MGA: New Policies & Challenges

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is seeking guidance on its proposed policy related to Innovate Technology Arrangements (ITAs) and the acceptance of Virtual Financial Assets (VFAs) and Virtual Tokens.

This guidance is requested as part of the ongoing plans by the Malta Gaming Authority to introduce new policies that will strengthen and help develop its regulatory stands on the acceptance of the VFAs and virtual tokers.

The Authority is also seeking to develop and acquire deeper insights into the management and use of Innovative Technology Arrangements, including smart contracts and Distributed Ledger Technology that authorised persons are currently using.

In a bid to support its extensive research, the MGA has also launched an ongoing consultation up until December 14 in a bid to provide stakeholders with the opportunity to submit any possible feedback.

The MGA has already implemented a Sandbox Environment to test the acceptance and application of the ITAs and the VFAs, which are due to expire on December 31st, 2022.

As part of its ongoing processes, the MGA is due to launch a series of Regulatory Workshops that will act as a “structured touchpoint between industry stakeholders and the MGA and to encourage an informal exchange of views around regulatory topics of mutual interest”.

The Malta Gaming Authority will, in the meantime, be inviting various interested stakeholders to take part in its first workshop due to be held next month.

The Gambling Authority is looking to develop new proposals to reform its Player Protections Directors, which undertook a ‘closed consultation’ with its licensees last month.

The regulator is also currently finalising its player protection guidelines for its licensees, which are due to be published in 2024.

In recent weeks, the MGA has also been cleared of links to Italian mafia members. It has turned up that there was never a connection between various Italian nationals and the MGA following various investigations by Italian authorities.

It has also been confirmed that no Italian mafia members had any links to the ownership structures of online gambling companies licensed and regulated by the MGA.

The MGA’s statement read: “The authority would like to clarify that there is no connection between the MGA and these individuals, and none of them forms any part of the ownership structures of online gaming companies licensed by the MGA. The authority confirms that none of these persons is directors, shareholders, ultimate beneficial owners or key persons of any MGA licence-holder.

The authority is liaising with local and Italian authorities and will continue to monitor any further developments.