MGA opens consultation on suspicious bet reporting

27 May 2020

The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) has published a new consultation paper on sports integrity measures, which includes new mechanisms in order for licensees to report suspicious betting activity to the MGA.

Licensees will be expected to report all suspicious betting activity to the MGA through a reporting system hosted on the regulator's website. 

The Authority will require licensees to provide description of the markets on which suspicious activity has occurred and country from which the account behind any suspicious activity was accessed. Licensees must also inform the MGA of the time at which the bets were placed, as well as providing account information, and any evidence to support why the activity is considered suspicious, as well as listing all other bodies that have been notified of the potential breach.

“[In] order to be able to perform an effective evaluation, sufficient detail needs to be provided by the licensee hence, if deemed relevant, said licensee may be required to provide to the Authority additional information which is extraneous to the above criteria,” the MGA explained.

The Authority intends to also start publishing questions pertinent to sports integrity matters in its biannual Industry Performance Return that is filled out by licenceholders.

These questions will include: “How many suspicious betting events linked with sports integrity were noted throughout the year in review? What sports did these events pertain to? What was the total value of the bets?” and “How many sporting events were deemed to be at risk of being manipulated? How many were reported to (a) the gambling regulator; (b) a betting integrity agency; (c) a sport governing body; (d) a law enforcement agency?” as well as “How many player accounts linked with suspicious betting were noted in the year in review?”

The publication comes after the launch of the MGA’s Sports Integrity Unit in August 2019. The unit was established in order to gather intelligence and information relating to suspicious betting and serve as liaison between local and foreign regulatory authorities, law enforcement agencies, betting monitoring systems, sporting bodies and gaming operators in order to investigate irregular betting activity.

All MGA B2C licensees will be required to report and cases of suspicious betting. Before this comes into force, a consultation period will be open for stakeholders to share their thoughts on the process, with submissions to be filed by 15 July.

“Prior to bringing into force this requirement, the Authority is taking the opportunity to reach out to its stakeholders and seek their feedback on the proposed mechanisms to take place once its licensees become obliged by law to report suspicious betting,” MGA chief executive Heathcliff Farrugia explained.

“The Authority is also interested in initiating a dialogue with B2B licensees to consider what their contribution towards sports integrity can look like in terms of detection and exchange of information with either B2C licensees, or the Authority itself.”

In recent weeks, the MGA has signed a series of data-sharing deals for integrity purposes with a number of sporting bodies, including the Swedish Football Association, the Darts Regulation Authority and the World Professional Billiards & Snooker Association.