Earlier this week, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) officially announced the cancellation of three gambling operating licenses, corresponding to eGaming Lab Limited, M-Hub Gaming C4 Limited, and Morpheus Games. All three brands saw their permits canceled over their failure to pay the license fees they owed to the regulatory body.
The businesses were given a time period of 20 days to address the gambling watchdog and provide it with evidence of why it should not proceed with the enforcement action of the license cancellation. Unfortunately for the businesses, neither one of them managed to make its submission within the aforementioned time period.
As a result, the operators have been ordered to remove any reference to the Malta Gaming Authority with immediate effect. The authorization they were previously given has also been removed.
The gambling brands also have 20 days from the date when the MGA published the license cancellation to appeal the decision before an Administrative Review Tribunal.
The Malta gambling regulatory body’s move to terminate the three operating permits comes despite the MGA’s commitment to issue more administrative penalties and warnings instead of moving directly to cancel gambling business licenses. Statistics show that fewer licenses were canceled by the Authority in 2021 in comparison to 2020, as it seeks to move towards a more relaxed but still more efficient process to remove unnecessary bureaucracy in the sector’s regulation.
MGA Is Trying to Move Toward More Relaxed and Efficient Regulatory Process
Apart from moving towards “leaner and more efficient processes” in the regulatory process, the MGA has also been exploring the implementation of new regulations. The watchdog has recently started a closed consultation on a proposed new policy regarding the use of so-called innovative technology arrangements (ITAs), virtual tokens, and virtual financial assets (VFAs) with relevant stakeholders within the sector.
As mentioned above, eGaming Lab Limited, holder of an operation license MGA/B2C/221/2012, did not manage to file a submission to prevent the Malta Gaming Authority from proceeding with the cancellation enforcement measure within the stipulated time period. Apart from that, the MGA noted that the business’ authorized person was struck off as defunct on May 18th, 2021. The cancellation of the company’s license was said to be the most appropriate measure, considering the fact that the business had failed to comply with at least one obligation under the license or other applicable Maltese law, was bankrupt/insolvent, had failed to discharge its financial commitment for the MGA and to pay all amounts due to the Authority.
M-Hub Gaming C4 Limited, holder of operating permit number MGA/B2B/308/2016 was also unable to show cause why the country’s gambling regulatory body should not proceed with the license cancellation enforcement measure. The Malta Gaming Authority found that the authorized person was struck off on May 19, 2021 as defunct. The reasons why it eventually decided to cancel the business’ license were exactly the same as the ones for the license cancellation of eGaming Lab Limited.
Last but not least, the third gambling brand – Morpheus Games – which held operating permit number MGA/B2C/383/2017 was also stripped of its license after the regulator found the exact same failures as in the two previous cases.
Apart from getting their license canceled by the Malta Gaming Authority, two of the businesses – eGaming Lab and Morpheus Games – were also ordered to settle outstanding fees of €50,083 and €80,774, respectively.