Spring Cleaning Falls Early on Malta, iGaming’s Capital Isle

There’s been a flurry of autumnal cleaning by Malta’s regulatory gaming authority (MGA) as they’ve laid it on the line by publicly outing illegal betting websites, while extending an industry consultation on responsible gambling guidelines.

The MGA has listed 18 online sites as “operating illegally within Malta”, offering illicit gambling services to the nation’s 533,000 people.

Among the operators, breaching Article 14 of the Malta Gaming Act, were:

Casinowin.bet, OlympusPlay.com, ThePokies.net and Jbag888.com.

“[We] hereby inform the public that these entities are not duly authorised by the MGA to provide a gaming service to any person in Malta,” stated the gaming authority.

“The MGA would like to remind consumers not to utilize services provided by an entity unless they have ascertained that the entity in question is authorised to provide such services by the MGA.”

“The gaming regulatory framework obliges authorised persons to comply with strict legal requirements in the interest of consumers. The activities of unlicensed entities are unregulated and do not provide the necessary safeguards delineated by virtue of the framework, making transactions with such entities risky for consumers.”

Meantime the MGA has extended the deadline for a consultation on proposed player protection guidelines for licensees in the Mediterranean islands nation.

The so-called ‘closed consultation’ was opened at the end of September to MGA licensees and was due to run for two-weeks, to explore responsible gaming policies and procedures — and consider ‘five markers of harm’ that, according to expert analysis, must be considered when determining processes to detect and address problem gambling.

Overseen by the MGA’s Responsible Gaming Unit, the consultation will now run until October 24 to allow for greater input from stakeholders.

Last year the MGA terminated the licences of seven operators for breaching regulations, down from the 14 cancellations and three suspensions of 2020.

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