Enrico Bradamante, founder and chairman of Malta’s association of iGaming companies, iGen, has decried that “the actions of the few have impacted the second largest industry in Malta”.
“The transparency, responsibility, conduct and reputation of the iGaming industry is paramount to its success, and the industry welcomes the rigorous scrutiny and legislation by which it abides,” he added.
Speaking to BusinessNow.mt after a recent Forbes article suggesting that Malta may be forced to reconsider its reliance on online betting in light of “scandals and Mafia allegations”, Mr Bradamante explained his outlook for the industry, and responded to the scandals that threaten the iGaming industry’s reputation.
The article, written by “award-winning journalist” Will Nichol, outlines Malta’s rise from “sleepy tourist spot to international gaming mecca”.
It states that in light of scandals that “have been mounting since 2017”, “the extent to which Malta’s once-attractive remote gaming license will appeal to legitimate multinational gambling companies is—for now—unknown.”
Indeed, as the public inquiry into the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia continues, controversy after controversy has arisen.
Last week, it was reported by the Times of Malta that former Malta Gaming Authority Chairman Heathcliff Farrugia colluded with Yorgen Fenech (one of the men accused of involvement in Ms Caruana Galizia Murders) to try to prevent the publication of findings of an inspection revealing weak anti-money laundering controls at the Tumas Gaming casinos.
Mr Bradamante concedes, in the past “the press has covered events, accusations and criminal charges being levied in Malta which have had a negative impact on the reputation of the iGaming industry, and of Malta”.
However, he was keen to emphasise the industry’s support of regulations and the satisfactory resolution of ongoing investigations, saying, “iGEN welcomes swift and severe action towards anyone found guilty in the ongoing investigations”.
Additionally, “the iGaming industry remains committed to Malta, and we sincerely wish for a successful outcome of the ongoing MONEYVAL assessment, and for a satisfactory conclusion to the major investigations and court proceedings currently underway,” he said.
Mr Bradamante, however, whose association is comprised of “leading iGaming companies based in Malta and operating on the European and international markets”, believes that the “satisfactory conclusion to the major investigations and court proceedings”, “would demonstrate that the rule of law in Malta is now being applied consistently, swiftly and impartially”.
Earlier this month, it emerged that Hero Gaming cut its workforce by around 60, either through redundancy or resignation
The Malta-based company has launched two new casinos via its White Label Solutions
The decision was taken in consultation with Belgium’s Minister of Finance, Vincent Van Peteghem