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288 suspicious betting reports: MGA publishes its Annual Report for 2020 

A published Annual Report from The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA/Authority) shows audited financial statements for the financial year ending 31 December 2020. Highlights of the major projects and performances with an overview of work undertaken by the Authority throughout the year showcased the Maltese gaming industry during 2020. The regulator's report also explains the key features for the online gaming sector during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

Report

“The year 2020 will undoubtedly be remembered for the challenges the pandemic presented us with,” says CEO, Dr Carl Brincat. “I am proud of the Authority’s employees who worked tirelessly to ensure that we continued to perform the functions required of us by law. Keeping the ship steady during a challenging year serves as a strong foundation for us to look ahead with renewed commitment, to keep building on the positives and improve on our shortcomings, to reach new heights in our regulatory approach.”

Key highlights from the Annual Report in 2020:

A total of 288 suspicious betting reports from licensees and other concerned parties were received; in addition to this, 168 requests for information relating specifically to the manipulation of sports competitions or breaches in sports rules were submitted by sports governing bodies, integrity units, enforcement agencies and other regulatory bodies.

The Authority sent in 47 international cooperation requests and received 67, with the overall majority referring to requests for background checks as part of an authorisation process.

According to the Fit & Proper Committee, eight individuals and companies were deemed not to be up to the Authority’s probity standards. This decision was on the basis of money laundering and funding of terrorism.

Following information which emerged between January and December 2020, from compliance audits, compliance reviews, and formal investigations, 69 warnings were issued with three suspended licences and a further 12 cancelled. In total, 24 administrative penalties were issued by the MGA.

The Authority was a direct participant in 20 different investigations in the period of review, relating to manipulation of sports competitions or breaches in sports rules.

The Commissioner for Voluntary Organisations worked with the MGA to ensure any entity applying for a non-profit game is only issued with a permit if registered and a compliant voluntary organisation.

The Compliance and AML function conducted 30 compliance audits: 324 desktop reviews were carried out, with 98 identifying insufficiency. These cases were escalated to the Compliance and Enforcement Committee.

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