Malta sportsbooks must report suspicious activity from January 2021

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) will make it mandatory for licensed sportsbooks in the country to report suspicious activity. 

This incoming rule follows on from numerous moves that the MGA has made to protect sporting integrity, including a consultation paper published earlier this year.

Operators will be allowed to submit suspicious activity reports before the end of the year, should they wish to start early. 

November reporting should be available 

Back in May, Malta’s gambling regulator had released a consultation paper related to sporting integrity measures. Afterwards, 

The MGA has said that all regulated B2C operators in the country should have access to the Suspicious Betting Reporting Mechanism from 1st November 2020. Once this happens, gambling brands will each be given a manual so they can use the tool with ease. 

A spokesperson from the regulator said: “As already reiterated throughout this consultation process, the MGA’s SIU is adamant to continue increasing its collaboration efforts with both its licensees and other stakeholders interested in safeguarding the integrity of sports and sports betting. 

“Hence, the MGA’s SIU intends to continue discussing potential policy initiatives with its licensee via consultation processes, whilst also looking to start organising workshops, bi-annual round tables and a Sports Integrity forum involving all stakeholders.”

Feedback provided by the country’s gambling industry 

According to the MGA, 10 betting companies, international bodies and representative institutes in the Southern European nation responded to the May consultation report. The feedback that each of these provided signified that they did not object having to inform the body of suspicious activity.  

However, these respondents did express concerns in other areas. One particular area of worry was that disputes between players and operators could flare up if winnings are withheld due to an investigation. 

MGA getting tough 

Last week, the MGA suspended the licence of Playbay Malta Limited – which owns HDbets.com. This was as a result of ‘systemic deficiencies’ related to AML/CFT necessities. 

The operator’s voluntary fixed-odds betting suspension expired on 6th September. After this, the regulator gave no guidance on when it would reactivate the permit. 

A number of other operators, including Knockout Gaming, BetElephant and Pick Mister have also had their MGA licences suspended this year. 

The authority has also signed numerous data-sharing deals for the sake of integrity in 2020. The Swedish Football Association, Darts Regulation Authority and World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association are three sporting bodies to have done this with the MGA.

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