The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has announced that it cancelled seven licences and suspended a further two during an apparent clampdown on regulatory breaches during the first half of 2020.
In its Interim Performance Report, the regulatory body for gambling in Malta revealed during January and June 2020, it issued 11 warnings, suspended two licences, cancelled seven and issued nine administrative fines, following compliance audits and formal investigations.
The offending operators that had their MGA licences cancelled during the period includes Watch World Luxury, Global Gaming Entertainment, bSupporter, Bimbabet, Dorobet, The Daily Fantasy Football Company and Pick Mister, while Stakers and BetElephant had their licences suspended, due to regulatory breaches.
In terms of fines, Blackrock Media had the heftiest penalty, being charged with €2.34m ($2.84m) last January for operating a gaming service without the necessary authorisation.
The MGA also revealed that it took action against 10 adverts or promotions that it believed to have exploited the coronavirus pandemic, which much of H1 affected by national lockdowns worldwide.
During the period, 833 criminal probity screening tests were carried out covering land-based and online gaming activities, while the Player Support Unit resolved 2,433 request for assistance queries, with the pandemic resulting in a 38% year-on-year increase in the amount of such requests received during H1.
The body said it will publish its full-year industry performance report in May, alongside its annual report for the 2020 financial year.
Last month, Dr Carl Brincat was appointed as the MGA’s new CEO.