MGA hands out biggest-ever operator fine

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has continued clamping down on unregulated gambling, handing out its biggest-ever operator fine.

Blackrock Media Limited was on the receiving end of it, getting hit with a total penalty of €2.34 million (£2 million). The company had, according to the MGA, been found guilty of the below.

“Operating a gaming service through a Maltese legal entity, without being in possession of the necessary authorisation”.

Regulating the Maltese market 

The MGA dished out this fine after a joint-investigation with the Maltese Executive Police. Through their findings, they discovered that Blackrock Media had been processing deposits and withdrawals even though its service wasn’t permitted to do so in Malta.

Blackrock Media has since paid the penalty, according to the governing body. The company is an entity of Blackrock Entertainment, based in the Netherlands. While it’s licensed to operate the Wild Sultan online casino brand in Curaçao, this isn’t the case for Malta.

Suspensions elsewhere 

Along with this latest development, the MGA has been getting tough on unethical activity in the country. Last year, it revealed that 11 operator licences were suspended in the first six months of 2019. In addition to this, 14 licence applications were denied.

According to the authority, licences were refused because of individuals connected to the operators being unfit to run such a business.

After this information was published, Peter Spiteri – Chief Officer of Finance & Programme Management at the Malta Gaming Authority – said the following.

“A lot has been done by the authority to ensure that the implementation was completed effectively and all systems and procedures cater to the new requirements.”

He continued: “The MGA strives to ensure that the industry in Malta remains compliant with an evolving set of regulations.”

The MGA received 23 cooperation requests from abroad between January-June 2019, along with sending 33 itself.

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