MGA considers voluntary ESG code of conduct

The MGA believes a voluntary code could help operators prepare for new legislation.
The MGA believes a voluntary code could help operators prepare for new legislation.

The Maltese regulator is inviting feedback ahead of the possible introduction of a voluntary ESG code.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is inviting licensees to provide feedback in a survey on environmental, social and governance (ESG) issues as part of an investigation into the possible launch of a voluntary ESG code of conduct.

The regulator said the initiative was being explored due to growing awareness around ESG issues. The Malta government already has a voluntary ESG reporting platform that companies in all sectors can use to report on their performance. All large or listed companies will have to report through the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive from next year.

The MGA believes a voluntary code of practice for the online gaming sector would help to prepare licensees for upcoming ESG legislation. It’s not yet announced a timeline for the proposed initiative. 

It said: “The code will set out the common priorities for ESG in gaming, taking into consideration the needs of key stakeholders, to reduce environmental, social and governance impacts whilst continually enhancing Malta’s reputation as a leading gaming jurisdiction.

“Looking ahead, we expect to see more and more companies taking concrete actions towards becoming more sustainable, and we believe that reporting such efforts contributes positively to implementing change within the sector and improving its overall perception, while also addressing the increasing demand for transparency and accountability in the industry.”

This month, the MGA introduced updated player protection guidelines following a consultation conducted last year. The changes include the introduction of markers of harm that licensees must take into account when creating processes to identify and respond to problem gambling.

The MGA has also introduced provisions relating to real-money reinforcement and staff training. It said the measures were the result of advice from an expert in the field and the findings of MGA research through its Responsible Gaming Unit and familiarisation visit.

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