MGA To Focus On Clean-up Of Illegal Gambling
Malta is home to a number of gambling companies who have obtained licenses from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) and offer their online casino services to different countries around the world.
The Government of Malta has looked to encourage both the gambling and cryptocurrency industries in recent years in an effort to boost its economy and turn Malta into a premier hub for gambling and crypto investments.
One of the reasons why gaming operators choose to use Malta as their base is because gaming regulations are friendly and Malta has looked to protect its gaming operators in the past. One example of this is the MGA taking a considerable amount of time to respond to requests for information concerning gambling operators who have allegedly violated gaming regulations in Italy.
Nicola Gratteri, a noted Italian prosecutor lashed out at Malta earlier this year stating that the MGA provided little to no co-operation concerning suspicious gambling activities. Italian authorities launched a massive crackdown in 2018 targeting illegal gambling operators and needed help from the MGA to stack its lawsuit.
However, the MGA took more than 6 months to respond to the request for information and this frustrated Italian authorities who claimed that the delayed response rendered their case useless.
The Italian Mafia has been accused of having strong ties to illegal gambling operations in Italy as well as in other European nations. The authorities in Europe and Italy have worked together to clean up these illegal gambling operations and prosecute the offenders but their efforts haven’t always had the success they desired because of a lack of co-operation from certain gambling watchdogs like the MGA.
MGA To Provide Better Co-operation
All that is now set to change as Malta has finally agreed to work with the Italian authorities to ensure that illegal gambling operations are cleaned up. Silvio Schembri who is the Maltese Parliamentary Secretary of Financial Services & Digital Economy has confirmed that Malta will sign an agreement with Italy that will enable authorities from both countries to share information and crackdown on the illegal gambling industry.
The agreement is important for the European gambling industry as the authorities have discovered that these illegal gambling operators are exceptionally tech savvy and were using innovative procedures to run these underground operations. The sharing of intelligence between Malta and Italy will be beneficial for EU nations as well as for the global gaming industry.
Carolyn is our legislation expert, with a background in law she is able to cover the current state of gambling around the world