MGA cancels seven licences in H1 2020

The MGA also issued 11 warnings and nine administrative fines.
The MGA also issued 11 warnings and nine administrative fines.

The Malta Gaming Authority cancelled seven licences in the first half of last year and issued 11 warnings.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has revealed that it cancelled seven gaming licences in the first half of last year. It also issued 11 warnings and 20 notices for breaches of regulations.

The details are included in the regulator’s Interim Performance Report, for the six months ending June 30 2020.

The report shows the regulator suspended a further two licences and issued nine administrative fines.

Operators whose licences were cancelled included bSupporter, Pick Mater, Dorobet, The Daily Fantasy Football Company and the Maltese watch retailer Watch World Luxury.

As for financial punishments, Blackrock Media agreed to pay €2.3m for operating an unauthorised gaming service.

See also: MGA adds two brands to Esports Entertainment gaming licence

The MGA said 313 companies were active at the end of H1 2020, with 318 licences between them. The Maltese gaming sector employed 8,009 people: 7,196 online and 813 in land-based gaming, it said. 

In total, operators paid €33.7m in tax, down 16.3 per cent year-on-year. Online gambling tax reached €24.6m, the highest six-month total since the second half of 2018.

See also: Carl Brincat appointed CEO of the Malta Gaming Authority

There was an 11.8 per cent rise year-on-year in the number of active player accounts, reaching 17.2m.

Slots generated 77.4 per cent of revenue from type 1 online games in the six months analysed, while table games generated 18.4 per cent.

Drop in land-based gaming in Malta 

Land-based casinos on the island suffered due to closures because of the Covid-19 pandemic. They paid just €3.9m in H1, less than half that paid in the same period in 2019. 

Player visits were down 54.6 per cent year-on-year to 192,351 and new player registrations were down 64.1 per cent to 26,176.

Player visits at controlled gaming premises fell 39.3 per cent, with tax contribution down 42 per cent. Bingo visits fell 54.1 per cent to 38,190, resulting in a 52.3 per cent drop in tax payments to €118,344.

Sales for Malta’s National Lottery fell 36.5 per cent to €30.7m in H1, contributing €4m in gaming tax, down 34.4 per cent on the same period in 2019.

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