Carl Brincat

Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) CEO Carl Brincat on Tuesday morning said that the local iGaming industry needs to raise the minimum floor of its regulatory compliance to make sure it holds operators to the same standard.

Speaking at an event titled ’20 Years of iGaming in Malta: Are We At a Crossroad?’ hosted by The Malta Chamber in collaboration with GamingMalta and WH Partners, he expressed a concern that not all operators are held to the same standards in terms of regulatory compliance.

He explained that while Malta has a generally high regulatory standard, a number of operators are doing the bare minimum to comply with regulations, bringing down the overall regulatory environment and also the jurisdiction’s reputation.

For co-panellist Enrico Bradamante, who was speaking in his capacity as president of leading local iGaming association iGEN, reputation is also important not just for more sectoral-specific issues relating to banking and other services.

Raising the minimum regulatory floor will help the industry’s reputation continue to grow, and when the country leaves the Financial Action Task Force (FATF)’s grey list, it will be known to be amongst the “cleanest,” he said.

Expanding on this, Dr Brincat claimed that the country “put its money where its mouth is” in the run up to the greylisting and after it, while clarifying there is room for refinement and balance in the regulatory environment.

However, he insisted that this refinement would not necessarily be about lowering the overall standards of the regulatory environment, but about finding a balance to make sure the industry is not overburdened by regulations.

One way that the MGA strives to find this balance is by consulting closely with industry partners, and Dr Brincat’s former MGA colleague, Yanica Sant, who now works as group senior legal council for William Hill, discussed this.

Both private and public entities have a role in maintaining Malta’s reputation, she said, adding that this is particularly important in a frenetic industry like iGaming.

Dr Sant, who left the MGA after over seven years earlier this year, described this collaboration and consultation as a key strength of Malta’s jurisdiction.

Other topics addressed by Dr Brincat and the rest of the panel included the value of Malta’s licence now that it brings access to significantly less markets, how the country needs to remain attractive to startups, and how the iGaming licence is configured to protect players without being unnecessarily burdensome for iGaming companies.

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