Enrico Bradamante, president of the iGaming European Network (iGEN), is “cautiously optimistic” over reports Malta is progressing positively towards being removed from the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s greylist of countries facing increased monitoring.
Malta was placed on the list due to perceived failings in its anti-money laundering and counter financing of terrorism (AML/CFT) regime, and an action plan was drawn up for it to address in order to be removed last year.
Since then, the country is said to have made strong progress towards completing the list, and subsequently an on-site visit to Malta by the FATF will take place in April, Prime Minister Robert Abela confirmed earlier this month.
Speaking to iGamingCapital.mt in light of this promising news, Mr Bradamante provided an update on how the greylisting has affected the industry and responded to the news.
Firstly, asked for his impression on whether relevant changes have been made since the country was grey listed, he clarified that he is not privy to the operational details of the process to assess Malta’s presence on the list.
However, he did point out that most of the high-profile cases of alleged corruption and criminality remain ongoing, without any resolution, acquittal or conviction. By contrast, the USA has taken pro-active steps independently to declare a number of individuals involved in such cases as “persona non grata.”
Providing an outlook on the experience of Malta’s iGaming firms since the gerylisting, Mr Bradamante added that he has seen first hand that scrutiny and due diligence facing Malta-based firms has increased.
While he is not aware of any examples of a local firm being forced to surrender its licence in another jurisdiction due to the greylisting, he does cite one case where an international company decided not to raise debt on their Malta-based company or on local financial markets “because of the higher risks of doing business in Malta.”
Looking to the future, asked about the importance of Malta’s removal from the greylist, the leader was emphatic: “It’s extremely important. The longer we stay in the greylist, the more damage it’ll do.”
Enrico Bradamante/ Inigo Taylor
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