Malta has always been a guiding light in terms of online gaming legislation and the related framework associated with it. The Maltese led the charge in the early days of internet gambling, and soon saw itself as being the destination of choice for many other European countries that were looking to setup shop in the sector. The influx of gaming companies led to the creation of strict and complicated laws that governed how the companies could run their operations. This included the monitoring and auditing of computer systems, with things like random number generators and payout algorithms being strictly scrutinized.
After many years, an increase in the number of online players started to complain about suspicious behaviour on the part of online gambling operators. Once there was enough noise made about the issue, investigations began into the hosting facilities that were being used at the time. This led investigators to Malta, where they discovered that some of the service providers were no longer operating within the confines of the legislative framework as it was laid out originally.
Subsequently, leading to a restructure of policy in the region as authorities find themselves scrambling to regain the trust of the online gaming industry players and service providers. This has meant that some overdue adjustments to the procedures of obtaining and keeping a gaming license in the region were needed. Due to the fact that Malta falls under the European Union, there is mounting pressure for the Maltese Gaming Authority to tighten things. This all comes in the wake of further allegations of a lack of oversight by the MGA and that much of the framework that they created was being flouted by unscrupulous operators.
There are further reports that speak of former employees refusing to seal hardware and sign off on audits due to provider hardware and layouts not matching official documentation, and therefore not meeting compliance. Such employees were met with dismissal, and the MGA mentions that the application of stickers to the servers that host the gambling environments is an outdated and ineffective practice. This is despite the fact that there’s no formal amendment to the laws that govern the regulations of sealing, auditing and inspecting such equipment.
It has further opened up the MGA to criticism of its handling methodology and that ultimately, they have allowed unscrupulous operators to run suspicious operations, with some bearing hallmarks of money laundering and fraud. These serious allegations have set Malta’s legislature into action, with big gaming reforms on the cards for the region. This means that players can start to look towards the European gambling sector for more changes and stricter rules in the near future. As a result of all reasonable changes, we expect the entire region to have a fair method of monitoring. If Malta is able to complete this reversal in fortune that has befallen them in recent times, then they will need turn the other cheek and continue to forge their way ahead, just as they have always done.