Malta Gaming Authority appoints Ryan Pace as chairman

Ryan Pace became deputy chairman at the MGA in June.
Ryan Pace became deputy chairman at the MGA in June.

The Malta Gaming Authority has promoted Ryan Pace to become the new chairman of its board.

Malta.- The Maltese regulator, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), has appointed Ryan Pace as the chairman of its board.

Pace, who has been the MGA’s deputy chairman since last June, is a young lawyer who graduated with a bachelors from the University of Malta in 2014. He gained a diploma as a notary public the next year and his doctor of laws degree in 2017.

He was awarded a warrant to practise as a lawyer in 2018. Since then, he has practised litigation at courts in Malta and on the island of Gozo, working with Prime Minister Robert Abela’s law firm.

The MGA chairman’s role is to supervise the regulator’s strategic development and ensure its policies and objectives are met. Pace will be responsible for policy development and risk management.

He’s expected to bring new, young talent to the MGA to drive fresh thinking on its board as the gaming industry develops at a rapid pace.

His appointment comes as Maltese igaming companies call for action to protect the industry’s reputation after recent media reports and legal cases involving impropriety among senior officials and regulators.

Some have criticised the appointment of someone so young to the position at such a critical time. Opposition members on the Public Appointments Committee, MPs Claudette Buttigieg, Karol Aquilina and Carmelo Mifsud Bonnici, voted against Pace’s appointment.

Meanwhile, online media outlet The Shift quoted one igaming operator as saying: “After leaving this important position vacant for more than six months, the best the government could come up with is an inexperienced young party loyalist.

“Surely, competence and knowledge of the industry were not the criteria used for this selection. Unfortunately, our industry is already under attack, and these partisan appointments are not getting us anywhere.”

In January, the MGA appointed Carl Brincat, another lawyer, as its new CEO replacing Heathcliff Farrugia, who announced he was stepping down in November last year.

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gambling regulation gaming regulation Malta Gaming Authority