Malta’s new Gaming Act approved

By Harrison Sayers

The Maltese Parliament has approved a new Gaming Act after its third reading, intended to strengthen the Maltese Gaming Authorities’ (MGA) ability to uphold and enforce compliance and regulatory guidelines.

The Gaming Act includes several key features to improve the MGA’s regulatory framework regarding issues such as anti money laundering, player protection, and criminal as well as administrative justice.

The MGA will be able to achieve these aims partly through the planned formalisation of the regulators player support unit which is tasked with being a mediator between players and operators over contentious issues.  

Additionally, the Gaming Act focuses on strengthening the current consumer protection standards of the MGA and updating their responsible gaming measures.

Commenting on the new Gaming Act the MGA’s Chief Executive Officer, Heathcliff Farrugia, said: “This is a very important milestone for the MGA. The new law establishes very robust compliance and enforcement powers and structures, and lays the necessary foundation to continue to strengthen player protection.”

The Parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation, Hon. Silvio Schembri, added: “I would like to thank the MGA for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward, as well as for identifying areas for further and continuous improvement. The MGA will periodically review the regulatory performance of the sector and the framework itself and will advise Government on the attainment of its objectives mainly focusing on consumer protection and integrity.”

The new Gaming Act will be introduced at the start of July 2018 for remote gaming operators and at the start of January 2019 for land-based operators, assuming no issues arise during the Technical Regulation Information System (TRIS) process.

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