Malta Gaming Authority CEO steps down

Malta Gaming Authority CEO steps down
2nd Nov, 2020
Simon Colmenares Author Profile Photo Simon Colmenares

The Malta Gaming Authority has announced that Heathcliff Farrugia is stepping down as its CEO.

In 2014, he moved into the position of chief regulatory officer, before replacing Joseph Cuschieri as CEO.

However, the MGA told iGB that Farrugia informed its board of governors he will not renew his contract with the regulator, and will instead pursue other career opportunities.

His contract had been due to expire earlier next year and has now been placed on gardening leave, with no administrative duties.

Prior to joining the MGA, Farrugia served in a number of managerial roles at the Vodafone Malta division of telco Vodafone, and also had a spell as customer value management manager for Vodafone Italy. Farrugia was also previously a member of the board at the Gaming Regulators European Forum.

Confirmation of Farrugia’s exit comes after the MGA this month announced details of a new requirement for Malta-licensed sportsbook operators, whereby they will need to report suspicious betting patterns to the regulator from January.

Malta’s gaming sector has been under the microscope for several years with EU criticism over Malta’s tax rebate system. However, this all intensified once Malta failed its first crucial Moneyval test.

If the country fails to pass its next Moneyval test in Spring, Malta would be placed on the body’s “greylist” which will see the island subjected to enhanced monitoring procedures.

New CEO, New Operations

The Malta Gaming Authority is set to suffer some changes with the replacement of the CEO position.

The office under Heathcliff Farrugia was full of controversy and misunderstandings that, at some point, threatened the integrity and professionalism of the Malta Gaming Authority.

The new CEO has not been announced, but it is expected to cause some changes that may shift the direction that the Malta Gaming Authority was going through.

In the meantime, it is not possible to recognize or foresee any of the changes that could be made with the gambling authority.

The high number of gambling operators that have been granted a license by the Malta Gaming Authority are waiting impatiently for the new measurements and tactics that could be taken by it.

The Malta Gaming Authority

Launched in 2001, Malta Gaming Authority was created with the purpose of protecting the players from any type of fraudulent actions or any crime that could be committed within the gambling industry.

The Malta Gaming Authority became one of the most important and reliable gambling officials thanks to its transparency and the safety it provided for all the players.

Eradicating money laundering, theft and corruption have been the main focus for the Malta Gaming Authority since the moment it was created. The tasks have surely not been easy to do in any way.

The gambling authority has faced many obstacles and issues that have made it nearly impossible to function properly at all times.

Functions or tasks performed by the Malta Gaming Authority

Among the many activities or jobs that the Malta Gaming Authority has, some of them are:

  • Protect minors and any vulnerable person that gets involved in any form of gambling while providing all the players with a safe and reliable environment.
  • Provide licenses and regulations for all of those companies that wish to offer gambling services without taking advantage of the players.
  • Safeguard the players’ rights at all times. The players are the priority and their rights should never be taken away.
  • Make sure that all the games and sports options offered by the gambling operators are fair and legal.
  • Eradicate all kinds of criminal activities within the gambling industry.

The new innovations against the Malta Gaming Authority

New technology gets released every day. But, not all of it is used for good and legal purposes.

Unfortunately, the new technology that has been implemented on the gambling industry has also been used to scam and swindle players quickly. The Malta Gaming Authority has not had an easy job with these new innovations.

The gambling authority has had to reinvent their strategies and methods to battle against the new ways and methods that exist with the intention of getting away with the players’ funds.

Was the creation of the Malta Gaming Authority necessary?

For some players, this is probably one of the questions that they ask the most when they find out about the Malta Gaming Authority.

The truth is, yes, legal bodies such as the Malta Gaming Authority are completely necessary within the industry, without doubts. The gambling industry has drawn a lot of attention over the course of the last few years.

Many new forms of gambling have been invented, as well as new methods to offer gambling services. However, not all of them have been created with the intention of providing fair and square winning opportunities for those that use them.

Regrettably, the gambling industry has been full of scandals and crimes that have cost many innocent players a lot of money without the chance of even fighting to get it back.

Thanks to the existence of gambling officials like the Malta Gaming Authority, the number of crimes and frauds committed within the industry has lowered.

The players are now able to participate in gambling venues and sites without the fear of getting scammed. They can enjoy the gambling experience safely and comfortably.

2nd Nov, 2020
Simon Colmenares