Malta Gaming Authority’s Latest Updates: December 2022 Edition

Apr 12, 2023
Malta Gaming Authority

Gambling licenses are legal certifications that authorize individuals or entities to manage gambling activities within specific jurisdictions. Government regulators grant these permits to guarantee that gambling is conducted in accordance with the principles of justice and legality, protecting participants from fraud and illegal actions. Licenses usually contain guidelines and restrictions, including minimum age requirements for gambling and permitted gambling activities. Failure to comply may result in license cancellation and potential legal consequences.

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has released its updated Audit Service Provider Guidelines, which take effect right away. This revised policy broadens the range of audit-related tasks beyond system and compliance audits, now encompassing System Reviews, Statutory Audits, and Agreed Upon Procedures.

Auditors and licensees have been informed that any pending renewal applications must adhere to the updated policy before submission.

Some of the latest updates from the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA):

  1. Updated Audit Service Provider Guidelines: The MGA has introduced its amended Audit Service Provider Guidelines, broadening the range of audit-related tasks to encompass System Reviews, Statutory Audits, and Agreed Upon Procedures in addition to system and compliance audits.
  2. Launch of Licensee Relationship Management System: The MGA has initiated a new Licensee Relationship Management System (LRMS) to simplify the licensing process and enhance communication between the MGA and its licensees.
  3. Amended Player Protection Directive: The MGA has revised its Player Protection Directive, outlining the necessary player protection measures to be implemented by MGA-licensed online gaming operators.
  4. New Anti-Money Laundering Directive: The MGA has issued a fresh Anti-Money Laundering Directive, stipulating the anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing measures required for licensed gaming operators.
  5. Release of Monthly Performance Reports: The MGA has begun publishing monthly performance reports, offering an overview of Malta’s gaming industry, including data on revenue, taxes, and active licenses.
  6. Establishment of Gaming Industry Consultative Council: The MGA has created a Gaming Industry Consultative Council, composed of gaming industry representatives and other stakeholders, to provide feedback and guidance on Malta’s gaming industry regulation.
  7. Cooperation with Other Regulatory Authorities: The MGA has entered into agreements with other regulatory agencies, such as the UK Gambling Commission and the Swedish Gambling Authority, to strengthen collaboration and information-sharing among regulators.

Audit companies presently on the MGA’s approved list for system and compliance audits are automatically granted permission to conduct System Reviews, Statutory Audits, and Agreed Upon Procedures, provided they are acknowledged as an audit firm by the Accountancy Board.

For financial years concluding in December 2022 and beyond, audit firms not currently on the MGA’s approved list that wish to carry out Statutory Audits and/or Agreed Upon Procedures must submit an application by January 31, 2023. Licensees must confirm that new audit-related engagements are exclusively established with MGA-approved auditors.

The updated policy introduces several procedural and compliance-related modifications, with the main alteration being the expansion of its scope to encompass additional audit-related engagements. The earlier policy, established in 2018, only authorized audit firms for system and compliance audits. The revised policy now includes System Reviews, Statutory Audits, and Agreed Upon Procedures.

The MGA has already initiated letters of engagement for the execution of Statutory Audits and/or Agreed Upon Procedures for financial years ending December 2022 and beyond. Licensees are required to adhere to the updated policy and confirm that all new audit-related engagements are carried out by MGA-approved auditors.

The MGA’s issued notification pertains to the extension of the Sandbox Regulatory Framework, initially established to oversee the implementation of innovative technology arrangements and the acceptance of virtual financial assets and virtual tokens within a sandbox environment. The Sandbox Regulatory Framework’s validity has been prolonged from December 31, 2022, to February 28, 2023.

The MGA has also focused on compiling feedback gathered during a closed consultation process concerning the proposed Policy on the Use of Innovative Technology Arrangements and the acceptance of Virtual Financial Assets and Virtual Tokens. This policy consultation concluded on December 14, 2022, and the MGA will persist in assimilating the feedback obtained throughout this process.

The latest updates from the Malta Gaming Association (MGA) highlight its commitment to strengthening regulation and protecting the interests of players. Thanks to the new measures and standards introduced by the MGA, players can be sure that their rights and safety are protected by this regulatory organization.

The MGA is not the only body issuing gambling licenses. No matter which regulatory body the operator chooses, the safety and integrity of games are a priority for both players and businesses. As we noted earlier in the article, “Comparing The UK and Malta Gambling Licenses: Requirements for New iGaming Publishers”, there are several differences between these two leading regulatory organizations. While the MGA focuses on regulating online gaming and sports betting, the UKGC regulates gaming and betting in general, including traditional casinos. Both organizations have their advantages and disadvantages, and the choice between them may depend on the individual needs and preferences.

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