Gaming stakeholders worry about ‘over-regulated’ industry as a result of FATF measures

Last Updated on Tuesday, 10 May, 2022 at 1:36 pm by Andre Camilleri

Stakeholders from the iGaming industry have expressed their worry that Malta’s implementation of the measures imposed onto it by the Financial Action Task Force will lead to an “over-regulated” industry. 

During a panel discussion organised by the Chamber of Commerce as the gaming industry celebrated 20 years in Malta, it was discussed how despite Malta needing to implement the FATF recommendations, these should not let the industry become “over regulated” as this can very well hinder the country’s competitiveness. 

The panel was made up of five stakeholders in the gaming industry: Malta Gaming Authority CEO Carl Brincat, Playtech Head of Regulatory Affairs Charmaine Hogan, William Hill Group Regulatory Senior Counsel Yanica Sant, Play’n Go Head of Government Affairs Jessica Maier, and iGEN Chairperson Enrico Bradamante. 

WH Partners Co-Managing Partner Olga Finkel moderated the panel. 

The speakers, engaging in a discussion, noted that the formula which brough the industry’s success in Malta for the past 20 years cannot be a guarantee for the future as it now needs “an innovative plan”, since other countries are catching up. 

Another subject touched upon was the increase rent prices in the property market; it was noted that as rents continue to increase, so does the probability that companies choose other to take their offices elsewhere. 

Discussing Malta’s greylisiting, the panel noted that despite Malta trying to recover its reputation by implementing the FATF recommendations, there are still other national scandals which still need to be addressed. 

The President of the Chamber of Commerce Marisa Xuereb said that the gaming industry has over the years kept growing and that its employees make up four per cent of the whole country’s workforce. 

She added that although during 2020 and 2021 there have been many sectors negatively affected by the pandemic, the iGaming sector has made up 12% of Malta’s GDP. 

Speaking about Malta’s current legal framework which regulates the gaming industry, she said that although many countries have tried to duplicate it proving its excellence, Malta is currently facing bigger challenges as now teleworking is being used by other companies. 

Xuereb said that this is creating a problem for Malta’s own industry as now it has to compete to attract the needed highly skilled labour.

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