The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has officially published its Annual Reports and Financial Statements for the financial year ending 31st December 2019. The annual report contains a breakdown of the regulator’s operations during the ended fiscal year as well as a summary of the company’s performance and a stance for the medium-term future.
Key areas highlighted in the published Annual Report include the following:
- 14 licenses were cancelled with another 11 being suspended by the MGA. Moreover, the regulator issued 23 administrative fines, 89 Notices of Breach and 20 warnings for operators who had breached regulations in one way or another.
- 89 applications for a gaming license were made during FY 2019, with 44 of them being withdrawn or rejected. 53 licenses were also issued during the year with some applications coming from FY 2018.
- The Fit & Proper Committee considered 15 individuals and companies unfit, having not met the Authority’s required probity standards, toning down the risks of terrorism financing or money laundering.
- A total of 48 audits were conducted by the Compliance and AML function.
- The MGA received 58 international cooperation requests and sent 69 of them as part of the criminal probity assessments.
- A total of 1,300 criminal probity screening assessments were done in 2019.
- The MGA reviewed its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit. The gaming ombudsman also penned an MoU with Malta’s Police Force in the fight against money laundering and corruption.
- At the end of the FY ending 31st December 2019, the MGA had issued licenses to 294 online and land-based operators.
Commenting on the published report, MGA’s CEO Heathcliff Farrugia said that 2019 had been a very challenging year but also a rewarding year for the regulator. He acknowledged that his time had increased their focus on compliance and enforcement, which led to internal restructuring as well as the establishment of the Sports Integrity Unit to fight corruption and guarantee the integrity of sports.