MGA publishes enforcement measures guideline

The gambling regulator from Malta has published a guideline for the application of enforcement measures.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published the guiding principles for the application of enforcement measures. It aims to shed light on how the authority exercises the enforcement measures it takes when a breach of law is committed.

The enforcement measures which the authority may take consist of issuing an order, directing the authorised person to do or to refrain from doing something; issuing a warning, removing the authorisation, imposing an administrative penalty, or suspend or cancel a licence.

The authority monitors the compliance performance of its licensees on an ongoing basis, underpinned by a risk-based approach. Upon the discovery of a possible breach, as the case may be, the Authority conducts a compliance review in terms of regulation 6 of the Regulations. Upon the conclusion of such review, depending on the information available to it, the Authority may either proceed directly to enforcement measures, or it may initiate a formal investigation in terms of regulation 7 of the Regulations.

When the decision is taken that an enforcement measure is required, the authority issues a notice in writing, giving the Authorised Person an amount of time to submit a defence and make any other pertinent submissions.

Once the Authority receives a reply from the Authorised Person, the contents thereof are analysed and the Authority re-assesses the existence of the breach, and the nature and severity of the enforcement measure to be applied, depending on the feedback provided.

In the instance that a regulatory settlement is offered in lieu of criminal proceedings where the breach amounts to a criminal offence, the Authorised Person is given a reasonable period of time to consider whether to accept the settlement or otherwise. Where the Authorised Person is not forthcoming, the Authority proceeds to refer the matter to the law enforcement for proceedings to be initiated.

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