Malta Threatened with EU Sports Betting Veto Cancellation
Malta will possibly have to cancel its EU sports betting veto as a means to excel the Financial Action Task Force’s Moneyval test, as a result of concerns about the jurisdiction being in a financially unsafe space
A decision is expected to be made on June 15 by The Financial Action Task Force.
It is important to note that Malta has an existing experience of failing EU’s anti money laundering standards, which puts it for a risk of becoming gray-listed, and had to do certain works and changes in order to meet the FATF relevant criteria.
Being a EU member state, Malta and the MGA must abide by the command of the Macolyn Convention, a European council that has the initiative to protect sport from dishonesty and manipulation. The territory’s fidelity to the convention is a major obstacle to litigation.
As a result of the deadlock, the adoption of the Macolyn Convention was postponed due to Malta’s veto, which prevented the European Commission from signing it the name of all 28 EU member states.
To date, the Convention has been confirmed by seven Council of Europe member states and signed by 19 states, providing it with sufficient international political support to bring it into action.
A “senior government source” on Malta’s accession to the Macolin Convention allegedly told MaltaToday that the Maltese authorities “may have to bow their heads and just keep going.”
In the event of being fully confirmed, the convention will impose additional restrictions on the global gambling industry to counter illegal betting activities, including prohibiting licensed gambling operators in Malta from expanding commercial operations overseas if they do not comply with the laws of other member states.
As it is one of the most famous gambling centers in Europe – online gambling accounts for 12% of the island’s GDP, generating 700mil euros and employing 9,000 people – and providing a base for more than 250 betting operators including Betsson, Tipico and William Hill. New terms can have a significant impact on the regular functions of Malta’s economy.
In the summer of 2019, the MGA was scolded by the Italian anti-corruption service ADM and the police, as its “Glassia investigation” found that numerous Malta-licensed white label gambling operators had laundered millions of euros for the Calabrian mafia by financing criminal affairs.
Both the Maltese government and the MGA Sports Ethics Investigators have confirmed that they are capable of countering illegal betting in collaboration with and sports organizations and the law enforcement.
In addition, the definition of illegal sports betting has figured prominently in the Moneywall investigation, as the Maltese authorities are currently challenging the term, arguing that it should only refer to the manipulation of sports competitions on the subject of the Macolin Convention.