The Malta Gaming Authority (MGA) is doubling up on its efforts to make sports betting safer by introducing some tough rules. As from January 1, 2021 sports betting companies that are regulated by the authority will be required to report any and all suspicious betting patterns on their platforms.
There has been a significant surge in sports betting activity for the past few years especially in the online space which is one of the things that prompted a deeper dive into the matter. The move began way back in May when the gaming authority issued a new consultation paper on sports integrity measures which included the mechanisms designed to ensure that operators report any suspicious betting activity.
After the rather long seven-week consultation, the gaming authority is finally ready to take the next leap forward. Now, once the new regulations come into effect, the Malta Gaming Authority will require its license holders to provide, among other things, the description of the markets where the suspicious activity has been recorded, the time as well as evidence supporting the claims that said activity are indeed suspicious.
In essence, there are some key questions that the sportsbook operators licensed by the regulator will need to answer in order to be in compliance with the new regulations. These 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?
- 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?
- How many player accounts linked with suspicious betting were noted in the year in review?
The consultation period was a very important aspect of the new regulations. While the main goal is to ensure that sports bettors are fully protected and suspicious activities are minimized, it goes without saying that the opinions of every stakeholder have to be put into consideration. Thankfully, these stakeholders supported the decision hence the decision to proceed with their implementation.
Malta Gaming Authority also took it upon itself to speak with various B2B licensees who will be vital to the process of ensuring sports integrity. Their roles will primarily involve detection as well as the exchange of information with MGA itself or the B2C licensees. Already, the authority has signed a decent number of data-sharing deals that will make all these possible.