Local iGaming operator AMGO has violated three sections of the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations of Malta. The operator failed to fulfil its financial obligation to the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) by failing to pay its license fee and violated two sections of the regulations. In addition, the operator also contravened a section of the Player Protection Directive as the MGA concluded that the operator would fail to respect its commitment to its customers. After glancing at the infringements, the MGA issued a license cancellation notice, allowing AMGO 20 days to change the regulator’s mind and retain its license.
Every gambling operator and solutions provider wants a gambling company-friendly market that hugely benefits B2B and B2C entities, and that is precisely what Malta has provided with its compelling gaming framework. A swift licensing process, low taxation rate, legal protection in certain situations, and much more have turned the country into a hub for the iGaming and online sports betting industry. Depending on its operations and requirements, any local or offshore operator can obtain its MGA license by paying between €25,000 and €500,000. All forms of gambling are legal in Malta. Housing over ten percent of the world’s iGaming and online sports betting operators, Malta’s gambling market contributes heavily to the country’s economy. The ‘open-window’ approach has not restricted the number of licenses that can be issued by the MGA, due to which the number of licensed gambling operators keeps increasing steadily. This is why the Maltese gambling market is projected to grow by almost eight percent by the end of this year. Despite being one of the most gambling-friendly jurisdictions in the world, the Maltese market is regulated strictly by the MGA.
The regulator constantly keeps an eye out for unlicensed operators who are trying to offer their services without a valid permit. Simultaneously, the Authority also monitors the activity of licensed operators to ensure their compliance with the Gaming Compliance and Enforcement Regulations of Malta. The MGA has frequently updated its gambling legislation to keep up with the European gambling and player protection standards. Since unlicensed operators directly threaten the integrity of any gambling market and breach player safety measures, the MGA takes stern action against such operators. If an unlicensed gambling operator is detected offering its services in the regulated jurisdiction of Malta, the MGA can impose a fine ranging from €10,000 to €500,000 on that operator. The regulator can also issue warnings, fines, and license suspension or cancellation notices to the legal operators if they violate any section of the Maltese gambling regulations. At the start of this year, the MGA suspended Betago Ltd’s B2C license after the iGaming operator failed to discharge financial commitments to the regulator and ended up violating three sections of the gambling law of Malta.
Less than a month after suspending Betago’s license, the Maltese regulator cancelled BetDino Ltd’s permit. The revocation was because of an offense similar to Betago’s, as the online gambling operator failed to fulfil financial obligations to the regulator. So far this year, the MGA has suspended five gambling licenses and cancelled seven. The Authority has also overturned one suspension and reinstated Green Feather Online Ltd’s license after the operator rectified its mistakes and stopped breaching the gambling code. The MGA recently released another notice for license cancelation for local iGaming operator AMGO iGaming Malta Ltd. Like many other operators who have breached the regulation revolving around payment and license fees, AMGO was also found guilty of the same offense. Sections (1) (a) and (b) of Regulation 3 were violated after the operator failed to pay the annual fee for one year, for which it owes the regulator about €13,915. The third breach came in the Player Protection Directive of Malta. AMGO violated Article 38 after the MGA deemed that the operator’s failure to meet its commitments to players was imminent. AMGO has 20 days to rectify its wrongdoings and retain its license.
MGA Releases List of Unauthorized URLs
While numerous licensed operators come under flak due to multiple violations, the unlicensed entities are not going unnoticed. Players gambling on illegal platforms are always at risk of fraud since the unlicensed operators do not have an obligation to follow the gambling laws. Almost all such operators do not match and maintain the European gambling standards. Legal proceedings against such operators are also a tedious and tricky task in case of fraud. Hence, the MGA keeps people within its jurisdiction aware of unauthorized domains offering gambling services without an MGA-approved permit.
The regulator recently released a new list of domains classified under the “Unauthorized URLs” category because they are being run by online gambling operators not licensed to operate in the Maltese jurisdiction. The list contains URLs like catcasinosx.com, vkgame11.site, ob9sg.com, 20winpkr.com, wuvq4.com, ey6dmx.com:6002, hthbet619.com, w88br.com, w88kub.com, fun-88.in/in, sbobet.com, and kaiyun.io. Along with the list, the MGA has reiterated the risks of gambling on these platforms and encouraged players to steer clear of these and all the other unlicensed gambling platforms.
Arabmillionaire Lost Its License Last Month
The MGA has announced a 20-day deadline from October 31 for AMGO to provide a written response justifying the breach and rectifying its mistakes. After the response, the MGA will decide if it should let the operator off with a warning or proceed to cancel the B2C permit. Considering the circumstances, it does not look likely that AMGO will respond, which means that the regulator will be forced to cancel the permit on November 21, 2023. However, this will not be the first instance of such a revocation.
About two months ago, local iGaming operator Arabmillionaire was also given a 20-day notice for the cancellation of its B2C license in Malta. The operator was also found guilty of similar violations and was asked to justify its misdemeanor in writing. However, Arabmillionaire did not respond, and the MGA was forced to cancel its permit last month. In addition, the operator was still liable to pay the outstanding annual license fee of two years, worth €50,000, and settle all player transactions properly within five working days.
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