At the beginning of the week, the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) revealed that it has published a special consultation document in collaboration with the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit (FIAU). The document is a comprehensive study that is primarily focused on the upcoming application of the Authority’s anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding requirements imposed by the Malta gambling regulatory body on license holders.
The document released as a joint publication of the MGA and FIAU is divided into five sections, which correspond to the major obligations of the licensees that are subjected to it. The document, however, does not cover all anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism funding obligations.
The Malta Gaming Authority has revealed certain requirements for licensed gaming companies that operate games of chance and games of skill via means of distance communication. The new regulatory additions have been in order for certain illegal practices such as anti-money laundering to be prevented, while local authorities fight other processes such as terrorism funding through gaming services. The new regulations are set to come into force under the practices included into the Maltese law of Directive 2015/849 of the European Parliament and of the Council of May 20th 2015.
As mentioned above, the major goal of the consultation is to prevent any illegal money laundering or terrorism financing activities to take advantage of the financial system.
Apart from that, the consultation document published in a collaboration between the local gaming regulatory watchdog and the Financial Intelligence Analysis Unit in order to generally explain the major anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism obligations of gambling companies that operate under licenses issued by the MGA. In addition, the document would also provide licensees with certain guidelines on how they will be expected to operate in line with their new obligations.
What is more, a more thorough and detailed guidance document is expected to be officially announced at a later stage after an upcoming consultation between the local regulatory authorities and the digital gaming sector. The newly-issued document would then serve as the basis for this detailed guidance, with each of its five sections corresponding to the guidelines of the MGA and FIAU in terms of the basic anti-money laundering and financing of terrorism obligations which licensees would be subjected to.
The Malta Gaming Authority advised its licensees to make sure they comply with the consultation document in conjunction with the above-mentioned Directive and Part I of the Implementing Procedures included in the document. The Malta gaming regulatory watchdog also explained that some of the Implementing Procedures could undergo some changes, but the general content is not likely to be changed a lot.
Of course, the Malta Gaming Authority has provided both its licensees and the rest of interested parties with the opportunity to submit any opinions and feedback they may have in terms of the consultation document. The deadline for the interested parties to express their opinion on the matter is until August 11th 2017.