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Malta Regulator Improves Monitoring Permissions with New Gambling Act Today

Malta has been anticipating this day for many months now, as it is finally welcoming its new Gambling Act coming into its full effect for online-based operations. With its help the gaming field is set to experience a considerable elevation in its performance, since the Malta Gaming Authority is set to have its supervisory role enhanced, striving to achieve better regulatory and monitoring potential.

It could be recalled that the very first days of March witnessed the official approval of the new and improve Gaming Act which was striving to introduce a significant improvement to the sector. It is no secret to anyone that the island of Malta is well-known as the online gaming hub of Europe and as such it aims to improve its performance on a daily basis. This new framework for the gaming field received green light by the Maltese Parliament and the provisions would be added in order to give more rights to the Authority.

Following the application of the new features, the regulator overseeing the field would have the permission to enforce cooperation and the established rules. Companies and operators operating in the field would experience the effect on themselves, being part of a better-regulated sector. Among the main incentives for the introduction of this upgraded Gaming Act is the fortified anti-money-laundering regulation, which has been concerning the local authorities as well as the European Commission.

The Gaming Authority would now have the permission to conduct investigations of the operation of any given business in the field, as well as take matters into its own hands if this is needed in the given circumstances. Players would receive an update in the way they are protected while they are participating in gaming activities regulated by the island country. The Player Support Unit, as it is called would strive to intervene in times of need and become the negotiator during disputes including players and operators.

Malta Braces for New Regulations Guaranteeing Security

In its essence, this move is significant as it is the first major change for the past 14 years and as such, it aims to bring the needed boost. It would also make operation much easier for the companies as well, as it would completely remove the multi-tier structure currently existing. Operators would now have the two realms of business-to-business and business-to-customer to choose from, which would also provide a more clear distinction between legal and illegal operation.

Joseph Cuschieri, the former Executive Chairman of the Malta Gaming Authority was the original proposer of this new set of rules. The reason behind Joseph Cuschieri’s decision to leave the MGA could be traced back to the negative publicity regarding the Italian-based online gambling businesses which had received a license for operation from MGA. Allegedly they were connected to the mafia and illegal activities.

In order to keep the situation under control the authority immediately suspended the licenses of the said operators while in the meantime it gave green light to an investigation which aims to ensure that the rest of the businesses operate in a lawful manner.

Malta has been putting a lot of effort to protect its reputation and prove to the European authorities that operations taking place in the gambling hub are completely legal and strictly regulated. The new Gaming act was therefore subjected to the EU Technical Regulation Information System process. Online operation would witness this new regulation taking place this Wednesday, whereas brick-and-mortar operators would have to wait until 1st January 2019.

The very beginning of July was originally expected to witness the introduction of the new framework, but a delay was needed since an EU member has submitted an extensive review of Malta’s application. Due to this a rescheduling of the initially announced date was obligatory. The year 2018 has been dedicated to quite the development when it comes to the regulation of the field since Malta became a pioneering country with its own blockchain framework.

It includes three approved bills – Malta Digital Innovation Authority Act, the Innovative Technological Arrangement and Services Act, as well as the Virtual Financial Asset Act, striving to bring security to the virtual currency sector.

 Author: Hannah Wallace

Hannah Wallace has been part of our team since the website was launched. She has a master’s degree in IT.