BUSINESS

Corinne Valetta on creating a level playing field in Malta

TAGs: CAI, Corinne Valetta, malta gaming authority

In this interview with CalvinAyre.com’s Becky Liggero, Corinne Valetta of the Malta Gaming Authority discusses ways by which Malta could be at par with other gambling jurisdictions.

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Most states around the world have turned to the gambling industry in order to augment the budget they have allocated for social services.

Take the case of the Philippines for example. State regulator Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation reported that a portion of its’ P55 billion (US$1.09 billion) gross gaming revenue will be used to fund the government’s health programs.

Meanwhile, UK Sport, which determines how public funds raised via the national lottery and tax are allocated to elite-level sport, has pledged almost £350m to Olympic and Paralympic sports between 2013 and 2017.

The benefits that governments reap from gambling will not be possible if not for implementing sound policies that will support the growth of the industry.

According to Corinne Valetta of the Malta Gaming Authority (MGA), implementing operator-friendly policies is the key in order to nurture the growth of the gambling industry in any jurisdiction.

She made the statement as Malta, which is considered as haven for most online gambling operators, undergoes a painful process of streamlining lots of regulations.

Valetta said the MGA has been aware of the increasing compliance demands that the operators are facing because of the state-by-state jurisdiction, which is being taken up.

“We are aware that we have created a compliance nightmare for operators so we are doing quite a bit to tone this down, streamline it to make it more operator friendly. There are a number of initiatives going on throughout the European Union – if I could just mention a few – I think we have gained significant headway within the expert group on gambling services, which we basically discussed a number of issues which affects the industry,” Valetta told CalvinAyre.com. “We try, as much as possible, at par with other jurisdictions, to create a level playing field. It has been so difficult, you know, to comply with other jurisdictions, we are aware of that. We are trying to achieve the right balance

Aside from facing compliance nightmare, Valetta pointed out that they are bracing for the possible effect of the money laundering directive that the European Union issued.

Valetta said they are now working on very closely with the financial intelligence analysis unit on the actual implementation of the directive.

“We have a nationwide national risk assessment, which looked at the very sectors – including the gaming industry but now we’ve also gone into the gaming industry per se, and it is open to products, services, scenarios, services controls and we conducted a risk analysis of each and every product, each of every scenario,” she added.

She also addressed the issue on the use of cryptocurrency, saying that virtual currencies should be tackled not only by the MGA but also by other concerned Malta agencies.

“That has been something that we’ve been working for a long time. And we need obviously the financial services center on-board, they are the agency directly dealing with the virtual currencies, we need to have the financial intelligence analysis unit on-board especially considering that virtual currency are now included in the directive. We need to have all the stakeholders on-board and we’ve finally managed to get everybody around the table and we kick-started a project in order to announce more on this position,” Valetta said.

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