MGA cancelled fewer licences in 2021

The MGA issued 31 penalties in 2021.
The MGA issued 31 penalties in 2021.

The Malta Gaming Authority has published its annual report for 2021.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published its annual report for 2021. The report shows that the regulator cancelled seven licences in 2021, fewer than in 2021 (12) and in 2019 (14). Moreover, the regulator didn’t suspend any licences in 2021. That compares to three suspensions in 2020 and 11 in 2019.

However, the number of warnings and administrative penalties issued increased. The MGA issued 31 penalties in 2021, up from 28 in 2020 and 24 in 2019, and 64 warnings, down from 70 in 2020 but well over the 20 warnings issued in 2019.

The report states: “In 2021, a total of 210 cases were discussed by the Compliance and Enforcement Committee (CEC). The latter’s decisions in such cases relate to the evaluation of enforcement recommendations with respect to the non-compliance breaches.

“Enforcement is crucial for the authority; it helps us fulfil our mandate as a regulator. It is not only a necessary tool in our arsenal to achieve the mandate set out by law, but also essential as a measure of fairness towards licensees that are compliant,” the report continued.

“We ensure that our enforcement processes and procedures are streamlined and effective, with adequate room for adaptation wherever necessary.”

The MGA also reported that it carried out inspections of 5,901 casinos, 2,215 gaming parlours, 1,537 lottery booths, 92 commercial bingo operations and 64 non-profit tombolas.   

It said: “The temporary closure of gaming premises during 2020 and 2021 resulted in a drop in the number of inspections we carried out in casinos, gaming parlours, commercial bingo halls and non-profit events. During the months in question, our efforts were invested in collaborating with the various gaming establishments.

“These sought to upgrade the gaming devices, the count for table games and the re-sealing of all pertinent gaming equipment in order to ensure that they were deemed fit and proper to welcome the general public following the lifting of restrictions in June 2021.”

The MGA also said that it believed its work had helped to get Malta removed from the FATF grey list of untrustworthy jurisdictions in June.

Last month, the MGA cancelled the gaming licence of the DGV Entertainment Group after it failed to make licence and compliance fee payments following notice of cancellation earlier in the month. The operator had 20 days to respond to the notice, and that period has now elapsed.

In July, the MGA issued a new ten-year licence for Malta’s National Lottery. The regulator granted the licence to IZI Group’s National Lottery PLC, which replaces Maltco Lotteries Limited as the operator of the lottery.

The new operator was granted exclusive rights after the government’s Privatisation Unit issued a Request for Proposals in July last year. A concession agreement was signed by the Ministry for the Economy, European Funds and Lands in March.

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