Mia Gardner | 18 May 2018
The amended Gaming Act legislation; which was first introduced last year and passed a parliamentary third sitting reading this month; is on its way to becoming law.
The revisited legislation seeks to buff up the powers of the MGA. It will, if all the cards fall where they may, increase the gaming authority’s ability to uphold and enforce compliance and regulatory guidelines.
The proposed legislation in the main proposes improving the MGA’s regulatory framework. Key goals include establishing a hardier protective blanket for players and a heavier fisted approach to money launderers and criminals. Administrative justice for all offenders has been reviewed.
Once enacted, the MGA will be empowered to not only keep a close eye on gaming activities but also to be able to mediate all contentious disputes between the player and the operator.
The Act will also give an undisputed legal go-ahead to focus on the consumer protection standards of the MGA itself and its commitment to updating their responsible gaming measures.
MGA’s Chief Executive Officer Heathcliff Farrugia said the new law laid the necessary groundwork to further strengthen player protection. He said the “important milestone” in its legal form established a robust compliance with the stricter enforcement powers and structures governing the industry.
Parliament’s Silvio Schembri in turn thanked the MGA for moving the regulatory agenda for gaming services forward. Schembri, who is the parliamentary Secretary for Financial Services, Digital Economy & Innovation said MGA had also identified areas for further and continuous improvement. He said periodically the MGA would review the regulatory performance of industry and report back to government on how to attain its focus on consumer protection and integrity.
The new provisions to the Act will have to stand the scrutiny of the Technical Regulation Information System process. If it’s given the green light by the European Commission and member states, the Act will be enforceable for all remote gaming operators as soon as July.
Land-based operators will have until January of next year to comply.
Malta is known as having one of the top regulatory bodies over the online gambling industry in the world. The MGA is a respected name, and as it now has even more control over gambling practises it is sure to become even more well thought of, and licenses are set to become an even more prestigious sign of maintaining high standards and smooth, trustworthy operations.