In a two part blog series, our Head of Gaming, Peter Murray, reflects on what we learned from our joint event with SMP eGaming and the Malta Gaming Authority
When it comes to culture, politics and technology, Malta is at the front and centre of many things at the moment.
With a recent stint at the EU presidency and currently revelling in their status as 2018 European Capital of Culture, the island’s regulators are also looking to embrace sectors championing new technologies such as Cryptocurrency and Blockchain.
It’s fair to say that Malta is on the up. And this also applies to gambling. Recent regulatory changes have increased Malta’s profile. Just look at Bet365 who, in addition to their licence, have now committed to a high value, long-term investment in the region. There isn’t a week that passes without Malta making the news.
This is probably why we had such a large and engaged audience at our event last week. Together with SMP eGaming and the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), we shared what the regulatory changes will mean to gaming licence holders.
Now, call me a cynic but 10 years in the sector has taught me to temper my expectations when it comes to events, particularly when regulators are due to present.
However, in this instance not only did the MGA deliver an enlightening and very direct presentation, they were crystal clear in what their intentions were and what they expected from their licence holders.
The entire audience understood that the MGA means business and if you hold a Malta licence you are effectively on notice to get your house in order. New regulations are just days away and you had better be ready.
At the heart of the MGA’s message there seemed to be a genuine drive to address the issues that are present everywhere in the gaming world. The need for the industry to collaborate and work together is a key focus area.
Whether it’s the gaming operators sharing fraud, AML and safer gambling learnings; suppliers working with customers and competition; or technology partners across the sector coming together to deliver in areas such as meaningful self-exclusion projects and trust platforms, it’s a ‘one for all and all for one’ approach.
The first part of the talk from the MGA addressed the upcoming regulation changes from 1 July 2018. Here are the key highlights:
- New licences are for 10 years and those performing key functions will need individual approval
- The new process for player verification allows electronic verification, which should produce efficiencies, cost savings and an improved better customer journey
- Customer Due-Diligence (CDD) is aimed at ‘fully’ knowing who your customer is. Old style legacy KYC is simply no longer a viable option
- Ongoing monitory, PEP’s, Enhanced Due Diligence (EDD) and Sanctions screening are obligatory
- Providing compliance training to your staff at all levels is business critical to your licence
- Suppliers will be asked to apply for a licence, especially those that fall into the Critical Gaming Supplier category
The overriding theme was that we only succeed if we work together, and I wholeheartedly agree.
The MGA then moved on to discuss Anti-Money Laundering (AML), and this is where it gets really interesting. Check out my next blog to find out more: Why Anti-Money Laundering laws are 'Top of the Pops in Malta'.