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Responding to questions about the Macolin Convention and Malta’s continued veto of it, which it has been suggested will need to be dropped, a well-placed source at Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has denied that its adoption in Malta would have operational impacts on the local industry in Malta.

“We do not envisage any changes for the local sports betting industry regardless of whether Malta’s position on the Convention changes or otherwise, because it will not affect their operation or their regulatory obligations”, he said in comments to iGamingCapital.mt 

Instead, “it is limited solely to combating match-fixing, an endeavour which they are already key stakeholders in”.

Under the Council of Europe’s Macolin Convention, which aims to combat the manipulation of sports through illegal betting, Malta-based betting operators would need to honour the laws of the jurisdiction in which players using the online services are based. 

A failure to do so would mean the jurisdiction is engaged in facilitating illegal sports betting services.

Currently, iGaming companies based in Malta can get licensed by the MGA, and offer its services to customers across the EU. 

Under the new rules, companies would need to acquire a licence in each EU jurisdiction it is offering services in. 

Local reports have suggested that should Malta hope to pass a final Financial Action Task Force decision on whether the jurisdiction should be ‘greylisted’, its seven-year veto of the Macolin Convention would have to be dropped. The FATF is an international body fighting against money laundering and the financing of terrorism. 

“The MGA remains committed to safeguarding the interests of the industry, and this has always been and will continue to be, underpinned by political support”, the MGA source added.

Indeed, he points out that since the 2019 formation of the Sports Betting Integrity Department at the MGA, information has been exchanged in relation to suspected match-fixing in more than 150 instances, and has directly participated in more than 48 different investigations since its inception. 

Regardless of developments regarding the Macolin Convention, the source insisted that “the MGA remains committed to ensuring that gambling remains safe, fair and free from crime. The manipulation of sports competitions negatively impacts the sport, the punters, and equally, the regulated operators themselves”.

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