by Katerin Cruz on October 7, 2020

Malta Gaming Authority tightens rules for suspicious betting activity

Changes in the world’s gambling industry actively continue. Markets across the globe have experienced several alterations in 2020 and many countries have been affected by recent shifts in regulation policies. Tightening license conditions, setting deposit limits, offering sports betting licenses, raising license fees, or solving problematic gambling are just a few of the changes in the global gambling market. Some countries are taking a long-awaited and eagerly expected steps towards regulations, while others still focus on problem gambling. In any case, everyone agrees that tightening gambling laws has a positive impact on the players’ safety and this is why juridical authorities are trying hard to achieve their goals and change the situation for good.

MGA’s initiative

The Malta Gambling Industry (MGA) is among those regulators who desperately try to establish order and refine gambling regulations in their country to take care of their citizens and provide responsible gambling. This is the main reason why they decided to introduce new regulations in 2021 according to which Malta-licensed operators are obliged to report any type of suspicious activity in the country. It’s been several months since MGA plans to take such a step, as it published the requirements about suspicious gambling activity back in May. They have been discussing these changes with the operators for 5 months and now it will be finally launched and activated from January 1st, 2021.

However, MGA is not going to wait for so long and they plan to take some actions before the end of the current year. For this, the regulator developed an official tool called Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism (SBRM) which will be available for operators in Malta on November 1, 2020. The mechanism gives the operators the possibility to report suspect betting activity before January 2021, when the new mandate will actually be enforced.

The new initiative deserved wide support from other officials from the gambling industry. It’s especially important to note that MGA requirements have been accepted by the International Betting Integrity Association (IIBA) which is a leading company on integrity for the licensed betting industry on the global gambling market.

Future plans

Suspicious betting reporting mandatory is just a part of the plan and MGA isn’t going to stop tightening the existing regulatory system. They intend to continue discussing potential policy initiatives and provide organizing workshops, annual round tables and even conducting a large scale-even such as the Sports Integrity forum which will involve all the stakeholders.

According to the manual for using the new regulatory law, the authorities will be obliged to have licenses and describe the markets on which apprehensive activities occurred. It will be necessary to report the time of placing bets and to provide the account information or any other evidence that supports the activity as suspicious.

The reason for making this kind of demand is the growing gambling sector in Malta which requires strict monitoring, as both, online and land-based types of gambling are permitted in the country. Reporting suspicious bets and possible crimes is key to protect the country’s gambling industry from risks and avoid fraud. In the country, several forms of gaming are permitted, including casino gaming, commercial communication games, remote gaming, sports betting, the National Lottery, and non-profit games. Although there are several gambling and betting acts, regulating the whole market is still a problem as there have been reported several scams in the country. This is why suspicious betting reporting mandatory deserved approval from officials of leading betting institutions.

By Katerin Cruz

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