Companies in Malta’s iGaming industry are, along with the financial, insurance and professional services industries, those most concerned about the effects of Malta’s greylisting by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), according to a recent survey by Malta Employers’ Association (MEA).
The survey found that 89 per cent of businesses in these sectors expect the greylisting, which categorised Malta as a ‘Jurisdiction Under Increased Monitoring’, to negatively affect business.
This is significantly more than the 62 per cent of those businesses in the Hospitality & Tourism, Manufacturing, Wholesale & Retail sectors which predicted the measure would affect their business.
According to the MEA survey, the largest proportion (45 per cent) of businesses in the Gaming, Financial and Insurance Activities and professional services categories believed the greylisting would impact business at a point between three and six months from now.
On the other hand, 34 per cent of businesses in the category expected the greylisting to impact them in more than six months’ time, whereas 21 per cent expected to be impacted in the next three.
The revelations come as a result of a survey conducted by the MEA, about the perceptions of businesses regarding the greylisting. It found that the degree of uncertainty was uneven among sectors.
Additionally, the results revealed that across categories, businesses attribute money laundering activities, defective rule of law, the justice system, institutional corruption, and a lack of transparancy and weak institutions for Malta’s greylisting.
Businesses were especially concerned about rising compliance costs, with some companies reporting having resorted to hiring additional personnel to deal with the bureaucratic demands of the added compliance.
Releasing the report, the MEA insisted it didn’t want to be alarmist, but stated: “the longer Malta remains greylisted, the more extensive the damage and the longer it will take to recover a tainted international reputation”.
This is a sentiment also reported by several industry experts, including Pierre Lindh of iGaming Next, who, in the wake of the greylisting emphasised to iGamingCapital.mt that it is essential Malta and its politicians work together to help get Malta off the list as soon as possible.
According to Malta Gaming Association (MGA) CEO Carl Brincat too, it is “imperative” Malta escapes the category as soon as possible.
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