MGA to introduce new player protection guidelines

The MGA plans to introduce five markers of harm.
The MGA plans to introduce five markers of harm.

The Maltese regulator plans to introduce detailed guidelines following a consultation this month.

Malta.- The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced that it will introduce “detailed player protection guidelines” for its licensees. It’s launching a closed consultation on the proposal, with submissions open until October 14.

The regulator proposed to amend the Malta Player Protection Directive (Directive 2 of 2018) to introduce five markers of harm that licensees will be obliged to consider to determine effective measures and processes to detect and address problem gambling. There are also 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. The proposals will be published for review on the closed consultation section of the MGA’s website. Only current MGA licensees will be able to make submissions.

It said it was “in the process of conducting detailed research and garnering expert experience to serve as the foundation for the eventual publication of such guidelines”.

The MGA has also reminded licensees of its requirements to submit agreed-upon procedures reports explaining their procedures for holding player funds and potential winnings.

The declarations must be submitted to the MGA within one hundred and eighty (180) days from the end of the licensee’s financial year. However, the MGA accepted that the first round of declarations, which should have been submitted by June 30, may instead be submitted by October 31 to allow sufficient time for the licensees and practitioners to adjust to these new requirements.

MGA cancelled fewer licences in 2021

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

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