Major gambling regulatory developments announced in Malta

For many years, we have represented gambling operators who hold licences granted by the Malta Gaming Authority (“MGA”).

The matters on which we advise them typically include (a) operating licence applications they make to the UK Gambling Commission (“UKGC”), (b) regulatory investigations conducted against them by the UKGC, (c) marketing and advertising questions and (d) ensuring that they have in place the required AML, social responsibility and other relevant risk assessments, policies, procedures and controls, given the different regulatory requirements between each of the MGA and the UKGC.

Within the last week, there have been three very material developments affecting MGA licence-holders, namely:

  1. the establishment by the MGA of a Commercial Communications Committee for the purpose of ensuring that the Gaming Commercial Communications Regulations (S.L. 583.09) are being adhered to: the Committee’s main function will be to review commercial (i.e marketing and advertising) communications brought to its attention and assessing any possible breaches
  2. the issue of Commercial Communications Guidelines, described by the MGA as part of its “mission of placing player protection and responsible gaming on top of its regulatory agenda”; these guidelines are intended to serve as:
    • guidance on the interpretation of the above-mentioned Regulations and
    • practical guidance to “any person offering licensable games and to persons who collaborate in any way or provide any service, including any marketing or promotional service, to or on behalf of such persons” and
  3. creation of a new Sports Integrity Unit, described by the MGA as part of “an initiative to increase focus and resources towards the fight against the manipulation of sports competitions”; its role will include:
    • gathering intelligence and information relating to suspicious betting and
    • serving as a liaison with local and foreign regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, betting monitoring systems, sporting bodies and gaming operators in order to investigate irregular and suspicious betting activity.

You can read more about items 1 and 2 above on the MGA’s website here and more about item 3 on the MGA’s website here. Although bearing similarities to long-established UK standards in relation to such matters, again differences exist between (a) marketing & advertising and (b) betting integrity requirements in each of Malta on the one hand and the UK on the other.  For further clarification in these respects, please do make contact with us.

You can download below: