Malta gambling regulator creates Sports Integrity Unit

The MGA said that the unit will work with other sectors of the regulatory body.
The MGA said that the unit will work with other sectors of the regulatory body.

The gambling regulator from Malta (MGA) has created a Sports Integrity Unit to fight the manipulation of sports competitions.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) announced on Thursday that it established a new Sports Integrity Unit. The unit aims to increase focus and resources towards fighting the manipulation of sports competitions. The MGA said that the unit will work with other sectors of the regulatory body.

When announcing the news, the MGA said that the Sports Integrity Unit’s role will consist of the gathering of intelligence and information relating to suspicious betting and will serve 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.

Moreover, it will be in charge of liaising with other Directorates within the MGA to implement various policy initiatives, such as bringing into force the provisions at law relating to the reporting of suspicious betting activity by gaming operators to the MGA, signing agreements and deepening collaboration with entities having similar objectives and otherwise establishing a culture of cooperation amongst industry stakeholders to tackle the worldwide problem of corruption in sports.

Senior Executive Antonio Zerafa will head the unit as Sports Integrity Officer. Zerafa has been at the MGA for 4 years, and has held various positions within the Criminal Probity Screening Department within the Enforcement Directorate and serves as Secretary to the MGA’s Fit & Proper Committee. He holds a Degree in Criminology from the University of Malta, wherein he is a Visiting Lecturer, a Master’s Degree in Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption Studies from the University of Portsmouth, and is currently reading for a PhD in Law and Criminology with a focus on gaming-related crime at the Sheffield Hallam University.

The CEO says the unit is vital for MGA’s goals

MGA’s CEO Heathcliff Farrugia stated that: “Having a dedicated Sports Integrity Unit is vital for the MGA’s statutory objective. We want to ensure that gambling is free from crime, specifically the manipulation of sports competitions. The MGA is committing to cooperation with stakeholders to the extent permitted by law to act against a pervasive phenomenon that threatens the integrity of both the sports and the betting industries.”

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