amending its rules in terms of computer servers monitoring.
Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is on top in terms of the online gambling regulatory bodies. With over 500 licenses, given to different casino operators, it leads the list of all the other gaming regulators. The reason why so many casino operators turn their eyes to MGA is the fact that its licenses allow legal casino activity across Europe. Another important factor is the low tax rates, which it offers. According to a survey, a great number of the online casinos gained MGA license to operate.
This means that all the Malta-licensed online casinos utilize Malta-based servers to operate. The problem comes from the fact that the MGA covers not only online casinos at home, but also in Europe. Thus, it makes it even harder for the leading regulator to monitor all the countries, in which it has the authority. This, on the other hand, gives good grounds for criminal practices and defalcation.
The established practice so far was to attach stickers on the computer servers, which give them a special ID number. The server’s ID is registered in a MGA diagram and it should coincide with the ID of the registered casino equipment. This enables the regulatory body to track the hardware, which the gaming operator uses for the online transactions. Thus, any possible situation of fraud is said to be eliminated. The company’s representatives explained that these stickers are the first step for any online casino to get a license and have the right to operate legally.
On the other hand, according to Valery Atanasov, a former employee of the gambling regulator, these stickers are far from enough in the battle against money-laundering and tax evasion. He added that there is more than one case, in which a contradiction in terms of the numbers is observed, but he refused to provide more details. Logically, this is considered as a sign of suspicious financial operations by the casino operators, which gives rise to the question about tax compliance.
The position on the matter of the online gambling watchdog is different, rejecting any accusations of inappropriate supervising. Joseph Cuschieri, the Chairman of MGA, explained that the company has its far more secure mechanisms to track the casino operators than the “sealing” of the servers.
Atanasov points out that the reason of his refusal to attach stickers to certain casino equipment is namely because he found discrepancies in the registered servers and the really operating ones. This, on the other hand, led to many complaints against the former employee and his disciplinary dismissal. It was explained that he was not in the position to decide if a particular piece of equipment should be “sealed” or not.
In response to the attacks, Cuschieri stated that the control over the equipment of the online casinos is upgraded, considering the new “tagging” method. The former employee expressed his opinion on the matter, saying that the tags and the stickers do not differ in any way. It became clear that Atanasov is fighting his dismissal in the court, pleading it to be unfair.